First listed on: 04 June 2024

Health Research Project Officer


The Garvan Institute of Medical Research brings together world leading researchers and clinicians, collaborating locally and globally, to improve human health. Our mission is to harness all the information encoded in our genome to better diagnose, treat, predict and prevent disease. From the individual patient with rare disease, to the many thousands affected by complex, widespread illness, we are pioneering discoveries across diseases that have the deepest impact on our community.    


This position is based in the Centre for Population Genomics (CPG), a joint initiative of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Garvan) in Sydney and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne. At CPG, we are working to create a world in which genomic information enables disease prediction, accurate diagnosis and effective therapeutics for all people. 

Databases that capture the genetic variation of healthy populations are critical for genomic medicine. However, these currently represent mainly people descended from Europe and the Americas. Under-represented or missing from these data are many of Australia’s minority ancestries, such as Oceanian people (e.g. Samoan, Tongan, Fijian), Southeast Asian people (e.g. Filipino, Vietnamese), Middle Eastern people (e.g. Lebanese) and African people (e.g. Sudanese). As a result, many families in Australia cannot currently get medical help for a genetic illness. If this lack of inclusion continues, Australians from many diverse backgrounds will also be less likely to benefit from future genomics driven medical advances. 

We want to solve this problem - the critical lack of ancestral diversity in genomics in Australia. The OurDNA program seeks to address this by recruiting more than seven thousand research participants from diverse ancestries to create new resources for human genetics that truly reflect the remarkable population diversity of Australia and improve the diagnosis of rare disease patients across a wide range of Australian communities. 

This is an exciting and innovative program, and we have structured the Centre to be able to deliver. Our teams are developing cutting-edge software, facilitating engagement in underrepresented communities, leading population genomics analyses, diagnosing rare diseases, and coordinating projects and operations. Funders and partners have backed our vision, including a $10 million grant from the Medical Research Futures Fund.

Salary: $89,000 + 11% super + salary packaging

Employment Type: 2 year term contract


  • Generous salary packaging to save you income tax on your wages thereby boosting your monthly take home pay (max. $15,900 general expenses + $2,650 meals/accom)
  • Ample opportunities for on-going training and development
  • Stimulating, diverse and highly international research environment
  • Flexible work arrangements e.g. start / finish times 
  • 18 weeks paid parental leave for both parents including paid superannuation
  • A range of additional leave types to meet your personal needs including cultural leave, conference leave, community service and study leave
  • Discounted Health Insurance
  • Lifestyle discounts with our community partners


The Project Officer for the OurDNA Project is central to driving the project's success as a member of the participant recruitment team. Reporting to the Recruitment Manager, this role will support all aspects of recruitment for the OurDNA project, focusing on event planning and management, website maintenance, and logistical organisation. With a strong project management background, this individual will lead event coordination, enhance the project's digital presence through website updates, and ensure smooth logistical operations. Key qualities include creativity, technical proficiency, and exceptional organisational skills. This role will be interacting with study participants and assisting with participant recruitment, so an ability to speak about the research to a wide variety of people in the community is expected. A thorough working knowledge of Good Clinical Practice (GCP) is required. This role suits a problem-solver with excellent communication abilities, ready to collaborate closely with the team and stakeholders to meet the project's objectives efficiently.

The Project Officer's efforts will significantly contribute to the OurDNA Project's impact and reach.

Prospective candidates will ideally be located at the Garvan Institute in Sydney. While CPG champions a remote-?rst/hybrid work model, we also value o?ce interactions and quarterly face-to-face events. The perfect ?t will be someone who ?ourishes in a virtual workspace and balances remote work with the o?ce. This position is based in the Centre for Population Genomics (CPG), a joint initiative of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Garvan) in Sydney and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne. At CPG, we are working to create a world in which genomic information enables disease prediction, accurate diagnosis and e?ective therapeutics for all people

The key responsibilities include:

  • Facilitate comprehensive event logistics management, encompassing venue reservation, transportation coordination, and on-site supervision of participants and their samples.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to plan events effectively and provide forecasts to ensure seamless coordination.
  • Monitor and follow up on the process until samples are delivered to the designated processing sites, ensuring timely and accurate handling throughout.
  • Proactively assess and mitigate potential risks associated with event logistics to ensure seamless coordination and program delivery.   
  • Drives project management for specific smaller projects under supervision
  • Facilitate and lead internal and external meetings/workshops with stakeholders with support and direction to achieve project outcomes.
  • Liaises and manages stakeholder expectations in relation to project delivery (time/resource/cost implications/risk) with support.
  • Contributes to preparation, collection and methodology as required by the project and research group.
  • Contributes to the team/group and manages competing priorities/deadlines to deliver projects in a timely manner.
  • Develops the structure and content for reports independently from draft to final stage


The key skills and experience include:

  • An appropriate level of expertise gained from a combination of experience, training or professional accreditation.
  • Flexibility and adaptability to respond to changing program requirements, unexpected challenges, and evolving priorities.
  • Demonstrated experience in project management including the planning, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Event planning skills
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills with experience communicating to a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Demonstrates independent judgement and initiative.
  • Ability to juggle competing workloads.
  • Logistical management skills
  • Familiarity with project management tools and other software (such as Airtable, Miro, Jira or Trello)
  • Current Good Clinical Practice (GCP) certification
  • A current unrestricted Australian issued driver’s license


  • Experience working with multicultural communities and recruiting research participants in non-clinical settings.
  • Experience in large-scale population recruitment and/or genomic medical research or biosample management.
  • Access to own motor vehicle


To apply for this position, please submit your application with a CV and cover letter as one document, stating why you are interested in this role. If you think you’re the right person for this role, we’d love to hear how your capabilities, achievements and experience set you apart. Only applicants with full working rights in Australia are eligible to apply for this role.

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