The NIF Annual Meeting was held June 18 – 20th 2019. At the green St Lucia campus of the University of Queensland, Fellows, Directors, and Board Members from across the country gathered in the Centre for Advanced Imaging (CAI).
The Fellows’ Program kicked off with a FAIR data principles and Characterisation Virtual Laboratory (CVL) workshop. Here, Fellows were reminded about FAIR data principles and had assistance in opening CVL accounts.
On day 2, we enjoyed the Fellows Mini-Symposium boasting the theme of ‘collaboration’. These talks showcased the cutting-edge projects and facilities that 11 of our NIF Facility and Informatics Fellows have been working on. An open discussion followed lunch, spawning ideas to collaborate on a new atlasing project, enhance the utility of the CVL Program, and the identity of NIF as a go-to imaging brand.
The three NIF Thematic Groups met in the afternoon of Day 2 to discuss their latest challenges, share expertise, and develop action plans for their National Initiatives. Each of the Themes is working towards a National Initiative relevant to their user base, improving research quality and availability across the country. These fascinating discussions and more continued on into the evening for our final dinner together.
Day 3 opened early with an address by the NIF CEO, Graham Galloway, congratulating the three NIF Professional Development Grant winners, Dr Karine Mardon, Dr Tom Close, and Ms Diana Patalwala. Their awards have taken them to laboratories and events around the globe! We also welcomed Dr Rob Smith, Dr Tonima Ali, and Dr Paula Martinez Villegas to the ranks. At the same time, we bid a fond farewell to Dr Kirk Feindel, and wish him every success in the next stage of his career. NIF has enjoyed great successes over the past year, including an additional $53m investment via the NCRIS program. With the transition from a representative Board to an independent governing Board only a few months ago, NIF can expect exciting challenges ahead. Watch this space to see how we plan to continue engaging and collaborating across Australia!
Next, we all discussed ways of sharing our outcomes and facilitating reporting, wrapped up with some fun group activities to ignite creativity and collaborative communication!
The meeting was finished off with an open discussion focussed on informatics, data curation, and repository systems. Two great ideas came from this discussion; persistent identifiers for instruments, allowing researchers to cite the instrument in publications, and an online knowledge repository (such as a wiki) for sharing workflows and processes. We look forward to supporting these initiatives!
It was sad to say goodbye to all the NIF Fellows, Node Directors, Board Members and Associates at the end of our three-day meeting, but we are reassured by the plan to meet again in April or May 2020 in Sydney! Until then, we will continue to share our stories and build on the initiatives that we’re so excited about.
NIF pays its respects to the traditional custodians of the land upon which we met. We acknowledge both the Jagera people and the Turrbul people and their Elders, past, present, and emerging, for they hold the hopes, dreams, traditions and cultures of Aboriginal Australia.