Women in Science Parkville Precinct (WiSPP)

WiSPP is the Women in Science Parkville Precinct initiative, a collaborative effort to boost numbers of women in science leadership.

This initiative involves five independent not-for-profit medical research institutes:


  • The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
  • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
  • Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • The Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

Women in Science Parkville Precinct Logo

Collective Vision

The collective vision of WiSPP is:

To advance research and translation by providing an environment that allows more women in science to lead and excel.

  • The entrenched patterns associated with women’s participation in the science research workforce have been well-documented. Despite the fact that outstanding women are increasingly seen achieving at the highest levels and taking key roles in the fields of science and technology, women’s participation in the science research workforce continues to be characterised by low-levels of retention and hampered success in promotion beyond the early to mid post-doctoral career stage.
  • Through its member institutes, WiSPP will build a platform to change the environment for women, enabling them to lead and excel in science.

WiSPP Terms of Reference

WiSPP Projects

Since its inception in 2014 WiSPP has been continuing to work at a number of levels to advance our collective impact work in the field of women in science.


NAB & WiSPP Mentoring Pilot Program

This unique cross-sector mentoring program was launched in  February 2016 and involves the pairing of mentors at the Senior Management level from the National Australia Bank(NAB), with up and coming researchers or research support staff in the five WiSPP institutes.

NAB are leaders in promoting workplace diversity, and WiSPP is building strong links between our organizations to gain insight from their sophisticated knowledge set.

Researchers greatly benefit when a more experienced colleague takes them under their wing and we believe that the different thinking approaches of NAB executive staff will provide many opportunities for mentees to develop and strengthen their executive level skills and build their network beyond the science-sector.


Data Collection Project

WiSPP works using a ‘collective impact’ framework.  A key feature of collective impact is to develop agreed metrics that measure progress and mutually reinforcing activities.

The aim of the Data Collection Project is to measure the impact of collective initiatives to overcome the barriers for women to excel and succeed in gaining leadership positions, across the five institutes.

The data collection project will form a basis for measuring the effectiveness of initiatives that drive change across the Parkville Precinct and within the Institutes.

WiSPP have appointed Dr Graeme Russel (Strategic Research and Growth) and Dr John Holm (SocioDesign), well respected consultants who have worked extensively in the gender equity space. Work is being progressed to develop shared indicators of progress and to acquire benchmarking data from each institute.

WiSPP Events

Grant and Fellowship Workshop - December 2015
In December 2015, Women in Science Parkville Precinct (WiSPP) hosted a grant and fellowship workshop to provide attendees with strategies to write a strong track record section.

Guest speaker, Dr Saraid Billiards, Director of Project Grants at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), said it was essential to use plain English, be consistent with terms, references and writing style, and identify weak links in the application.

For more tips from Dr Billiards, as well as other guest speakers Professor Mary Wlodek, Associate Dean of Research at the University of Melbourne; Professor Katie Allen, Theme Director Population Health, Murdoch Children's Research Institute; Professor Ricky Johnstone, Associate Director Peter Mac Laboratory Research; and Professor Vicki Anderson, Theme Director Clinical Services,  Research  Children's Research Institute view the event vodcast.


NHMRC Women in Health Science consultation - May 2015
Members participated in the NHMRC Women in Health Science consultation in May 2015, to discuss a range of policy initiatives proposed by the NHMRC in this space. We continue to work closely with NHMRC, the major medical research funder in Australia, as career success in science is heavily dependent on grant success


Career Disruption Workshop - February 2015
Women in Science Parkville Precinct held a workshop on writing Career Disruption Statements on 9th February 2015 at the Doherty Institute. Professor Margaret Sheil, former CEO of the ARC and Dr Saraid Billiards, from the NHMRC addressed the group and a lively panel discussion followed. To learn more and to contribute please download the WiSPP Career Disruption Statement.


Women in Science Workshop - June 2014
Women in Science Parkville Precinct (WiSPP) held a workshop on June 5, 2014 facilitated by the social enterprise group Reos Partners.

The workshop was a continuation of the dialogue between the institutes to identify the scope of the WiSPP project and to think collectively about  the next steps in systemically addressing the issue of women in science.

The workshop provided diverse perspectives on the key themes on the issue of women in science and the related system.

The workshop helped define WISPP collective vision:

How can we be the best at research and translation by providing an environment that allows more women in science to lead and excel?

The workshop identified the following key themes for further exploration in the Data Collection Project:

  • Prevailing attitudes and culture
  • Defining success
  • How the system operates
  • Research or family

WiSPP News

Our Supporters

WiSPP is grateful of the support of the following organisations:

In 2014 Perpetual awardes WiSPP $100,000 in support for our initiatives.


We are proudly partnering with the National Australia Bank for our exciting cross-sector montoring program.

Contact Us

Contact our Project Officer, Alice Tinning, via email at alice.tinning@florey.edu.au

Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/wisparkville