Crawford Fund develops Territory research

Dr Mary Finlay-Doney, Research Entomologist, recently travelled to Malaysia on a Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) scholarship to participate in a prestigious research leadership course.

For the first time, the department provided a full scholarship to a DPIR researcher to attend the Crawford Fund’s Master Class in Agricultural Research Leadership and Management.

The course builds leadership and management skills, provides tools to improve research outcomes and establishes collaborative networks between professionals working in international agricultural research.

The 2019 Master Class took place at the World Fish Centre in Penang, Malaysia from 4-9 November and hosted 21 participants from 16 countries.

“The highlight for me was learning from the diverse range of attendees. They worked in a range of disciplines; water management, plant breeding, fisheries and soil science to name a few,” Dr Finlay-Doney said.

The Crawford Fund partners with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research to present the Master Class.

The successful program focuses on developing the skills required to lead successful research, development and extension programs for publicly funded agricultural research systems.

“I have found that I am already beginning to apply principles learned from the Master Class in my day-to-day work. The course provided a welcome opportunity to reflect on how to lead and manage research projects,” Dr Finlay-Doney said.

“I am currently working on a research project to improve Northern Territory rambutan production through better understanding plant phenology and the role that insects play in moving pollen around an orchard. The project involves strong collaboration between producers and horticulturalists to identify common objectives and challenges. Attending the course has developed my communication skills and the ability to consider different people’s experiences and perspectives when conducting research.”

Territory researchers attending the Crawford Fund Masterclass delivers benefits to the department and local industry, through supporting the development of contemporary research knowledge, strong leadership skills, valuable industry connections and an understanding of how to connect science, policy and agribusiness to support industry growth in the Northern Territory.

The 21 Crawford Fund Master Class participants in Penang
The 2019 Crawford Fund Master Class took place at the World Fish Centre in Penang, Malaysia.