Career Pathways

At Burnet, we strive to ensure that our staff are continuously learning and upskilling within a highly stimulating environment.

Employees, managers and HR work together to collaboratively build a continuous professional development culture.

Some of our training opportunities include conference attendance, Institute-wide seminars in laboratory, public health and clinical research, and internal and external training programs.

Hear from some of our staff on their career journeys at Burnet:

Amy Kirwan

Program Manager (Behaviours and Health Risks), Outreach Manager

Amy completed a BA (Hons) in philosophy and English, a Master of Social Science (Policy and Human Services) and a Master of Social Work, and joined Burnet after working in various community-based service providers and peak bodies.

“I had been working in policy advocacy and feeling disconnected from the communities on whose behalf I was conducting work,” she said.

“I saw the position at Burnet as an opportunity to work more closely with people who inject drugs, and to build my skills in community engagement and technical research.”

She enjoys the variety of her work, which has taken place in different settings - prisons, drop-in spaces, clinics, in the street - and with different populations.

“The social justice aspect of the work is really rewarding, as is the opportunity to work with passionate people.

“I’ve stayed at Burnet due to opportunities for career progression and the uniqueness of the work that we do, as well as the high esteem in which I hold the staff who work here. It’s also been flexible and family friendly.”

Dr Paul Gilson

Co-Head of the Gilson/Crabb Group and Head of Burnet Cell Imaging Facility

Paul shares management of a research laboratory with Professor Brendan Crabb AC, Burnet Institute’s Director and CEO, where they develop new drug treatments for malaria.

“Drugs are currently the only means of curing people of malaria, but drug resistance is becoming a serious problem and new treatments need to be developed,” he said.

“Our approach to fight malaria parasites is to try and get them enslaving the blood cells of the human host they infect.”

Paul did a PhD in biochemistry and genetics of protozoa at the University of Melbourne, and after a few years working on the biology of plants and mitochondria he began work at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in 2003, under the supervision of Brendon Crabb.

“When Professor Crabb became Director and CEO of Burnet Institute in 2008 and moved his research group here I was promoted to Co-Lab Head,” he says. “We now have a team of five postdoctoral scientists and three students.”

“Burnet provides a well resourced and highly stimulating environment in which to conduct our work. It has many state of the art facilities with which to perform cutting edge research, such as its microscopy platform.

“The fact there are several other malaria groups working at the Institute provides an intellectually beneficial atmosphere that enriches outcomes.”

In 2012, Dr Gilson won the Gust-McKenzie medal. The medal is presented to a mid-career Burnet Institute staff member in recognition of excellence in research and/or public health.

Contact Details

Sean Perera


[email protected]