by Stephen Gray
Sadly, once again as I write this, staff and students across CLEX are in varying degrees of lockdown as community transmission of the Delta variant of COVID continues to interrupt many aspects of our lives. There is some hope on the horizon with Australia’s vaccine rollout finally kicking into gear. I just really hope that I don’t become conversant with the whole Greek alphabet! As we’ve often communicated in the weekly update and Hump Day Tips, support is available via various channels if you need it. Please reach out.

It’s heartening that despite the pandemic rolling on around us, plenty of impressive activity is continuing within the centre. Over the next few months, we will be welcoming a dozen or so new postdocs into roles at all five of our institutions. I hope those who have already arrived are settling into your new positions comfortably and getting to know colleagues within your nodes and across the Centre via Research Program meetings and other gatherings – whether virtual or online. CLEX seeks to cultivate an exemplary work environment, so do make the most of what the centre offers, including networking opportunities, support to attend relevant meetings and conferences, professional development, computational support, expert advice for external engagement and media and much more. Hopefully, we’re drawing closer to domestic and international borders being open again without restrictions meaning opportunities to visit other labs to deepen ties and work on collaborative projects can also ramp up once more. Now is an excellent time to begin to cultivate those relationships and for supervisors to make introductions that may turn out to be fruitful research connections for ECRs and students.

Around the time you’re reading this, nominations will have opened for this year’s CLEX prizes. Each year the centre awards a number of prizes to recognise exceptional scientific work undertaken by students and ECRs via our two Best Paper Prizes and broader contributions to the Centre via the Director’s Award. This year a new prize is being introduced to reward contributions to engagement beyond academia. To make sure your outputs and activities are visible to those considering nominating you for a prize, don’t forget to report your publications and other actives in the centre’s “Clever”  database (check with your node admin team member if you need the password!)

Finally, stay safe and take care of yourself during these challenging times.