Erin Rayment,  IMNIS mentor in the 2017 and 2018 MedTech-Pharma programs in QLD. [Image: Sweet Spot Images]

“It’s important for people further along in their careers to reach back and pull others along with them.”

Erin is the Director of the Office of Research Development at the University of Southern Queensland. She leads a team that manages USQ’s strategic research partnerships, contract research, consultancy and commercialisation. Prior to joining USQ, Erin was responsible for commercialisation at qutbluebox and large-scale collaborative research projects for Griffith University.

Erin began her career as a biomedical scientist and worked in the United Kingdom on remedi, the ‘Regenerative Medicine – A New Industry’ Grand Challenge. She has a Bachelor of Biotechnology Innovation with Honours, a PhD in tissue engineering, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Registered Technology Transfer Professional.

Erin is currently Chair of Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia, a Director of the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation Ltd, and a committee member of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. She contributes to the innovation conversation through the APEC International Science and Technology Innovation and Connectivity Forum, as well as on IP Australia’s Stakeholders Forum.

Erin is passionate about science, commercialisation and ensuring that research is able to create real world outcomes. She is focused on working with government, engaging with industry and connecting our research organisations, to promote bipartisan, long-term planning and investment in STEM.

Why did you participate in the IMNIS program?

It’s important for people further along in their careers to reach back and pull others along with them. I think that the IMNIS program is a great example of where PhD students can find out what careers are open to them outside of academia.

Do you have a mentor(s)? What is the most crucial aspect of this professional relationship for you?

Yes, of course! I’ve had quite a few mentors over my career and this evolves as you learn and grow. Some were critical while I was doing my PhD, some have been important in linking me up to networks or providing advice on career opportunities, and others have just generally been a sounding board for me to discuss ideas. It’s important to understand the goals for each mentoring relationships and making sure that you align your expectations around it.

How often did you meet with your mentee and did you prepare for these meetings?

We would meet once a month – normally at a local café to catch up on the previous month and set goals for the next period.

Would you recommend participating in the IMNIS program to your colleagues?

Definitely.

What was the most rewarding aspect of the IMNIS program for you?

The mentees have been so dedicated to the program and willing to learn and grow through the experience. I can’t wait to see where they go next!