Strategic Investment Fund, Advisory Committee member

Posted: 17 February 2023

Closes: 31 March 2023

Job Description

A new and exciting opportunity is available to join Australia’s pre-eminent biomedical research institute as an advisory committee member.

About the position

The WEHI Commercialisation Portfolio Fund (Fund) is a strategic initiative which has recently been approved by the WEHI Board, with $66M of committed capital over 10 years. The Fund is aimed at providing agile support to WEHI’s commercial portfolio with the dual goal of increasing impact of WEHI’s research and on the long-term, providing financial returns to support WEHI’s research and discoveries. Focused on early-stage commercialisation, the Fund will operate in a similar manner to a venture capital (VC) fund, aimed at developing investable assets for other VC funds or industry players in the life sciences area. To achieve this, the Fund will support projects from idea inception, and will include projects at stages that are generally not fundable by other private investors, in order to bridge the funding gap commonly prevalent in life sciences. The Fund will establish a balanced proprietary commercial project portfolio to enable robust and sustained value creation from WEHI’s research discoveries. The portfolio will encompass innovations in areas including novel therapeutics, diagnostics, as well as other innovative medical technologies and products or services that enable medical research.

The Fund’s projects will be managed by the Fund Manager using a portfolio-based approach to balance two key parameters: value to WEHI and time to commercial transaction. Success of the Fund will ultimately be measured by the value, quality and quantity of commercial transactions arising out of the Fund portfolio. These transactions might include licensing technologies to industry partners and creation of spinout companies with external investors.

The Advisory Committee is a newly created committee at WEHI. Its main purpose is to provide investment recommendations. Investment recommendations include advice on new investment opportunities, assist with due diligence, follow-on investment opportunities, evaluating proposed plans for commercial product development, business plans for startup companies and assessing product or project development progress. The Committee members will also review investment processes and support the preparation of reports on the development of the Fund portfolio and the Fund performance to the WEHI Board. The Committee members will be highly skilled individuals recognised as experts in their field within the life sciences area. A mix of WEHI employees and external experts, committee members will be selected for their complementary skills according to a skills matrix approach and diversity principles.

Key Selection Criteria

  • Strong experience in venture capital investment in life sciences, and/or
  • Successful track record in innovative product development in life sciences as part of, or in collaboration with, a pharmaceutical, biotech, diagnostics, and/or medtech company; and/or
  • Deep understanding of scientific and technological opportunities to enable critical assessment of WEHI’s projects, and
  • Broad and deep global networks in life science areas to be able to bring in additional expertise for due diligence on a project-specific basis and as required.
  • Some degree of familiarity with academic environments in context of medical research is desirable.

Terms of appointment

Committee members will be appointed for a three-year term. Committee members will attend formal quarterly meetings as well as perform preparatory work. Committee members will be able, at their discretion, to attend meetings either in person or online at times compatible with Melbourne time zone. Expressions of interest from Australia or overseas are welcome.

General enquiries can be directed to Dr Anne-Laure Puaux –

How to express interest

Please apply by uploading your CV, cover letter and a document addressing the key selection criteria in pdf format here.


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