Tania Winzenberg is Professor of Chronic Disease Management at the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research.
Originally undertaking a degree in Medicine, Tania soon discovered her interest in epidemiology and on completion of specialist training in general practice pivoted her career towards research.
Tania completed her PhD with the Menzies in early life interventions to prevent osteoporosis and has remained at the Institute her entire career – witnessing its transformation from a tiny team working in a cramped office that had a previous life as a furniture store to the thriving organisation it is today.
But there have been challenges of staying in the one organisation for Tania. One has been that for career progression, gaining recognition for the value and contribution of her research within her university has at times been harder than gaining such recognition externally – a common challenge for many academics and a reason why many move. Tania managed to carve out her own success, progressing quickly to Associate Professor just 7 years post PhD and finding her own salary as a researcher for almost her entire career.
In 2011, Tania was selected as just one of 8 primary care researchers globally to undertake the International Primary Care Leadership Program at Oxford University. Throughout the leadership programs she’s been involved in, she’s witnessed the hesitations of females to put themselves forward for promotions and other advancement. From this, she’s become a strong advocate for women in senior academic positions and continually seeks opportunities to progress and encourages others to do the same.
Like many, Tania is a survivor in the field of research, coming close to leaving in 2010 when her funding was running out despite her past success. Fortunately she went onto being awarded her first CIA NHMRC Grant and then a Career Development Fellowship. In 2018, she will face a similar challenge when applying for Fellowships, but now has strong faith that opportunities will always arise and does not let the unknown worry her.
Tania is a strong advocate for mentoring, recently establishing a group mentor program to guide researchers through the Early Career Fellowship process, and sees the value of peer-to-peer mentoring and collaborative learning. She encourages others to realise the impact of their research, rather than just focusing on a career path. Tania can guide mentees around creating sustainable research careers and draw on her successful entrepreneurial approach.
As a proud Tasmanian, Tania enjoys being able to escape to an isolated beach or hike to the top of a mountain at a moment’s notice and loves sharing the wonders of her great state with others.