Dr Sivananthan (Siva) Sarasanandarajah

​Endeavour Executive Fellowship

 

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Dr Siva Sarasanandarajah, Senior Medical Physicist at the Primary Standard Radiation Laboratory, National Research Council in Ottawa, Canada
 
Country of origin:  Australia

Home organisation:  Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, and RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Host organisation:  The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, Canada

Research field:  Medical physics in radiation oncology
 
 
My fellowship was an excellent opportunity to understand the education and practice of medical physics in North America and further develop my networking and ongoing collaborations.
 

Dr Sivananthan (Siva) Sarasanandarajah establishing research collaborations between Australia and Canada in the practice of medical physics in radiation oncology.

 

 

Backed by the 2013 Endeavour Executive Fellowship, Dr Sarasanandarajah, a Senior Medical Physicist at Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute (Peter Mac) in Melbourne, spent time as a visiting fellow at the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre to better understand the practice of medical physics in radiation oncology.

He also visited Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, McGill University Medical Centre in Montreal and the Canadian Primary Standard Radiation Laboratory and the Medical Physics Department of the Carleton University in Ottawa, helping to establish further research collaborations between these institutes and Peter Mac.
 

Outcomes of the fellowship

Dr Sarasanandarajah found travelling overseas and interacting with research and professional experts in his field allowed him to develop many more skills and competencies. He has shared his Canadian experience with his colleagues and established new protocols in his workplace.
 

Quality professional development opportunities

The Endeavour Executive Fellowship gave Dr Sarasanandarajah the opportunity to undertake a professional experience in a different environment at an advanced Cancer Institute in North America.
 
“Medical physics practice was pioneered in North America and general and medical physics roles are very well-established and enjoy the support of various peak bodies, associations and conferences.”
 
“The knowledge and skills I acquired in Canada, particularly in advanced treatment techniques, may be helpful to develop new treatment options and procedures at my current work place.”
 

Highlights of the fellowship

Dr Sarasanandarajah recognises the need for safer work practices and structured training programs for radiation workers. A highlight of his Ottawa visit was discussing protocols and quality control documentation around nascent technologies, such as the commercialised Cyberknife and TomoTherapy, which are not commonplace in Australia.
 

What opportunities have there been since completing the fellowship?

Dr Sarasanandarajah currently holds an affiliate academic position in medical physics with RMIT University in Melbourne supervising PhD students in medical physics whilst also collaborating with mentors in Canada. He also delivers medical physics lectures to medical doctors and medical radiation science students who specialise in radiation oncology and contributes to developing medical physics education and training programs in Sri Lankan universities and hospitals.
 
Dr Sarasanandarajah has been invited by the International Atomic Energy Agency to conduct workshops for oncologists and physicists from developing countries. He has authored and co-authored numerous research papers in international peer reviewed scientific journals and is a co-inventor of two international patents.
 

Recommendations for future Endeavour Executive Fellows

“The fellowship increased my enthusiasm and provided me with unique challenges. I would strongly recommend high achieving individuals engage in similar professional activities. It was a unique opportunity for collaboration, networking and career advancement.”

 

Alumni Network

After completing the Endeavour programme, participants like Dr Sarasanandarajah become part of an alumni network which enables them to continue to build and develop valuable relationships and network with peers. Alumni have the opportunity to attend functions and stay in touch through the Endeavour Bulletin.
 

About the Endeavour Executive Fellowship

The Endeavour Executive Fellowship is open to Australian and international applicants and provides financial support towards professional development opportunities (1-4 months) for high achievers in business, industry, education or government. The fellowship focuses on learning and building skills and knowledge through a host work environment in the applicant’s field or area of expertise rather than through formal enrolment in a study programme.
 

About the Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships

The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarships that provide opportunities for Australians and overseas citizens to undertake study, research and professional development around the world.
 

Further information

for further details on how to apply.
 
Dr Sivananthan (Siva) Sarasanandarajah - pdf, word