The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Consumer Buddy Program

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Consumer Buddy Program

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) is looking for multiple consumers to participate in its Consumer Buddy Program, ideally two per disease area, as listed below.


The purpose of the Consumer Buddy Program is to match Consumers with Researchers of the same disease area. Consumers will work with a research scientist by:

  • Contributing their life experiences
  • Providing insight into how their research can make a difference in the community
  • Become part of the Institute community with invitations to events and seminars

Consumers may have valuable knowledge of the practical, social, physical and emotional effects of the medical condition on themselves, their families and friends and/or on the broader community.  Involvement of consumers can influence and enhance research at the Institute and provide a powerful voice for the communication of scientific and research issues to the community.

Role of the Consumer

Two consumers (patients or carers) are desired for each disease area, as below:

  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Leukemia
  • Anyone who has had a bone marrow or blood cell transplant
  • Melanoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Bowel cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Gastric cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Ataxia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Juvenile Diabetes
  • Lung conditions – severe asthma, cystic fibrosis
  • Someone with an engineering background in software or mechanics

Consumers involved in the Consumer Buddy Program provide a link between the researcher and the community, as well as providing insight into that disease type. They are partnered with a researcher in the area of their interest, or a project relating to their own medical condition.  No medical or scientific research is necessary for these positions.

Consumer Buddies:

  • Act as an advocate for the research to the public and provide information to the community
  • Inspire a research scientist by contributing personal life experiences
  • Review funding grant applications from a lay person’s perspective
  • Develop or review plain language summary documents for various purposes
  • Provide insights into how Institute research can make a difference in the community

Participation in the Consumer Buddy Program is ongoing.


You will be required to meet with your researcher four times a year for project updates and grant reviews.

Four additional workshops should be attended to undertake training to assist you in your consumer experience.

Three face to face meetings are preferred, with Skype an option.


These are volunteer positions so sitting fees do not apply and consumers are not expected to have out of pocket expenses.

To Apply

Expressions of interest should be sent to, addressing the following:

  • Any previous experience in the consumer space with other organisations
  • Commitment and a keen interest in medical research
  • A willingness to articulate your experiences with a researcher
  • Flexibility in thinking about how to engage with a researcher
  • Access to a computer


You can also direct any queries to Katya Gray at

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