Student stories

  • "The Rhodes Scholarship allowed me to pursue my interest in public policy and technology by studying a Master of Public Policy and MSc in Social Science of the Internet at the University of Oxford. My time at Oxford was extremely rewarding and empowering, on both a personal and professional level. In particular, it led to my involvement in various student initiatives to improve accessibility at the University of Oxford, to my founding of a tech startup empowering social inclusion for disabled people through better accessibility information, and to my growing professional interest in the related fields of tech for good and ethical AI. With the support of the Rhodes Scholarship, I have been able to pursue my passions and turn them into promising career pathways."
    Read Matt Pierri's story
  • "A Commonwealth Scholarship gave me the opportunity to undertake a doctorate in modern history at Balliol College, Oxford from 1997 to 2001. My research focuses on the interpersonal networks that sustained Britain’s nineteenth-century empire, so studying at the University of Oxford meant joining a cosmopolitan community of postgraduate students and faculty working in the same field, while enjoying access to the archives and libraries that were central to my research. My first book, Colonial Connections 1815-1845, emerged from my doctoral research, as did a lectureship at the University of Sheffield, and then a position at Royal Holloway, University of London. The influence of the work I did in Oxford is still clear in my more recent work on settler colonialism, imperial governance, humanitarianism, and indigenous responses to empire. In 2018, I returned to the University of Melbourne to work in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies."
    Read Prof. Zoë Laidlaw's story
  • "After graduating from the University of Melbourne, I received the BHP Australia China Scholarship for my postgraduate studies at Peking University. This scholarship supported me to deepen my understandings of contemporary China firsthand while undertaking coursework and defending a dissertation on the implications for Australia of Chinese aid donations to the Pacific Islands. The scholarship also connected me with a network of likeminded individuals within the Australia-China community with whom I have been able to learn from and challenge myself. Through the scholarship I was able to attend the Australian Studies conference held in Chengdu, an experience that connected me with prominent academics in the field. Overall, the scholarship has not only supported me financially, but allowed me to engage more deeply with the people and issues that will shape the future of Australia-China relations."
    Read Annabelle Jarrett's story
  • "The Branco Weiss fellowship provided me with the freedom and independence to focus intensively on my research for a prolonged period, a very rare prospect in most academic jobs. In particular, among the many benefits of this fellowship is the opportunity for mobility. I used the flexibility of this fellowship to develop my research program on seafood trade throughout the Asia-Pacific, spending extended stays in China and Malaysia to work with collaborators at Peking University and WorldFish. The support provided by the fellowship was crucial in allowing me to initiate and maintain such long-term collaborations."
    Read Dr Michael Fabinyi's story
  • "Funding from the British Academy (jointly with the Royal Society through the “Newton International Fellowship”) provided invaluable support for my investigation of the combustion of second-generation liquid biofuels at the University of Cambridge. The stipend, travel and equipment funding enabled me to kick-start my independent research career and, as a consequence, I was hired by Rolls-Royce, where I led their Industrial Gas Turbine Research and Technology Team. The British Academy’s generous alumni program enabled me to maintain research collaboration with UK academics long into my career, leading to a patent on a novel low-emissions Gas Turbine combustor with Rolls-Royce and Cambridge."
    Read Dr Robert Gordon's story
  • "My primary research focuses on the use of brain stimulation (TMS, TES) and brain imaging techniques (fMRI, MRS, MEG) to understand cognitive control, attention and awareness in the human brain. In addition to my core research programme in cognitive neuroscience I also pursue interests in the relationship between science and the media, the role of science in shaping evidence-based public policy, and the promotion of open research practices. The David Phillips Fellowship greatly benefitted my research as it provided support to establish a research group. The fellowship provided a foundation upon which I was able to develop my research, for example by jointly establishing collaborative projects in research teams. These recent research-led initiatives identify causes of error in the translation of science to the news and will facilitate interaction between academia and politicians in the service of evidence-based policy."
    Read Prof. Chris Chambers's story
  • "There is no way to overstate the impact that the John Monash Scholarship had on my life. It permitted me to undertake my Master of Fine Arts studies at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Interdisciplinary Studio program. During my time there I have had the opportunity to study with some of the leading visual artists practicing today including Mary Kelly, Barbara Kruger and Andrea Fraser. Being part of the community at UCLA has also enabled me to create incredible networks with peers and visiting professors that has inordinately furthered my career in the field of art, make the transition from lawyer to artist, and contribute to the growing field of legal aesthetics."
    Read Shevaun Wright's story
  • "The Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship allowed me to undertake marine ecological research at Tohoku University. In addition to several successful research projects, this challenging and rewarding experience gave me an expanded international network, and enabled the continuation of my career as a marine scientist."
    Read Dr Jacqui Pocklington's story
  • "The sustained 5-year funding of an ERC Starting Grant allowed me to embark on an ambitious, high-risk, high-reward programme of technique development and research into the mechanism of hydrogenases – bacterial enzymes that hold secrets for using hydrogen as a renewable fuel. I was awarded the Starting Grant in 2010, after a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Melbourne and 6 years of postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford. The methodologies and insights established during this project have underpinned my subsequent career journey, leading to substantial UK research funding and award of an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2018 to target new aspects of energy chemistry in biology. A patent-protected biotechnology innovation arose as a side-product of research on the ERC Starting Grant, attracting ERC Proof of Concept funding and a RSC Emerging Technology award, and is now on track to commercialisation."
    Read Prof. Kylie Vincent's story
  • "The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship represents a milestone in my career path. As a recipient of this prestigious fellowship, I have the opportunity to work in two world-class research groups led respectively by Prof. Frank Caruso at the University of Melbourne and Prof. Francesco Ricci at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. The fellowship is enabling me to work with state-of-the-art technology, build long-lasting networks, experience and discover Australia, as well as strengthen my soft skills. For these reasons, I am proud of being a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow and Ambassador."
    Read Dr Alessia Amodio's story
  • "My Postdoctoral Fellowship funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) enabled me to work at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) at the University of Melbourne for two years. I was able to conduct my own research study in addition to being part of a larger team working on a large-scale longitudinal study (E4Kids). My experience at the University of Melbourne led to several scientific publications, and I also meet friends and colleagues with whom I still collaborate. The fellowship was an important step in my scientific career."
    Read Prof. Dr. Frank Niklas's story
  • "A Wellcome Trust Overseas Senior Research Fellowship in Biomedical Science supported me to build a group in the Department of Medicine, researching malaria in pregnancy. Additionally, I could continue my research collaboration with the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Laboratories. The Fellowship opened doors to other opportunities, including a leading role in the Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium, supported by the Gates Foundation, designing and running a clinical trial of malaria prevention in Papua New Guinea. My Malawi and Papua New Guinea links remain front and centre in my international malaria research collaborations."
    Read Prof. Stephen Rogerson's story
  • "The Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship has enabled the continuation of my research into Earth's climatic evolution following the completion of my PhD at the University of Melbourne. This position has allowed me to establish and foster research relationships globally with leading experts whilst providing access to unparalleled collections with facilities to match. The Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship is both academically and socially fulfilling enabling me to undertake fieldwork worldwide and gain independent research insights to enhance my publication record whilst engaging in science outreach events with the wider community."
    - Dr Vera Korasidis
  • "A Cambridge Australia Scholarship was my ticket to the mecca of wildlife conservation research – the David Attenborough Building at the University of Cambridge – where I’m now undertaking my PhD in Zoology. Every day I am surrounded by passionate and intelligent people who aren’t afraid to think seriously about our planet’s major challenges in one of the world’s oldest yet most vibrant academic communities."
    Read Phil Erm's story
  • "The Gates Cambridge Scholarship has been immensely valuable for my professional development. Gates has funded my participation in the leading academic conferences in my discipline, which allowed me to receive feedback on my research and build relevant networks. Within Cambridge, Gates regularly offers lectures and workshops run by world experts on a wide range of topics, some of which are proposed by scholars themselves. The Gates network has also been a helpful source of internship, volunteering and employment opportunities. Gates encourages its scholars to create social impact with their academic work, and its media platform has been important in helping me reach a wider audience for my work."
    Read Sharmila Parmanand's story
  • "The American Australian Association's Graduate Education Scholarship allowed me to study methods to explore the intersection of clinical medicine, health policy and economics under the guidance of the internationally renowned faculty at Cornell University. As a result, I am now able to pursue a research career funded through the highly-competitive National Institute of Health."
    Read Dr Arnab Ghosh's story
  • "The Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship allowed me to move to Munich for a post-doctoral position in which I characterised genome regulation in embryonic development. The Humboldt foundation also supported me in taking a German language course, and provided many opportunities to meet international researchers in their network throughout Germany."
    - Dr Natasha Jansz
  • "Volkswagen Foundation funding enabled my colleagues and me to develop fundamental new insights into the generation of patterns in biology (e.g. stripes and spot patterns on animals, or the development of digits and vertebrae in humans). I received funding through Volkswagen’s “Life?” initiative, and the review process was rigorous and typically involved a short outline application followed by a thorough sifting process (in our case 420 applications were reduced to 22 bids that were invited for full applications, of which 10 were funded). Applications, even at the full application stage, are much shorter than Australian researchers might be used to, and the interview, whilst robust and rigorous, was a stimulating affair as it was conducted by world-class and highly experienced domain experts and focused on the scientific and intellectual content of the proposal."
    Read Prof. Michael Stumpf's story
  • Michael Donato
    "Receiving this award is an honour and comes at a time where my passion for the Italian language and culture is at a high, and this award reaffirms to me that I am investing my time, energy and fervour into not just a language, but rather a community of compassion and connectedness."
    - Michael Donato
  • Catherine Gay
    "My Honours thesis enabled me to combine my love of material culture with women's and children's history. This award confirms in my mind that my research is important - that girls' lives deserve to be recorded and celebrated. The Jessie Mary Vasey Prize will be such a help financially this year, as I live out of home. It has encouraged me to pursue further study and given me faith in my academic research capabilities."
    - Catherine Gay
  • James Christensen
    "My year of research at the University of Melbourne was perhaps the most challenging of my life; I was extended academically, forced to challenge my assumptions and patterns of thought, and exposed to a complex world of theatre theory and practice. It took all of my heart, my mind and my passion to complete. To have the work acknowledged with this prestigious award means a great deal to me, and I am extremely grateful. As a result of my research, I was recently offered a place to study a Masters in Advanced Theatre Practice at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London – one of the most highly regarded drama schools in the world. The funds provided by the Percival Serle award will go towards supporting me as I embark upon this next exciting, but financially daunting, stage in my career."
    - James Christensen
  • Michael Josefsson
    "As a student of classics, it is extremely encouraging to receive an award and for the University and its supporters to recognise a field that is not often in the public eye. I was delighted to use this award to study overseas and work on the University's archaeological excavation in Rabati, Georgia."
    - Michael Josefsson
  • "I am passionate about equipping the next generation of Australian students with the skills they need to thrive in globalised workplaces by using digital technologies to foster understanding, dialogue and collaboration between Australian students and their peers in Asia."
    Read Katherine's story
  • "I have worked in Agriculture, Construction, Disability Care, Indigenous Affairs and the Not-for-Profit Sector. These grassroots experiences have led me to understand the enabling and inhibiting impacts that policies can have upon Australians, facilitating my desire to work at a macro policy-making level."
    Read Ashley's story
  • "I'm a passionate advocate for equity in education and would like to be a part of greater reform to ensure that all young Australians have the same educational opportunities to reach their personal and academic potential."
    Read Sarah's story

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