The Heart Research Institute opened its doors to more than 70 PhD and Masters students on Friday for an inspiring careers day designed to give students an insight into life and career paths available after a PhD, be it in the field of research, teaching, consulting or industry.
“The statistics suggest that less than 5 per cent of PhD students continue on with careers in research,” said Jessica Macer-Wright, a PhD Student with the Inflammation Group at the HRI.
“Many students that we have spoken to feel as though they do not have a good understanding of the job opportunities or career paths that are available to them - whether they be traditional academic and research jobs or alternative scientific careers.”
The real loss is for science. Students make up an important part of research, including here at the HRI. Losing talented and hard-working young scientists means less people working to understand and fight cardiovascular disease.
Jessica and other HRI PhD students applied for a Higher Degree Research grant from the University of Sydney in order to host the Student Career Development Day.
Initially expecting 50 people, the HRI had more than 70 PhD and Masters register for the event, attending from Sydney University, the University of New South Wales, the George Institute, the Kolling Institute of Medical Research, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, as well as here at the HRI.
Guest speakers and panellists included:
- Associate Professor Clare Hawkins (HRI) speaking on grants and fellowships
- Dr Louise Lutze-Mann (UNSW) speaking on Academic teaching careers
- An academic panel consisting of 5 HRI postdoctoral scientists: Dr Ben Rayner, Dr Sian Cartland, Dr Stacy Robertson , Dr Joanne Tan and A/Prof Simone Schoenwaelder, speaking about their career paths and experiences as postdocs (including a general question and answers session)
- Dr Andrea Cowley (NPS MedicineWise) on medical writing in science
- Dr Belinda Ramirez (Medtronic) speaking about clinical research in industry
- Dr Cameron Ferris (Ernst and Young) on consulting in research and development
- Dr Martijn Bijker (From SCIENCE to PHARMA) speaking about working as a medical science liaison
- Chris Gilbey (Imagine Intelligent Materials Pty Ltd) speaking about being an entrepreneur
“We hope the event provided an opportunity for students to understand the variety of careers that are available to scientists, and to provide them with a platform for networking with professionals from all areas of science, including medical research.”
“I think all students need exposure to career development events like this to help them start planning their careers,” said Jessica.
Special thanks to the HRI organising committee members:
Anisyah Ridiandries, Dhanya Ravindran, Elysse Filipe, Alex Chan and Jessica Macer-Wright.