- Graduate Stories
Dr Ariane Laplante-Lévesque
"My experience as an RHD student has been about so much more than just doing a PhD. Throughout my PhD, I worked at UQ as a lecturer, clinical educator, tutor, marker, research supervisor, and research assistant. I travelled extensively, for example I presented my research at four different international conferences overseas during my candidature. I also spent six weeks in Europe on a UQ Graduate School Travel Grant. I wrote a book chapter and designed a continuing education module for audiologists. I supervised the work of research assistants and acted as peer reviewer for four different scientific journals. I was involved in the sporting community at UQ and also did some committee work. It was very varied and rewarding to be involved in so many different things. I loved interacting with people from around the world and from different walks of life, both whilst at UQ and whilst travelling. I participated in many sessions offered during Graduate Week. I have found most of them helpful, especially at the start of my candidature when there was so much for me to learn."
Ariane is now a post-doctoral researcher at the Eriksholm Research Centre in Denmark working on topics such as the individual aspects of hearing, the environment, and the lifestyle, personality and listening preferences of people with hearing loss. She is also a post-doctoral researcher at Linköping University in Sweden.
Dr Ashley Wilkinson
"My RHD experience has been invaluable for my current research work at the P.A. hospital. The skills I have gained are both broad and specific. I’ve learned specific research techniques that I can use for my research. I’ve also gained confidence and skills in giving presentations, multi-tasking, undertaking literature reviews, analysing research results. These skills will be invaluable for my future career."
Dr David Liu
"My research at UQ was in 'Patient monitoring in anaesthesia with head-mounted displays' and turned out to be fascinating, challenging and amazingly rewarding.
When I first started, however, I had thought that the process would be relatively unexciting - enrol, work on your own for a few years, submit and graduate - but soon discovered that Australian programs are actually remarkably flexible. In fact, advisors and the University are always willing to help you "enrich" your education.
Enrichment involves participating in activities that, while not strictly necessary for completing your PhD, provide complementary educational experiences that help you become a better scientist.
Collaborations are the foundation of academic research; take a look at any journal article and you'll probably find several co-authors. You can work with your fellow students on side projects (in addition to your PhD), and even expand your professional networks through collaborations. Hosting academic visitors in your lab and going on academic tours is a great way to find future collaborations and job opportunities. The global academic “family” that develops throughout your career is one of the greatest perks of academia.
Other opportunities for travel include internships and fellowships. Internships give you the opportunity to apply the research skills that you learn during the PhD to practical problems in industry. Research fellowships, on the other hand, let you collaborate with internationally renowned researchers and may be part of prestigious scholarship programs such as the Rhodes and Fulbright.
The gap between the academic and corporate worlds can be dramatic at times, but research commercialisation bridges that gap for the benefit of both. Your hard work and expertise helps the wider community, while industry provides funding and support to enhance or continue your research. It also happens to be a great way to supplement your scholarship and travel funds."
Dr Joe Codamo
"As panellist on the Student Panel session, I witnessed first-hand the importance of programs such as Graduate Student Week. This vital series of workshops and seminars give potential and early-stage postgraduate students the opportunity to fully appreciate what is required and expected of a post-graduate research student. Such programs also relay to students that there are ample avenues to seek support and advice during what can be an exciting yet trying time in their careers."
Dr Sam Nicol
"UQ is an excellent university for research higher degrees. There are many staff who are world renowned in their fields who offer excellent opportunities for you to learn the skills you need to do research at an international level. Brisbane is also a great city to be a student-- there is gorgeous weather, and there are always plenty of activities happening in a great community.
The Thesis Hub was a quiet environment that was ideal for writing up. A new location at the end of my thesis was a nice change that gave me the last little push of motivation I needed to get finished. It's also a great way to meet some of the graduate school staff, which is handy when you need to submit."
Sam now has a post-doctoral research position in the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska.
"I had been in clinical practice for 9 years when I decided to return to university and begin a PhD. After considering all my options I chose to travel 16,000kms (from Canada) to study at UQ. What first attracted me to UQ was its excellent reputation internationally for research in Physiotherapy. Once I arrived in Brisbane I could not have been happier with my decision. The facilities and research supervision have been nothing but world class! Not to mention Brisbane is an amazing place to live.... great weather, great people, incredible lifestyle. I cannot understand why anyone would want to study anywhere else!"
What will your UQ story be?
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