Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Summer scholarships offer regional students a taste of research career

A research scholarship program  run by Monash University over the summer break offers tertiary students from any university the chance to try out a career in research.

Monash Rural Health summer scholarships coordinator, Associate Professor Rebecca Kippen said deciding whether to pursue a research degree is hard when you’re not sure if you’ll enjoy a research career. “These scholarships are rather like a work experience placement – you work with real data, on real research projects with real researchers to see if it’s a career option you want to choose,” said Associate Professor Kippen.

“We have a number of projects on offer in Mildura, Bendigo and Gippsland for students interested in rural health research,” she said. Projects include looking at:

  • how to retain rural GPs
  • how to reduce unnecessary presentations to regional emergency departments 
  • community awareness of cancer risk factors
  • sports injury prevention in cricket
  • improving medicine information for lactating women about infant risk
  • presentations and clinical outcomes of patients at a rural early psychosis team


Scholarship students are trained in a particular aspect of research and spend two or three weeks working under the supervision of a researcher. Projects run between December 2016 and February 2017 with students paid a weekly stipend of $200.

“It’s as genuine an experience of research as we can make it and we provide a lot of support for students,” said Associate Professor Kippen. Associate Professor Kippen knows well the value of summer programs like this – she decided to pursue a PhD in demography after attending a summer school in Canberra.

The scholarships are open to undergraduate and coursework postgraduate students at any Australian university and are awarded based on academic merit.

Applications are currently open and close on Friday 7 October 2016.  See the summer scholarships website for details.

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