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04 Oct 2016

Doherty Institute launches specialised infection and immunity PhD program

Doherty Institute has launched the University of Melbourne’s first specialised PhD Program which will offer students real-world experiences and training opportunities beyond their immediate research topics.

Program co-leader Professor Dick Strugnell said growth in research training has meant that there are now more than 50,000 PhD students across Australia, which is creating competition for jobs on finishing.  This has been recognised by a recent Federal Government review, and by the University in its strategic planning.

He added that most Australian universities have relatively little engagement with industry and that is something the Federal Government wants to address.

“We have to alert you to the fact that many of you will have to find jobs outside of the academy in industry. So our response has been to develop the Doherty Institute PhD Program that will allow you to interact with industry in a much deeper way during your time as a candidate in the Institute,” he said at the launch.

Program co-leader Professor Tim Stinear told gathered students, “this program is being set up to make you all more employable. This multidisciplinary approach will offer PhD candidates opportunities across epidemiology, clinical and translational research, infectious disease surveillance, outbreak investigations and more.”

The Doherty Institute PhD Program Industry Advisory Committee includes representatives from leading venture capital and pharmaceutical companies, such as CSL Ltd, and the patent firm, Davies Collison Cave.

Professor Stinear and Professor Strugnell will be joined on the Industry Advisory Committee by Dr Sidonia Eckle a post-doctoral scientist, Gina Pollock as President of the students society SPASIM and Professor Patrick Reading, the head of the Doherty Education Committee.

“Doherty Institute PhD students will be well-equipped to enter careers as postdoctoral researchers, public health experts or physician scientists or join industry and non-research sectors in the area of infection and immunity,” Doherty Institute Director, Professor Sharon Lewin said.

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