The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


11 Sep 2018

Students attend the inaugural Doherty Institute Student Open Day

Almost 170 prospective students attended the inaugural Doherty Institute Student Open Day, where the Institute showcased the innovative and cutting-edge Honours, Masters, PhD and MPhil courses on offer.

Doherty Institute Director, Professor Sharon Lewin welcomed the students and outlined the wide spectrum of projects available, ranging from her own HIV cure research to tracking superbugs using genomics technology, and understanding immunity towards seasonal influenza vaccines.

 “We are incredibly lucky - with all the developments that are occurring, immunology and infectious diseases are two of the most exciting, and interesting fields to be working in,” Professor Lewin said.

Honours coordinator Associate Professor Scott Mueller provided a useful overview of the Honours and Masters courses.

“While at two years, a Masters degree takes twice as long to complete as an Honours year, it provides more international recognition than an Honours degree which is a very Australian concept,” Associate Professor Mueller said.

Both options are pathways to a PhD and the last two years of marks will be considered when assessing applicants.

Doherty Institute Education and Professional Development Theme Leader and Head of the PhD Program, Professor Dick Strugnell, stressed the importance of getting in contact with the project supervisors before applying.

When accepting a PhD student, supervisors are committing to a three to four year relationship with the individual, so it’s important they have at least spoken to the student before considering their application.

He said the Doherty Institute PhD Program allows graduate research students to supplement their primary research project with a range of professional development activities.

“In today’s climate, having a PhD is no longer a guarantee you will progress to a position as an academic,” Professor Strugnell said.

“The Doherty Institute PhD Program aims to teach students about industry opportunities beyond the academy.”

A selection of labs and their research interests were showcased, illustrating the breadth of projects available.

The students then heard from Honours student Rachel Zhang and PhD student Kiet Loi.

Kiet, having gone through his undergraduate, Honours and now PhD at the Institute was able to provide a unique insight into the life of a student here.

“They invest a lot into us, it’s hard work but it’s incredibly rewarding,” he said.

Students were then given the opportunity to meet and mingle with project supervisors and current students over pizza before being taken on a tour of the Institute.

The networking session provided students with a great opportunity to introduce themselves to the supervisors, hear more about the projects their labs had on offer and see the impressive facilities of the Institute first hand. 


Learn more about the student research projects available at the Doherty Institute and how to apply here.