Endeavouring to be better: My scholarship from Deakin to Harvard

Two years ago, when I started my PhD at Deakin University, I could never have imagined the incredible opportunities that would become available to me.

Studying Deakin’s Doctor of Philosophy program, I chose to specialise my research in the area of analytical chemistry. My interest in this area was motivated by some of its challenges – the current technology required for this research is incredibly expensive. To counteract this major drawback, I decided to approach a leading international chemist who specialises in this area, Professor George Whitesides from Harvard University. I asked George if I could undertake 12 months of my PhD candidature, working in his laboratory group – he said yes!

I asked George if I could undertake 12 months of my PhD candidature, working in his laboratory group – he said yes!

The next thing to do, was to obtain funding to support my research, as moving to Harvard University, Boston, was not financially feasible. So, I began to undertake the lengthy process of applying for a prestigious Endeavour Scholarship. Endeavour Scholarships celebrate high-achievers, and provide recipients with substantial funds to undertake part of their PhD or Masters degree at an international university. There are long and short-term scholarships available, and there is also a professional fellowship for high achievers in business, industry, education or government. The scholarships also work both ways and a number of scholarships are also given to international candidates to attend Australian universities.

The Endeavour Scholarship 2016 recipients in front of Parliament House, Canberra. Photo courtesy of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training

The Endeavour Scholarship 2016 recipients in front of Parliament House, Canberra. Photo courtesy of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training

In October 2015, I received a phone call from the Endeavour Scholarships office and the first question they asked was ‘So, how would you like to move to Boston?’ Since that phone call, my life has been a whirlwind of activity. In November, I was offered the un-missable opportunity to attend the Endeavour briefing program in Canberra, where I met the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, Richard Colbeck, the Minister for International Education, and my fellow outgoing Endeavour Scholarship recipients; all incredibly intelligent, motivated and diverse individuals undertaking inspiring research programs.

The Endeavour Scholarship 2016 recipients with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo courtesy of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training

The Endeavour Scholarship 2016 recipients with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo courtesy of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training

In February, I married my fiancé, Chris, in New Zealand and in April, we will be flying out to Boston with our 2 year old Siberian Husky, Freya, who cannot wait to be a real snow dog!

On holidays with Freya in Bright.

On holidays with Freya in Bright.

I applied for this scholarship to fulfil a lifelong dream of studying internationally. This scholarship will give me the opportunity to collaborate with one of the world’s leading scientists, communicate my research to the widest possible audience, and gain employment as a post-doctoral research fellow upon completion of my PhD at an internationally renowned university interested in expanding their research.

I strongly encourage anyone undertaking a postgraduate degree, who would like the opportunity to pursue their studies internationally, to apply for an Endeavour Scholarship. An Endeavour Scholarship is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity – so go for it!

To learn more about Deakin University and opportunities for international students, visit the Deakin International webpage or ask a question below.

You must be logged in to post a comment