Connecting STEM graduates with industry

Monday, 29 November, 2021

Connecting STEM graduates with industry

Government-funded scholarships are helping ANSTO connect STEM graduates with industry to work on real-world challenges.

The FutureNow scholarships, funded by the NSW Government and supported by university and industry partners, enables graduate students and early-career researchers in health, defence, space, environment and nuclear technologies to carry out industry-focused projects.

Recipients can receive up to $35,000 to fund their research, as well as support to collaborate with other scientists through travel and conferences.

ANSTO’s Head of Research, Dr Suzanne Hollins, said the scholarships are an important investment in our future and enable top graduates to apply their scientific knowledge in ways that can deliver tangible benefits for industry.

“From the development of antibiotics, through to the invention of the ultrasound — Australian researchers have a reputation for cutting-edge scientific discoveries,” Hollins said.

“By supporting local bright young minds, we’re not only preserving this proud legacy, but we’re also ensuring our nation has the ability to continue to build on it for generations to come.”

Where conducive to their research, scholarship recipients may also obtain access to ANSTO’s state-of-the-art facilities to put their theories to the test and develop workable solutions to real-world problems.

“Some of Australia’s best scientific facilities and researchers are at ANSTO. By providing our up-and-coming researchers access, we’re giving them the tools they need to thrive in the future,” Hollins said.

Open now, students can apply for a scholarship here and join the more than 120 graduates currently part of the ANSTO Graduate Institute.

University of New South Wales students Monica Hibberd and Hamish McDougall were awarded FutureNow Scholarships in 2020. Working with industry partner Cobalt Blue, they are examining thermal decomposition of cobalt-pyrite ore to create greener batteries.

Hibberd said that by having access to the facilities at ANSTO, they will have the ability to determine essential information which can be applied on an industrial scale.

“This scholarship has enabled us to test our ideas and work with our industry partner to create more efficient processes and methods which will be further used in the production of greener sources of energy,” she said.

“As Master’s students, having the ability to work with Australia’s leading scientists and researchers, as well as access nuclear technologies, is such a great opportunity.”

Meanwhile, McDougall said that their team has also been able to show the industry what they can contribute.

“Talking directly with our industry partner and working on their real-world problems, while still being uni students, has definitely developed our communication skills and will open up opportunities for our future careers in science,” he said.

The scholarships are being delivered in partnership with University of NSW, University of Wollongong, Sydney University and Macquarie University, and industry partners such as BHP, Cobalt Blue, Santos and Southeast Local Land Services, with support of the NSW Government.

Image credit: ©

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