News / 13 November 2017

An Australian contingent of 13 PhD students recently travelled to Germany to attend the 19th EMBL PhD Symposium, with the assistance of travel grants awarded by EMBL Australia.

The students – each hand-picked from a pool of 56 applicants to receive a $2,000 grant to help fund their travels – attended the symposium, titled ‘Bridging the Gaps: Interdisciplinary Approaches in Life Science’, on 19 – 21 October at EMBL’s Heidelberg site and found the experience highly rewarding.

Julienne O’Rourke, a PhD student at St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, said attending the Symposium provided her with invaluable opportunities.

She presented her research to a general scientific audience in a short timeframe (in the form of a flash talk and poster), clarified the next steps in her research career through exposure to a wide range of scientific topics and interdisciplinary research and forged a new and international network of colleagues and future collaborators.

“The collegial, relaxed, and inspiring environment found in the EMBL PhD Symposium has allowed me to form networks and friendships that will not only help my career but provide a support system for the years to come,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“I also received significant feedback for my research. Many comments have led me to consider new and exciting experimental and research options.”

The University of Queensland PhD student Belal Shohayeb – whose poster was nominated for a prize – said he appreciated the fantastic networking opportunities and the multitude of feedback he received on his research.


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