Short term opportunities for female researchers

Hey folks!

I am delighted to say that through APEC there are a few 1-4 month research fellowships for women researchers.

Participants from Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Papua New Guinesa, Philippines, and Viet Nam can apply. See below for more details.

Those interested in some Photonics and modelling work  at UTS with me, please drop me a line:

2.1 Eligibility

To be eligible to receive the fellowship, applicants must:

  •  Be a female citizen and/or permanent resident of eligible APEC economies
  •  Not be an Australian citizen and/or permanent resident
  •  Have a conferred PhD degree by 1 April 2018
  •  Available to commence their proposed program between 1 July 2018 and 31 December 2018
  •  Provide all relevant supporting documentation in English
  • Obtain agreement from an academic supervisor from an Australian academic institution and/or organisation
  •  Not be undertaking research or training that leads to a formal qualification between 1 July 2018 and 31 December 2018

2.3 Financial Benefits (From $8,000 to $23,300 AUD per fellowship)

All recipients will receive in Australian Dollars:

  •  Travel allowance: $3,000 for Asian economies and $4,500 for South American economies
  •  Establishment allowance: $2,000
  •  Monthly stipend: $3,000
  •  Monthly family allowance: $1,200 (if applicable)



The Journal of an academic nomad

Setting up professional life in a new country and a new  department after having lived elsewhere for a long time is a bit like climbing a  tricky mountain.

Do you know one of those mountains which has several ridges and switchbacks?  so you are constantly having to turn around and feel like you haven’t  really reached very far even though you’ve been climbing for hours!

First of all it’s never about the professional life alone.  you need to do simple things like find a place to live, furniture, get the Internet connected… all those little things  you take for granted in a home.  the logistics can add spice of not knowing the area sufficiently and bumbling along constantly, being tripped up by the smallest things:  getting off at the wrong bus stop,  choosing the worst company or provider for a service et cetera.   The emotional toll it takes  to manage in an environment  that is completely new and in some ways alien is not something that we reckon with until we come across it.  By then the only way to deal with it is to soldier through. Of course these things are part of the fun  even if it doesn’t feel very funny at the time!

Trying to get all this sorted in parallel with setting up a new lab is pretty challenging.

For me the biggest challenge has been ( in the professional bit) to  find appropriate manpower.  in my previous lab I had set up:  computers, software and most importantly good PhD students.  PhD students are the lifeblood of any lab and research:  without them it almost impossible to sustain work.  It takes time to find good students and effort to train them and build a good partnership  that is fruitful for both student and supervisor. In a new  department the challenge is to find  funding sources  And mechanisms to recruit PhD students and then  training them ( I’m  not spending  lines on issues like Visa processing et cetera).   The time it takes to achieve just the setting up means almost up to  a year can pass before you have a good student  in place and longer before some meaningful research output can be delivered.

 Yet there is excitement: there is the chance to work with new partners who have different perspectives and  new facilities,  new research problems.  There is a palpable sense of possibilities, of the future... which keeps beckoning you  onwards and helps provide the incentive to whether through the  birthing pains.  Just as I  said earlier this comes with the  other aspects of life: discovering a new city, new food,  art!

All in all the  the fun and the less fun bits go together-  and in the process there is a  huge amount of personal growth having gone through all of this.