Thursday, 20 December 2018
Recent results in the Australian Graduate Survey found that more PhD graduates were working in industry (43%) than in higher education (41%) and just under two-thirds reported they were working full time.
The iPREP program was established to help PhD graduates improve their chances of employability through the development of new skills in project management, teamwork, interdisciplinary problem solving, business awareness and leadership.
The PhD candidates participate in a two-day induction program focused on business skills, prior to commencing a six-week team project under the supervision of an industry mentor. The teams share the outcomes of their project with industry partners at the conclusion of the program through a formal presentation, written report and other deliverables specific to the project.
Andrew Walsh, a PhD candidate from ECU’s School of Medical and Health Sciences, said, “Before iPREP I pigeon-holed myself within my own discipline. I didn’t get to see the skills I had obtained through being a research student. iPREP made me aware of those skills and how they are applicable to the real world and how industry actually values that".
iPREP WA is a unique collaboration between the five WA universities which provides an insight into industry that many students may not have had. The program hopes to promote discovery of how research skills and expertise can positively impact industries in Western Australia.
Industry partners range from start-ups and small to medium enterprises through to large corporations and government departments. The industry partners benefit from:
Wayne Pluske, an iPREP Project Industry Mentor from Laconik, said, “The best thing that we get out of iPREP is we get to bring together a diverse group of expertise in terms of the PhD students.
We are trying to find innovative solutions to agriculture not using traditional agricultural thinking. So if we can bring astrophysicists and digital analytics people in to take a new approach to tackling an age-old problem, we think that’s fantastic. The team that we got together were absolutely sensational and have really helped us to get us on the way".
iPREP applicants must be enrolled as a PhD candidate at a university in Western Australia and either:
Applications for the next round of iPREP open on 7 January 2019, for a six-week program beginning in early March. For more information visit the iPREP website or email Narelle Jones, iPREP coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
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