The 2019 UROP Welcome Forum was held on Valentine’s Day in a celebration of our love for science! The new cohort of UROP Scholars, potential future candidates, current and past supervisors, and the BioMedVic team gathered on the iconic Melbourne Town Hall Portico to welcome the new UROPs and officially open the first round of 2019.
Two excellent keynote speakers inspired the audience with their UROP-related talks. Both presenters were former UROP scholars whose accomplishments since their placements have been impressive to say the least! First up was Dr Avnika Ruparelia, from the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash University. Now a UROP supervisor, Avnika talked about her UROP placement, the key learnings from that time, and gave some useful tips to the current students. Avnika was followed by Dr Peter Hickey, from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI). Peter shared his research journey, the decisions he made along the way, and finally gave some thoughtful advice to current and future UROPs about undertaking a scientific career.
The keynote speeches were followed by a round of Q&A, which led to the liveliest part of the event, a guided networking activity. Sticking with the Valentine’s Day theme, this year’s networking activity might better be described as “UROP Speed-dating”. The Portico was abuzz as students met one another and many new colleagues, each enthusiastically sharing their research interests (see this short video as evidence!).
On behalf of BioMedVic, Núria Saladié expressed sincere gratitude to UROP’s Principal Sponsor, CSL, who was represented on the day by Dr Marthe D’Ombrain, Director of Research Innovation. Marthe spoke about CSL, her scientific career and shared encouraging words about UROP and the opportunities the program provides to Scholars. Marthe also presented the new UROP cohort with their certificates and lapel badges.
All agreed that the 2019 UROP Welcome Forum was a resounding success! Avnika, Peter and Marthe’s speeches stimulated the audience with insights about UROP, about careers in research and about innovation in Australia and beyond. Their inspiration was tangible during the lively networking activities, leaving no one in any doubt that “Science was in the air” this Valentine’s Day in Melbourne.
Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to make the 2019 UROP Welcome Forum such a memorable event.
A program of Biomedical Research Victoria, UROP is an employment scheme that places undergraduate students in research labs in Victorian universities, research institutes, hospitals and industry. Students accepted into UROP come from diverse education backgrounds including biomedical science, chemistry, computational science, maths and engineering. BioMedVic custom-matches eligible students with research experiences to the benefit of both parties. Since 2004, BioMedVic has placed almost 700 UROP Scholars.
See more information on UROP here.
Photo gallery of the event