Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Capacity building
7 CAPACITY BUILDING GROUND COVER DEVELOPING SKILLS SUMMER STUDENTSHIP PROVIDES A HEAD START Practical experience augments paper qualifications when it comes to finding work By Jean Finnegan "I am fairly sure that the additional experience I gained during the summer studentship with CSIRO was one of the reasons I was selected for this position." Summer studentship positions are advertised on the CSIRO careers portal in early August for work the following December and January. From David's experience, active participation in research is a fun and positive way to learn. "Being able to use techniques and equipment and to work alongside a specialist is far more stimulating than reciting lecture notes." □ GRDC Research Code CSP00103 More information: Dr Jean Finnegan, group leader, CSIRO Plant Industry, 02 6246 5307, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.csiro.au/resources/Summer-Studentship.html; www.grdc.com.au/CSP00103 SUMMER STUDENTSHIPS OFFER UNIVERSITY STUDENTS THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONDUCT PAID RESEARCH. CSIRO'S PLANT INDUSTRY division is one of the world's leading research centres for plant sciences. Therefore, winning a summer studentship with CSIRO Plant Industry is not only a prestigious achievement but offers the opportunity to gain hands- on experience working with leading researchers. Summer studentships offer second and third-year university students the opportunity to conduct paid research. Each studentship runs for 10 weeks and projects are designed to provide the opportunity to learn new techniques and approaches and to experience the excitement of research science. As part of their award, students present their results at a public forum -- the Summer Studentship Symposium -- and write a final report summarising their project. The summer studentship program is run in collaboration with Bayer CropScience, the Australian Pastoral Research Trust and the GRDC. David Seung is a recent recipient of a summer studentship with CSIRO. He graduated from the University of Sydney in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science with majors in plant science and agricultural chemistry. "When I applied for the studentship I already knew that I was passionate about plant carbohydrate metabolism, particularly in relation to stress tolerance, and that I wanted to pursue a career in this area of research, so winning the studentship was a great head start," David Seung says. "The studentship allowed me to research a topic within this broad area at one of Australia's leading institutions." Working under the supervision of Dr Lynne McIntyre at CSIRO Plant Industry, St Lucia, Queensland, David's project aimed to understand which genes are involved in controlling water- soluble carbohydrate levels in wheat stems. Since these carbohydrates contribute to drought tolerance in wheat, this is an important topic to study. David found that working at CSIRO made him more aware of the issues faced by agriculture and the fields of research that are essential to Australia's future prosperity. "I think being more aware of these issues will make me a better scientist and has provided me with ideas for research that I hope to pursue." David is studying plant carbohydrate metabolism in the laboratory of Professor Sam Zeeman at ETH Zürich (Switzerland) after winning a prestigious full scholarship. He believes the experience gained during his summer studentship greatly benefited him when applying for other laboratory positions. After positive experiences with CSIRO Plant Industry's summer studentship program, David Seung continues his involvement in plant research. He is now studying carbohydrate metabolism at ETH in Switzerland.
GC Supplement - Farm business management
GC Supplement - Biosecurity