After going through a series of rigors selection and screening process, Barne Willie from the Sexual and Reproductive Health Unit and Rebecca Emori from the Population, Health and Demography Unit have both been accepted for PhD studies under the Australian Awards Scholarship Program for studies in 2020. Rebecca will be studying Public (Population) Health and Social Science at the University of Wollongong whilst Barne’s research field of study is in Sexual & Reproductive Health and is at the University of Queensland.
The Australian Awards Scholarships are prestigious international awards offered by the Australian Government to the next generation of global leaders for development. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), this award is designed to promote knowledge and leadership, and enduring ties between Australia and Papua New Guinea. The goal is to contribute to building a qualified workforce, filling critical human resource gaps, and supporting good leadership in PNG, thereby assisting with addressing the nation’s economic and development challenges. The Australian Awards Scholarships prioritise six sectors and a range of study topics within each sector.
The priority sectors and study topics are drawn from the priorities of the PNG-Australia partnership and the PNG Medium Term Development Plan III. The priority areas are Agriculture, Education, Health, Governance, Law and Justice, Transport and Infrastructure. The applicants were assessed on their professional and personal qualities, academic competence and most importantly, their potential to impact on development challenges in PNG. For intake 2020, there were 90 provisional awardees from the 158 that were originally shortlisted.
Speaking on behalf of the two, Rebecca Emori said they are very excited about the scholarship. “We hope to learn as much as we can and bring back fundamental knowledge and experience to help enhance research at the Institute,” said Rebecca. “We would also like to thank the PNGIMR under the directorship of Professor William Pomat, the Australian Awards Scholarship Program, the University of Wollongong and the University of Queensland for this scholarship opportunity.”
Both scientists will be returning back to IMR after completion of their studies in 2024.