Introducing the Florey Internship Program
In 2020, the Florey launched a bespoke internship program providing ‘hands-on’ experiences in science communication, commercial applications of research, and translational projects. In the program, early career researchers worked on projects over a 10-day period with mentorship from support service staff in what has forged unique professional development opportunities.
The internship was designed to complement the traditional scientific training already on offer at the Florey and provide a paid opportunity to learn innovative and strategic skills for broader scientific operations.
Head of Public Affairs and Strategy, Melanie Carew, explained that the internship program provided many benefits for early career researchers and for support service teams.
“There are so many talented early career researchers at the Florey who are keen to learn. They already receive exceptional scientific training and so we wanted to provide them with short experiences that give them a chance to apply these skills to exciting new projects that our support service teams were working on,” said Ms Carew.
“The concept for the internship program was in place, but when COVID-19 restrictions came into effect in Victoria and many of our students needed to delay experiments, we decided to fast-track the idea, providing a new way for people to stay connected and conduct meaningful work.”
Following a call for volunteers, the program was taken from concept to pilot by a working group of ten people that included people from across support services, research teams, students and others.
Professor Paul Adlard, Head of the Synaptic Neurobiology Laboratory was a member of the working group.
“It’s a given that Florey researchers will be excellent at science, but we also wanted to future-proof our scientific workforce with the necessary tools to be the visionary pioneers of the future. The internship program’s combination of learning components, hands-on projects and mentoring provided a unique chance for our early career researchers to learn more in their own institute” said Professor Adlard.
Following positive feedback from interns, support service managers and supervisors, the Florey internship program is now part of the Florey’s continued professional development opportunities for early career researchers.
Dr Shaz Sivanesan was also a member of the working group and is managing the internship program. She says she’s excited to see it’s continuation from the pilot into a permanent opportunity for those at the Florey, especially having been an advocate for the program since its inception.
“We’ll be running three internship rounds in 2021 offering placements in our Strategy & Public Affairs and Enterprise & Innovation teams. The placements have really provided hands-on experience for participants to develop their scientific skill set, so I encourage any student, research assistant or postdoc at the Florey Institute to apply,” said Dr Sivanesan.
The Florey extends its appreciation to the Florey internship working group led by Melanie Carew with members Professor Paul Adlard, Dr Carli Roulston, Dr Erin McAllum, Dr Shaz Sivanesan, Donna Parker, Kevin Law, Sydney Juan, Myat Noe Han and Anna Xanthis.
For more information on the Florey’s internship program please contact Dr Shaz Sivanesan: [email protected]
Pictured: Florey 2020 internship participants Jiahui Chu and Rebecca Singleton (front) with Melanie Carew and Michelle Goldsmith (back) who managed projects in the Public Affairs & Strategy and Enterprise & Innovation teams.