At UWA, we offer our students many opportunities to further enrich and develop their study and research dreams. One way we do this is by supporting their interest in applying for prestigious scholarships such as the Fulbright Scholarship.
The Fulbright Scholarship offers students across all career stages the opportunity to pursue research or study at a US institution as part of an academic and cultural exchange program.
We recently caught up with Anastazja Gorecki, a 2021 Fulbright scholar, to find out what she’s researching and her tips for the application process.
Anastazja is currently working on her PhD investigating how the gut can be a trigger for Parkinson’s disease. Her interest in the gut-brain connection started a few years back when she first heard about the gut microbiome, and it’s continued to grow ever since.
“For a long time, the gut was only studied in the context of digestion and nutrition, but research is now supporting the old saying that ‘all health begins in the gut’. I am constantly excited to learn how different bodily systems (like the brain, immune system and gut) work together to create this talking, eating, dancing thing called a human!” she says.
Anastazja will be travelling to Baltimore, Maryland, in early 2022 to research the complex nervous system of the gut at the renowned Johns Hopkins University.
“I hope to conduct further research to understand the importance of gut health on whole-body health and longevity and one day use that knowledge to shape individual attitudes and wider policy changes,” Anastazja says.
“The skills, knowledge, experience and new collaborations that I will gain as a Fulbright Scholar will be an immense help as I work towards these goals.”
For those considering apply for a Fulbright scholarship, Anastazja suggests starting the application process early. “Writing the application became a bit of a soul-searching exercise, making me reflect on my academic and personal life. So, make sure you give yourself time to ponder the underlying ‘why’ of your application. And don’t be afraid to ask other people for help!”
And for those wondering what Anastazja’s top tips are for a healthy gut, she says, “get lots of fibre, eat a 'rainbow' of different fruits and veggies, and minimise your intake of processed food – simple!”
Applications for the Fulbright Scholarship are now open until Tuesday 6 July 2021. Find out more and apply via Fulbright Australia.