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Elliott's road to research

06/10/2023 |

You never know where your studies might take you. Elliott Fourie thought he was destined for a career in medicine but unexpectedly found himself venturing down a research path. Elliott is the winner of the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship and a PhD candidate at UWA. Hear more about Elliott’s experience studying for a PhD at UWA. 

Meet Elliott

“Hi, my name's Elliott. I'm a PhD candidate studying Synthetic Biology.”

Headshot photo of Elliot

How did you start your research journey?

“When I started my research journey initially I kind of wanted to go down a more traditional route and study Medicine. Then, I decided to do some immersion programs during high school, and I found that I was really called towards research. During my undergrad, I did a lot more internships and labs as well and was just passionate to take it further!”

Why did you choose to study at UWA?

“I chose UWA because at the time it was the only university that offered the course that I wanted to study. Also, knowing that I wanted to go into research it was a top-ranked university internationally, so that made the choice pretty easy.”

What’s a common misconception when it comes to being a PhD candidate?

“A common misconception about being a PhD candidate is that you're always stuck in a lab or behind a computer. There's plenty of opportunities to travel and do social things with your mates.”

What advice would you give to those considering a higher degree by research?

“Some advice for incoming PhD students is to try everything. Whether that be attending clubs, joining societies, or just trying to get an internship with one of the labs. Try to find out and try exploring everything the university has to offer.”

What’s a key lesson you’ve learned?

“A key lesson I've learned is teamwork. Whenever you read a research journal or a research paper you always notice there are plenty of co-authors and that's just because all the research is the work of a team”

What impact do you hope your research will have? 

“The impact I want my research to have is for it to be adopted by the wider scientific community and that it's something that everybody could use and find a benefit out of.”

Find out more about Elliott

Learn more about studying a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) at UWA and see the range of HDR scholarships on offer. 


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