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This experience showed me the value of translating research knowledge into the real world.

UQ PhD candidate Genevieve Kieseker, from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, recently undertook a placement at Evidn, an international company that specialises in the development and implementation of evidence-based behaviour change programs.

Genevieve was involved in a project with Queensland Health and Wellbeing that sought to implement a health initiative in regional Queensland. “My role within this team was to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework to guide the collection of project data and to recommend strategies to evaluate the project,” she said.

To achieve this, she worked collaboratively in a team with the end goal of improving population health outcomes.

Genevieve’s motivation for undertaking a placement was to gain experience working in industry and to increase her employability post-PhD.

As Genevieve has a background in psychology, she felt that her skills and experience were well suited to Evidn’s portfolio, and she thought the experience would give her the opportunity to build professional connections outside of academia.

In February 2020, Genevieve cold-called Evidn. "I filled out a 'Contact Us' form on their website where I introduced myself, my background, my skill set, and an expression of interest to undertake a work placement." Evidn responded within a week. and they began talking about organising a placement.

Evidn was very supportive of Genevieve’s PhD obligations, and were flexible with her schedule. Genevieve said, “My placement days were set for Tuesdays and Thursdays – but I found that with good scheduling and time management on my end, we did not have to deviate from this schedule at all. This helped me ensure that I could meet my PhD commitments.”

Genevieve was very positive about her involvement in the HDR placement program. “This was an invaluable experience as it broadened my horizons to the experience of working in industry,” she said.

“This experience showed me the value of translating research knowledge into the real world, built confidence in my professional, interpersonal, and transferrable skills, and taught me how to form strong professional networks. I would highly recommend that HDRs get involved in a placement opportunity!”

In addition to the incredible learning experience that Genevieve gained through the placement, she also managed to find ongoing employment.

“Evidn deemed that the work I delivered during my placement combined with my skill set was a valuable asset to the company. Upon completion of the placement, Evidn offered me paid part-time employment whilst I complete my PhD, with the option of transitioning to full-time employment upon submission of my thesis.”

If you are a UQ HDR candidate and would like to explore your placement opportunities, attend an information session to learn more about the program.