Work for interesting and noteworthy organisations

I was amazed at the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes at the Museum.

PhD candidate Nicholas Wee, School of Biological Sciences, was looking for first-hand experience in an industry outside of academia. He found his opportunity at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane.

Nicholas was motivated to undertake this placement by the great potential to receive first-hand experience in an industry outside of academia, leaping at the chance to get a foot in the door.

Nicholas found out about this opportunity from other PhD candidates who had already undertook a placement at the Museum. This prompted him to attend an Industry Placement Information Session run by the Graduate School.

“I realised that the period immediately after submission of my thesis was best for me, as I had time while waiting for reviewer comments,” he said. Wanting to capitalise on the time he had, he reached out to the Museum to organise a placement for himself.

Nicholas’s placement involved contributing to the documentation of a recent donation to the Museum. “I went through about 25 large boxes of slides, identifying specimens to species where possible, collecting data associated with the specimens (host and collection locality), and collating the information into spreadsheets,” he said.

Nicholas also aided with the maintenance and management of the Museum’s many samples stored in ethanol. This involved determining whether the specimens were stored in sufficient ethanol, and ensuring the jars were not degrading or leaking.

Nicholas had an eye-opening experience during his placement, where he was able to appreciate the Museum’s metaphorical iceberg below the surface. “I was amazed at the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes at the Museum. A lot of effort goes into preparing each exhibit, but beyond that, there is important research, maintenance of specimens and organisation of storage spaces to house the ever-increasing State Collection,” he said.

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.