Finding new opportunities through the Worldwide Universities Network
1 May 2013
Mike Elliott, a PhD student from the University of Southhampton, discusses his experiences while on exchange at the University of Sydney through a research mobility program sponsored by the Worldwide Universities Network.
1.How did you hear about the Worldwide Universities Network's researcher mobility program?
It's advertised to all postgraduate research students at the University of Southampton. Each semester they hold a presentation session that gives information on the programme, participating universities, experiences of past awardees, and the application procedure.
2. What is your research area?
I am working mainly in the area of political theory - particularly contemporary debates around justice and democracy - and looking at how these relate to the ongoing struggles of Indigenous peoples in settler societies like Australia, USA, Canada, and New Zealand. The focus is on understanding and challenging assumptions about what 'justice' should be taken to mean in these contexts, about how it ought to be pursued, and about the role that democracy can or should play in any such process. The purpose is to gain a fuller picture of these disputes of justice and the implications they hold for the way in which we think about, and try to institutionally recognise, principles like equality and freedom.
3. Have your found the experience of working with a supervisor helpful to your research?
I've been lucky enough to be supervised by Professor Duncan Ivison during my stay, who has a lot of experience working on problems very close to my own interests. His knowledge and experience in my subject area, and in terms of writing a successful PhD more generally, have been really helpful.
4. Would you recommend the program to researchers looking for international experience?
Definitely. It's a great way to get out there and gain more experience in your subject area, and to gain from expertise and resources that otherwise would be out of reach. It also offers a taste of life in a different academic environment - including meeting new faces, new ways of doing things, and new ideas - which can be really helpful in terms of future work and career.
5. What attracted yo to the University of Sydney?
I already knew Professor Ivison's work and expertise in my subject area, so that was the main draw. But, obviously the chance to come and spend some time in such a fantastic city was also a factor! Being able to go from books to beach in a matter minutes is something I'm going to struggle to leave behind.
Contact: Amanda Sayan
Phone: 02 9351 2310