Talented Student Program - Examples of Projects

Steph Yee

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"For me, the most exciting thing about the TSP is that it challenges you- whether it’s looking at things from an entirely new perspective, or solving problems you’ve never thought about before. There was a lot to get out of doing it- for many of us, TSP Showcase (the first major TSP event for first years) was our first taste of a ‘real’ scientific project.

Working with the Smart Ants was quite a different and interesting experience. Who would have thought that the humble ant may hold the key to our future? I certainly didn’t. It’s a lot of fun because you’re working with academics who are experts in their field and you get to discover a lot of new things- not many people know what it’s like to have hundreds of ants crawl up their arm! It really tested and developed our teamwork and communication as well as time management skills to be able to come up with ideas, conduct experiments, collaborate and get the task done in such a short period of time.

Despite the fact that it is quite demanding at times, the relaxed and easy-going atmosphere makes TSP very different from normal subjects, and I think it’s these small differences about the TSP that makes it worthwhile."

Smart Ants: Nature's solution to humanity's problems



Simon Ho

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"My experience in the Talented Student Program in the Biological Sciences was extremely rewarding. I was given the opportunity to conduct independent research projects, supervised by academics in the School. My projects exposed me to research questions and methods that were beyond the scope of the standard curriculum. I found the work so interesting that I continued with an Honours project in the same area of research. This prepared me for a PhD at Oxford and some postdoctoral experience at the Australian National University, but I’m now pleased to be back in the Biological Sciences as a member of the academic staff. Looking back to my time as an undergraduate student, I can say that my experience in the Talented Student Program played a key role in my decision to pursue a research career in biology."


Emma Watson

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"My passion has always been in understanding how things work. I was one of those annoying high school kids that would always ask, 'But why? But why?'. I would be told that I have to wait until later before I could delve deeper into that sort of thing. Now that I'm doing my Undergraduate Degree I'm starting to get answers to some of those questions.”

Emma is the recipient of multiple prizes for her work in her first year and is well on her way to a fantastic career in Science. We sat down with Emma to find out why she is so passionate about studying in the School of Molecular Bioscience. More ...


Aaron Lun

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"Honours work is a balance between freedom and expectations. Your supervisor expects something from you but you have the freedom to choose how to get there. It's hard work, but it's satisfying because you're given the freedom to solve problems your own way.”

Aaron is a current Honours student in the School of Molecular Bioscience under the supervision of Associate Professor Kevin Downard. He is currently investigating the evolution of pandemic strains of influenza. More ...


Fiona Naughton

A photo of Fiona Naughton

"Even if it does look like a lot of work, you should see it as a great opportunity that really rewards the investment of your time."

Currently in her second year, Fiona has been involved in the Talented Student Program throughout her Bachelor of Science (Advanced) and feels spoilt for choice when it comes to her future research direction. More ...