The University welcomes the 2014 McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellows

December 14 / 150

2014 McKenzie Fellows (L-R): Dr Coel Kirkby, Dr Amanda Gilbertson, Dr Ryan Perry, Dr Natalia Carvalho, Dr Katve-Kaisa Kontturia and Dr Samia Khatun.
2014 McKenzie Fellows (L-R): Dr Coel Kirkby, Dr Amanda Gilbertson, Dr Ryan Perry, Dr Natalia Carvalho, Dr Katve-Kaisa Kontturia and Dr Samia Khatun.

The 2014 McKenzie Fellows have been officially welcomed with a lunch at University House attended by senior University staff, including Professor John McKenzie, for whom the scholarships are named.

There are 10 new fellows in 2014, in disciplines ranging from medicine, cultural studies, art, science and law.

They have come from as close as Sydney and as far as Finland, and completed their PhDs at some of the top universities in the world, including Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge.

The McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme was established to attract outstanding recent doctoral graduates to the University in areas of research priority, and in particular to recruit new researchers who have the potential to build and lead cross-disciplinary collaborative research activities inside and across faculties.

Professor McKenzie, who was instrumental in starting the fellowships when he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), said it was important young researchers were supported to build their careers.

“The postdoctoral period is the most important part of a researcher’s career, as this is when they build their publication record and reputation,” he said.

He added that he was excited about the calibre of the researchers the University was able to attract with these highly competitive fellowships.

“These people will go on to have terrific careers, whether here or overseas,” he said.

The 2014 fellows are:

Dr Natalie Carvalho, who completed her PhD at Harvard University and joins the School of Population and Global Health, MDHS, with a project titled ‘Improving cost-effectiveness analysis of childhood vaccines in low- and middle-income countries: Incorporating equity and budgetary considerations’.

Dr Amanda Gilbertson has come from the University of Oxford to work in the School of Social and Political Sciences, Arts, with a project titled ‘Youth activism, social media and sexual violence: Rethinking middle-class politics and feminism in India’.

Dr Samia Khatun joins the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, Arts, from the University of Sydney for a study titled ‘Remembering Houses of Cloth: Workers’ Histories of Textile Production in Bengal, 1590-2015’.

Dr Coel Kirkby has come from the University of Cambridge and will work in the Melbourne Law School. His project is ‘Civilising Bodies: Municipal Government, Indigenous Self-Determination and the Comparative Legacies of British Imperial Rule’.

Dr Katve-Kaisa Kontturia, who has come from the University of Turku in Finland to join the School of Art, VCA-MCM, with a project titled ‘Affective Fabrics of Contemporary Art: Stitching Global Relations’.

Dr Ryan Perry joins the School of Population and Global Health, MDHS, after completing his PhD at the University of Auckland, with a project titled ‘Racism ideologies: A cross-national comparison between Australia and New Zealand’.

Dr Frank de Wit joins the Faculty of Business and Economics from Leiden University in the Netherlands. His project is ‘A Psychophysiological Investigation of Workplace Conflict, Stress and Performance at Work’.

Dr Yuning Hong joins the School of Chemistry, Science, from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, with a project titled ‘Fluorescence Approaches to Probing the Conformational Transition of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins and Investigation of Their Pathogenic Mechanism’.

Dr Benjamin Sparkes joins the School of Physics, Science from the Australian National University. His project is ‘High Resolution, Ultrafast Imaging of Biological Crystals with a Cold Atom Electron/Ion Source’.

Dr Rikky Muller joins the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, MSE, from the University of California, Berkeley, and will undertake a project titled ‘An implantable microsystem for on-demand delivery of anti-epileptic drugs’.

More information about the McKenzie Fellowships can be found at

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