Six students will fly in from around the world to accept prestigious 2018 Forrest Scholarships at The University of Western Australia, Curtin University and Edith Cowan University, made possible by the generosity of the Forrest Research Foundation.
The students come from a broad range of academic backgrounds and will research everything from how to reduce the cost of developing drugs to treat illnesses, how to remove contaminants from wastewater, to ways of using nuclear physics to make developments in cancer treatments available.
In addition, a post-doctoral researcher studying the genetics of wheat to find drought and salt resistant genes in ancient wheat varieties will take up a 2018 Forrest Research Foundation Fellowship. A scholarship recipient studying renewable energy who started at UWA in late 2017 will also join the team.
The Forrest Research Foundation aims to attract the brightest minds to conduct postgraduate research in Western Australia, and provides support to international and domestic students to enrol in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at one of the State’s universities. The foundation also supports leading researchers who are at the start of their career by providing post-doctoral fellowships.
The scholarships and fellowships started in 2013 when Andrew and Nicola Forrest made what was believed to be the largest single philanthropic donation in Australian history – $65 million to attract the best minds to Western Australia.
The donation included $50 million for the establishment of the Forrest Research Foundation to fund scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships across all five WA universities. A further $15 million went towards the creation of Forrest Hall, a soon to be opened state-of-the-art accommodation facility in Crawley for scholars and rising research leaders. The 2018 scholars will be among the first people to occupy this facility.
Andrew and Nicola Forrest said they were delighted to welcome seven new Forrest Scholars, including the first Scholar to undertake research at Edith Cowan University and a third Forrest Fellow, Dr Philipp Bayer.
“The Forrest Research community has been further strengthened by these appointments and we look forward to following their research progress across numerous fields,” Andrew and Nicola Forrest said.
Warden of the Forrest Research Foundation, Professor Paul Johnson said the Forrest Scholarships and Fellowships supported outstanding Australian students.
“The scholarships are bringing to WA the brightest young researchers from around the world to help build Perth into a research and innovation hub of global significance,” Professor Johnson said.