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School of Management hosts international PhD competition

by Katrina Phelps

(L-R) Visiting German PhD student Corinna Rupf, UniSA Associate Professor Claudine Soosay and visiting UK PhD student Sam Farley (Credit: Luke Simon Photography).(L-R) Visiting German PhD student Corinna Rupf, UniSA Associate Professor Claudine Soosay
and visiting UK PhD student Sam Farley (Credit: Luke Simon Photography).

With the dream of becoming a professional footballer “fading by the day”, a UK PhD student has been given the opportunity to undertake a different ambition – visiting Australia.

It’s an experience that was shared by 14 other PhD students thanks to an international PhD competition run by UniSA’s School of Management.

The international competition attracted more than 100 applications from PhD students researching the field of management in 33 countries. The prize on offer – being flown to UniSA for a series of events designed to enhance their study outcomes and strengthen their networks.

Avid football (soccer) fan Sam Farley, a PhD student from the Institute of Work Psychology at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom who is researching workplace cyberbullying, said he is eternally grateful for the opportunity to be part of the competition.

“I have wanted to visit Australia ever since a friend moved here and told me how great it was,” he said. “I would never have had the opportunity to do so as a PhD student without this competition.

“Many of the students who have graduated from the Institute of Work Psychology have gone on to get a job in Australian universities and it’s certainly something I’ll be considering now that I’ve visited one.”

Sam finishes his PhD in late 2015 and would ideally like to stay in academia.

“I really enjoy research and my dreams of becoming a professional footballer are fading by the day.”

For fellow participant, Corinna Rupf from the University of Stuttgart in Germany, a career combining academia and industry is her aim when she finishes her PhD on CEO changes and the influence on internationalisation processes.

Corinna said she entered the competition to meet other PhD students from around the world, to get to know UniSA and to establish new research contacts.

A highlight of the competition was a business forum that involved local businesspeople interacting with the students.

“The students actually got to meet with and discuss such topics with top business leaders and CEOs in the context of their research,” said Associate Head of the School of Management (Research), Associate Professor Claudine Soosay.

“This is an opportunity which many PhD students do not get while undertaking research in a university.”

Assoc Prof Soosay said the competition is a win-win situation for both the students and the School of Management.

“The intention is to strengthen the school’s international profile and to attract top PhD students,” Assoc Prof Soosay said.

“The School of Management prides itself in looking for innovative and new ways to engage with leading scholars from around the world and to build networks of scholars interested in addressing issues of most importance to industry, government and society.

“We wanted the 15 winners to have this opportunity to develop strong linkages with fellow competition winners, our PhD scholars and staff at UniSA. At a “speed-dating” event, UniSA academic staff members were able to meet with the students to exchange ideas about research, linking with industry, and strategies for international networking and collaboration. Some of them discussed further opportunities for collaborative research.

“This competition gave us the opportunity to discuss research into such issues and real world practices that are relevant to the School of Management.”

More information about the competition, and the students who participated, can be found here.