Dr David Liu
"My research at UQ was in 'Patient monitoring in anesthesia with head-mounted displays' and turned out to be fascinating, challenging and amazingly rewarding.
"When I first started however, I had thought that the process would be relatively unexciting - enrol, work on your own for a few years, submit and graduate - but soon discovered that Australian programs are actually remarkably flexible. In fact advisors and the University are always willing to help you enrich your education.
"Enrichment involves participating in activities that, while not strictly necessary for completing your PhD, provide complementary educational experiences that help you become a better scientist.
"Collaborations are the foundation of academic research; take a look at any journal article and you'll probably find several co-authors. You can work with your fellow students on side projects (in addition to your PhD), and even expand your professional networks through collaborations.
"Hosting academic visitors in your lab and going on academic tours is a great way to find future collaborations and job opportunities. The global academic family that develops throughout your career is one of the greatest perks of academia.
"Other opportunities for travel include internships and fellowships. Internships give you the opportunity to apply the research skills that you learn during the PhD to practical problems in industry. Research fellowships, on the other hand, let you collaborate with internationally renowned researchers and may be part of prestigious scholarship programs such as the Rhodes and Fulbright.
"The gap between the academic and corporate worlds can be dramatic at times, but research commercialisation bridges that gap for the benefit of both. Your hard work and expertise helps the wider community, while industry provides funding and support to enhance or continue your research. It also happens to be a great way to supplement your scholarship and travel funds."