In this issue

Microbiology Australia Microbiology Australia
Issue 2

Education to Enhance Microbiology Graduate Employability

Vertical Transmission

The Australian Society for Microbiology has remained broad based for the many decades of its existence. In the absence of a publishing house to underwrite it, we continue to hold regular meetings and maintain a strong membership.

Graduate employability: are we doing enough?

It is with great pleasure that I introduce this special issue of Microbiology Australia with its focus on the work currently being performed around Australia to help our microbiology graduates develop the skills and attributes required to become career ready and to secure employment. Preparing students for employment is a multi-faceted challenge. Modern education moves beyond classroom or online instruction to working with industry to provide student learning opportunities, as well as mentoring our students to engage in experiences th...

Graduate employment trends in the life sciences: implications for microbiology educators

Graduates in the Life Sciences, including microbiology have experienced similar employment trends to graduates in other fields over the past 30 years. Recent downward trends in graduate employment levels have raised concerns among educators and the community in general. Awareness of the diverse opportunities for graduates of microbiology is needed. For many, explicit education in ‘employability skills' is also considered to be needed to enable graduates to succeed in the competitive job market.

What do Life Science employers look for in graduates?

As part of an Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) grant to develop graduate employability through partnerships with industry and professional associations1, RMIT University invited industry representatives from Life Science (microbiology focused) professions to a focus group to discuss their views on desirable graduate traits and attitudes. Subsequently current Life Science students at RMIT were also invited to focus groups. Using an expanded framework for graduate employability2, their responses w...

Curriculum design for research-led teaching: Molecule to Malady

Modern medicine is increasingly characterised by a personalised approach to treatment through producing therapies that target specific biological processes. When planning the new Bachelor of Biomedicine (BBiomed) degree, one of two completely new undergraduate courses crafted as part of the ‘Melbourne Curriculum’ introduced by The University of Melbourne in 2008, the paradigm that medical interventions should be evidence-based and driven by a molecular understanding of the cause of disease was a key design parameter. Our intention...

Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology teaching tailored towards regional needs and graduate employment

The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) opened in 1996 and since 1999 held the full university status as well as being the first ‘Greenfield’ university to open in Australia since 1971 ( This status was in line with its mission to become an institution with strong emphasis on sustainability and environmentally friendly regional development while transforming a former cane farm into today’s multi award-winning modern and distinctive sub-tropical architectural structure. Over the past 20 years the u...

Training PhD students to bridge the Academia–Industry gap

It is now well understood that the career paths of PhD students are diverse and not all PhD graduates strive for a career in academia1. Even if the opposite were true, the number of PhD graduates greatly exceeds the number of currently available and projected academic positions2. It is clear that the PhD as it is traditionally understood has to evolve. With the changing outcomes of the PhD has come the requirement to provide students with training that will equip them with marketable skills vital for success in real-life w...

Embedding research ethics and integrity into undergraduate practical classes

The core principles of research ethics and integrity that underpin the responsible conduct of research are critical to the design and performance of high quality research that generates excellent research data and outcomes that can be confidently trusted. Although many senior researchers have gained an in-depth appreciation and understanding of the importance of research ethics and integrity in the responsible conduct of research, many undergraduate students in science and technology disciplines do not obtain a basic, working knowledge of relev...

The iGEM competition: research-led teaching in microbiology

The International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) is a global science fair in synthetic biology (SynBio). The relatively new discipline of SynBio is distinguished from ‘genetic engineering’ in its more systematic approach, and its focus on understanding life via creation, rather than dissection1. Microbiology is central to SynBio, which usually relies on Escherichia coli or yeast as model systems.

Using undergraduate research to develop transferable skills for the modern workforce

In the increasingly competitive global knowledge marketplace, Australian tertiary educators are looking to enrich their program offerings by providing authentic learning experiences for their students. In the biological sciences, this authenticity is best represented by hands-on inquiry and laboratory experimentation, often within the context of research internships. Authentic Large-Scale Undergraduate Research Experiences (ALUREs) aim to broaden the scope of these learning experiences by embedding research into coursework activities accessible...

Enhancing employability through group work

Graduates are expected to demonstrate a wide set of soft skills in order to compete successfully in the current job market. Evidence of effective skills in teamwork, organisation, time management and interpersonal relationships are ultimately very important in determining levels of success as they show how one leads, relates and works along with other people. Experiencing leadership roles in the microbiology laboratory classes encouraged the development of soft skills and provided examples to support job applications.

Providing an authentic experience of laboratory accreditation processes in a final year microbiology unit

The value of gaining industry experience during undergraduate degrees is well recognised1,2 and there is much interest currently in the concept of work-integrated learning (WIL)3,4. Industry experience equips graduates with job-ready skills, but university staff have reported that time, resources, and availability of industry places are obstacles in setting up placements for students3,5. An alternative approach is to provide a ‘real-world&#...

Threshold learning outcomes for a microbiology major

BD student Awardee values networking opportunities offered by the ASM Conference

8th Australasian Virology Society Meeting

Volume 37 Number 2

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