Interested in science? There's a UQ lab for that!

20 March 2014

The University of Queensland doesn’t fool around when it comes to science. It is ranked the #1 university in Australia for biological sciences, and #21 in the world according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014 – Biological Sciences.
OzTREKK student Adam Gunjilac is currently studying his Honours Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at UQ and has offered to share his experience in a field that is not as well known as some of the more popular programs.

University of Queensland Science
Adam on the job in the laboratory

How did your interest in science begin?
I have enjoyed science classes since high school. In Grade 11, I took my first chemistry class, and I remember how passionate my teacher was. He was very good at drawing the classes into each lesson. From Grade 11, I had this idea I wanted to be a chemist, and it wasn’t until my first organic chemistry class in university that I realized, maybe chemistry wasn’t for me. From that point I grew fonder of molecular biology (biotechnology), and haven’t looked back since.
Is there a particular area of science that you focus on?
I finished my undergraduate degree in forensic biotechnology at Charles Sturt, and am now doing an Honours in Microbiology, with a main focus on bacterial genetics.
Why did you choose to study in Australia? Why did you choose UQ?
I chose to study in Australia because I felt the undergraduate programs had a deep focus on the courseware that was relative to the program. There were no electives that needed to be taken outside the primary area of study, which is a requirement at Canadian universities. The absence of electives translates to an undergraduate spanning three years rather than four years in Canada.
I have chosen to continue my studies in Australia with an honours year because it will qualify me for a PhD program without the need to enroll in a master’s program. This, again, is a great time-saver!
What’s the hardest part of your program? What do you enjoy the most?
The best part of this program is the independent learning. The program gives a real taste of what a PhD program will have in store. Initially, the most difficult part was being able to prioritize all the work and making realistic goals in order to reach an end goal with the research.
University of Queensland Science
There’s always time to relax in Australia!

What do you plan to do with your degree?
After this year I plan on applying to a PhD program, and ultimately I would like to end up in research. I never thought I would, but I have really taken a liking to working in the lab—which lab?—still remains a question. I think the goal ultimately is to work in a research lab at a pharmaceutical company.
How has your time in Australia been?
My time in Australia has been great. The weather has been amazing all year and the beaches are surreal. The difficult thing to get used to was the hours of operation of all the stores and restaurants. Compared to Canada, everything closed so early six nights a week, and with the exception of Thursday nights, only the malls were open until 9 p.m.
How do you feel about OzTREKK’s services?
OzTREKK has gone above and beyond with the services they have provided. The company isn’t just an administration company that organizes paperwork; it’s a company with character that makes you feel like you’re well looked after. OzTREKK has provided me with excellent customer service, as they have taken time to help me through some very complicated circumstances during the application process. Before I came to Oz, the company provided a departure tutorial, which thoroughly covered topics like banking, accommodation, and shopping locations around each of the campuses. I am very happy with the services provided by OzTREKK and would not hesitate to use them again!
University of Queensland Science
Enjoying Hideaway Bay, Whitsundays

UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences

Situated within the Faculty of Science, the UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences teaches and researches in the disciplines of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Microbiology and Parasitology. The common thread in UQ’s discipline mix is the capacity of molecular-based approaches to create understanding and to lead to discovery. The school has a comprehensive array of scientific instrument installations, used by research staff and students and accessible in many cases to the wider university and public communities.

UQ Science International Scholarships

Are you considering applying to a University of Queensland science program? There are international scholarships for that!

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries that are available to UQ Faculty of Science students.

It is recommended that you read the scholarship information carefully for closing dates, eligibility criteria, and required documentation. Please ensure that you include any documentation that you feel will support your application, even if it is not requested. Eligibility criteria should be addressed thoroughly in your application and supported with documentation. If you are applying for more than one scholarship, a separate application will be required for each scholarship.
Science Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships: Total value AUD $12,000 (paid AUD $6,000 in first semester of study and AUD $6,000 in second semester of study)
Science Undergraduate Merit Scholarships: Total value AUD $5,000 (paid at AUD $3,000 in first semester of study and AUD $2,000 in second semester of study)
The scholarships are available for international students applying for entry into any of the science coursework programs at undergraduate level.
Science Postgraduate Excellence Scholarships: Total value AUD $12,000 (paid AUD $6,000 in first semester of study and AUD $6,000 in second semester of study)
Science Postgraduate Merit Scholarships: Total value AUD $5,000 (paid at AUD $3,000 in first semester of study and AUD $2,000 in second semester of study)
The scholarships are available for international students applying for entry into any of the science coursework programs at postgraduate level.

Scholarship Application Deadline

The application deadline for both undergraduate and graduate scholarships is 12 midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time (EST) on April 30, 2014 to commence in Semester 2, 2014 (July). Find out more about UQ International Science Scholarships.

Are you interested in pursuing the study of Microbiology or Biotechnology at UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences? Would you like more information about the UQ International Science Scholarships? Contact  OzTREKK Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at or call 1 866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada), and find out how you can study in Australia!

NewsStudent Profile