Patron of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, Simon McKeon AO.

Portrait image of Simon McKeon.

Simon McKeon AO

It is an honour to be the Patron of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

The role of UROP in enhancing research and industry capability is not only unique but critically important.

In my time as Chairman of CSIRO from 2010 to 2015, I was proud to promote the important role science plays in delivering benefits to our community, and am proud to continue my involvement in this important work as patron of UROP.

Since its inception in 2004, UROP has provided more than 700 undergraduate students with an opportunity to explore the world of research. Talented researchers from our cutting-edge institutions have supervised bright and curious students, mentoring and guiding them through their own exciting research journeys. These experiences are key to building Australia’s STEM talent pipeline.

UROP highlights that Australia is home to incredible research institutes and organisations undertaking innovative science. Students from all over the globe come to study in Australia because of its highly regarded research opportunities, particularly in health and medical sciences. For some of these students, UROP provides a unique opportunity to gain crucial, paid experience in research teams, acquiring skills that will benefit them beyond their formal education and into their careers. In this way the program contributes to and benefits from Australia’s thriving research ecosystem.

UROP not only supports undergraduate students to build their skills. The program also provides opportunities for researchers to develop and improve their supervisory and mentoring skills. For many, supervising a UROP student is an extremely rewarding experience, enabling them to reflect on their own work practices and enhance their own skills. And the connections both supervisors and students make within UROP continue to strengthen collaboration within the Australian research sector.

UROP has made an impressive impact throughout the years. I look forward to seeing the impact of the program increase, as the program continues to grow and play its role in mobilising and developing the best talent for the benefit of all Australia.

Simon McKeon AO
UROP Patron, Chancellor of Monash University, 2011 Australian of the Year

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