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March 10, 2020 Tuesday 04:35:53 PM IST

Westpac Future Leaders Scholarships 2020

Leadership Instincts

Westpac Scholars Trust has announced its 2020 Westpac Future Leaders Scholars, recognising 15 ambitious young Australians who are investigating solutions to some of our most pressing global problems.  Each recipient will receive up to $120,000, covering their postgraduate studies, a nine-month bespoke leadership development program and the opportunity to study abroad.

Next-generation solar technology, futureproofing farmers’ crops from climate change, and better understanding the genetics behind Autism Spectrum Disorder are just three of 15 research projects a group of outstanding postgraduate students will be undertaking with the support of Westpac Scholars Trust.

Amongst this year’s recipients is Daniel Balzer, a theoretical physicist from The University of Sydney, pioneering creative solutions to tackle the world’s energy crisis. Daniel plans to use innovative theoretical techniques he has developed, to better understand and accelerate the efficient and economic design of materials involved in energy conversion and storage, including next-generation solar cells.

The Australian National University PhD student, Sam Coggins is also focused on climate change, researching ways to future proof of the agricultural industry.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a common neurodevelopmental disorder, affects as many as one in 70 children on a global scale. Through recent technological innovations, scientists have been able to identify specific genes driving the onset of ASD. Monash University PhD student and 2020 Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship recipient, Kealan Pugsley, says she plans to use gene-editing technology to investigate how these genes impact brain development.  

Beyond the financial investment of the scholarship, every Westpac Future Leaders Scholar gains lifelong access to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network. Growing by 100 scholars a year across the Westpac Scholars Trust’s five scholarship programs, the network connects a community of people from all walks of life with the ideas and drive to help shape a better future for all Australians.

The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship is offered in partnership with The University of Adelaide, The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, Monash University, The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, The University of Tasmania and the University of Western Australia.

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