Dr Judith Berman

​Endeavour Executive Fellowship


Dr Judith Berman at the University of Science and Technology of China
Country of origin:  Australia

Home organisation:  University of Western Australia

Host organisation:  Nanjing University, China

Research field:  Best practice in research development
What started as one-way study abroad has now evolved into a mutually beneficial, genuine exchange program bringing benefits ranging from research experience and publications, to cultural exchange, language acquisition and lifelong friendships, to staff and students at the participating universities.

 Dr Judith Berman is developing partnerships in research support and management between Australian and Chinese universities.

Dr Judith Berman, Associate Professor, International Research Networks and Mobility at the University of Western Australia (UWA), travelled to China in 2009 to exchange best practice in research support and management. Based at Nanjing University (NJU), Dr Berman engaged with directors and international centre staff at several Chinese research intensive universities for the purpose of developing sustainable research collaborations between Australian and Chinese universities. 

Outcomes of fellowship

Dr Berman helped establish a research training program at UWA for students from top Chinese universities. The UWA-China Research Training Program was founded in 2010 as a partnership between UWA and the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). The initial program provided opportunities for Chinese undergraduate students from USTC to undertake research training in an internationally recognised research group within an English speaking environment at UWA. The program now includes Nanjing University and Zhejiang University, and has further expanded to offer outbound mobility opportunities for UWA students to study in China.

Highlights of the fellowship

As a historian with a special interest in the Holocaust, Dr Berman gave a number of presentations to the faculty and postgraduates at the Institute of Jewish Studies (Nanjing University).
“Although teaching was not the focus of my fellowship, having interactions with students was a highlight of my fellowship. I also forged valuable networks, and in some cases, long lasting friendships with many of the like-minded professionals I met.”

What opportunities have there been since completing the fellowship?

Each year Dr Berman returns to the University of Science and Technology of China, Nanjing University and Zhejiang University to interview the students shortlisted for the program, to meet up with the students who had been on the program nine months earlier, and to discuss any proposed changes and improvements with her Chinese counterparts. She has learned about the importance and emphasis that the Chinese place on the building of long-term relationships.
“Opportunities for UWA students to study in China have opened up which would not have been possible without the UWA–China Research Training Program. For the past three years an average of 15 physics students have undertaken study abroad at USTC and Nanjing; the former inviting fully funded UWA students to participate in their ‘Future Physicists’ summer school, and the latter providing UWA students with research training.”

Recommendations for future Endeavour Executive Fellows

“You will find that one contact leads to another so it’s important to build flexibility into your program so that you can adapt it as opportunities present themselves.”

Alumni Network

After completing the Endeavour program, participants like Dr Berman become part of an alumni network which enables them to continue to build and develop valuable relationships and network with peers. Alumni have the opportunity to attend functions and stay in touch through the Endeavour Bulletin.

About the Endeavour Executive Fellowship

The Endeavour Executive Fellowship is open to Australian and international applicants and provides financial support towards professional development opportunities (1-4 months) for high achievers in business, industry, education or government.
The fellowship focuses on learning and building skills and knowledge through a host work environment in the applicant’s field or area of expertise rather than through formal enrolment in a study programme.

About the Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships

The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarships that provide opportunities for Australians and overseas citizens to undertake study, research and professional development around the world.

Further information

Visit http://internationaleducation.gov.au/endeavour for further details on how to apply.
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