Dr William Parr

​Endeavour Research Fellowship

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Dr William Parr, Senior Research Associate (Biomedical Engineering) Prince of Wales Hospital.
 
Country of origin:  England

Home organisation:  University College London

Host organisation:  The University of New South Wales

Research field:  Biological Sciences  – Hominin Evolutionary
Anatomy and Biomedical Engineering
 
 
The fellowship provided research independence alongside collaborative opportunity, and was the best start to my research career.

Dr William Parr’s work integrates the fields of computational morphology (shape) and biomechanics, and applies these methods to the development of orthopaedic surgical devices in the form of implants.

 

As a keen cyclist, runner and surfer it is no coincidence that William’s academic interests focus on understanding the biomechanics of the human body and how this knowledge can be used to improve the quality of life for people who have lost mobility.

After completing a PhD in Computational Morphology, with respect to ankle form and function, William went travelling and spent three months as a visiting academic at the University of Newcastle, Australia where he met the Computational Biomechanics Research Group (CBRG).

William received his letter of offer for the Endeavour Research Fellowships several months after applying. “I was sitting in a café in Southern Portugal when I received an email [with the offer] and at that moment I had a distinct feeling that this could be a turning point in my career.”
 

Quality research opportunities

In February 2011, William travelled to Sydney to commence his fellowship at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) under the supervision of Associate Professor Stephen Wroe, CBRG and Professor Bill Walsh, Director of the Surgical and Orthopaedic Research Laboratories (S&ORL).
 
Together, the group combined William’s expertise in shape analysis (computational morphology) with their existing expertise in computational biomechanics (finite element analysis). Collaborative efforts between CBRG and S&ORL and William’s home organisations UCL and NHM saw several peer reviewed journal articles published on the work he completed during and after his Endeavour fellowship. A detailed list of publications can be found at his Google Scholar webpage.
 

Highlights of the Endeavour Research Fellowship

The main highlight of the fellowship for William was finding two research groups that complemented his skill set so well.
 
“Combining the fields of computational biomechanics and morphology, and then later applying them to the clinical fields of orthopaedic device development was, and still is, exciting.”
 
The Fellowship also provided William with opportunities to present on his work at conferences in Perth and Hawaii.
 
For the avid surfer, getting out and exploring Sydney and its beaches was also a particular highlight.
 

What opportunities have there been since completing the scholarship?

The Endeavour Research Fellowship (Postdoctoral) acted as a springboard for William’s career. He now works at the UNSW’s Surgical and Orthopaedic Research Laboratories, as a Senior Research Associate, and is part of a team of four working on a $2.3 million project developing a new posterior approach lumbar spinal fusion device.
 

Recommendations for future students – in his own words

“Be imaginative about where your skill set can take you and where you can get funding from. It’s important during your studies to develop skills that are transferable. This allows you to cross fields and even disciplines should your interests and/or funding options lead you this way.”
 

Alumni Network

After completing the Endeavour programme, participants like William 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 Research Fellowship - (Australian and international applicants)

The Endeavour Research Fellowship provides financial support for Australian postgraduate scholars and postdoctoral fellows to undertake short-term research (4-6 months) towards an Australian Masters, PhD or postdoctoral research, in any field, overseas. It also offers financial support for international postgraduate scholars and postdoctoral fellows to undertake short-term research (4-6 months) towards an overseas Masters, PhD or postdoctoral research in any field in Australia.
 

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

for further details on how to apply.
 
Dr William Parr - pdf, word