CaRST Team

Monica Kerr

Director of CaRST

Dr Monica Kerr

Dr Monica Kerr is the inaugural Director of the University’s new Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) program for Higher Degree by Research students. Monica is a scientist by training with more than a decade of experience working in the area of upskilling PhDs and researchers to improve employability and career outcomes.

Monica has held a senior management position at one of the oldest scientific organisations in the US, the New York Academy of Sciences, where she directed an international career and professional development program for young scientists. More recently, Monica worked at the CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing, where she established their flagship entrepreneurial PhD program, and at UniSA Ventures, where she managed the launch of Venture Catalyst, a government-backed seed fund for student-led startups. Monica regularly presents to universities and organisations on career planning for PhDs and has also delivered specialised courses on entrepreneurship, technology commercialisation, and leadership.

Monica obtained a PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from Harvard Medical School, where she also worked as an Instructor and Curriculum Fellow and was the recipient of two teaching awards. She has undergone training at the Harvard Macy Institute on educational leadership and innovation and is a certified MBTI® practitioner from the American Management Association.

Monica is enthusiastic about developing and implementing programs that help researchers realise their potential and maximise their chances of career success and satisfaction.

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Melanie Hand

CaRST Officer

Dr Melanie Hand

Melanie joined the University of Adelaide in 2016 as an officer within the Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) program. Melanie has an interest in and understands the importance of professional and career development of research students, having received a PhD from La Trobe University in 2013 and completed a postdoc at CSIRO. As a researcher, Melanie has worked for the state government of Victoria and CSIRO on industry and philanthropy funded projects. Her research has used molecular genetics to understand agriculturally important traits and develop tools to enable crop improvement through molecular plant breeding and biotechnology.

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