Inspiring Young Women in Science – A Careers Mentoring Program

The Hudson Institute of Medical Research

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Youth - 15 to under 25
Project Focus
Project Area

Project Description

Delivery of an experiential and comprehensive one-week program designed to expose Year 10 female students (or female identifying) to valuable opportunities in science and medical research and build their confidence and excitement about this field.

Hudson Institute is concerned by the poor representation of women in the STEM workforce and recognises that the full potential for medical research excellence cannot be achieved without a diverse workforce and pipeline of talent in Australia and globally.

Experiences of bias, stereotyping and lack of female role models are key reasons participation is lower and representation in higher education, workplaces and leadership are lower.

The program will include hands-on laboratory work, seminars with experts and a tailored program on-site in laboratories using technology platforms. Being based on a hospital site will give students exposure to a range of careers from laboratory research through to technical and clinical roles and provided hands-on learning experiences and problem-solving skills.

Mentoring is a core part of the program, and students will be paired with a female researcher, who will act as a mentor and role model during and after the program. The students will also be encouraged to continue their mentorship with their partnering female scientists with opportunities to consult them for career and study advice after the program is completed.

Expected Outcomes

  1. Partner students (24 total across two 1-week cohorts) with female researchers from diverse backgrounds in medical research for one-on-one mentoring (during program and ongoing);
  2. Highlight to students that science offers a diverse range of successful and rewarding careers and opportunities across the spectrum of labs to clinics;
  3. Inspire students (aimed at those with a strong interest and/or without access to strong STEM programs or who face disadvantage, access issues, etc.) and build confidence to study science by showing the value of practical skills, entrepreneurial thinking and creativity in science; and what impacts/outcomes can be achieved locally/globally;
  4. Demonstrate how the students' curriculum can be applied to real research projects.
  5. Hudson Institute will aim to expand opportunities for young women in STEM through additional and collaborative outreach activities with schools after the 1-week ends. We will also look to offering additional technical experiences and career mentoring opportunities should the students be interested.

Project Data & Lessons

Hudson Institute will use the results of the student survey and feedback from teachers, students and mentors to improve the program and engage with the partner schools to rerun the program in future years should funding be available, with an aim at expanding opportunities for young women in STEM through additional and collaborative outreach activities with schools.

In conjunction with the participating secondary schools and teachers, we will conduct a survey
of students at the end of the program with questions that cover:
- Overall experience of the program and the included activities
- How the program has impacted their understanding of scientific careers
- How likely they are to continue studying science subjects at school and did the program influence their decision; and how likely are they to pursue a career in science in the long-term.
- Any perceived increase in confidence in pursuing a career in science.
- If they have any recommendations to improve the program

Teachers will be contacted at a later point for feedback on whether their students were overall more engaged and excited about science careers and subjects following participation in the program and their likelihood of further recommending this program to future students.

Mentors and program staff will also de-brief and provide feedback on the implementation of the program.

Project Dates

Project Commences: September 18, 2023
Project Completes: June 14, 2024

Funding Details

Funding Needed
Current Funding
Total Project Costs
Approved Tax Deductability Status
Approved Tax Concession Charity
Other Funding Sources
Other Support Opportunities
Other, Subsidies
Other Forms of Support
The budget above allocates funds for a senior female researcher to plan, recruit and manage the program's full life-cycle and ongoing mentoring program, and includes a small budget for the lab consumables and a small honorarium for the students selected. We currently have planned 2 cohorts of 12 students at 1-week each, but co-funding or matched funding for more dates could be looked at.

Organisation Details

The Hudson Institute of Medical Research
ABN: 48 132 025 024


Connie Honaker
Phone: 0450524565

About The Hudson Institute of Medical Research

As one of Australia’s largest medical research Institutes, Hudson Institute’s mission is to power breakthrough scientific discoveries into improved health care that will transform lives.
We are research leaders in five areas of medical need (inflammation, cancer, reproductive health, newborn health and hormones and health) and work towards new diagnoses, preventions, treatments and cures. Our scientific knowledge is progressed from discovery and translational research to clinical trials and on to new and innovative treatments and cures.

Hudson Institute has 281 staff, 42 research groups and 250 research publications, and partners with our precinct partners With our precinct partners, Monash Health and Monash University, to deliver outstanding healthcare, education and world-class research.

We are home to:

  • Australia’s largest group of inflammation researchers
  • The Childhood Cancer Model Atlas (CCMA) – the world’s largest set of high-risk paediatric solid tumour cell lines
  • Research that has discovered:
    • Stem cells in the endometrium
    • Benefits of delayed cord clamping
    • South Asian mothers’ increased risk of stillbirth
    • Improvements for primary aldosterone diagnosis

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