Bond University Humanities and Social Science graduate, Juliette Tobias-Webb, has been awarded the prestigious Cambridge Australia Scholarship to undertake a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Experimental Psychology at the University of Cambridge in England.
Juliette, who graduated from Bond in 2009 with a Bachelor with Honours in Psychology, was one of only eight outstanding Australian graduates, and the only Queenslander, to be awarded the Scholarship.
Upon learning she’d been awarded the scholarship, Juliette said she felt honoured and overwhelmed with excitement.
“During my time at Bond, it became a dream of mine to further my education overseas at one of the world’s leading universities, and thanks to the Poynton Cambridge Australian Trust Scholarship, this dream has become a reality,” she said.
“I find listening to people talk about their passions and their area of expertise truly inspiring. It’s what I love most about universities – people pursing their passion.
“I can’t wait for the intellectual, and no doubt at times, quirky conversations, and I look forward to being exposed to a diverse range of people, all from different countries and with different passions.
“I’m also looking forward to experiencing the rich traditions synonymous with the University of Cambridge – in fact I’ve already bought my ‘Harry Potter’ gown for Formal Nights!”
Juliette’s research will use a combination of behavioural testing, psychophysiology and magnetic resonance imaging techniques, and focus on the effects of alcohol on the decision making process and the conviction of ones beliefs.
Juliette said she finds the way that human beings make decisions fascinating.
“How we make decisions, what types of emotions affect our decisions, what traits influence our ability to make decisions and what pathways and areas within the brain influence our ability to make decisions is fascinating to me,” said Juliette.
“I’m particularly interested in how alcohol depresses areas of the brain related to decision making and how drinking can have a more profound, and often adverse, effect on some individuals compared to others.”
Her research will also explore the effects of alcohol on gambling related cognitive distortions.
Juliette said Bond University played an integral part in her success to date and the opportunities that have been provided to her.
“I was not academically inclined at school, but Bond gave me the skills and the confidence to succeed in my chosen field,” she said.
“My dream of becoming an internationally recognised researcher was created at Bond and continues to be fostered through the support of Bond alumni, academic staff and support staff.
“The career development office provided me with really helpful feedback throughout the entire application process for this scholarship.
“In fact my referees are Bond Professors and my closest friends are my cohorts from Bond. I can truly vouch for the saying ‘Once a Bondy, always a Bondy'.
“My college here at Cambridge is built of sandstone too, which fondly reminds me of my old stomping grounds.
“The University helped me understand that a learning environment can feel like home. It taught me the value of a small community and provided me with the opportunity to recognise my own potential and build on my leadership skills through a range of academic and community activities.
“Bond was the one place I never felt undermined in my ability to grow and learn. Having access to Professors on a personal level and the small class sizes really encouraged my pursuit for academic excellence.”
After graduating in 2009, Juliette worked as a psychology and business statistics tutor at Bond University, Griffith University and the University of Queensland for a year before moving to Sydney to work as a Research Officer at the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney.
Before starting her studies at Cambridge earlier this month, she spent six months travelling around the world.
Juliette’s future aspirations are to lead the development of effective educational and health management programs and contribute to public and mental health policies on a global level.
There’s also a good chance that Bond may feature in Juliette’s future career plans.
“I am proud to be a Bondy. When people ask me if I will come back and work in Australia, I always say Bond would be my university of choice,” she said.
Cambridge Australia Scholarships Ltd (CAS) works with the University of Cambridge to ensure that the best and brightest Australians have the opportunity to study at the University of Cambridge.
For more information on the Scholarship and how to apply, visit www.cambridgeaustralia.org.au