Congratulations to Julia and Vidhi for submitting their PhD theses, right in the middle of the COVID19 lockdown period. Julia and Vidhi started their PhDs at about the same time, responding to seek.com adds posted by a new academic setting up a new group. They rode all the ups and downs of PhD life, publishing their work in top journals and presenting their work at leading international conferences overseas.
Then came 2020! Both Julia and Vidhi had no doubts about joining our COVID19 Diagnostics Taskforce, a team of academic groups, led by Dr Corrie, to develop novel COVID19 serology (antibody detection) assays. For the other students, this meant putting an indefinite pause on their PhD projects, dropping their experimental work to rapidly develop new assays from the ground up. But what about PhD students with hard submission deadlines? Julia and Vidhi worked doubly hard, leading aspects of the lab work during the day, then finishing off thesis chapters at nights and on weekends, submitting their theses on the original timeline - a phenomenal effort during a time of great upheaval.
Congratulations, and I'm looking forward to the feedback from your Australian and international examiners!