Students are the research leaders of the future - in 2019 they showed the world why.

At Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI), we nurture and inspire the next generation of researchers and clinician-scientists.

Our unique learning environment, drawing on our co-location with The Royal Children's Hospital and the University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics, creates direct connections from education, to bench, to bedside. Our students have a clear view of the lives their work is impacting.

We provide stewardship and collaboration opportunities as standard. All students can join the Research Students Association (RSA), which works to foster connections between students across the various research areas, and provides an active social life for the many students on campus.

All students and staff benefit from the rich education environment and opportunities for ongoing learning and professional development.

475 students studied at MCRI in 2019

180 students completed their studies at MCRI in 2019

Our students were recognised with a number of honours in 2019. Highlights included:

Xavier Busuttil-Crellin
won Best Honours/Equivalent Oral Presentation Award at the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) Student Symposium

Jocelyn Chan
won one of only three Travel Scholarships awarded annually by the Australian Epidemiological Association

Brittany Croft
awarded The Lalor Foundation Merit Award for the 'most meritorious, well-interpreted and significant research presented by students at an international conference'

Cindy Lee
named the winner of the Community Population & Global Health Category in the 3 Minute Thesis competition

Yichao Wang
awarded best presentation at the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Congress

Making a wee difference

Dr Jonathan Kaufman was inspired to solve a tricky problem – how to easily collect a urine sample from a baby to test for urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Jonathan, a final year PhD student with MCRI's Health Services Research Group and the University of Melbourne, came across the difficulty of diagnosing UTIs in his work as a paediatrician at Sunshine Hospital and The Royal Children's Hospital.

UTIs are one of the most common bacterial infections of early childhood worldwide; of all children with a fever, seven per cent will have a UTI. But fever can indicate lots of things in childhood, which makes a urine test essential. Unfortunately, taking a urine sample can be incredibly difficult.

Jonathan's research focuses on a new method that gently triggers bladder reflexes to allow for sample collection. Importantly, the method's simplicity means it can be used in low-resource settings, such as in low and middle-income countries.

This idea evolved into Jonathan's PhD and ignited a new passion for research. He has been able to see his research in action, benefiting children around the world – his findings have been included in guidelines in Australia, the UK, Canada, Italy and Finland.

"It's hard to believe that five years ago this was just an idea, and now it's a successful research series. There are eight publications so far, including the main trial published in The BMJ. The research has been recognised with over 20 awards and prizes," he says.

"There have been challenges as well, but when you're part of an amazing team at a place like MCRI, doing great research becomes possible."