26 February 2021

Future Scientist Award. Where are they now: Shaghraf Javaid

The PERSOLKELLY Future Scientist Award is accepting final applications, with entries closing this Sunday the 7th of March. The Award gives science graduates the opportunity to showcase themselves to employers from Australia’s leading scientific companies, get advice on how to present and prepare for interviews from our specialist Scientific recruiters and go in the running to win $1000.

We spoke to 2019 finalist Shaghraf Javaid,who is now working as a University Associate about her experience in the Award Program.

Can you describe your experience participating in the Future Scientist Award program?

It was honestly a life changing experience. When I was shortlisted for this program I had just submitted my PhD thesis and was actively looking for a job. The whole team at PERSOLKELLY, especially Keelie, was very supportive, not just for this competition but also for sharpening my interview skills for future. I felt extremely looked after and was given some amazing tips on how to present the best version of myself and engage with the interviewer or audience. More than anything, this award has given me recognition in my field.

Can you list your three highlights from the program?

  • As a freshly graduated research student, I was completely oblivious to the industrial sector. The coaching and some great tips from PERSOLKELLY during this competition gave me a new perspective in terms of finding the common road and bridging the gap between research and industry.
  • Presenting in front of great industry professionals and talking about my strengths and ambitions. The Q and A session with judges after my presentation was itself a huge learning opportunity.
  • Getting a job offer and networking with the judges after the competition.

How has the Future Scientist Award Program helped you in your career?

I received an amazing job offer straightaway from one of the judges. The job description was perfectly suitable for my background. This exposed me to a professional environment as soon as I graduated.

What are your career plans?

My career plans revolve around doing something which is a hybrid of research and getting it out there in the market through the industrial sector. I want to remain connected to both innovation and practical application, especially in the energy sector. In the coming years I want to keep working and contribute towards achieving those goals.

What advice would you give current Science graduates?

  • Knowledge is actually power so learn and expand your skills and interest as much as you can.
  • Keep an open mind to try something new professionally because you never know, it might become your next passion.
  • Be confident but first prepare yourself and do your homework, even if it seems small and easy.
  • Networking plays a key role in your professional journey. Do not hesitate and try to connect with as many people as you can. You never know when you can be the right person at the right time.

Apply for the 2021 Future Scientist Award today!


PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.

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