Stephen Vincent

Posted May 16 2018

Faculty: Faculty of Health, School of Optometry
Year graduated: 2011
Thesis: Ocular characteristics of anisometropia.
Career category: academic

After submitting his thesis for examination, Dr Stephen Vincent prioritised publications and produced five papers from his PhD research. He describes:

“Not only is it important to share your findings with the wider community, but this will help to boost your research profile and demonstrates a tangible long-term project outcome to potential employers.”

Read more about Dr Vincent’s career post-PhD and his advice for new graduates below.

You were awarded your PhD in 2011. What opportunities did you look for after this?
“During the final months of my candidature I explored a range of possible career paths including academia, industry research, and management in Australia and abroad. I felt I was best suited to a role that incorporated research and teaching, and was very fortunate to combine a part time post-doctoral research fellowship with undergraduate teaching at QUT.”

What interests, or research questions are driving your work right now?
“A major focus of my current research is to understand how scleral contact lenses interact with the surface of the eye. These large rigid lenses are medical devices used to restore vision in eyes suffering from corneal disease or chronic dry eye.”

What is your current career goal?
“I aim to continue to produce innovative research that makes a meaningful difference in clinical optometry, for both patients and practitioners, and make a significant contribution to the education of the next generation of optometrists.”

What piece of advice would you give to someone who has recently completed their doctorate at QUT?
“Work towards publishing your thesis as a series of papers or a book, whichever is the norm in your field. Not only is it important to share your findings with the wider community, but this will help to boost your research profile and demonstrates a tangible long-term project outcome to potential employers.

Thankfully, generating draft journal papers from a completed thesis is a much simpler task than constructing each individual chapter. You have already done the hard work of writing and shaping your thesis, and typically need to edit and streamline a chapter to suit your target journal. For example, experimental chapters from a thesis may range from 7-10000 words and must be trimmed down to 4-6000 words often required for scientific journals.

Selecting the appropriate target journal for your paper can be challenging. Your supervisors, co-authors, and senior academics who have read the paper, are well placed to provide advice on outlets where your contribution will reach the intended audience and align with the scope of the journal. These are important considerations, arguably more so than various journal metrics.

Your faculty may have financial support mechanisms in place, such as competitive “write up” scholarships, to assist HDR students to prepare and submit a high quality research paper for peer-reviewed publication while your thesis is under examination. Support may also be available for article processing charges for thesis-related publications.”

Resources:

Dr Vincent emphasises the importance of publishing from your thesis. QUT has numerous resources that can help you build your publications: