I would recommend it because there aren’t many excuses for becoming immersed in one area of research while doing an undergraduate degree.
Dipping her toes into the research waters has paid off for Jyoti Goonawardena, the 2016/17 ANU Law Summer Research Scholar.
Jyoti’s six-week paid internship as a researcher for Associate Professor Amelia Simpson has led to ongoing paid work for the fourth-year undergraduate.
Jyoti, who is doing a double degree in Law and Science, first learned about the internship through her science courses but was more interested in researching within the field of law.
“You have to be really interested in the area of research so I approached Amelia about the scholarship because I had taken her Commonwealth Constitutional Law course,” she said.
“It was very spur-of the moment. The day I found out about the program I applied, and I currently couldn’t be happier with my decision; I’ve learned so much from both my research and from Amelia.”
The research has examined the way in which the concepts of equality and discrimination feature in constitutional systems around the world, to reveal how and why Australian law in this area is distinctive.
Jyoti said the six weeks had been a journey of learning how to approach the research and recognise the information she needed to collect.
“I now really enjoy the research because I understand the wider context of my task. That has allowed me to focus my attention towards the most important resources and be able to confidently ignore anything irrelevant.”
“I think also it’s changed my perspective on research. As with most people at this stage of my degree I hadn’t really had much contact with it.
“I would recommend it because there aren’t many excuses for becoming immersed in one area of research while doing an undergraduate degree.”
Jyoti also said the experience opened her eyes to the motivation academics have for finding answers.
“Before this research, I probably would have assumed that any questions I had about the law had already been answered, and that I wasn’t searching hard enough for the answer,” she said.
“Now I’m more comfortable with the idea that there are gaps in any field, and in my own ability to identify those gaps.”
Jyoti’s research work has been invaluable in helping me to plan my own research agenda for the next few years,” Amelia said.
“I’m pleased that she can continue working with me as my research assistant in 2017.”