With the rollercoaster of 2020 and 2021 hopefully behind us, our postgraduate students have continued to excel in 2022. Our students have published over 24 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and have resumed presenting their research at international conferences, both online and physical, including the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Conference, the International Society for Contact Lens Research (ISCLR) Symposium, International Myopia Conference, the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) Conference, International Cornea and Contact Lens Congress, 48th Annual Tow Awards and International Cornea & Contact Lens Congress (ICCLC).

Thesis submissions and Awards

Our congratulations go to the following students who were awarded their PhD in 2022: Praveen Kumar Bandela, Gauri Shrestha, Peter Wagner, Ngozi Chidi-Egboka,  Zahra Tajbakhsh, Vincent Khou, Wilson Luu and Melinda Toomey.

We would also like to congratulate Sultan Alotaibi, Rajendra Gyawali, Madeeha Afzal and Nahida Akter who submitted their PhD theses in 2022.

Awards received 

Congratulations also go to a long list of postgraduate students who received various awards throughout the year: 

  • Barbara Hall Fellowship from Australian Graduate Women - Sukanya Jaiswal

  • Needs-based scholarship for International Association for Wildland Fire- Sukanya Jaiswal

  • Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia Dorothy Calborg Research Award - Samrat Sarkar, Azadeh Tavakoli

  • UNSW Development and Research Training Grant (DRTG) Scheme - Helen Nguyen, Rene Cheung, Eman Alzghoul

  • Top 10 abstract submissions for Australasian Road Safety Conference (ARSC) 2022 - Helen Nguyen

  • Best Poster Award - International Cornea & Contact Lens Congress (ICCLC) 2022 - Binod Rayamajhee

  • Joe and Janet Barr Early Career Cornea and Contact Lens Research Award - American Academy of Optometry - Binod Rayamajhee

  • President’s grant for conference attendance - Applied Microbiology International (AMI) - Binod Rayamajhee

  • Student Travel Grant - Australian Society for Parasitology (ASP) - Binod Rayamajhee

  • Australian Research Council (ARC) Postgraduate Council Outstanding Research Student Award - Binod Rayamajhee

  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Science Communication Training Fellowship (#SciCommTF) - Eman Alzghoul

  • International Association of Contact Lens Educator (IACLE) Fellowship - Eman Alzghoul

  • Covidence Global Scholarship 2022 - Eman Alzghoul

  • Covidence Ambassador 2022 - Eman Alzghoul

  • International Myopia Conference Travel Grant Award - Tim Fricke

  • International Student Travel Award -Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering - Sidra Sarwat

  • IMNIS International Mentorship Program - Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering - Sidra Sarwat

  • Best Presentation Award, UNSW, Sydney - Sidra Sarwat

  • Bert C & Lydia M Corwin Ezell Fellowship - Sidra Sarwat

  • International Society for Contact Lens Research (ISCLR) Student Travel Award - Sidra Sarwat

  • Fellow American Academy of Optometry - Geetha Sravani - Sidra Sarwat

Postgraduate Club

Postgraduate club continues to run weekly on Thursdays from 4pm to 5pm. A wide range of fantastic speakers and topics have been presented there this year including:


27 Jan

Coffee with an academic

Michele Madigan

3 Feb

Research Integrity

Amelia Kowalski

10 Feb

Teaching as a career path after PhD

Vinod Maseedupally

17 Feb

managing candidature requirements

Anne Barnes

24 Feb

Research organisation skills

Maria Markoulli

3 March

Optical strategies of myopia control

Pauline Kang

10 March

Library services for researchers

Marina Van Leeuwan

17 March

Using UNSW REDcap for survey research

Sheela Kumaran

24 March

Industry/Tech related career options for PhD graduates; Intelligence/ Defense related career options for PhD graduates.

Vanessa Bakhos, Katherine Pick, Sedryn Lim

31 March

Coffee with an academic

Lisa Keay

7 April

How to conduct a literature search

UNSW Library Academic Services (via Marina Van Leeuwan)

14 April

What is the difference between doing EBM and doing Research? 1) Studies on diagnostic tests.

Gordon Doig

21 April

Research and develop IP that people want

Minh Phan

28 April

Bland-Altman analysis

Eric Papas

5 May

Political optometry. Domestic and International

Keith Masnick

12 May

Systems thinking and modelling. Seeing and using the whole picture

Keith Masnick

19 May

The Entrepreneurial Academic’s Dilemma

Paul Gifford

2 June

PhDs in different disciplines – the similarities and the differences, and how we can learn from each other so that we can approach problems in a multi-disciplinary way

Joanne Anderton

Phil Anderton

Vidya - Engineering

9 June

What is the difference between doing EBM and doing Research? 2) Evaluations of new treatments

Gordon Doig

16 June

Copyright for HDRs – what you need to know

Anna Troiano

Emma McLean

23 June

Cultural competency

Kath Watt

7 July

Tips for getting published: the journey from first submission to acceptance

Angelica Ly

14 July

Career opportunities post-PhD

Carolien Kunnen

21 July


Gemma Milton

28 July

Giving back to the community

Vu Do


4 Aug

How to perform a peer review and get the most out of the process

Angelica Ly

25 Aug

Coffee with an Academic

Pauline Kang

1 Sep

Basic stats using SPSS

Thomas John Navidulath

15 Sep

Basic stats using SPSS

Thomas John Navidulath

22 Sep

Consumer and community involvement in research

Sheela Kumaran

29 Sep

Basic stats using SPSS

Thomas John Navidulath

6 Oct

Effective academic time management

Nathan Efron

13 Oct

Resumes/Selection Criteria

Katherine Pick, Vanessa Bakhos, Sedryn Lim

20 Oct

Careers beyond optometry

Athira Rohit

27 Oct

Career path vs career portfolio

Carolina Kunnen


Annual Postgraduate Conference

The 2022 annual postgraduate conference was held on 8-11 August 2022 via a virtual platform. 

30 students presented their research findings across a range of topics including public health, myopia and glaucoma studies, dry eye disease, systemic disease and the eye, and a total of 40 were interviewed as part of the review process. 

The reviews are always a great opportunity to find out the array of research currently being undertaken by research students at SOVS. Many thanks to the following members of the SOVS community who served as panellists: Maria Markoulli (also panel chair), Eric Papas, Ajay Vijay, Judith Flanagan, Simin Masoudi, Juno Kim, Sieu Khuu, Vinod Maseedupally and David Pye.

Congratulations to Sidra Sarwat for her “Best presentation” award and Tim Fricke who was runner-up.

New Postgraduate Research Representatives

This year we thanked Sue Kweon, Fatima Iqbal, Daniel Rafla and Geetha Nakka for their service as postgraduate representatives and welcomed (clockwise from top left) Eman Alzghoul, Binod Rayamajhee, Natalie Eshow and Zeeshan Akhtar as the incoming representatives. 


The MPhil is a 1.5-year degree that incorporates coursework and a research project. The completion of an MPhil equates to honours equivalency. You can learn the Mphil here: https://www.optometry.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/documents/conditionsMPhilpolicy.pdf

PhD Opportunities

Are you interested in undertaking postgraduate research? Our school offers a structured postgraduate program consisting of in-house research seminars, developing students methodological, statistical and research skills, and access to internationally recognised researchers, who provide their expertise, knowledge, advice, and guidance. Learn more about our postgraduate program.

Dr Jerome Ozkan

Postgraduate Research Coordinator