The Education Trust and Scholarship Convenors are delighted to announce this year’s winner of the prestigious Tempe Mann Travelling Scholarship is Rhianne Scicluna.

Rhianne holds a Bachelor of Psychology (honours) from the University of Sydney, and she is currently enrolled as a PhD candidate in the faculty of Science, school of Psychology at the University of Sydney. Her thesis title is: Novel Therapeutics for Opioid Use Disorder. The goals of Rhianne’s research are to: further the understanding of the neurobiology of opioid addiction; identify potential novel treatments for opioid addiction; and to try and understand sex differences in opioid addiction and treatment efficacy.

To this end, she has secured time in the lab of pharmacologist A/Prof Erin Calipari at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. Her lab focuses on understanding how drug addiction dysregulates the way the brain encodes information. Rhianne hopes to acquire important and unique skills during her time at Vanderbilt, where she will learn techniques established in only a small number of laboratories in the world. 

Graduate Women NSW is pleased to support this kind of international research opportunity, which has become increasingly rare during the pandemic. Rhianne’s academic referee stated: ‘I have absolutely no doubt she will not only complete her thesis, but that she will produce a body of work of exceptional quality and importance to the field. As well as being highly technically competent, Rhianne has shown evidence of leadership, with the ability to mentor and supervise other students…she is one of the most focused and self-motivated young researchers I have come across and she has a bright future ahead of her.’

We congratulate Rhianne and look forward to the results of her research trip.

Once again it was a competitive field of applicants and we thank them all for their applications and wish them well with their research.

The Tempe Mann Travelling Scholarship was made possible by the bequest of Tempe Mann and the generosity of members.