Name: Dr Jana Phan
IMNIS Program: 2016 IMNIS Engage Pilot Program
Background and Journey:
Jana studied a PhD in plant genetics from The University of Adelaide. Following graduation, she worked as a Science Policy Analyst at the Australian Academy of Science.
During her time at the Australian Academy of Science she worked on synthesising, analysing and developing evidence-informed policy. A career highlight was her involvement in the Rapid Research Information Forum of Australia’s Chief Scientists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April 2021, Jana joined CropLife as Director of Stewardship and Sustainability Policy. Jana drives CropLife’s Stewardship and Sustainability policy initiatives, bringing her experience in agricultural science and providing strategic policy advice, developing programs and managing a wide variety of stewardship initiatives regarding the responsible and sustainable use of the products of the plant science industry.
The biggest impact IMNIS had on Jana was the reinforcement that there are multiple, diverse career paths outside of academia.
“People tell you this, but I don’t think I really understood how this would be possible for me until I could grasp how my skills were valuable and could be transferred into other careers. IMNIS gave me exposure to the ‘outside world’ “.
Participating in programs such as IMNIS Engage boosted her confidence in engaging with the non-academic world, whether it be knowing how to promote herself as a capable and competent person or learning how to better communicate with different audiences.
As a PhD student, Jana often thought of “communication skills” as doing a presentation, but it’s so much more than that – knowing how to negotiate, build and maintain relationships, even helping someone else to better articulate ideas. Programs like IMNIS gave her a safe space to practice and learn these skills.