Becoming Dr Mum

About the researchers


invited talks at conferences and workshops in Europe, the US, Australia, Canada, China and Japan and contributed to emerging practice in the new field of open source biotechnology in Australia, the US and Brazil. Her book, BioBazaar: The Open Source Revolution and Biotechnology, was published by Harvard University Press in 2008 and has won an international science writing prize. 

At the time of carrying out this study (2009), Janet was employed as a Research Fellow at ANU’s Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet). Her work on the study and this online report has been informed by her personal experience as a PhD student mother, as well as her professional experience as a graduate studies coordinator; research supervisor; graduate student representative on ANU’s Board of the Institute of Advanced Studies and Postgraduate Research Council; and former mediator and advocate at the University of Auckland. You can read a series of snapshots from Janet’s Dr Mum experience and an extract from her book launch speech here.

Interviewer and participant contact

Sue has an abiding interest in research on women’s everyday work/lives.  Her PhD thesis was based on a series of interviews with TAFE women teachers about their day-to-day experiences balancing work with other aspects of their lives.  Sue can also relate on a personal level to many of the issues raised by this study: both of her postgraduate degrees were completed externally, mostly while working full time and caring for her family.

name  Janet Hope

Role Primary investigator


job  Fellow/Senior Lecturer


The Australian National University

Dr Janet Hope received her PhD from ANU in July 2005.  She completed her thesis a few months after the birth of her first child, following a complicated pregnancy, while her kitchen was being renovated.  (Oops.)

From 2005 to 2008, Janet was an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow and first-named investigator on a Discovery Grant held with colleagues from ANU and University of Tasmania.  During this time she presented

name  Susan Rimmer

Role Interviewer, participant contact

QUALIFICATIONS  Mum, PhD in Education

job  Independent researcher

Research interests

Gender and work/life issues in education

Dr Susan Rimmer is a teacher and tertiary educator with over 25 years’ experience, working mostly with adult students in the ACT TAFE system.  She received her PhD from the University of South Australia in 2002, having returned to formal education after a 30 year gap to complete her Masters, also in Education, in 1996.

Sue is now an independent researcher and was employed by the ANU specifically to conduct this research. By having Sue deal directly with participants and carry out analysis of individually identifiable data, we were able to mitigate any concerns about disclosing sensitive and/or personal information to an ANU staff member.