Higher Degree Research Office Newsletter
Macquarie University
HDR Support & Development
Fostering critical, reflexive practice in research training
Welcome From The Dean, HDR
Thriving at Macquarie & Beyond

HDR candidates are the backbone of university research. We aim to provide you with a supportive environment in which you have the skills to design and complete your projects, communicate outcomes effectively and develop professionally. Ahead of you is a rich range of possible careers, where the talents and knowledge you have developed through HDR candidature will equip you for work that is hugely personally rewarding and that will also contribute real benefits to humanity. The HDR Support and Development team is focused on giving you the skills and confidence to thrive at Macquarie and beyond.

Professor Nick Mansfield, Dean, HDR

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HDR Support & Development - An Introduction
Who we are

Our programs are designed to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to conduct your research, communicate your insights to broad audiences, and develop sustainable, transferable skills that are attractive to employers across all sectors of society. We offer over 200 workshops, courses and seminars per year, both face to face and online, as well as creating opportunities to engage with other HDR candidates and employer representatives, to ensure your best experience and opportunities.

Our team consists of four programs that complement and build upon each other. These programs actively collaborate with Macquarie’s research community, faculties as well as industry partners to create meaningful and exciting opportunities for your research journey.

HDR Learning Skills

HDR Professional Skills

HDR Mentors

Supervision Enhancement Program

Presenting: HDR Mentors 

HDR Mentors Logo.jpg

The HDR Mentors Program is a vibrant and diverse family consisting of HDR candidates across all disciplines and candidature. HDR Mentors aim to tackle the sense of isolation which research candidates often experience and create engagement within a sustainable HDR peer support system. The HDR Mentors also addresses topics or issues that are relevant and current to research candidates. Please feel free to visit our website, check out our Facebook or email us to know more.

HDR Mentors Group Photo.jpgHDR Mentors Collage.jpg

Highlighting HDR Supervision Enhancement

Professional Learning Opportunities - HDR Supervison 

Come along to find out what’s happening (engage, discuss, debate and learn) at MQ including:

  • **New developments at MQ in HDR Supervision policy and procedure**
  • Research Training in the Digital Age: using 'Slack' and 'Padlet' as online/productivity collaboration tools
  • Year 2 in the MRes
  • Candidature Management Planning

Register here

Additional upcoming resources 

Learn more about the exciting opportunities available at MQ to get recognised for your HDR supervisory practice:

We are offering the following workshops and seminars so you can engage, shape the debate, be informed and get that competitive to help with your promotion or next career step (places are filling up fast so register early!):

Important notices
Workshop attendance and cancellations

The HDR Support & Development team work hard to develop relevant workshops to enhance your skills as an HDR candidate. Often there are limited spaces available because of room booking restrictions or the facilities required for technical training e.g. computer labs. To ensure the technical  training provided is of the highest standard, we engage external facilitators when budget allows and this often means that there limited spaces and limited sessions. A failure to attend a workshop for which you have registered means that another HDR candidate may miss out on valuable training. Please consider your peers and provide as much notice as possible when you are no longer able to attend a workshop.

HDR Mentors Present: Peer Writing Assistants 2018


After a successful pilot program in 2017, the Peer Writing Assistant (PWA) program is back! This program is designed to support MRES and HDR candidates in managing thesis writing and research-related concerns. All peer writing assistants have undergone training for their role and are current PhD candidates at Macquarie.

The PWA program is based on the principle of collaborative learning in which a more experienced research student helps you develop stronger academic and research skills. Peer Writing Assistants are not your teachers. Rather, they are trained to function as a ‘friendly audience’ or ‘fresh pair of eyes’ to help you gain new perspective on your writing or research ideas.

Registrations are now open for individual consultation bookings. If you are interested, please go to our HDR workshops site to book in for a 30 minute session with a PWA. To see all available slots and venues, please select "Learning Skills" or "HDR Mentors" in the drop down menu at the top of the registration page and go to the workshop offerings under March and April. Additional dates will be added in due course.
HDR Brains Trust Series


The Brains Trust series is focused on bringing to light the wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise within the HDR cohort. It seems logical to provide opportunities for current HDR candidates to share expertise, gained through their work, life and study experiences, with their fellow students.

'Brains Trust’, as a term, was first recorded in 1910 and ... put simply, refers to a group of knowledgeable people who share their expertise about particular topics or issues with others - acting as consultants or vital advisers.

Samuil Hossain is a current PhD candidate in Human Sciences and is the first PhD to offer to run a workshop for his peers in the HDR Professional Skills Program. Samuil’s workshop will focus on managing procrastination and will provide practical tips and suggest some useful tools to help to manage projects successfully.

As Samuil says … ‘This workshop will not aim to eradicate procrastination. Rather it will focus on how to live with it and still thrive’

This is the first of (hopefully) many sessions run under the 'Brains trust’ series banner. If you are interested in running a workshop for your peers as part of the HDR Brains Trust series please send an email to [email protected]
HDR Workshops 

All workshops on offer by HDR Support & Development can be accessed via the HDR Workshops Booking System. On this Workshop Booking System, you will also be able to book in for certain Library, REP or other workshops relevant to HDR Candidates. Please check regularly to see what has been added! 

HDR Learning Skills
PACE for Research: Information Session

Tuesday 15 May, 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Have you just started the BPhil/MRes program?

Want to engage in research in the field and have it credited to year 1 of your MRes? Interested in learning how to plan and manage a research project under expert supervision and guidance? Keen to work with practicing researchers in your field but have no idea how to find or connect with them? Need some ideas for your MRes Year 2 or PhD project? If so, then the PACE for Research unit, MRES701, may be ideal for you!
Register here

Parenting Through a PhD

Tuesday 15 May, 10:00am - 12:00pm. Register here

Thesis Formatting (Mac)

Friday 18 May, 9:15am - 4:00pm. Register here

Thesis Formatting (PC)

Tuesday 29 May, 9:15am - 4:00pm. Register here

HDR Professional Skills
Social Media for Researchers (HDR)

Monday 14 May, 10:00am - 11:30am

We are delighted that Professor Catherine Lumby will introduce the workshop and talk about her experience with social media. Catharine is an established author, and writes a regular column for The Guardian. A longstanding social commentator on radio and television, Catharine delivers talks and workshops to schools for educators, parents and young people on social media, ethics and respectful relationships. Register here

Wellbeing: Resilience and Motivation

Friday 18 May, 10:00am - 12:00pm. Register here.

Database Search for Industry Collaboration & Employment

Monday 21 May, 10:00am - 12:00pm. Register  here.

'Brainstrust' Series - Dr Shillshally: How I learned to stop worrying and love the research

Tuesday 22 May, 10:00am - 12:00pm. Register  here.

Wellbeing: Communication and Managing Upwards ZOOM session

Friday 25 May, 10:00am - 11:00am. Register here.

HDR Panorama
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EmployABILITY self-assessment tool

The first step in the student starter kit is to assess your employability using

the employABILITY self-assessment tool.

This generates a personalised
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HDR Blogs
There are numerous blogs that focus on the HDR experience.
As a start, we suggest that you have a look at...

Thesis Whisperer (Inger Mewburn)

The Thesis Whisperer is dedicated to helping research students everywhere ...

Edited by Dr Inger Mewburn, director of research training at The Australian National University. 

Interested in the experiences of other PhD candidates? Numerous blogs can be found here

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