Higher Degree Research Office Newsletter
Macquarie University
HDR Support & Development
Fostering critical, reflexive practice in research training
Celebrating Research
Message from the Dean, HDR - Prof. Nick Mansfield

Caught up in the practicalities and pressures of research, we lose sight sometimes of what it's all for. Research is serious: it has a bigger impact on how our societies operate and how we live than any other single thing. Even when it doesn't seem to have direct impact, its influence on other researchers can open new pathways and make new paradigms possible. Yet, we can forget that we mostly get into research because we love it. It's a passion. It's important not to overlook the satisfaction, excitement and pure joy research can bring, sometimes in its major breakthroughs and significant outcomes but also in the new insights and learnings that mark out every day.

So, always take the time to step back and remember the passion that inspires you, and to celebrate what you have achieved and the contribution you are making!

HDR Mentors Pot Luck: Celebrate success with your research community

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HDR Mentors are excited to announce our fourth annual ‘Pot Luck Dinner’!

You, and your family are warmly invited to join us at this upcoming event. Our ‘Pot Luck Dinner’ is an opportunity to share culture and food, and to get to know each other better. As research students, we can often feel isolated and exhausted on our research journeys. What better way to combat this, than to join a community of fellow HDR candidates over dinner?

Date: Friday, 9th November 2018
Location: Graduation Hall located in E7B/14 Sir Christopher Ondaatje Ave (ground floor)
Time: 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm
RSVP: By November 6 

What do you need to bring?
Compulsory: One item of food enough for 4-5 people (Please bring your own plate and cutlery to serve your food and eat with)
Non-compulsory, but highly appreciated: come with your traditional dress, or bring something that represents your culture to share with us

Link to RSVP
For additional information email:  [email protected]
Celebrating a Fantastic Achievement at the 2018 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) Asia Pacific Finals

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Selene Petit (Faculty of Human Sciences) at the 2018 3MT Asia Pacific Finals

The 3 Minutes Thesis Competition is definitely one of a kind! After coming third place in Macquarie in 2017, I had two choices for 2018: leave the space to others, or compete again and aim for the top! Fortunately, a bit of healthy competition has always pushed me to improve, and I do best under a little pressure…

So I worked hard for a year, wrote a new and improved 3 minutes’ presentation, trying to include all the passion that I have for my project, and I went back in this crazy competition. To my surprise, people seemed moved by my story, which couldn’t feel more rewarding: in 3 minutes, I managed to show people how much I care, and how important this project is. I felt really proud to come runner-up in the Asia-Pacific finals in 2018: not only for me, but for my supervisors, my department, my University.

This success reflects the work of a fantastically supportive and motivating team, and I’m thrilled to bring my little victory back to Macquarie, and to continue my work more motivated than ever.

Selene Petit

PhD Candidate
Department of Cognitive Science

Celebrating HDR Awards

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Vanessa PirottaMacquarie University Marine Predator Research Group with her Fame Lab award

Throughout their candidature a number of HDR candidates win awards and we would like to acknowledge and celebrate some of these achievements. We imagine that there are many others who have won awards or gained recognition for their research and we would love to help to shine the light on other worthy recipients so please let us know of others and we can include them in the next edition of the HDR Support & Development newsletter.

Marco Cadoli Distinguished Student Paper Prize: Congratulations to Jandson Santos Ribeiro (PhD Computing)  Awarded the Marco Cadoli Distinguished Student Paper Prize - research paper to be presented at the 16th International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR) in Tempe, Arizona, USA. Computing news

Golden Key Society:  Congratulations to Huong Ly Tong (MRes 2 from AIHI) - Golden Key Society grant $300 

Sydney VITAL Translational Cancer Research Centre Research: Congratulations to John Park (PhD Biomedical Sciences) - awarded $10000 Sydney VITAL Translational Cancer Research Centre Research Scholar award and ... Congratulations to Jenny Lee (PhD Biomedical Sciences) - awarded the $1500 Sydney VITAL TCRC Travel Scholarship. Sydney VITAL

BUCLD:  Congratulations to Ping Tang  (PhD Child Language Lab) - received "Diversity Enhancement Award" assistance to attend the Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD). The amount of award is USD $600. Also received SLD Student Award" funded by the Society for Language Development of US, assistance to attend the SLD Symposium, for graduate students, presenting papers or posters at BUCLD. The amount of award is USD $150.

Fame Lab:  Congratulations to Vanessa Pirotta (PhD Biological Sciences) Winner of Fame Lab 2018 British Council Fame Lab Australia

Celebrate your MRes Submission!

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A big congratulations to the cohort submitting their MRes theses!

Maybe you thought it would never happen, or that you'd never find an answer to some of the questions (intellectual and practical) your research hit you with. Research is HARD, and to have made it to this point is a huge personal achievement that you should celebrate. Hopefully, you've got a taste for the passion, challenge and excitement of research. Whether you choose to pursue that further in a PhD now or to go out into the workplace, you have shown you have great skills, both in a specific research field but also in how to identify an issue, address it and communicate what you've found. Some of you will want to go straight on to a bigger project; others will choose to take a bit of time away from the lab or library. But don't forget, for those who attain the required score (the great majority), the PhD can take you on an even more challenging and rewarding journey!

Celebrating Recent PhD Submissions
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Shujuan Xiao on graduation day

Shujuan Xiao

What helped me go through the challenges during my PhD candidature is by talking to others to 'think outside the box'. I was inspired by other PhD students’ approaches to writing up theses. Adapting those approaches, I wrote my first paper and presented it in a prestigious conference.
All my hard work and dedication while studying with Macquarie University paid off. I was luckily, offered a post-doc position in the University of Hong Kong. I cannot wait to embark on my next journey and enhance my research to the next level.
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Benat Oliviera Bravo with his supporters on submission day!

Benat Oliviera Bravo

When I decided to undertake my PhD, I never imagined that I would suffer from mental health problems. I was wrong. I thought that hard-work would take me all the way to success. And it did. It took me all the way to recovery - which has been my greatest success.

Hard-work means listening to friends, family and supervisor. I learnt to look after myself and I managed to recover my passion for Science. This is how I can now continue doing what I like the most: contribute to a better understanding of our Planet Earth.
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Jo Anne Rey with the map of her PhD thesis

Jo Anne Rey

Particularly memorable in my PhD journey is receiving and transmitting knowledge through Aboriginal techniques of possum skin burning. Such customary knowledges are transmitted as part of personal identity recording from childbirth to death. This possum-practice continues across 65 millennia. Mine involved burning the map of my PhD. thesis onto four possum pelts sewn together forming a shoulder wrap. This involved selecting the pelts, sewing them together, planning the map, and then burning the map onto the leather of the pelts. Like Goanna, walking between Academic and Aboriginal pedagogies leaves a trailing tail-tale of insights and blessings.
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Rebecca Gelding -  PhD submission smile

Rebecca Gelding

I set out to understand what is going on in the brain when people imagine music, but what I learnt through my PhD was so much more than just music cognition. I discovered that I love communicating science and connecting with other researchers; and twitter (I’m @rebeccagelding) is a fantastic tool to do both of these things. I also learnt that regular lunch / coffee catch-ups with real-life colleagues is crucial to my productivity. My advice for current HDRs: reflect on the parts of your PhD that you have enjoyed the most recently, and think of how you can be intentional about doing more of those things

Future STEMM Leaders program

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Jandson Santos Ribeiro Santos, Faculty of Science and Engineering during the PhD in Play-Doh workshop facilitated by Sally Purcell, HDR Professional Skills Program

This workshop was the final one in the Future STEMM Leaders program and I was keen to encourage the group to think differently and, perhaps, move beyond their comfort zone. I spent time looking for different ways to visualise research and was inspired by Amy Cesal https://depictdatastudio.com/daydohviz/ - we provided this link, along with others, to help in the development of stories and to consider Play-Doh might be used to communicate research.

I gave some brief instructions on the PhD in Play-Doh activity and after a slow start, where there was some uncertainty about how to proceed (I felt a moment of terror that it wasn’t going to work!) the group became absorbed in the task and it seemed that we may not be able to stop them. Creative solutions often arise when there are limitations and constraints. By using Play-Doh, the PhD candidates – often perfectionists – had to think about how to clearly illustrate their research using a basic modelling compound, knowing that they then needed to present their research via the Play-Doh to their peers – who were pretending to be a Year 9 class. Once we called time on the construction phase, each person took a turn at presenting their PhD research, using the Play-Doh model to illustrate the main concepts. As the audience, we were treated to a range of interesting and engaging presentations which clearly outlined the research being done.

I really liked this exercise. It made me think in how to express my main topic of research in a very simple, but clear way; mainly for people that are not expert on my research area. In playing with the play-doh I had to think on main concepts I could use to explain my research, and at the same time in something reachable and understandable to the audience (as a robot, and the clock for the concept of time). In my research, I'm exploring the use of temporal logic as the background logic for belief revision and examine what modifications in the mechanisms involved need to be carried out.  Jandson Santos Ribeiro Santos
Research Partnerships - Making connections as an HDR candidate

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PhD candidate, Belinda Fabian with Victor Chin, Thales Australia and MQ Research Partnerships Managers, Jenny-Lee (J-L) Heylen, Research Partnerships Manager Arts, Business & Economics & Mark Berlage, Research Partnerships Manager Science & Engineering.
Also present was Lisa Elliott, Research Partnerships Manager, Human Sciences

The MQ Research Partnerships team gave generously of their time in September to present to HDR candidates on HDR & Research Partnerships – Build your Research Networks Now. The Research Partnerships team encouraged the HDR candidates to start developing relationships with potential partners during the period of their candidature and assess partnership opportunities with private sector, government and other external organisations. Some tips included; build networks through conferences and other events, work with supervisor to plan approaches to organisations and identify who to target. Other suggestions were to explore organisations via LinkedIn and databases such as IBISWorld held by the MQ Library and to consider internships and other projects. Partner funded research

Victor Chin, Regional Security Manager – NSW & ACT, Thales Australia spoke to the group in the later part of the session and said that networking was absolutely key for research partnerships. Victor suggested that it is crucial to; find the right person who either makes decisions or who will provide referrals to decision makers, when making contact to adjust the ‘pitch’ to suit the audience and to use BLUF – Bottom Line Up Front. In an email, make the point in the first sentence and in person or over the ‘phone, in the first 10 seconds.
HDR Mentors: Submit your thesis with confidence

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HDR Mentors successfully organised the PhD panel forum “Submit Your PhD Thesis With Confidence" on 19th October 2018.

It was a very interactive forum where the participants had the direct opportunity to ask questions to the panel members. Questions includied thesis preparation, time and stress management, life after PhD and setting up expectations with your supervisor. The discussion forum was chaired by Nazia Adeel (FBE), and the panel members were Mo Haque (FSE), Samiya Tabassum (FSE), Uchechukwu Ngwaba (Arts) and Oluwatoosin Agbaje (FSE). Following the panel, there was a networking session where the participants had the opportunity to meet their peer mentors and ask one-to-one questions.

An auditorium full of participants again proved that peer support in Higher Degree Research can play a significant role in normalising the experience of a PhD candidate.
HDR Supervision Enhancement - new category for Master of Research Supervisors

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NEW HDR Supervisor Category: Research Masters Supervisor
We are pleased to announce the Research Masters Supervisor category - The previous HDR Supervision Policy was written before the introduction of the MRes. This meant that a policy vacuum existed in relationship to the MRes.

Candidates enrolled in an MRes are now supervised by a Research Masters Supervisor. The Research Masters Supervisor:
• Must be a Macquarie University staff member
• Must have met mandatory training requirements for HDR Supervision
• Must be research active according to the Macquarie University definition
• Holds a qualification at or above Master of Research or equivalent
• Is employed on a minimum of a 12-month contract for the duration of the appointment, or where the candidate is part-time, is appointed on the discretion of Faculty that the person can provide ‘continuity of supervision’.

For more information read our blog.
Important Notices

Congratulations to our 3MT Competitors

Correction to October Newsletter
We apologise to Peiyao Li, Faculty of Science & Engineering for incorrectly listing her faculty in the previous newsletter - we have corrected the error below

Congratulations to our 13 competitors in the 2018 Macquarie University Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Finals, held Monday September 17. We are deeply appreciative and impressed by the powerful, engaging and polished three minute synopses of your research. 

Our winners on the day included:

1st Place: Selene Petit, Faculty of Human Sciences

Runner Up: Lara McGirr, Faculty of Arts

3rd Place: Julien Millasseau, Faculty of Human Sciences, and Peiyao Li, Faculty of Science & Engineering

People's Choice: Peiyao Li, Faculty of Science & Engineering


The Macquarie University Higher Degree Research Supervision Fellowship: NEW Specialisation – Supervision in the Digital Age

The Macquarie University Higher Degree Research Supervision Fellowship: NEW Specialisation – Supervision in the Digital Age
As part of our commitment to ‘support the candidate to develop digital literacies as part of their research training for real-world engagement’ from mid – February 2019, we will be offering opportunities – Associate Fellow (Training pathway) only – to be recognised as a specialist HDR Supervisor in the Digital Age.

If you would like to learn more, please email:  [email protected]

Have your say! Higher Degree Research Students Annual Survey 2018

Past research student feedback has resulted in greater transparency in research student funding allocations; more targeted support for research candidates and greater clarity in the roles and expectations of supervisors, among other things.

Feedback on your research experiences this year is important to us. So, have your say! The survey should take no more than 15 minutes.

The survey has been sent to all HDR candidates. Please check your mailbox to participate in it.

Summer HDR Writing Retreat now taking registrations!

Feeling guilty for neglecting your thesis writing this year? All is not lost! Knuckle down at the Summer HDR Writing Retreat and shift a chapter or two before Christmas!

Registrations are now open for this 3-day HDR Writing Retreat taking place on campus on 4-6 December. The retreat is ideal for HDR candidates in Year 2 or above who have collected and analysed their data and now need some undisturbed time to draft or revise a thesis chapter or paper for publication. The retreat includes facilitated writing-focused activities, workshops, access to 1:1 consultations with HDR Learning Advisors, and lots of time to WRITE!

There are two steps to join: (1) fill in a registration form on myRDC; (2) submit a ½-page Expression of Interest to HDR Learning Skills, detailing what you’ll be writing during the retreat.

Part-time candidates are particularly encouraged to register.

Enquiries: Juliet Lum (Head, HDR Learning Skills)

HDR Statistical Consultancy Service

Just a reminder that you can access advice on all things statistic from the HDR Statistical Consultancy Service!

Associate Professor Peter Petocz from Macquarie’s Department of Statistics is happy to have a look at your data and analyses and to discuss with you what the numbers seem to be saying. You’re also welcome to bring your supervisor along to the consultation!

The HDR Statistical Consulting Service is available on Wednesdays 10am - 1pm in Room 609, 12 Wally’s Walk. Bookings are preferred (email Peter), or you can just turn up and wait to be seen.

Email  A/Prof Peter Petocz or call him on Wednesdays on 9850 9174.
PWA Sessions 

Peer Writing Assistant sessions will be running until mid-November. Make the most of the opportunity to discuss your academic writing with a trained PWA and book in for a session time directly, clicking on the session time next to the date that you would like to attend.  

November Sessions
Thursday 1 November 12:00pm or 12:30pm

Tuesday 13 November 12:00pm or 12:30pm

Thursday 15 November 12:00pm or 12:30pm

HDR:Behind the Scenes
Florence Chiew - HDR Learning Advisor (Human Sciences)

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Florence is part of the HDR Support & Development team and is located in the Faculty of Human Sciences 

What do you like most about your role at MQ?
The thing I enjoy most about my role as HDR Learning Advisor is that it puts me in conversation with staff and candidates from across a range of different disciplines. I love that I am able to hear about the breadth and diversity of research projects at MQ. I am usually inspired by how much I don't know! I spend a lot of my time mentoring candidates in developing a sustainable research and writing practice. It's wonderful to be part of a candidate's process of learning how to experiment with different work habits and writing strategies.

Before working at MQ, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?
Do casual jobs count? I sold ice-cream in a gelato shop. It was the best!

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
Accidentally putting my keys in the fridge.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A dressmaker ... I still sew sometimes!

Find all HDR Workshops Here
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Preparing CVs/resumes and job applications
Tuesday 6 November 2018, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Creating effective CVs/resumes and job applications requires focus, preparation and time. This workshop will assist participants to develop an understanding of what is needed in a job application in order to make a positive impact. There will be a brief overview of practical aspects of CV/resume formats including layout, fonts, headings and language used.
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Commercialisation, IP & Innovation for HDRs
Tuesday 13 November 2018, 12:30pm-2:00pm

The session will cover:

Intellectual Property; what is it and why does it matter?; Macquarie University’s IP Policy; protecting your work; ownership and returns; publishing and patenting; the process of commercialisation at Macquarie University; Impact canvas; Start ups and spin outs; What to do if you have an idea

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Mindfulness Meditation Practice Group
Wednesday 14 November 2018, 2:00pm-3:00pm

Mindfulness meditation is a practice of focusing the mind on the present moment. Through careful observation of the breath and other felt sensations, it teaches us to be where we are and to meet ourselves with kindness and objectivity. This practice cultivates awareness and self-discipline, and helps to regulate our attention and emotions.

This event is for anyone interested in learning mindfulness meditation or practicing regularly with a group. These fortnightly sessions will offer instruction in meditation techniques, guided practice and time for questions.
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EndNote Workshop
Friday 16 November 2018, 10:00 - 11:00am
This workshop covers the basics of using EndNote and examines how it can facilitate your work by storing your references, attaching PDFs, and allowing you to cite and create bibliographies with ease. 
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Thesis Formatting (Mac)
Tuesday 27 November, 9:15am-4:00pm

Using a narrative model, this workshop aims to assist participants with identification of their strengths, interests, values and skills in relation to the position for which they will be interviewed.

Register here

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Wellbeing: Resilience & Motivation
Thursday 29 November, 9:30am-12:00pm

Resilience - Explore your own resources of resilience, looking at your strengths and skills

Motivation - Understand your own motivational patterns and explore your core values
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Social Media for Researchers
Friday 30 November, 10:00am-12:00pm

You will leave the seminar with an understanding of the elements that need to be considered when using social media platforms. These practical steps will guide you in establishing a positive social media profile which can broaden your network and enhance your employability. 

Register here

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Wellbeing: Communication & Managing Upwards 
Wednesday 5 December, 9:30am-12:00pm

Communication - Identify your own communication strengths and weaknesses more clearly and analyse communication styles that other people use.

Managing Upwards - Learn how to work towards developing healthy, positive relationships which provide mutual benefit.
HDR Dynamic Duos
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Vani Kakar

How did you come to know Jasmine?

I have known Jasmine since February 2016, when I approached her for potential supervision for my doctoral research. I had read some of Jasmine's high-quality research publications in the area of Social media use and Body Image Concerns, and wanted to work with her and Prof. Ron Rapee. I was fortunate to get an opportunity to pursue my Ph.D. at Macquarie. Since my enrolment in August 2017, Jasmine has been closely supervising me on my project along with Prof. Rapee. It has been an enriching experience working with Jasmine and also fun getting to know her as a person.

What do you appreciate most about each other?

Jasmine is an incredible supervisor. Her mentoring style is not only informed by her research expertise but also her very thoughtful and extremely supportive nature as a person. She encourages me to realistically plan and achieve my goals. Jasmine has set a great example of being a terrific academic and maintain work-life balance, which I greatly admire. My interactions with her are very pleasant and intellectually stimulating. Jasmine offers me with numerous opportunities to advance my research and academic skill-set. Her vote of confidence in my work, is very motivating and reinforces my choice of a career in academia.

What are your shared interests?

Jasmine is an incredible supervisor. Her mentoring style is not only informed by her research expertise but also her very thoughtful and extremely supportive nature as a person. She encourages me to realistically plan and achieve my goals. Jasmine has set a great example of being a terrific academic and maintain work-life balance, which I greatly admire. My interactions with her are very pleasant and intellectually stimulating. Jasmine offers me with numerous opportunities to advance my research and academic skill-set. Her vote of confidence in my work, is very motivating and reinforces my choice of a career in academia.

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Dr Jasmine Fardouly

How did you come to know Vani?

Vani emailed me because she was interested in doing her PhD at Macquarie University, looking at social media use and culture. She was very passionate about research and keen to study in Australia. Vani was successful in gaining an international scholarship and has been working on her PhD under the supervision of Professor Ron Rapee and I for the last year. Vani and I only had a brief Skype chat before we started working together. It has been lovely getting to know Vani and working closely with her on her exciting research project.

What do you appreciate most about her?

Vani is a very motivated person and she likes to ‘think big’ when it comes to her research. She is conducting a study with over 800 teenage girls in Australia, India, China, and Iran. This will produce some really exciting data and is a very ambitious project. Vani’s perseverance and positivity will help her establish a successful research career and makes her a great person to work with. She is willing to try anything and gives everything her all.

What are your shared interests? 

We are both interested in researching the impact of social media use on the mental health of young people. I completed my PhD a few years ago examining the impact of social media use on young women’s body image and Vani is building on that research in her PhD. Vani was very passionate about examining the impact of culture and I also think that is an important topic to examine in the context of girl’s body image. It is great working with someone who gets excited about the same research topics as I do.

Interested in being featured in HDR Dynamic Duo?

The HDR Support & Development team is seeking contributions to the HDR Dynamic Duos section of our newsletter. The people featured might be… HDR candidate & supervisor, HDR Mentor & HDR Mentee, HDR Candidate and Industry placement supervisor.

If this is of interest to you, please head to our website for further information on how to contribute.

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