Higher Degree Research Office Newsletter
Macquarie University
HDR Support & Development
Fostering critical, reflexive practice in research training
Your Research Counts and So Do You!
Message from the Dean, HDR - Prof. Nick Mansfield

Your research really counts: not much happens in the world-government programs, medical treatments, economic plans, educational techniques, engineering breakthroughs-that's not been impacted by university research. Your research really matters: it mightn't always feel like it, but what you do as HDR candidates feeds a global network of thinking, innovation and human progress. In this issue we highlight ways in which Macquarie candidates are taking their research to the world: in ways that are caring and supportive, educational and also entertaining! And it's about more than the research... HDR graduates offer the world judgement and skills that make them the "go-to" people in their workplaces for advice on research, data and strategy. 

The message is:
Don't ever underestimate the value, or potential impact, of what you do!
Tell the World ... Your Research Counts at
the 3 Minute Thesis Competition

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2017 3MT - Professor Nick Mansfield, Alessandra Teunisse, Selene Petit, Jenny Lee, Rifaie Tammas, Professor Sakkie Pretorius and Associate Professor Merilyn Childs.

Yes, it’s that time of year again: it’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition time!

3MT is not only a brilliant way for you to hone your research communication skills; it’s also the perfect opportunity to show a broad audience that YOUR RESEARCH COUNTS!

You never know who’s in the audience: future research collaborators, talent scouts, funding bodies, philanthropists, media reps, potential study participants, and practitioners with fresh insights on your topic. These are people you want to be thinking and talking about your research! It’s not too late to sign up, but don’t leave it too long! Contact your Faculty HDR office or HDR Learning Skills today for info on your department/faculty heats and 3MT training resources and opportunities.

MRes candidates: do come and support your PhD colleagues at your faculty heats and the University final. Event details on the MQ 3MT webpage.
Dean's Welcome: Your research counts ... right from the start! We salute you!

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Prof Nick Mansfield Dean, HDR & some of his team ... Catherine Ennis, Sally Purcell, Rhianne Hoffman & Kim Tan

In every journey, it always helps when one sets sail with the right support crew.

As Rhianne and I began organising the first Dean’s Welcome event, a lot of ideas and aspirations were put forward to the organising committee. We wanted it to be warm and welcoming, we wanted it to be inclusive, informative and engaging and we really hoped that we could create an opportunity for the new research candidates to begin to build a network, not only amongst themselves, but also with faculties, support and development staff and to have an opportunity to meet the Dean, HDR. At some points along the way, we thought that we may have over-committed ourselves. We pushed through because we knew that we had great intentions and we needed to give this a try, or to use Aussie slang,  to give it a 'red-hot go!'

We are very grateful to the 110 new research and research pathway candidates for taking part so enthusiastically and a big thank you to the representatives from faculties, library, HDR Mentors, Ethics, Wellbeing, HDRO and our own HDR Support and Development team who all turned up and contributed so much to the success of this event. We are happy to report that we nearly took the house down with the sound level that we generated, even while we all munched on the delicious lunch.

The Macquarie University HDR support crew received many thanks from the new candidates – telling us all that they had a wonderful first experience of joining the Macquarie University’s research community. Our very best wishes to the new candidates for a smooth and enjoyable research voyage.

Kim Tan, Program Manager to the Dean, HDR

Presenting ... HDR candidates & their research
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Samiya Tabassum

Samiya is currently enrolled in a PhD at Macquarie.

I remember first becoming interested in invasive species as an undergraduate student after completing an assignment on invasive camels in Australia and realising just how problematic they are. Since then I have been trying to learn as much about invasive species as I can.
My research aims to understand how invasive species undergo rapid range expansion when introduced into new environments. Towards the end of my PhD, I realised that my research can also help to understand how native species will shift ranges in response to climate change and even how cancer cells can spread throughout the body.
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Luciane Lauffer 

Luciane graduated from the Master of Research in 2017 and is currently enrolled in a PhD at Macquarie.

I started to informally research when I became actively involved in football in 2013. Being a female in a male-dominated environment made me question why there were still few women involved, especially at the managing levels. Coaches, club administrators, team managers remain largely male in the women’s game. For my MRes, I decided to examine the history of women’s football in my native country, Brazil, and found a resisting patriarchal dominance that hinders the game. In my PhD I have chosen to focus on re-covering the history of the Matildas to present a more successful model of women’s football and sports management.     

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Vanessa Pirotta

Vanessa has recently submitted her PhD at Macquarie and was the winner of Fame Lab 2018.

I have always had an interest in wildlife. It was my passion and interest in cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) which saw me pursue a marine based career path. 
My studies have always been conservation based. In my masters I worked on trying to prevent whale entanglement in fishing gear and my PhD expanded on this conservation theme. It was my whale snot research developed in my PhD which led me to the realisation that my research was of great significance. It was seen by others around the world and has resulted on some wonderful collaborations and has taken me to Madagascar post PhD.

Winning the faculty 3MT and the famelab national and international runner up awards was a true honour. It has been a truly amazing experience. It also led me to discover something I am passionate about, which is a science communication. This allowed me to develop my skills meet people from around the world! Fame Lab - Vanessa Pirotta

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Michael Rampe

Michael is currently on a LOA from his PhD at Macquarie whilst he focusses on the commercialisation of Pedestal.

As both a staff member (Senior Learning Designer) and student (PhD candidate) at Macquarie, my specialty is in educational media. I decided to research modern online education pedagogies with the aim of developing a new learning platform, resulting in Pedestal 3D. Our small team, initially developed Pedestal at Macquarie to solve the pedagogical needs of academics in Archaeology who needed to enrich the experience of their online students and close the gap with on-campus pracs. In simple terms, Pedestal allows for 3D scan data to be used in online learning in browser anywhere without any special software. Since development, our team has taken advantage of the Macquarie Incubator and other innovation initiatives to license the invention and create a startup company to get Pedestal 3D to the masses.

Go to Pedestal

Research counts within Industry - MQ PhD students engage with industry and win!

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More than 100 people participated in the Department of Computing’s first hackathon in July. Run by the Big Data Society and Data Analytics Research Group the three-day event attracted staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students from Macquarie, and students from UNSW, UTS and USyd.
Participants were challenged to find ways to analyse the big data generated on social networks to save lives, including proactively detecting patterns of suicidal thoughts or cyberbullying.

We are particularly proud of two MQ PhD students Seyed Mohssen Ghafari and Shahpar Yakhchi, who won Challenge 2, winning $600! Seyed and Shahpar’s full story will be featured in our September newsletter.

Participants had a great opportunity to engage directly with academic and industry leaders who judged the competition and delivered talks and workshops on the hackathon topic over the three day event.

The Big Data Society is already planning their next hackathon, to be held in September. Further information will be released via their website in due course.
HDR Supervision Enhancement

Calling for registrations for the second cohort - HDR Supervision Fellowship Program: Associate Fellowship (Training Program)

The Office of the Dean HDR is pleased to announce registration and training details for the second 2018 cohort: HDR Supervision Fellowship Program: Associate Fellowship.

The program has been designed for early career professional staff,  ECRs* and newly appointed academic staff*(who have yet to supervise an HDR candidate to competition).

* Prerequisite: HDR30 - Orientation to HDR Supervision 2018

Further details regarding the program, registration and workshops can be found on our website: Workshops for the HDR Associate Fellowship

Important Dates:

Program: Now Open

Program: Closes 17 December 2018

Submission points for fellowship claim: 10th October and 17th December 2018

For further details or to arrange a one-to-one or group discussion, please email: [email protected]

Recent HDR Support & Development Workshops
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How to Prepare for Fellowship Post-PhD

A big thank you to Dr.Ross Hill & Courtney Bendall, Research Services.
Ross and Courtney work with all researcher cohorts across Macquarie and in 2017 agreed to give their valuable time to develop and deliver a workshop aimed specifically at PhD candidates.
The workshop was created to assist current PhD candidates to gain an understanding on what applicants will need to do to ensure that they are competitive.The workshop provided information and advice on how to apply for an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award and a NHMRC Investigator Grant. Scheme objectives, selection criteria, eligibility, application process and past success rates were covered.

The comments from the follow-up survey indicated that the workshops was interesting, informative and very helpful - providing a good overview of the requirements and processes for the grants. The attendance numbers were larger than expected so we may need a bigger room next year!
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Zoom session: Build your Network via LinkedIn

Emma Woolley took part in the Zoom session: Building your Network via LinkedIn on the 27th July.

"I am a part-time, external MRes student in the Department of Educational Studies at Macquarie University.  I live in Canberra, and while I do travel to Macquarie as needed, it can be expensive and time-consuming to do so.  It can also be a challenge to balance full-time work and raising a young family with being a HDR candidate.

It’s exciting that the HDR Support and Development team are now offering workshops over Zoom. From my workplace, I was able to participate in the workshop as if I was on-campus, and manage my competing priorities without compromising my own professional development.

It can be isolating being an off-campus student. Offering workshops over Zoom enables me to attend workshops I wouldn’t be able to otherwise, and makes being part of the HDR community possible for students like me."

Important Notices
HDR Mentors: MRes Year 2 Panel

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Getting closer to submission? Some of the following questions sound familiar? 

  • How do I deal with the pressure of finishing on time? 
  • Why am I so frustrated when everyone else seems to be doing fine?!
  • What does the examination process look like?
  • What could I do while I wait for my results?

The HDR Mentors are here to help!
We're holding our annual Year 2 MRes Panel discussion on Thesis Submission Challenges. This informal event gives you the opportunity to ask any burning questions, and to hear from former MRes students on how they survived the final months before thesis submission.

The panellists will share their personal experiences and challenges, offer guidance, and answer any questions you may have.
This peer-to-peer support panel will take place on 24th August from 2:15 - 4pm at 75TR Continuum Meeting Rm.

To register for this event, please RSVP here

Apply for an Opportunity to be Mentored by STEM Industry Leaders

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The Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) is an award-winning industry-led initiative of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. IMNIS connects motivated PhD students (mentees) in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with outstanding high level industry leaders (mentors) in a one year industry mentoring program.

The Office of the Dean, HDR in collaboration with the faculties will shortly be seeking expressions of interest for doctoral candidates, ideally in their second year of study, that would like to participate in the mentoring scheme this year.

IMNIS provides Australia’s future STEM leaders the opportunity to engage with industry, extend their professional network, strengthen their implicit skills and get advice from an influential industry mentor. Student mentees learn what it takes to succeed in any part of the STEM ecosystem, gain a better understanding of how industry works and learn about career opportunities in other professional sectors.
More information on the Expression of Interest process will be provided later this week by direct email to all PhD students. If you need any further information in the meantime, please email [email protected]
STEM Careers Forum

The STEM Careers Forum provides a great opportunity to network with industry professionals. A number of the speakers have PhDs.

career talks | Q&A | networking with refreshments

Mon 13th Aug Level 8 and Atrium 12 Wally's Walk (E7A)

The annual STEM careers forum presents a feast of warm networking opportunities featuring:

  • Speakers with STEM backgrounds
  • STEM career pathways
  • Stories, tips and opportunities to kick start your STEM careers

This event is ideal for UG, PG and HDR students who study with the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Register to receive your networking guide including the speaker list via:
Find all HDR Workshops Here
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Networking for Introverts & Extroverts
Friday 10 Aug 2018, 2.00-4.00pm

In this practical, interactive workshop you will get to experience networking in a safe environment and discover which approach works best for you. 

Which personality type is the best at networking: Introverts or Extroverts? The answer is that it depends on skill level.

Networking is a skill like any other, and can be learned. Networking is about creating positive and symbiotic relationships. Knowing yourself and your style can help you be your best self in professional and social networking settings.

Register here

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NVivo for PC - Level 2
Wednesday 15 Aug 2018, 9.15am-4.30pm

This is an advance course to develop further skills in coding and running enquiries using NVivo 11. It is assumed that you already know the basic functions of NVivo (e.g. project, coding, memo, queries) and that you have attended NVivo Level One (PC) or have a similar level of understanding. The course aims to give you practical NVivo skills that can be applied directly to your research project.
This course is suitable for those that are very familiar with concepts of qualitative data analysis (e.g. coding, memo etc.), have already created a project in NVivo, and have conducted first level coding and querying of the data. If you are not familiar with these steps, please enrol in the Introduction course first.

Register here

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Thursday 16 Aug 2018, 4.00-5.00pm
EndNote is the most commonly used software to help manage your references as you research and write.
EndNote assists you with:
  • Collecting and organising references to resources, such as journal articles, books, images and datasets
  • Adding citations to your documents.
  • Creating bibliographies that use standard citation styles, and
  • Organising and storing your readings for easy access including pdf copies of documents.
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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Build your Research Networks Now
Wednesday 12 Sept 2018, 12.30-2.00pm
The Research Partnerships team will run a second workshop for HDR candidates which builds upon the first session: Beyond Grants - An Introduction to Research Partnerships (recording can be found on the HDR Professional Skills iLearn ECHO block). In this (previous) workshop, Lisa Elliott and J-L Heylen from the Research Grants team, contrasted traditional research grants with partner funding, the latter being the expanding domain of government, private, industry and non-for-profit research activity. 

This second workshop will be a more interactive session will be run on Wednesday 8 August. We are working toward involving some of Macquarie University's research partners to provide participants with the opportunity to practice pitching research proposals.
HDR Dynamic Duos
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Livia Gerber

How did you come to know each other?

I met Kim four years ago during one of the very first HDR Mentors workshops. At the time, the MRes programme was only very new, and a small, dedicated group of students organised a series of workshops to support their MRes peers through the highs and lows of the research journey. Kim was instrumental in creating this peer-to-peer platform, and I remember how warm and welcoming she was.

What do you appreciate most about each other?

I appreciate Kim's positive attitude, and how she always finds ways to turn our ideas into a reality, no matter how 'outside the box' these ideas may be. Quite simply put: Kim gets things done. We're a strong team, and Kim always has our backs.

What have you gained through your collaboration?

A friend and ally. Kim's been the program's no. 1 supporter since the beginning. Her guidance and unwavering trust in her project assistants (Mo Haque and I) has allowed us to create a stronger HDR community. It is such a pleasure working alongside Kim and our fellow HDR Mentors, organising and hosting events, and networking with HDR students from across the university.

What have you learnt from each other has helped you grow?

Kim has an admirable ability to recognise and bring out people's strengths. Over the years, she's gently 'pushed' me to try new things and to test my skills. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from Kim's vast experience in project management and planning. Kim's ability to stay cool in times of crisis is also second to none!
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Kim Tan

How did you come to know each other?

I met Liv when she joined the HDR Mentors while I was recruiting the program's first official mentors. I can still remember her reasons on why she wanted to join the program - she told me that she found a much needed, inspiring ‘light’, at a very challenging time, when attending one of the HDR Mentors' panel sessions. Liv has always wanted to pass this inspiration on to other HDRs. Three years on and Liv has become our rock and anchor. She is always there, in any event and meetings, never losing sight of her original aim and passion. I speak not only as the Manager of the HDR Mentors Program, but also on behalf of the HDR Mentors and hundreds of attendees of the program, that we are 120% glad that she is part of our family.

What do you appreciate most about each other?

Liv is one of the HDR Mentor's core foundation members. The HDR Mentors program is a ground-breaking initiative, and the HDR Mentors family know that they can always turn to Liv when in doubt or when we are at a loss. We trust her implicitly to help us navigate us through any situation with cool and sound advice! What have you gained through your collaboration?

Her 'can do' attitude and her ability to make things happen. I think it is fair to say that we will not be what we are today without Liv.

What have you learnt from each other has helped you grow?

I look up to her for her leadership and intellectual ability, but most of all, I am always in awe of her endless kindness and affection towards everyone around her and her energy and belief that we can make a genuine difference to HDR candidates.

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.

Researcher Support Blogs

Research Whisperer (Jonathan ODonnell & Tseen Khoo) - The Research Whisperer is dedicated to the topic of doing research in academia - talk about finding funding, research culture, and building academic track-records.

Thinkwell (Hugh Kearns & Maria Gardiner) - Thousands of PhD students and academics have attended Thinkwell workshops or bought books. Three articles based on their work have been published in the journal Nature

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