Redefining the ANU PhD

Published 2017

The ANU Strategic Plan represents an opportunity to reimagine the ANU PhD, and better understand how we might better articulate our investment in and commitment to higher degree research programs. The ANU 2017-2021 Strategic Plan states that:

‘We will redefine the ANU PhD program to deliver a new generation of graduates, who successfully use their research training to advance careers in universities, and across all industries and sectors.’  (1.7, p. 16)

Redefining the ANU PhD requires extensive collegial consultation, careful analysis of our current cohorts, a keen understanding of the factors that shape contemporary debates about the twenty-first century PhD and an awareness that this is an opportunity to be bold in our thinking in order to move towards distinctive programs that emphasize our role as Australia’s national university.

Key events

Open Forums: Redefining the PhD

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Committee of Inquiry: Redefining the ANU PhD

The Committee of Inquiry will facilitate an expansive discussion on the contemporary PhD and ANU’s role in supporting its graduates in attaining an internationally competitive doctoral qualification and world-class graduate outcomes. The Committee will meet between July and November 2017 and produce a Green Paper for consideration by key stakeholders in the University community.


1. Prof Imelda Whelehan, Dean, Higher Degree Research (Chair)

2. Prof Jan Provis (ANU Medical School, CHM)

3. Dr Phong Ngo (RSFAS, CBE)

4. Dr Nick Robins (RSPE, CoS)

5. Professor Tony Hosking (RSCS, CECS)

6. Prof Barry Pogson (RSB, CoS)

7. Prof Emily Banks (RSPH, CHM)

8. A/Prof Rosanne Kennedy (Gender Sexuality & Culture, CASS)

9. Adjunct Prof Diana Davis (ANUCES, CASS)

10. Prof Genevieve Bell (CECS)

11. A/Prof Asmi Wood (Law)

12. Prof Eric Stone (RSB/CSIRO)

13. Prof Margaret Jolly (Gender Institute, CHL, CAP)

14. Prof Benjamin Penny (CIW, CAP)

15. NECTAR nominee Catherine Settle

16. Student nominee ANUSA Yuka Morinaga (PhB student).

17. Student nominee PARSA – Bethany Ellis (PhD student)

18. Ken Kroger (Seeing Machines – external member)

19. Further external members to be confirmed

20. Meeting Secretary: Peter Francis (ODHDR)

All members of the University may submit written evidence to the committee (maximum two pages), which will also be available on an Alliance site. The deadline for submissions is 27 October 2017. Anyone may register their interest to view the documents on this site. To register for the Alliance site please contact Peter Francis, Senior Project Officer, Office of the Dean, Higher Degree Research (

Terms of Reference

  1. Conceptualise and distil the features characterising the distinctiveness of the 21st century ANU PhD (and MPhil) through:

    a. Consideration of key qualities deemed critical to 21st century leadership and success;

    b. Critical Review of the features of current ANU research degrees;

    c. Review and reflect upon opportunities for HDRs to contribute to teaching, research, community engagement and outreach;

    d. Interrogation of examples of identified good practice;

    e. Consideration and discussion of thematic areas, issues raised in open forums and background information provided to the Committee;

    f. Evaluation and discussion of written submissions from stakeholders;
  2. Develop and co-author a Green Paper (informed by 1 above) to include:

    a. recommendations for redefining the ANU PhD to support world-leading graduate research education, experiences and outcomes;

    b. strategic implementation advice to the senior executive of the ANU, by early 2018.

    c. A timeline of short-, medium-, and long-term goals.

Green Paper: Redefining the ANU PhD

The Green Paper will be made available for consultation later in 2017. It will be tabled at the relevant committees, including Academic Board, and is intended to make key recommendations on the future ANU PhD to the University Executive.Degree Research,