The Australian National University


Research Digest


December edition

Welcome note

As we welcome the last month of 2017, I find myself making lists and looking forward to new projects in 2018. It has been a pretty exciting first year for me at the ANU and we’ve been able to work on some changes that will positively affect the HDR experience. The most significant of these, in my view, is the University’s endorsement of a Supervision Framework, which allows us to roll out support and development resources and develop a database of registered supervisors. We are in the early stages of implementation but I will keep you posted next year. We are also developing online HDR resources that are designed to both on-board new candidates and act as a ‘toolkit’ for all HDRs throughout their research journeys. And if that wasn’t enough, the exams and thesis submission process will be transformed later next year, reducing delay, duplication of effort and (we hope) confusion! For those in their first three months, there have been recent changes to the compulsory Research Integrity Test eForms, more information can be found here.

December is also a time of celebration as we move into Graduation season. Congratulations to all of you who finished this year: I will be at most of the ceremonies and look forward to see you cross the stage.  Talking of awards, our very own Inger Mewburn and Victoria Firth-Smith received an Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Award for Innovation & Excellence in Service for their Thesis Boot Camp and 3MT training events, which were acknowledged as ‘international benchmarks of excellence’. I’m sure you join me in congratulating them on this fantastic achievement. I am also pleased to announce that all 5 of our nominations for the Global Young Scientist Summit (GYSS) in Singapore from 21-26 January 2018 were successful. Join me in congratulating Gowtham Mohan, Jacob Ross, Larissa Huston, Alexandra Schumann-Gillett and Helen Jiao.

Looking ahead to February 2018, the National Centre for Indigenous Studies will be holding their third annual Indigenous Studies HDR Research Lab. The lab is for PhD and MPhil scholars at all stages of their candidature who are undertaking a thesis research topic in any field of Indigenous Studies.  Interested students can submit expressions of interest through Eventbrite.



Professor Imelda Whelehan

Professor Imelda Whelehan

Dean, Higher Degree Research


Upcoming programs



Xmas SUAW + Trivia

Want to write lots & celebrate? Come join us for a day of writing, food, and trivia!




Thesis Boot Camp Veterans' Day


NECTAR: Early Career Symposium - Collaboration across Boundaries


Shut Up & Write-a-thon (+ Trivia)


Shut Up & Write-a-thon (+ Trivia)


Shut Up & Write-a-thon (+ Trivia)

15 Shut Up & Write-a-thon (+ Trivia)
16 Thesis Boot Camp Veterans' Day




Library: EndNote 1: Building and managing your library


Shut Up & Write 2017 Survey - Have your say!



SUAW Survey 2017

Fill out our end of year Shut Up & Write survey and go into the draw to win one of five $50 Co-op Bookstore vouchers!





Academic Skills & Learning Centre
Visit the Academic Skills and Learning Centre website to make an appointment or access self-help resources.

ANU Online Wattle, Turnitin & Echo360 training

If you are teaching now or in the near future, ANU Online offers training on Wattle (Moodle), Turnitin, Echo360, and using technology for teaching and learning. You are very welcome to attend our face-to-face training, receive personal assistance at a drop-in session, learn at your own pace with Wattle Basics online training and Turnitin online training, or join the conversation about education technology with a coffee course. We also have a monthly newsletter – with news, upcoming events and tips – see the latest version here.

All are welcome to attend. For more information on Wattle or training, please contact Karlene Dickens.

Counselling Centre

Visit ANU Counselling Centre's website to make a booking or find out what services are available to you.

Navigating the sea of scholarly communications, an open access course designed by a team of local and international experts that aims to build the capabilities researchers need to navigate the scholarly communications and publishing world. Five self-paced modules available now!

Research and digital literacy training has concluded for the year, however a range of research and learning support resources are available on the Library website. Urgent assistance can be arranged via email or by calling 6125 8886.  

Book a consultation with a subject area expert to get personalised, one-to-one research support on your subject.

Need to brush up on your digital literacy skills? ANU Pulse offers self-paced online learning modules to help you develop a range of personal and professional skills, including IT skills in Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Visio and Word.

Take some time to explore the Library's how to guides for tips and strategies on finding resources, using reference management software, increasing your research impact and more!



News & links



'Australia: The Vatican Museums Indigenous Collection' Book Launch

5:45pm, 7th December 2017 - Stanner Room, AIATSIS
"The responsibility to culturally reconnect relevant contemporary Indigenous communities to their material heritage held in the museum has been realised and is documented in this catalogue, which includes a catalogue of objects, and essays by Indigenous and non-Indigenous authors." - AIATSIS website

To RSVP to the book launch, register via the AIATSIS event page.
For more information on the book, visit the AIATSIS website.


Lung Foundation Australia - Applications open for new research award

"Lung Foundation Australia has released a new research award in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) thanks to the dedication of our supporter Bill Van Nierop who lives with this debilitating and progressive disease... The Lung Foundation Australia Bill van Nierop PhD Scholarship in IPF offers $15,000 per year over three years, a total funding of $45,000 to allocate to a PhD Scholarship." - Lung Foundation Australia

Applications are now open for this new research award. Applications close COB Friday 19th January 2018. For more information, visit the Lung Foundation website.


NCIS' Indigenous Studies Research Lab - EOIs close 15th December 2017

The Research Lab: is a three-day series of interactive masterclass conversations held in February 2018 for PhD & MPhil scholars at all stages of their candidature who are undertaking a thesis research topic in any field of Indigenous Studies.

Places are competitive, and participation is based on producing an A3 poster of your thesis research to be presented in the introductory session.

Register your expression of interest on NCIS' Eventbrite page by providing the following information:
1. Your name and affiliation (Discipline, College/School)
2. The title of your thesis (mention if this is an MA or PhD)
3. A brief biography of 200 words max.

For more information, e-mail NCIS at


'Pitch it Clever' competition now open

"Imagine you jump into an elevator with a key decision-maker. You’ve got a chance to tell a university Vice-Chancellor, a politician, or a business leader why your research matters… and quickly. Now stop imagining and start pitching!

Universities Australia challenges early to mid-career researchers to talk up their research in a 1-2 minute video. The video should aim to get leaders from across the country to become champions for your work.
Three prizes are up for grabs:
- The Vice-Chancellors’ Award
- The Delegates’ Choice Award
- The People’s Choice Award" - Pitch it Clever

Submissions close February 12th 2018. Visit the Pitch it Clever website for more details or e-mail Mr John Nicholls, Universities Australia for more information.


HDR Administration Support Project

Update: HDR Admissions moves to planning phase

To read the most recent news from the project, click through to the latest update. For more information on the HDR Administrative Support Project please visit the web site or contact the Project Managers: Kailee Fisher (PM for the Admissions component) and Megan Easton (PM for the broader body of HDR work).



In association with ANU Press, the National Library of Australia is hosting a free public lecture and book launch on ‘Exploring the Earth Under the Sea’ by Professor Neville Exon. Professor Exon explores the achievements of Australian scientists during Australia’s involvement with the International Ocean Discovery Program. Thursday 7 December 6–8pm. Register online.

Free public lecture and exhibition on ‘Joseph Banks’ Florilegium: Botanical Treasures from Cook’s First Voyage’ to be presented by esteemed botanist, writer and educator Professor David Mabberley on Monday 11 December 4–5pm. Register online.

ANU Archives presents a new exhibition looking at two of the dramatic and divisive events of 1917, the great strike and the conscription referendum. Amazing cartoons and records are on display include the expulsion of Billy Hughes from his union. The exhibition will is on display in Menzies Library until February 2018.

From Saturday 18 November to 18 February, all ANU Library branches will be operating on amended opening hours. All branches will close at 5pm on 22 December 2017 and re-open at 9am on 2 January 2018. Chifley Library 24-hour access will be unavailable during this period.



Present in the first Cross-Discipline Exhibition of ANU’s Early Career Academic Network (NECTAR) - Thursday 7 December 2017

This exhibition presents an opportunity for you to present your research interests to the broader community. You can present a research poster, art work, film, digital poster or other medium.
Childcare is now available for those attending this event. For more information, visit the NECTAR Eventbrite page.

HDR candidates are invited to join NECTAR – ANU’s Early Career Academic Network. Subscribe to the NECTAR newsletter, join us at our NECTAR events, or contact the NECTAR Coordinator to find out more.


Postgraduate & Research Students' Association (PARSA)

PARSA Survival Guide and more



From the Thesis Whisperer



Inger's picks from the web

Australian Research 'has a daversity problem'

Check out the 'Pitch it Clever' competition now open from Universities Australia - $4500 prize money on offer!

Paying for the job search


The latest from the Thesis Whisperer Blog

Gilmore girls, myself.
Your thesis is the map, not the journey
Your PhD can be your strongest career asset



Doctor Inger Mewburn

Associate Professor
Inger Mewburn

Director of Research Training
Thesis Whisperer



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