The Australian National University


Research Digest


September edition

Welcome note

I’m writing this on a fine Spring morning and feeling pretty optimistic as I contemplate the pile of paperwork on my desk – it is only 8.30am after all. We have had a busy month here at the office of the Dean. Since the release of the Australian Human Rights Commission Report on the survey of Australian university students’ experiences of sexual harassment, we have been thinking about what we need to put it place for our HDR candidates and supervisors to ensure a respectful environment moving forward. Our Vice-Chancellor has been very forthright in his response that ANU must commit to creating learning and research environments that genuinely have zero tolerance towards sexual harassment, sexual assault and bullying. Our early efforts have focused on communication with candidates (see the last digest here) and consulting with our student representatives, and now we’re considering a range of actions which focus on support of candidates, prevention and challenging problematic behaviours and attitudes. We continue to seek examples of good practice from across the globe in this area and I encourage you to continue to communicate with me on this important topic.

The ‘Redefining the ANU PhD’ Forums are now complete and we have begun work as a Committee of Inquiry. We hosted a forum at Graduate House and the word cloud to the right comes from this student-led session. As you can see, not all the feedback is positive. If you want your voice heard submit you maximum two-page written statement to Peter Francis ( by 27 October 2017.

Caroline Compton (Law), our second Fox International Fellow, has just headed off to Yale and we wish her well for what will be an exciting year!  Caroline’s research topic is “Inter-legalities in climate adaptive relocation and disaster displacement”. The Global Young Scientist Summit (GYSS) in Singapore is open for applications from PhD scholars and post-doc academics under 35. The summit runs from 21-26 January 2018, and its theme is “Advancing Science, Creating Technologies for a Better World". Anyone interested should contact Peter Francis (

Finally, we are fast approaching the #ANU3MT final (to be held in Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music, Wednesday 6 September 2017 at 6.00pm). This is one of my favourite events and is a great opportunity for the ANU to showcase the work of its up-and-coming researchers to the wider public. If you haven’t signed up already, do take the opportunity to come along and support your colleagues – and well done to everyone who has participated in the College heats to date. The winner of the #ANU3MT final will go on to compete in the Asia Pacific final.  Last year Joshua Chu-Tan (John Curtin School of Medical Research) went on to win the 3MT Asia Pacific final in Brisbane.




Professor Imelda Whelehan

Professor Imelda Whelehan

Dean, Higher Degree Research

Word Cloud

Upcoming programs



Career Doctor free experts day.

An 80,000 word thesis would take 9 hours to read; they have 3 minutes.



4 Library: SPSS introduction workshop


#GetSoMe: Social Media for Researchers

4-8 ANUOnline: Creating your own videos – Coffee Course
5 Library: Internet and research workshop


Shut Up & Write Night



6 Library: Word for academic writing: maintaining consistency in your thesis
7 Thesis Whisperer: 'How to be an Academic' Book Launch'


Shut Up and Write-a-thon

7 ANUOnline: Engaging Students Online


Shut Up & Write Night

8 ASLC: Kick Start your PhD
11 ANUOnline: Mahara ePortfolio


#GetSoMe: Social Media for Researchers


Shut Up and Write-a-thon

12 ANUOnline: Monitoring Student Engagement
12 Library: EndNote workshop


Shut Up & Write Night

13 Library: Data management workshop


Thesis Whisperer: Working with your Supervisor

14 Library: NVivo Introduction workshop ($90)
14 Shut Up & Write Night
16 Thesis Boot Camp Veterans Day
18 Library: Working with data in Excel
18 #GetSoMe: Social Media for Researchers
19 Shut Up & Write Night
20 Shut Up & Write with CoL and CECS
20 Library: Word for academic writing: putting your thesis all together
21 Counselling: Procrastination and Motivation
21 Library: NVivo Advanced workshop ($90)
21 Shut Up & Write Night
26 Shut Up & Write Night
28 Shut Up & Write Night


Shut Up and Write-a-thon




Shut Up & Write-a-thon
3 ASLC: Kick Start your PhD


Shut Up & Write Night


Shut Up & Write Night

7 ANU Student Research Conference 2017
10 Library: EndNote workshop


Shut Up & Write Night

12 Shut Up & Write-a-thon
12 Library: Search strategies and subject databases workshop
12 Shut Up & Write Night
17 Shut Up & Write Night
17-18 Thesis Proposal Review (TPR) toolkit with the Thesis Whisperer (EOIs close 22 Sept)
19 Shut Up & Write Night
20 Shut Up & Write-a-thon
21 Thesis Boot Camp Veterans Day
24 Shut Up & Write Night
25 Shut Up & Write-a-thon
26 Shut Up & Write Night
27-29 Thesis Boot Camp - October


Shut Up & Write Night






ANU Student Research Conference 2017, 7th October
The Student Research Conference at the Australian National University (ANU) is a unique student-led conference that showcases the research activities, leadership experience and innovative ideas of current Undergraduate, Honours and Masters by coursework ANU students from all disciplines. 

The one-day conference will include oral and poster presentations and the Honours 3-Minute Thesis format Competition, and will be held on the 7th October 2017 on campus. 

Apply now for the opportunity to share your research! $3,000 prize pool!

Academic Skills & Learning Centre
Are you new to research and not quite sure how to manage the PhD? Do you want to make a strong start? Come to the Kick start your PhD workshop and equip yourself to survive the journey! Find out times and venues, click here.

Want to learn more about writing up your research for publication or thesis submission? Take a look at the Academic Skills and Learning Centre Research Writing website. There you will find a range of self-help resources to help you communicate your research.

Do you ever struggle to get your message across clearly in your writing? Sometimes it’s hard to work out how to improve your use of language, expression and clarity. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre can help. Book an appointment with a Learning Adviser and they will review your writing and give individualised feedback.

Thinking about running a program of writing for your students or colleagues? Did you know that the Academic Skills and Learning Centre has a comprehensive writing program for research writing that can be tailored for disciplines and cohorts? Get in touch with us to find out more and book a workshop.

Counselling Centre

Procrastination and Motivation, Thursday 21st September

This group will focus on why people procrastinate or struggle with low motivation. It will provide a framework for tackling procrastination with specific evidence-based strategies for improving self-regulation, increasing motivation, supporting neuroplasticity (and hence learning), scheduling, reducing screen time, increasing green time and avoiding willpower depletion.


Casual and sessional staff
Are you an ANU sessional or casual academic? Access the e-collection using your staff number and password or borrow resources using your ANU card or details. All casual and permanent ANU staff have the same access to the resources and spaces available in all branches. If you have any issues please let us know! Read more about what you can borrow and for how long on the Library website:

ANU researchers, register with ORCiD and share your identifier with ANU Open Research to aggregate your publications and manage your professional research profile in one place.

Check out the self-paced Small Private Online Course (SPOC) designed to build the capabilities you need to navigate the scholarly communications and publishing world.  Two modules, Publish and prosper and Talk data to me are available now!

Brush up on your digital literacy skills – including Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Visio and Word – with ANU Pulse online learning modules.

Manage and analyse qualitative data with NVivo – upcoming workshops are available on 14 and 21 September (cost $180 total).

Research skills and digital literacy training available – register via the online training calendar.



News & links



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 can come to one of the face-to-face sessions, get 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.


HDR Administration Support Project

The University is committed to identifying improvements for administration and support functions that affect the HDR student experience. Under the direction of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) the ANU Service Improvement Group has a project in progress aiming to identify effective ways of delivering significantly improved HDR Administrative Support outcomes. 

The HDR Administration Support Project is currently focusing on:

  • Admissions: Transparent, standardised and simplified process across ANU consistent with revised policy
  • Examinations & Thesis Submission: An efficient and effective process for managing thesis submission and examination reducing examination times and improved tracking and reporting
  • Renewed HDR Student Induction Program: Standardised, accessible and timely information available for commencing HDR students.

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.



New ANU Press title: Sinuous Objects: Revaluing Women’s Wealth in the Contemporary Pacific edited by Anna-Karina Hermkens  and Katherine Lepani 

The latest ANU Archives exhibition, Navigating the Sea of Island: Spiritual and cultural seafaring in the Pacific, is open until November in the Menzies Library Foyer. This exhibition presents the traditional seafaring practices and beliefs of the Pacific Islanders, contrasted against Western navigational methods and the impact of climate change on the indigenous cultures of the region.


Centre for Higher Education, Learning &Teaching

Are you a PhD student who has tutored at ANU? Learn about new ideas and practices


Statistical Consulting Centre

Appointments for statistical consulting


Postgraduate & Research Students' Association (PARSA)

PARSA Survival Guide and more



From the Thesis Whisperer



Inger's picks from the web

The basics of writing a book from your PhD

This series of posts about a case of academic plagiarism has made a stir on social media this month

Is the academic publishing model under threat from piracy?


The latest from the Thesis Whisperer Blog

Why you should blog during your PhD

Don’t let those ‘sticky words’ confuse your thesis examiner

The principled PhD?


Doctor Inger Mewburn

Associate Professor
Inger Mewburn

Director of Research Training
Thesis Whisperer



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