ANU Thesis Boot Camp

Provider business unit: Researcher Development »

What is Thesis Boot Camp?

The Australian National University (ANU) runs a Thesis Boot Camp (#ANUTBC) program based on a concept created and developed by Dr Liam Connell and Peta Freestone at The University of Melbourne. 

Research candidaites can often encounter difficulties with writing towards the end of their degree. Thesis Boot Camp helps you do a large amount of work on your thesis and develop productive writing habits in a single weekend. The concept of Thesis Boot Camp is disarmingly simple. Put a group of people experiencing similar issues in the same room for a weekend, feed them regularly and provide a reward for each 5,000 words written. An experienced writing teacher is available to help you work through challenges, and regular breaks for physical activity are encouraged. Many students write over 10,000 words on a Thesis Boot Camp weekend, and some even write up to 25,000 words. This program is funded by the Dean, Higher Degree Research and is free for ANU candidates to attend. We also offer 'Write that journal article!' Online Boot Camp, and Bestseller Book Writing Boot Camp.

#ANUTBC dates 2020

  • 20-22 November 2020 on campus - limited to 60 places. Face to face - zoom is not available.
  • 14-16 December on campus - limited to 60 places. Face to face - zoom is not available.

How can I apply?

The #ANUTBC program is extremely popular and spaces are limited. Places are offered on a needs basis, as with everything that the Researcher Development team offers, our camps are an inclusive and safe space for all students to work. These camps are targeted for students writing towards the end of their degree. Your application will go through an application process assessing your thesis progress, goals for the camp and personal circumstances.

#ANUTBC is advertised in the monthly HDR Update, which is mailed to all research students at the start of every month, and on our Twitter page. Applications for Thesis Boot Camp are now open, use the links below to register your interest:


November Thesis Boot Camp Timeline:
Friday, 23 October - #ANUTBC EOI's close 5 pm
Monday, 26 October - Confirmations of EOI's received sent
Tuesday, 27 October - #ANUTBC places offered with preparatory tasks sent to applicants 
Monday, 9 November - Preparatory work due 9 am  (if prep tasks are incomplete, places will be offered to candidates on the waitlist)
Tuesday, 17 November - Places offered to candidates on the waitlist
*20 - 22 November 2020 from Fri 2.30pm – 8.30pm, Sat 8.45am – 8.30pm & Sun 8.45am – 6.30 pm. This is NOT an overnight camp.*

December Thesis Boot Camp Timeline:
Monday, 9 November - #ANUTBC EOI's close 5 pm
Tuesday, 10 November - Confirmations of EOI's received sent
Wednesday, 11 November - #ANUTBC places offered with preparatory tasks sent to applicants 
Wednesday, 3 December - Preparatory work due 9 am (if prep tasks are incomplete, places will be offered to candidates on the waitlist)
Wednesday, 10 December - Places offered to candidates on the waitlist
*14 - 16 December 2020 from Monday, 9 am - 5.00 pm, Tuesday 9 am - 7 pm, Wednesday, 9 am - 5.00 pm. This is NOT an overnight camp.*


We will select based on the following criteria: how close you are to completion (with those who will not have another chance given preference), then we will consider your reported difficulties and any interruptions to candidature. We will attempt to balance this with ensuring a spread across colleges and gender parity. In order to participate in this opportunity, you are required to complete a thesis map, complete ANU COVID safety training, comply with all directions to ensure that we remain safe and healthy during our time together. If you have any questions about this, please email

What happens after Thesis Boot Camp is over?

It's impossible to write a whole thesis over a weekend, so we offer one to two monthly #ANUTBC Veterans' Days to anyone who has completed the weekend Thesis Boot Camp program.

Veterans' Days recreate the Thesis Boot Camp magic, allowing you to find at least one day of uninterrupted writing time each month. Lunch is provided, and a member of the Researcher Development team is there to talk to through any concerns you may have. Veterans' Days are a great way to stay in touch with your fellow peers, and meet others in a supportive atmosphere dedicated to helping you complete your thesis. These days are only for past participants of Thesis Boot Camps.

We also encourage Veterans' to continue making appointinemts with Academic Skills for one on one support, and attend relevant workshops.