Secrets of Successful Researchers

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Researcher Development provides a ‘successful researcher’ workshop series to help you finish quicker and develop a strong CV for the post-PhD job market. Don't just sit in your office and write! Employers both inside academia and beyond are looking for excellent project management and communication skills. Our program will help you develop the wide range of skills you need for a great career. All our workshops are informed by the latest research on post-PhD employability to make sure you are prepared for whatever comes next.

These sessions are offered through our Central program. They can also be tailored for delivery in local School or College areas. HDR candidates can request these sessions through their College/School HDR training program by speaking with the HDR administrator or HDR convener. 

Candidature

 

How not to run out of time: research project management

Thurs 27 April 2-4pm

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What do thesis examiners (really) want?

Fri 19 May 10-12

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Getting the most out of academic conferences 

Wed 29 March 2-4pm

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Research writing

 

Working with the literature

Mon 15 May 2-4pm

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Managing feedback on writing

Tues 16 May 10-12

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500 useful words every day

Wed 17 May 10-12

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Writing with clarity and purpose

Thurs 18 May 12-2pm

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Careers post-PhD

 

Translating your research skills for non-academic employers

Mon 3 April 2-4pm

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What comes next? Post-PhD life and work

Tues 4 April 10am-1pm

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These workshops are part of the Science, Health and Medicine Career Development Framework program and can be counted as a valid activity. All these workshops will help you earn CDS points!

More about these workshops

 

How not to run out of time: research project management

When you start a research project there seems to be plenty of time, yet very often researchers struggle to meet deadlines. How can you manage your research project more effectively? In this workshop we will focus on what successful researchers do. We’ll explore the factors that tend to impede progress and strategies for managing your way around common obstacles. Finally, we will explore how to use digital tools to support your own research and writing workflows and juggle competing priorities. If you sometimes finish your day thinking you have done virtually nothing to progress your project, and you are worried about it, this workshop is for you. 

By the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Understand how research can be different from other kinds of projects
  • Assess project risks
  • Employ mitigating strategies to keep on track
  • Identify communication needs

What do thesis examiners (really) want? 

Does a thesis have an audience of 2 or 2000? While you write for other researchers in your field, you must first please just two people: your examiners. In this workshop, we will examine the research on how examiners examine and ask: What separates a good thesis from a bad one? Why do examiners look for their own work in the bibliography? What makes examiners cranky? And other burning questions.

By the end of this workshop you will:

  • Have a better understanding of the examination process generally and how it tends to work at ANU
  • Know what the 'pain points' for examiners are and how to plan for them in the way you write your thesis

Getting the most out of academic conferences

Attending academic conferences can be daunting at first. This workshop offers strategies for preparing relevant abstracts, communicating research effectively, and connecting with your disciplinary peers.

At the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Identify appropriate conferences for your research
  • Understand the abstract submission process
  • Prepare suitable materials for presentation at conferences
  • Understand academic conference behaviours

Working with the literature

Too much to read and not enough time? Managing the literature is one of the key challenges for HDRs. There’s an endless amount of knowledge and information out there that is related to your research. How exhaustive do you need to be? This workshop considers the purpose and aims of working with the literature in your field, identifying what is productive use of your time. We aim to make this much more straight forward to navigate this aspect of your research.

At the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Understand the ways in which you can make the literature work for you
  • Recognise the key purposes of writing a literature review
  • Know when you are progressing your writing and when you are procrastinating

Managing feedback on writing

Doctoral writers put a lot of time and energy into producing text - thinking, crafting and perfecting the expression of complex ideas. Then they send it to supervisors and are often confused and discouraged by receiving lots of suggestions for improvement. This workshop explores the processes of feedback, why it can be so challenging for both HDRs and supervisors, and offers strategies for eliciting helpful advice on writing.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Help supervisors understand what individual writers need
  • Manage feedback from multiple sources
  • Give and receive constructive feedback
  • Identify ways to integrate feedback into writing processes

500 useful words every day

Why are some research writers so much more productive than others? This workshop unlocks some of the secrets to help writers produce useful text on demand, a key professional skill for any researcher. It begins by exploring the reasons some researchers find it difficult to get on with their writing, and then outlines some of the approaches that have proven successful for productive writers. Participants then demonstrate for themselves that they too can write 500 useful words on demand.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • develop strategies for overcoming common writing blocks
  • identify advantages of binge, snack and serial writing practices
  • understand implications of the places and spaces for writing
Writing with clarity and purpose

So often, HDRs produce writing that fails to communicate adequately with readers. Research writing has different challenges from other kinds of writing: the concepts are very complex, the amount of information is vast, and the stakes are high. This workshop explores some of the key stumbling blocks that research writers come up against, and offers strategies for overcoming them. During the session, participants will work on their own writing to ensure they present their ideas effectively.

By the end of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Identify issues related to structuring your material
  • Understand how to clarify your argument
  • Demonstrate the use of authorial voice in writing
  • Understand how coherence and cohesion work in research writing

Translating your research skills for non-academic employers

This workshop will focus on the skills you have developed during your doctoral studies that are of interest to employers, especially employers outside universities. Rest assured - you have heaps to offer! But sometimes it takes practice to work out how to translate what you know into language that can be understood outside academia. We will work through a range of areas; by the end of the week, you'll be able to translate your skills for all kinds of employers.

By the end of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Identify your key employability skills
  • Understand the key skills sought by employers outside academia
  • Provide examples of how/when you have demonstrated those skills
  • Identify interesting employment opportunities

What comes next? Post-PhD life and work

It can feel rather strange to submit your thesis after years of hard work, and then enter a limbo period while you wait for examiners’ reports (which can take some time to be finalised). This workshop helps you maximise this time to prepare for your next big adventure, including career management strategies and research dissemination choices.

By the end of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Adapt your CV for different purposes
  • Identify appropriate job search strategies
  • Devise a publication plan from your research