The Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Winter Conference was held from 16 -18 July.
In contrast to the Inaugural Summer Conference the theme focused more heavily on providing professional development opportunities for candidates (and supervisors).
There were 52 HDR candidates that presented milestone reviews. This included 15 completion seminars. In total over 30 academics supported this event acting as Panel Chairs or College Representatives. Many academics were also present in their role as supervisors.
Our invited keynote speakers as well as the special sessions were carefully chosen with a view to improving the overall quality of the candidature experience.
Professor Calum Drummond, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, and Vice-President, RMIT, delivered the opening keynote address. He provided a fascinating first-hand account of developing business opportunities from scientific innovation titled The CAP-XX Story - Building a High Tech Australian Business. This was a well attended session providing a great launch for the Conference.
Professor Denise Cuthbert, Dean of the School of Graduate Research, RMIT, provided the reception keynote address. Professor Cuthbert strongly encouraged HDR candidates to focus on the timely completion of their research degree remembering to enjoy this special opportunity to conduct interesting research that will help shape future society. It was an engaging and motivating session for our HDR candidates.
Complementing the keynotes two special sessions were organised, an examiners panel session and a research integrity workshop. The panelists at the examiner panel session – Professors Lee Parker, Adela McMurray, On Kit Tam and Adjunct Professor Ross Harvey – drew attention to what examiners look for in a thesis. The key point that resonated in each presentation was the emphasis on producing a well-structured, comprehensive and clear thesis. The summary of some valuable tips shared at this session may be viewed here.
The research integrity workshop facilitated by Alison Leahy, Research and Innovation, highlighted key aspects of Research Integrity critical to one’s research. A lively discussion based on an international case study characterised this session.
In summary, the Conference was a resounding success reflecting the efforts of the organising committee led by Associate Professor Peter Macauley. Planning for the next HDR Conference to be held from 10 - 12 February, 2015 has begun.
I thank all participants who contributed to the success of the DTC’s Winter Conference and look forward to your participation and support at future DTC events.
Dr Ashton de Silva, Director, Doctoral Training Centre