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Orientation for research students

HDR Orientation: Semester 1, 2023

Welcome to your research journey!

Join us for this 4-day introduction to your research journey on Monday 6 February to Thursday 9 February where we will be providing you with key information regarding your research degree, research ethics, wellbeing during research, plus general advice regarding the campus and the wonderful support organisations that are available to you.

These sessions will all be presented online and recorded for those who cannot attend live. Some sessions will be presented online-only.

HDR Orientation is by invitation only. Eligible new higher degree by research (HDR) candidates will be sent an email invitation. Please keep an eye on your inbox and spam folder to make sure you don’t miss out! The booking link will be available mid-January.


HDR Orientation program

Orientation Day 1 – Monday 6 February

In person and online through MS Teams

9:30am - 10:00am

In person only

Arrive at 9:30am for refreshments and introduce yourself to new HDR colleagues and university staff.

10:00am -12:00pm

Official Welcome

  • Official Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country
  • Introductions and overview of UC supports for HDR Candidates: Faculty Staff, Careers UC, Medical and Counselling, Ngunnawal Centre, Research and Innovation Services, UC Library and Study Skills, International Student Support Section, UCX Gym and HDR Representatives

Graduate Research

  • Graduate Research overview
  • Milestones and Candidature management
  • HDR Development Program overview
12:00pm - 1:30pm

Lunch Break - Catering provided for in person attendees

1:30pm - 3:00pm

UC Library

  • Library services for HDR candidates
  • Copyright
  • Study Skills and Studiosity
3:30pm - 4:30pm

PhD Plus coursework overview

  • Plus elements and opportunities – Ms Stella Vasiliadis
  • Principles of Research - Professor Jen Webb
  • Practice of Research - Dr Fern Hyde

Supervisors are welcome to attend – Supervisors register here

Orientation Day 2 – Tuesday 7 February

Online through MS Teams

10:00am - 12:00pm

Building effective supervisory relationships through communication with Professor Elke Stracke

Professional and effective relationships are essential for a candidate’s successful completion of their research degree. This session is designed for HDR candidates and their supervisors. It will cover key content such as:

  • Why expectations matter
  • Clarifying expectations and the expectations scale
  • Cross-cultural exploration
  • Feedback and feedback expectations

You are encouraged to bring your supervisor to this workshop.Supervisors – Register here

12:00pm - 1:30pm

Lunch Break

1:30pm - 3:30pm

Research and Innovation Services

  • eResearch and Data Management
  • Ethics and Research Integrity overview
Orientation Day 3 – Wednesday 8 February

Online through MS Teams

10:00am - 12:00pm

Planning your PhD with Hugh Kearns (ThinkWell)

This workshop will introduce you to the PhD Planning Toolkit. You will learn how to use these tools to:

  • create your big picture thesis plan
  • unpack your thesis down into logical parts
  • create tasks lists for each stage of your thesis
  • estimate times and schedule tasks
  • create a Gantt chart for your thesis
  • keep on track as you implement your plan
  • plan your writing
  • manage the finances
  • identify risks and deal with setbacks
12:00pm - 1:30pmLunch Break
1:30pm - 4:00pm

Planning your academic writing with Dr Katherine Firth

This workshop will introduce you to the skills and processes to take control of your academic writing, including the writing cycle, generative writing, note taking, literature review matrices, writing plans, tiny texts, dialogical, mind maps, and time and task management.

Orientation Day 4 – Thursday 9 February

In person and online through MS Teams. Lunch is in person only

9:25am - 11:45am

Shut Up and Write

Join HDR candidates for focussed writing time. Writing is in 25 minute blocks (also called pomodoros) followed by breaks for taking about your progress and building your network. The HDR Development team buy the beverages and you do the writing! These sessions are held weekly throughout the year. Registrations preferred.

11:00am - 12:00pm
International candidates only

Information and Support for International Students

International HDR Candidates are invited to attend this session and will cover essential information. Wellbeing & International Student Advisors support students with:

  • Settling into life at UC & Canberra
  • Programs that aim to enhance their study experience, health & wellbeing
  • Understanding their student visa requirements & what is expected of them
  • Tailored support for Australia Awards students
  • Connections to other key services at UC and within the community

12:00pm - 1:00pm
In person

Lunch on the Lawn

This networking lunch is held on the first Thursday of the month on campus. All HDR candidates are encouraged to attend, so come along and meet colleagues from across the university.

In fine weather we gather on the concourse lawns outside Building 2. In inclement weather we gather in the Refectory. Registrations essential for catering purposes and to inform of change in venue if necessary.

Supervisors – Register here to join your new candidates for lunch

1:30pm - 2:30pm 
Online and in person

Information session: HDR Wellbeing Program S1 2023 intake

HDR Wellbeing Program information session

The HDR Candidate Wellbeing Program aims to provide proactive measures for HDR candidates to support them in prioritising their mental and physical health and wellbeing. The HDR Wellbeing Program is structured around a core of wellbeing components that we recognize as a dynamic and flexible foundation for the wellbeing of our Higher Degree Researchers. The program includes the following components: physical, emotional, social/community, mental/cognitive, career, financial, environmental, and meaning/purpose.

Participants in this program will participate in a fortnightly wellbeing masterclass series aligned to the wellbeing components and choose one physical exercise/fitness membership option (online or in person) and can select from a range of additional personalised inclusions such as mindfulness practices, journals, or self-paced learning activities. Participants must commit to completing at least 80% of the program. A regular coffee catch up gathering will also be available for participants

The fortnightly masterclass series is expected to be held on Wednesday lunch times, delivered online, and sessions will be open to all HDR candidates.

Bonus! Wednesday 22 March


4:30pm - 6:00pm

Candidates Talk: Things they didn’t tell you at Orientation

Join current HDR candidates as they share insights into candidature and navigating their way through a research degree. Aimed at HDR candidates who have recently started their research journey, this session is designed to help unlock the hidden curriculum of graduate research, shared from the perspective of candidates.

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