When entering into such a massive undertaking as a Master’s or PhD, you know from the beginning that it’s going to be challenging. When you start, it looks like you have to canoe across a river to the opposite bank (which you can see, by the way), but then it becomes like a 3-5 year cross-ocean voyage where you have to be the captain, the cook and the counsellor. And build the boat!
In situations like this, even if you’re doing great (and especially if you’re not), all you can do is arm yourself with as much information as possible so that you can help yourself get through. Enter GradFest, a week-long event held every year with classes and workshops designed to help you with everything from practical research and writing skills to mindfulness and stress management.
You’ll also hear from academic and support staff from across the campus, as well as postgraduate students at various stages in the process.
Everyone’s journey is different, but the classes and workshops on offer are varied and extremely useful. You’ll also get the chance to meet other postgrad students and soak up their knowledge and experience at a variety of social events. GradFest will arm you with information and help you come out the other end of your course with a smile on your face.
Good luck on your postgraduate journey,
Louise – Postgraduate Student
Check out GradFest here.
GradFest is brought to you by the Academic Skills Centre, Postgraduate Office and UC Library.
This week was GradFest. Each session brings a new perspective and helpful information for postgraduates at all stages of study, and the June programme provided awesome opportunities for learning and sharing.
Those of us making research ethics applications to the ethics committee learned several useful tips from Professor Jane Maidment. She discussed how thinking about ethics should happen throughout the project, not just at the beginning. She also reviewed common oversights and how and why to use simple language because the committee includes people from a range of expertise areas.
In another session on preparing for the PhD oral exam, Professor Bryce Williamson clearly outlined the process and gave us points to consider when reviewing examiners’ feedback. He reminded us that it is their job to be critical and we need to be confident but not defensive.
Associate Professor Tammy Steeves introduced us to the Kindness in Science initiative that is working towards fostering diversity, respect, and inclusiveness in the science community. She gave us ample opportunity to discuss what kindness means with fellow postgrads and think about how to build kindness into other disciplines. We left feeling encouraged and hopeful that change is indeed possible.
Look out for the next GradFest happening in November.
The Academic Skills Centre run workshops to help postgrad students throughout the year, see what’s on>
Autumn GradFest is on 11 – 15 June, with a variety of sessions to help postgrad students on their thesis journey. At this GradFest there is a new session featuring postgrads sharing their secrets to completion, plus a poster session run by the Postgraduate Students’ Association (PGSA) where students can share their research in a friendly environment.
Wherever you’re at in your postgraduate studies, there will be something helpful to you. If you’re just starting out, check out sessions on writing your proposal, applying for ethics approval, and completing your literature review. If you’re part way through, you might be interested in preparing for conference presentations or navigating the publication process. For those about to finish, learn how to prepare for the PhD oral exam and plan for your career. Each session has helpful tips to help improve the thesis journey for you.
Find out more about GradFest and see what sessions are on>