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>
Kara is a PhD student in English at UC. She is also a Peer Learning Advisor at the Academic Skills Centre where she helps her peers with their writing assignments. This week she writes about the range of ways Academic Skills Centre can help postgrads with their studies.
If you’re a postgraduate student, you’ll know that the research and writing process can sometimes be daunting. Fortunately, you can access the free advisory services of the UC Academic Skills Centre (ASC) to help support you during your studies. You want your writing to be the best it can be, and ASC has a team of Learning Advisors to help you with everything from literature reviews to thesis planning. Advisors offer workshops and seminars each term, and they are also available for individual consultations.
Workshops and seminars are listed on the ASC webpage and some are targeted specifically for postgraduates. If you’re just starting out, you might be interested in attending a seminar on Academic Skills for Thesis Writers. If you are concerned about how you will plan out your time so you can balance everything in your life, you might want to take the seminar on Time Management. For those in Science, there is a three-part course on Postgraduate Science Writing that will help you write a laboratory report.
If you have specific questions about your writing, you can speak with someone one-on-one at ASC, which is located on level 3 of the Central Library. If you just have a quick question, such as a referencing question, you can stop by the on-call desk for a quick query (max 10 minutes) between 11:00am and 2:00pm, Monday to Friday. If you would like to review a portion of your writing with a Learning Advisor, you can book a 40-minute consultation at the reception desk, by phone or by email.
Another valuable programme is GradFest, a week-long series of seminars and workshops designed specifically for postgraduates. This is a good opportunity to learn about topics such as ethics approval, thesis proposals, publication, and networking. Guest speakers from across UC share their expertise and help you navigate your postgraduate journey. GradFest is also a great opportunity to meet other students and share your own stories about being a postgraduate. The next GradFest will be 11-15 June 2018, so stay tuned for more information.