Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Competitive Early Career Researcher grants - what did and didn’t work for me (Courtney Ennis)

Photo by Edgaras Maselskis | unsplash.com
With internal Expression of Interest (EoI) dates fast approaching for various major funding schemes, La Trobe Early Career Researchers (ECRs) may be weighing up their odds for success.

Considering the substantial time and effort expended in honing grant proposals, could this energy be better spent on, I don’t know, research and writing papers...? I know I had these thoughts.

Reflecting on the vacant application form that confronted me a few years ago, I'm pleased with my former self for saying, “Ugh, fine, I’ll do it!”.

This decision to forge on with the paperwork changed my career.

Taking shape around me today is a small, talented group of graduate researchers, shiny new laboratory equipment and even some modest funds locked in the research account.

And how did I get from staring at a blank application form to here?

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Interview with Associate Professor Lisa Amir (Judith Lumley Centre)

Lisa Amir (left), Miranda Buck (centre) and new family at Royal Women's Hospital

This week, we interview Associate Professor Lisa Amir from the Judith Lumley Centre (JLC; on Twitter at @LTUJudithLumley).

The JLC is a multidisciplinary public health research centre with programs focused on mothers, parents and their infants.

It's great to see Lisa's enthusiasm for her topic shine through.

And the fact that she and her team tried five times before landing that big grant? A perfect demonstration of how persistence is as necessary in academia as expertise!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Reading, Writing, Supporting (Anthony Condon)

They say a PhD is a lonely road.

It’s all too easy to spend all day behind the computer, in the lab or deep in the archives. But we’re social creatures and even if we’re alone in our topic, it doesn’t mean we need to be alone in our shared experience.

Do you want to read, write and be supported in a group environment?

I’ve gotten a lot out of the two regular Shut Up and Write! sessions I attend at the Melbourne campus.

One's on Tuesdays 9.30 - 12.00 in the Postgraduate Study Area (aka The Qantas Lounge) on Level 2 of the Library and the other is on Thursdays 9.30 - 12.00 in the Teaching and Learning Commons (TLC), room 114. I've also been a part of the 'how to write a journal article in 12 weeks' workshops (get in touch with Kirsty Duncanson to know when the next one will start up). I like the social aspect of sharing what we’re writing, as well as remaining accountable to a group to keep our work going.

It's for these two reasons that I’ve decided to start a reading, writing and peer support group (snappy name pending a group decision). This initially started out as a reading group. In the History department, we have many reading groups, but I wanted something where I could focus on what I was reading rather than something general. I also wanted to hear what other people in other fields thought about the things I was reading. In return, I thought I’d be able to offer the benefit of my context for other peoples’ reading and gain insight into a broader range of topics.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

INTERVIEW with Dr Emma Sherry (Centre for Sport and Social Impact)

Photo courtesy of Emma Sherry
This interview with Dr Emma Sherry shows that sport research is about more than just the sport!

Emma's research is a great example of engaged, sustained academic work that has outcomes directly applicable to improving various developing communities' quality of life.

As an added bonus, she sounds like she has a great time doing it all!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Get your butt off the lawn (Lucie Semenec and Jen Wood)

Some areas of our campus are still beautifully undamaged by our waste. Let’s make all of our campus look like this! (Photo courtesy of Oonagh Bodin)
Although we see litter on our Melbourne campus every day, it's probably not something we actively notice anymore.

Maybe we’re just too busy studying or socialising, or perhaps we’ve become desensitised to it because it’s always there. Or maybe we know it’s wrong but turn a blind eye because it’s just easier to think of it as someone else’s problem.

Those of us who create the litter may not fully understand the problems it causes, and those of us who just see the litter as a problem don’t really know how to go about fixing it! But surely we can all agree that it doesn’t look nice!

This is why like-minded individuals from the Department of Microbiology decided to take action on this litter problem and clean up our campus! This is the story of our experience and what we discovered.