2017 - why we're thankful (The RED team)

Photo by TN Nguyen | unsplash.com 

It's that time of year when people's thoughts start turning to lazy days at the beach, spending time with loved ones, or generally taking a break from the everyday.

As is the RED Alert blog tradition, we're ending the year with a post that features the voices of the RED teaching team.

Our theme for this end-of-year post is 'what we're thankful for'.

It has been a great year for graduate researchers at La Trobe and I’m grateful for the engagement I’ve had across various contexts: from coaching candidates through our Accelerated Completions Program, through to dedicated workshops at our regional campuses, and smaller-scale initiatives such as our writing circles that serve to bring graduate researchers together on a regular basis. This year, I’ve been particularly pleased to observe a lot of cross-disciplinary interaction. Initiatives such as the launch of the new grad researcher lounge at the Bendigo campus, and the Albury-Wodonga Professional Development Conference have provided opportunities to recognise the contribution that graduate researchers make to our research community, and it’s a real privilege to be  able to play a role in nurturing their development.

This year I am grateful for being given the opportunity to join a supportive and engaged team who have motivated and energised me. I am also thankful for being given the opportunity to develop new skills and learn from others within the team. This has allowed me to integrate the Digital Research training series into the RED program and to take part in the process of creating a cohesive offering of training and development opportunities to research staff and students throughout 2017. Now we are at the end of the year I can reflect that for me, 2017 has been a challenging and rewarding year.

I’m thankful for the incredible energy and engagement of people writing together and supporting each other’s writing. Shut Up and Write, Writing Circles in Law and Allied Health, writing workshops with supervisors and graduate researchers, and the incredible effort together through AcWriMo—three writing retreats, All Campus Shut Up and Write, events in Bundoora, Bendigo, Shepparton, Mildura and Albury-Wodonga, on the blog and on the #LTUacwrimo hashtag.

JEANETTE FYFFE (Manager / Lecturer)
2017 was the fiftieth anniversary of La Trobe and arguably one of our best for research. I'm grateful to be working in an environment that values research and the researchers who produce it. The collegial, collaborative, and courageous researchers who make up the La Trobe research community are inspiring to work with. A lot of the work that researchers do is hidden: peer reviewing for grants and journals, organising seminars, mentoring colleagues and peers and generally being the people who make the research culture. These essential activities are not measured and counted but, without them, we can’t keep succeeding. Thanks to all La Trobe researchers! We love working with you.

TSEEN KHOO (Lecturer)
I’m grateful for the stories of sustained, constructive connections among Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and Mid Career Researchers (MCRs) who have participated in RED events and initiatives. With everyone extremely busy and often overcommitted, it’s easy just to keep our heads down and overlook the benefits of getting to know more of our colleagues and be an active part of building the university’s research culture and community. These aspects are always valuable, and so much of what makes academic life - at all stages - satisfying and even fun (yes, fun!).

HELEN YOUNG (Research development officer)
This year I am grateful for the new perspectives about universities I have gained through working with RED. I’d worked in teaching and research roles in discipline-based departments for more than a decade before joining RED, so it was eye-opening – and fascinating – to be part of a central team that supports researchers across the university. It can be easy to think in silos as an academic, even if we work across disciplines so working in a space which has such a broad remit with people who have ‘whole of institution’ vision has expanded my horizons and I am very thankful for that.


And that's our last post for 2017. Many thanks to all our readers and guest authors - without you, our university research community would be all the poorer!

The RED Alert blog is now taking a break over the holidays and we'll be back with our first post of 2018 in the week of 29 January 2018.

Safe and happy holidays, everyone!