Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Spaces that matter for La Trobe researchers (Lauren Murphy & Ilan Abrahams)

Photo by Tyler Nix | Unsplash.com 
Where do researchers write? In this article fiction writers talk of productive writing sessions in the subway, on the couch with the TV blaring, and at a café, among other places. And in this article writing spaces range from “small messy rooms that don’t look out on anything interesting”, to bathtubs, beds, hotel rooms or a cabin on the shore. It seems that space is an ongoing interest for writers of all descriptions.

In April this year I (RED team member – Jamie) published a post called Spaces that matter for graduate researchers reflected on a research project on the spatial practices of graduate research that I am undertaking with colleagues in Thailand. After I published the post a number of people got in touch with me to tell me about the spaces that matter to them – on La Trobe campuses and beyond. Here are their reflections.
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Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Boost your visibility with VYT! (Jenny Fafeita)

Could you explain your thesis in 1 minute using an animated presentation? Yes, 1 minute!

As Training Coordinator in the library, I'm coordinating La Trobe's round of the Visualise Your Thesis (VYT) competition. VYT is a competition format developed by the University of Melbourne, and it's the first year that it's a formal inter/national challenge!

VYT requires graduate researchers to present their research in a 60-second, visually appealing, digital display. Cash prizes are available for the winners of La Trobe’s local competition and the winning entry will compete in an online international competition final.

While I’m excited to be coordinating our local competition, I must admit to being a little anxious as well. I want the competition to run smoothly and, more importantly, I want our graduate researchers to enjoy the experience and have fun while they’re honing their skills. We offer VYT workshops to support graduate resarchers in their potential entries, but putting your hand up and participating in the competition brings a range of rewards.

So, why should graduate researchers enter VYT? What’s in it for them, other than the cash prizes? I asked last year’s competition entrants to reflect on their experience of the competition. What did they learn? How did they benefit from entering the competition?

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Conferences: Is it time you had a fashion makeover? (Jessica Peters & Deena Ebaid)

This post is cross-posted from the academic conferences blog Conference Inference, with kind permission. Thanks for sharing your experiences of conference organising with us, Jessica and Deena! View original post

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Camila Damásio | Unsplash.com
Don’t be fooled by the title, this blog post is not just for fashionistas. For those who are curious, the psychology behind fashion is quite fascinating and can even be employed to up your conference networking game. Take this blog post for instance – if it wasn’t for a love of fashion, conferences and twitter (#pinkpantsuit), we wouldn’t have been invited to write this blog piece at all!


For many people (the two of us included), fashion can be used to showcase personality, and help feel more confident and better placed to accomplish the task at hand. Think of the old adage “look good, feel good”. I (Jessica) have applied this notion in many aspects of my professional life – job interviews, psychological practice, and university teaching. For the latter, my fashion choices were particularly helpful when I first started tutoring undergraduate classes. I was nervous about public speaking and doing a good job and was only a few years older than many of my students. Dressing smart helped me feel more confident, competent and visually set me apart. So why not apply this principle to conferences?

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Giving career advice to your 16-year-old self (Megan Cook)



Bud Helisson | Unsplash.com
Recently, I was invited to head back to my old high-school to talk to Year 10 students who are currently engaged in a week-long intensive focusing on careers and the future.

It was fascinating to be asked to reflect on my own career journey, a career journey which has led me to work as a researcher in a university research centre.

While I never entertained the possibility of becoming a researcher during school (I’m not even sure I knew that there was such a career), I have been given a range of wonderful opportunities during my post-school years which have culminated in my decision to start a PhD.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Blogging your research

Photo by Hannes Wolf | unsplash.com
There's a first time for everything and the first time for the 'Blogging your research' series of workshops was Semester 1, 2019!

We (Tseen and Jamie - RED team members) wanted to run these sessions because we're both big fans of academic blogging, and have gained so much value from the practice both professionally and personally. It has been a lot of fun sharing our knowledge, tips, and strategies with highly engaged La Trobe staff and graduate researchers from different stages of career and a varied bunch of disciplines. And we have learned a lot in the process of bringing together these workshops.

One of the activities for the final workshop is to work with the class on writing, formatting, and publishing a blogpost. We wanted to make it live from within the workshop itself! So, that's what this post is: a communal post from the inaugural RED series of blogging workshops.

We asked our participants to reflect on the sessions they've attended and the discussions we've had. What was the most valuable thing they learned from them?

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

La Trobe - the most Wiki-engaged university in Australia?


Only six people ever read my doctoral thesis. Six. After years of research blood, sweat and tears poured into this document, that is the impact my work will have. It was that realisation that drew me to writing for Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is by far the largest encyclopedia to have ever existed, replacing - for free - what used to be a luxury item only a few decades ago. The encyclopedia is one of a set of projects hosted by the WikiMedia Foundation, which is refining its strategy through to 2030 to be a leader in the open knowledge movement.

Academic publishing readership versus Wikipedia’s yearly readership. 

Since I started editing and writing for Wikipedia in 2013, I’ve been busy trying to promote new ways of engaging academics, researchers and experts in improving its accuracy. By working with PLOS and the WikiJournals, I’ve helped develop ways to entice experts to write Wikipedia articles by combining the best bits of the encyclopedia’s massive reach, and the rigour of scholarly peer review. They’re likely to be the most-read work that most academics will ever write.