Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Going beyond comfort zones (Ashley Ng)

Photo by Mia Anderson | unsplash.com
When I first received the email, I thought it was a scam.

It was from a someone who claimed they were from a media production company telling me that I had been selected to potentially be part of an SBS TV series with a well-known health journalist who would host the show. The project was vague, and I knew of the journalist they mentioned, but I wasn’t a big fan of their ideology and methods.

We had a zoom meeting where the media production company wanted to get a sense of who I was and the work I’ve done previously. Throughout the conversation, I was up front and honest with my opinions about the journalist’s work and approach to health. In fact, I was pretty blasé about the whole thing and tried not to think of the TV aspect as it made me anxious. Being a fairly introverted person, a TV appearance was not on my list of career aspirations.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Applying for an internal grant (Amy Kong)

Photo by Shane Aldendorff | unsplash.com

"What do you do for the Social Research Assistance Platform?"

This is a question I often get asked when I tell someone where I work.

My quick answer is always: "I help give out internal funding to researchers and provide a match-making service for researchers and research assistants".*

The next question is usually: "How do I get this internal funding?"

So, here's the post about winning an internal grant!

I must start of with a disclaimer: I don't claim to be an expert in this but what I am sharing is based on my years of experience with the platform and its funding rounds, and my own observations. The RED team runs a great session on grant writing called the '5 Rules of Grant Club'. If you have not been to one, I highly recommend that you do! [We didn’t make Amy say this - we promise! But here's the next session on 22 October, if you're interested!]

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

When a radio interview terrified me (Brooke Huuskes)


Brooke on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania | Photo courtesy of Brooke Huuskes
I love talking. So, it might come as a surprised that I used to be terrified of talking in front of people. I hated public speaking at school, yet my report card always said, "Brooke would be a good student if she didn't talk as much."

Getting over the fear of talking in large public spaces really came when I stumbled into the spotlight to talk about a topic that I knew the best – myself. Yes, back in 2011 I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for a cause, and I felt the cause was so important that I put all my fear aside and promoted the heck out of it. This meant that I had to be the face of the cause, which involved comment for newspaper articles and multiple radio interviews. Side note: I was eventually on live TV talking about the same cause but got there through winning best film at a film festival...

In summary, I have had a bit of experience with the media.

It was really no surprise, then, when I started entering public speaking competitions throughout my PhD. The 3MT (three-minute thesis) and FameLab were amazing experiences that really allowed me to passionately express my research in a forum that I love (talking) and developed my science communication skills. And I did alright, too! I won a few awards, including audience choice awards at FameLab (which I was pretty stoked about considering my microphone fell off. Maybe they just felt sorry for me? Anyway...).

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Top tips on designing infographics (Danilo De Oliveira Silva)


Photo by Gareth Harper | unsplash.com

How many people are reading the research you publish?

Let’s make it a bit more interesting and ask: how many people outside academia are reading the research you publish?

We live in a world where most of our research articles are inaccessible for non-academics due to our jargon and the fact that much of it is behind paywalls. I always find myself asking if we are doing and sharing research only for researchers, or do we want to share with the general community as well? If we want to make our research more broadly available, we are doing it wrong!

But let’s stop the criticism for a moment and offer some solutions instead.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Extending your inter-campus research community (Karen Strojek)

(Left to right): Emmy Frost (Archaeology), Anna Henger (History), Karen Strojek (Politics), Esther Manu-Barfo (Linguistics), Nicola Linton (Classics and Ancient History), Nicole Pavich (Media Arts & Screen Studies), Paul Northam (Visual Arts), and Justin See (Social Inquiry - Planning).
Photo by Greg Muller.
 
I’ve written before about broadening my research community across disciplinary boundaries, by taking part in conference organisation in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HUSS).

Attending and working at university conferences is a great way to meet other graduate researchers and find points of commonality, but it’s not the only way!

Many Schools, and the Departments within them, have graduate student representatives who work with their department heads and graduate research coordinators to improve communications, and the intellectual climate in general, at a local level.

In my roles as a representative for my Department (Politics, Media and Philosophy) and my School (HUSS), I attend regular meetings with other School representatives - all graduate researchers - from the Colleges of ASSC and SHE.

A lot of our discussion is about university policy, infrastructure and facilities, supervision relationships, student wellbeing, and how we might work to improve social and professional networks between graduate researchers.