Support for research students at Griffith University (and beyond)


https://www.flickr.com/photos/lumaxart/2364667079Higher Degree Research(ing) and its attendant anxieties among students is widely known. HDRs can be plagued with feelings of self-doubt, loneliness and isolation, and the realities of uncertain future employment opportunities. This, combined with balancing other work and family commitments, can mean that many HDR students require not only intellect and tenacity to survive the many pressures of life in the limbo land between ‘scholar-in-training’ and academic.

Dr Inger Mewburn, director of research training at ANU, runs one of the major go-to blogsites for HDRs, The Thesis Whisperer. It offers an invaluable set of blog posts, advice, and links for current HDRs, as well as the newly graduated. Mewburn discusses how literature searching is an assumed skill for HDRs, and that as a consequence, ‘confused students are too afraid to ask for help from their supervisor. I think the fear comes from the feeling that you should know, even if you have never been properly taught’. Professor Tara Brabazon is an authority on doctoral education who has written extensively for the Times Higher Education on HDR issues. Brabazon advises that ‘doctoral students need to be told that most examiners start marking from the back of the script. Just as cooks are judged by their ingredients and implements, we judge doctoral students by the ‘calibre of their sources’.

This is where a Griffith University Discipline librarian can be of optimal assistance to HDRs.

While support for HDRs can be found in multiple sources such as from one’s own School and supervisors, or through experts in doctoral education such as Mewburn and Brabazon, there is also assistance available to HDRs through the Griffith University Library. The Library lies at the heart of the university; it acts as a conduit between various groups, and administrative streams. There are a number of experts on hand, as well as many online resources. The Library offers invaluable and varied additional support through workshops. Our staff is always ready to help. HDRs can contact any of our Discipline Librarians; any of our Learning Advisers; or an ICT literacy specialist. Also see our social media pages for extra tips and news.