Graduate Research School HDR Advisors Developing as an Advisor Thinkwell Workshops for Advisors, Researchers & Academics

Thinkwell Workshops for Advisors, Researchers & Academics

Suitable for HDR Advisors, Academics, Researchers and ECRs

Maria Gardiner and Hugh Kearns have worked as an award winning team for the past fifteen years. They are well known as leading practitioners and researchers in cognitive behavioural coaching. As well as publishing ten books that have sold many thousands of copies, they are regular contributors to Australian media, including a popular segment on ABC radio.

Their particular expertise is in working with high performers and they have a long history of providing specialist services to the medical and academic professions.

For more information visit the Thinkwell website.

Register for these workshops here.

All workshops are via Zoom

** HDR Candidates must register for Thinkwell workshops via CareerHub.

When: Wednesday 6 March 2024 at 2pm - 4pm AEST

Would you like to know the secret to high output, high quality, scholarly writing? In academia, because writing is such a big part of what you do, it is often assumed that it comes naturally. However, for most academics, it can be a hit and miss activity, with some days (weeks or even months!) being hard to get started. And when you do get started you might sit there for hours and not produce many words. Finally, when the words are on the page, you may wonder why you bothered since what you have written isn’t very good.

This workshop draws on the overwhelming body of research (and experience with thousands of writers). This research shows that there are very clear and practical evidence-based strategies that can greatly increase your writing quality and quantity. Key aspects of this workshop have featured in the journal Nature.

This workshop will help you to understand:

  • why it can be hard to get started
  • how we deliberately use distractions to slow down writing
  • the principles of quick starting
  • why snack writing is generally more productive than binge writing
  • how to deal with the internal committee that slows down writing
  • how to set achievable goals by writing in a silo
  • how to greatly double (or more) the number of actual words you produce
  • how to clarify your thinking and improve the quality of your work

When: Thursday 7 March 2024 at 9:30am - 12pm  AEST

As a busy academic do you feel like you never have enough time to get to your research, particularly the writing part? And that other things like students, administration, committees, emails, project management, etc. demand all your time?

This workshop shows you how to guarantee you spend high quality time on your research outputs. It covers prioritising, goal setting and managing competing demands in a university context. If you want to increase your research output without compromising your work/life balance, then this workshop is for you. Key aspects of this workshop have featured in the journal Nature.

This workshop will show you how to:

  • take control of your time
  • prioritise
  • stop procrastinating and stay motivated
  • avoid distractions
  • say NO (and understand why it is so hard to do so)
  • balance competing demands
  • manage email and paperwork
  • work the slightly less hard way
  • think more realistically about your research productivity

When: Monday 22 April 2024 at 2pm - 4pm AEST

Becoming a research supervisor for the first time can be a daunting experience. The research student expects you to know what you’re doing but you are learning the process yourself. Of course you can learn by trial and error but there are some fundamentals that you can learn that make the experience less daunting for you and more supportive for the student.

Topics covered will include:

  • Why supervise
  • Finding the right student
  • Before they start
  • Getting off to a good start
  • Clarifying expectations
  • Meetings
  • Understanding the relevant policies and procedures
  • The personal side of the relationship
  • What to do if things go wrong

When: Friday 26 April 2024 at 9:30am - 12pm AEST

If you're a researcher then at some stage you are going to have to present your findings. It's tempting to get up and just read your paper, but to really speak to your audience you need to be able to communicate skilfully and with conviction. We've all been to dull presentations so it's worth your while spending a little time to learn how to do it properly.

This workshop will provide a clear step-by-step structure that you can use again and again to give high quality presentations. It will cover:

  • How to make your message relevant to your audience
  • How to structure and link parts of your talk
  • Preparing materials, notes, handouts, PowerPoint
  • Practicing
  • Delivery
  • How to handle questions
  • Dealing with nervousness

And it will be interactive and fun!

When: Wednesday 19 June 2024 at 9:30am - 12pm AEST

Do you know the single most important thing that determines the quality of a piece of academic writing? You might think it is the data that you have. Or perhaps it is the literature on which you base your research question. Maybe it is the theory you choose. While all these things are important, none of them is as important as the narrative that you construct in your writing.

This workshop will show you why narrative is so important and how to construct a narrative. There will be demonstrations of creating a narrative and opportunity to practice creating your own narrative for either a part of your work or your whole work.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • why narrative is so important
  • where you will find the narrative
  • the power of the 10 year old, and if that doesn’t work, the border collie
  • how language gets in the way of narrative
  • how to recognise narrative in others work
  • how to write the narrative of your own piece of work

When: Thursday 20 June 2024 at 9:30am - 12pm AEST

It's tempting to think that if you are clever and work hard then people will notice and shower you with rewards. Tempting but probably not true. As well as being clever and working hard you also need to be able to promote yourself. In this workshop you will learn strategies for: putting yourself out there, asking for what you want, taking responsibility – not waiting for it to happen, developing your one minute pitch and presenting yourself effectively for promotions, grants, awards

This workshop will look at:

  • Asking for what you want
  • Why waiting isn’t enough
  • Using convincing language
  • Self promotion
  • Networking, mentoring and collaborating
  • Putting yourself in the spotlight
  • Media and other methods to communicate

When: Wednesday 10 July 2024 at 2pm - 4pm AEST

Many graduate students cite getting and dealing with feedback from their supervisors as one of the most frustrating areas of candidature. Feedback is essential to help the student make progress in their and improve the quality of their outputs. So what can you, as a supervisor, do to ensure they get the feedback they need?

This workshop is for any research supervisor. It covers:

  • The benefits of positive feedback
  • The different types of feedback
  • Varying your type of feedback depending on the candidate's stage
  • Formats: hard copy, track changes, audio, face to face
  • How to provide criticism without crushing the recipient
  • Turnaround time: How long is too long for response time
  • A few pages or a whole chapter
  • When the writing/grammar/expression is bad
  • When they don't listen to your feedback

When: Thursday 25 July 2024 at 9:30am - 11:30am AEST

A lot of hard work and time goes into conducting research. And then more time and work goes into publishing the results. And yet sadly many papers are never read and many findings are never translated into practice. So how do you communicate effectively about your research and its impact? This is important to fulfil funding obligations, to create further funding and collaboration opportunities, to encourage the application of your findings and for your own career.

In this workshop you will learn strategies for:

  • Developing a communication strategy
  • Pitching your message to the your audience
  • How to make it accessible without dumbing down
  • Dealing with media
  • Using new media
  • Developing your one minute pitch
  • Dealing with the discomfort of it all

When: Wednesday 4 September 2024 at 1:30pm - 4pm AEST

As a researcher you probably know you should plan your research career and you probably do have some ideas of what you would like to achieve in the future. But you probably haven’t taken some dedicated time to work out what you should either 1) be achieving or 2) would like to be achieving. This workshop will give the thinking time and tools to put together a realistic and achievable plan for your research career over the next 3-5 years. We will also work backwards to where you are currently and help you to set goals for shorter term achievements.

In this workshop you will be sent material before the workshop (should take around 5-10 minutes to complete) for you bring along to the session so you can get the most out of the experience.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • what are reasonable research goals for your discipline and stage of career
  • the keys to successful goal setting and goal achievement
  • how to plan in the long term and work backwards to the here and now
  • how to ensure you get some research outputs soon.

When: Thursday 5 September 2024 at 9:30am - 11:30am AEST

Thirty years of the best research in psychology has shown that it is possible to change habits and behaviours that can get in the way of us achieving our full potential. It is possible to change the beliefs that underpin our behaviours and consequently our successes. Despite there being an incontrovertible evidence base for how to improve our thinking and therefore our behaviours, the skills required to do this are not readily available to those wanting to maximise their performance. This unique workshop will bring you the latest research and practice in cognitive behavioural coaching (CBC) and show you how to apply it to your everyday (and academic) life.

This workshop is an excellent one to do if you have already attended other ThinkWell courses, although it will still be useful for those who are attending for the first time.

In this workshop you will:

  • find out what CBC is
  • understand the fundamental thinking errors that reduce our performance
  • discover how we can use CBC to improve our performance
  • develop the skills you need to use it for yourself
  • explore other things that CBC is good for – writing, confidence, resilience, work/life balance, good mental health and more!

When: Thursday 10 October 2024 at 2pm - 4pm AEST

This masterclass is aimed at experienced supervisors. It will look at how to help both the supervisor and the student get the most out of the post-graduate research experience. It draws on the facilitator's experience of working with thousands of research students and research supervisors across the world and there is also the opportunity for supervisors to share their experiences of what works and what doesn't.

It will cover issues such as:

  • Dealing with different types of students
  • Getting students to write
  • Getting students to show you their writing
  • Giving constructive feedback
  • Students who write too much
  • Students for whom English is not their first language
  • Motivating stalled students
  • Problem situations

When: Friday 18 October 2024 at 2pm - 4pm AEST

Working in research is both an exciting and challenging experience. It can be an emotional roller-coaster. The excitement of working on something you care about, exploring new ideas and making a contribution to knowledge. The challenges of feeling isolated and overwhelmed, dealing with setbacks, uncertainty, conflict and loss of motivation. Inevitably over the course of your research career you will experience times when things aren’t going so well. This workshop draws on evidence-based strategies to help YOU stay well during your research career.

Topics will include:

  • Managing the workload
  • Resilience and finding a balance
  • Learning how to switch off
  • Dealing with worries about setbacks and progress
  • Good habits e.g. exercise, sleep, routines
  • Dealing with isolation, lack of structure and loss of motivation
  • Procrastination, perfectionism and over-committing
  • Disagreements with supervisors and other colleagues
  • Support for more serious mental health issues
  • Supporting friends/colleagues who may be struggling