Research for Social Justice: Graduate Seminars

Nine-week program, part of the Cairns Institute HDR seminar series

To register for this event, please email your name and contact number to

Universities have recently begun paying formal attention to measures of research impact and engagement, but these issues have long been at the front of mind for social researchers.

This Graduate Seminar series will provide space for discussion of key questions and issues related to research with social justice aims, including:

  • How can we design research that responds to community needs?
  • How can we respond to criticisms that research is not rigorous if the researcher is too ‘close’ to the topic?
  • How can we ensure that our research is accessible and interesting to the communities we work with?

Weekly guided discussions will allow HDR candidates to consider these questions in relation to their own research projects, whether the research engages directly with activism or the research may contribute to some future social change, or whether the researcher is just interested in how to make their research matter beyond academia. HDR candidates from across the university are welcome to attend.

Candidates undertaking this Graduate Seminar series will need to commit approximately four hours per week, for nine weeks. This commitment includes: approximately two hours of pre-reading, a two hour seminar, and a 4,000 word reflective essay applying the concepts and themes from the seminar to your own research topic.

Attendance across the series is compulsory (barring exceptional circumstances). Candidates who successfully complete this course will be credited with 40 hours towards RD7003 Professional Development.

Readings will be available online before Week 1.

Candidates who cannot attend on campus may request Zoom access.

Please note that this series is not available for registration through CareerHub. 

Note that a total of 20 HDR candidates will be accepted into the series, in both locations and including those who join by Zoom.

Facilitated by Dr Theresa Petray, with guest presenters

Townsville 15 August - 10 October 2019
See full schedule below
10:00am to 12:00pm 142-233
Cairns 15 August - 10 October 2019
See full schedule below
10:00am to 12:00pm E2-111

THURSDAYS | 10.00AM – 12.00PM

CAIRNS E2-111 | TOWNSVILLE 142-233

15 August

Who are you? Introductions and Positionality

22 August

Activist Research and Research as Activism: Exploring the Continuum


29 August

Insider/Outsider Dynamics

05 September

Theoretical Frameworks – Decolonising, Disability, Feminist & Queer Studies

12 September

Avoiding Vampirism: Maintaining Connections and Giving Back (through) the Research

19 September

Knowledge Mobilisation: Translating Research into Action


26 September

Collaborative Arts Based Research


03 October

No Seminar – 4,000 word reflective essay due 10 October 2019

10 October

The Limits of Social Justice