ACGR’s New Suite of Respectful Research Training Resources

the Australian Council of Graduate Research has developed a suite of video resources and training materials to help combat sexual harassment, gender bias and discrimination in research training programs.

Working on the premise that building a culture of respect and equality is critical to the provision of safe and supportive research training environment, ACGR has produced a series of videos that illustrate situations where unconscious bias, unprofessional behaviour and abuse of power challenge this culture.

The six scenarios that are explored in these videos will “ring true” with many in the higher education sector and will help to stimulate discussion about the risks of certain behaviours or circumstances. Production of the resources has been overseen by senior academics with deep experience of graduate research.

Announcing the release ACGR Convenor, Professor Sue Berners-Price said that “our Council is committed to reducing the incidence of discrimination and sexual harassment and assault for candidates undertaking research degrees in Australia.  These videos, together with comprehensive instructional support materials will be a vital resource for university research student and supervisor training programs.”

The ACGR Respectful Research Training resources align with  the Principles for Respectful Supervisory Relationships  which were developed jointly by Universities Australia, ACGR, National Tertiary Education Union and Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations.

Immediate past convenor, Professor Denise Cuthbert said, “The ACGR has taken a leadership role in providing high quality training materials to support safe and inclusive research training and minimise sexual harm. This original Australian material will greatly enhance the training of staff and candidates in Australian universities”.

Institutional access to the Respectful Research Training Resources is available by subscription to a perpetual license.

For further information or to  preview the resources and enquire about taking out a subscription contact: Tracy Sullivan, Executive Director, ACGR,

Respectful Research Training Forum

The development of the ACGR Respectful Research Training Resources was initiated by a forum convened by ACGR in March 2018. Some of the presentations made at that forum were:

Setting the scene

RNA initiative and Changing the Course – HDR results
UA Principles on Respectful Supervisory Relationships
Professor Denise Cuthbert, Associate DVC Research Training and Development, RMIT University

Developing a Culture of Equality

Discussion of issues such as unconscious bias, a significant power imbalance in the supervisor-candidate relationship, and subtle forms of exclusion that may present barriers to diversity and inclusion in the research training context.
Professor Chris Cocklin, Senior DVC and DVC (R&I) , James Cook University

Abuse and Harassment within Institutions

Discussion of a various scenarios of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace illustrating the challenges of differing norms and perceptions of sexual harassment and the effect of power imbalance.
Adair Donaldson, Lawyer and Director of Donaldson Law

Please note Adair is available to conduct training for individual universities. Contact details embedded in his presentation.

Candidate Perspective

Zoe Tulip, Vice President (Communications) CAPA

Support Services for HDR Candidates and Supervisors – UQ Case Study

Andrew Lee, Director, Student Affairs Division, University of Queensland

Respectful Behaviour at the University of Western Australia

Dr Sato Juniper, Associate Director, Graduate Research and Scholarships, University of Western Australia