Meeting 2, 2023

Date: November 2023

Location: Online


Registrations open for ACGR November National Meeting

Our second national meeting for 2023 will be held online via Zoom on November 13 and 14. With a focus sharing important operational practices and strategies amongst members, we will also take the opportunity to discuss where we are as a graduate research community and how we look to the future post Accord.

The program will commence at 11 am AEDT on 13 November and conclude by 3.30 pm AEDT on 14 November.

Sessions will include:

Post ACOLA, Post COVID and Post Accord: where are we now?

  • Considering the challenges for the research training sector post COVID and a year of Accord discussions what have we learned and what are the key challenges and opportunities ahead.

Indigenous HDR , approaches to

  • Growing Indigenous HDR enrolments
  • Ensuring suitable support for Indigenous candidates
  • Developing the Indigenous HDR Candidate pipeline

HDR coursework models

  • Models and options for delivering HDR coursework

Diversity and access in graduate research

  • How is ‘access’ defined in HDR
  • Candidate experiences and perspectives

Institutional approaches to addressing AI and developing AI policies

Speakers and details will be announced as they are confirmed. Download the current program here.

Registrations are free for primary representatives of each full member organisation and just $150 + GST for additional delegates and all associate members. A limit of three places are available for each full member institution and two for affiliate and associate members. Please register now via Evenbrite.

Agenda: ACGR November National Meeting

Day 1:  Monday 13th November

Session 1: Post ACOLA, Post COVID and Post Accord: where are we now?

Chair:  Prof. Imelda Whelehan

AEDT 11:00am – 12.00 noon (60 mins total)

Opening remarks:
Reflections and synthesis of where we’ve been and where we are now. 
ACGR President

Professor Imelda Whelehan

(10 minutes)


Guest provocateurs:

Considering the challenges for the research training sector post COVID and a year of Accord discussions what have we learned and what are the key challenges and opportunities ahead.






Professor Barney Glover, Vice-Chancellor, Western Sydney University & Australian Universities Accord Panel member.

Professor Lesley Head, Director, ACOLA & President, Australian Academy of the Humanities

Alec Webb, Executive Director, Regional Universities Network

Q & A:

·       Responses to provocations and reflections.

Moderated by Professor Imelda Whelehan, UWA
Session 2 – Building a pipeline of Indigenous researchers.

Chair:  Professor Susan Kinnear

AEDT 12noon – 1pm (60 mins)

Panel and Q& A:
An exploration of the opportunities and challenges of building a pipeline of indigenous researchers, including approaches to ensuring culturally safe and sensitive support for Indigenous candidates, and developing the Indigenous HDR Candidate pipeline. 

Professor Sue Dodds, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Industry Engagement), La Trobe.


Professor Peter Anderson, Director Indigenous Research Unit, Griffith University


Professor Adrian Miller, Deputy Vice-President Indigenous Engagement, Central Queensland University

Facilitated whole group Discussion /Q & A:


Moderated by Professor Susan Kinnear
LUNCH BREAK  AEDT 1.00pm – 1.30pm (30 mins)


Session 3 – HDR coursework models

Chair:  Professor Wendy Wright

AEDT  1.30pm – 2.30 pm (60mins)

Panel and Q& A:
Setting the scene: How and why is HDR coursework delivered? – An overview of a range of HDR coursework models including how they are structured, delivered and monitored. 
5 mins each
·       Monash Doctoral Program Professor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis, PVC Research Training,
·       RMIT PhD program Jessica Hattersley, Manager, Research Training Services, RMIT
·       ECU Integrated PhD Programs Dr Kate Howell, HDR Course Coordinator, Graduate Research, ECU
Facilitated whole group Discussion /Q & A:

·       What is the balance between ‘skills development’ and ‘knowledge extension’?

·       What is the purpose of the coursework model (what gaps is it filling)

·        Is/how is coursework be used to provide pathways into research/micro credentials/exit awards.

·        How are coursework models funded?

·        What are the pros and cons of this approach?

Moderated by Professor Wendy Wright


Session 4:  HDR diversity and Access & Sponsor Updates

Chair: Professor Justin Zobel

AEDT  2.30 – 4.00 pm (90 mins)

ACGR sponsor updates:  

·       ResearchMaster

·       Epigeum

·       ProQuest


James Cutler, ResearchMaster
Lucy Cook, Epigeum
Gilia Smith, ProQuest
Opening remarks:
How is ‘access’ defined in the graduate research space. 
Professor Justin Zobel, UniMelb.
Candidate experiences:
Candidates share their unique HDR journey reflecting on the opportunities and obstacles faced from accessing graduate research to completing their PhD.
Ruth Mills, ANU (neurodiverse candidate perspective)

Jen Nicholls, Federation University (first in family candidate perspective)

Dr Bonaventure Munganga, UTS (prospective international candidate & carer)

Interactive activity:
What defines ‘access’ and what does inclusive HDR policy look like? – breakout groups
Moderated debrief and reporting (25 mins) Professor Justin Zobel


Day 2:  Tuesday 14th November 

Session 1 Key challenges in Graduate Research

Chair: Professor Ann Evans

AEDT  11 am- 12.00 pm (60 minutes)

Opening remarks:
Key challenges in graduate research right now – near to medium term view.
Professor Ann Evans, ANU
Special Interest Groups Interactive Activity –selected prior to meeting:

Small group discussion and report back on approaches to:

·       Scholarships – What are the approaches to HDR stipend and tuition fee support across institutions. Increasing scholarship value and its influence on availability/competitiveness and student support. Considerations for scholarship allocation to domestic and international candidates


Professor Chris Abbiss, ECU


·       Examinations– Oral defence – What administrative, technology arrangements and policy settings are required? Professor Clive Baldock, WSU
·       Admissions pipeline – recruiting domestic candidates. Professor Imelda Whelehan, UWA
·       HDR Benchmarking – What does best-practice look like for academic quality in HDR, research course reviews, working with comparator institutions and TEQSA re-accreditation? Professor Susan Kinnear, CQU
Moderated debrief and reporting (30 mins) Professor Ann Evans, ANU

LUNCH BREAK  AEDT 12:00 – 1.00pm (30 mins)

Session 2: Annual General Meeting
Chair:  Professor Imelda WhelehanAEDT 1.00 – 1.45 pm
Annual General Meeting


Professor Imelda Whelehan, UWA and Tracy Sullivan, WSU


Session 3: Institutional Approaches to addressing AI & Developing AI Policies
Chair: Professor Chris Abbiss
AEDT 1.45 – 2.45 pm
Panel & Q& A:

What are the tensions between advice to researchers and attempts to manage AI with PhD and Masters students? What is the relationships between research integrity policy and graduate research?








Professor Christina Twomey, Chief Research Officer, Australian Research Council (ARC)


Dr Lenka Ucnik, Assistant Director, Higher Education Integrity Unit, Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)

Professor Jeannie Paterson. Co-Director, Centre for AI and Digital Ethics (CAIDE), UniMelb.

Facilitated whole group discussion /Q & A: Moderated by Professor Chris Abbiss, ECU
Session 4: Post ACOLA, Post COVID and Post Accord: Do we know where we’re going?
Chair: Professor Clive Baldock
AEDT 2.45 – 3.30 pm
Panel & Q& A:




2023 Meeting summary and thank you to outgoing President Professor Imelda Whelehan. Handover to incoming President Professor Clive Baldock.



Professor Imelda Whelehan, UWA

Professor Clive Baldock, WSU


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