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Friday, 31 Aug at 9:00 am


$25 – $110

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Fix your Academic Writing Trouble and Prepare for a PhD Career

This workshop offers graduate research students a full day of training with The Thesis Whisperer, with sessions focusing on both academic writing trouble and non-traditional career paths. Help transform your competent academic writing into outstanding and persuasive communication and supercharge your career by attending this full day workshop.

Both sessions are presented by the legendary blogger and researcher, and director of research training at the Australian National University, Dr Inger Mewburn, whose recent research output has been on the state of the academic job market and on non-traditional careers. Register now for a half or a full day and you will also enjoy lunch and networking opportunities.

Read more on the Thesis Whisperer (just like the horse whisperer – but with more pages) here.

Session 1:

Your academic writing trouble (and how to fix it) – 3.5 hours

A workshop for people who are really quite good at writing, but want to be amazing.

Time: 9:00am-12:30pm

Morning tea and lunch provided!

Academics read a lot of tortured prose written by their students. Some of this prose is technically competent, but for a range of reasons fails to persuade a highly knowledgeable and experienced reader. Writing in an ‘academic style’ that makes you sound scholarly is essential, but if no one ever tells you there is a style, or how to achieve it, it’s easy to find yourself lost and confused. While there are differences, some issues of style transcend disciplinary boundaries. This workshop will focus on key ‘pain points’ of academic writing. Mastering these elements of style will help competent academic writers become outstanding and persuasive communicators.

In this workshop you will work on the three most common kinds of writing trouble, usually expressed as this kind of feedback:

  • “Your writing doesn’t flow”
  • “This doesn’t sound very academic…”
  • “Waffle!”

This workshop contains practical exercises and information that will be of value to any research writer up to and including late career academics.

Session 2:

Beyond Plan B: non-traditional career options for PhD graduates  – 3.5 hours

Time: 1:30pm-5:00pm

Please arrive at 12:30pm sharp for lunch! Afternoon tea is also provided!

Until recently it was not common for PhD candidates to pursue non-academic careers, but now it seems that over 60% of graduates leave academia on completion of the PhD. What are your ‘other’ career options? How do you go about researching the possibilities? Is it possible to make a living as an independent academic, doing research and teaching outside the university system?

By the end of this workshop you will:

  • Be more aware of what a ‘PhD graduate shaped’ job ad looks like and how to find them
  • Have a better idea of the ‘market’ for your individual research skills outside of academia
  • Understand how the ‘gig economy’ in academia works and how you might use this as part of a portfolio approach to generating income.

This session will be targeted to mid to late candidature PhD students, but we recommend preparing for career at any stage of candidature.

Ticket options:

Session 1 (Half day workshop): Arrive at 9:00am

Session 2  (Half day workshop): Arrive for lunch at 12:30pm

Session 1 & 2 (Full day workshop): Arrive at 9:00am

The location for the whole-day is Multi-function Room 110 –  Level 1, Building 757, Parkville, The University of Melbourne (building known as Stop 1 ).There is wheelchair access available.

Strictly limited places.


By registering for this event, you are committing to attendance.

If you fail to attend without notifying us of compelling reasons we reserve the right to limit your attendance to other SUAW events. Please read the program terms and conditions.

A small charge covers some of your food and drinks and by paying it you are generously helping support GSA and sponsoring more programs for graduate students.

If you have any queries please email us: programs@gsa.unimelb.edu.au.