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Inspiring collaboration

Thursday, 21 February 2013


For the first time WA’s five universities have combined their collective expertise to inspire the next generation of researchers and academics.

Edith Cowan University (ECU)’s Graduate Research School worked with its peers from The University of Western Australia, Murdoch University, The University of Notre Dame Australia and Curtin University to host the InSPiRE summer school. 

The week-long event gave attendees access to inspirational speakers, training opportunities and networking events to encourage postgraduate researchers to develop new collaborations and networks for their future careers.

ECU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Advancement), Professor John Finlay-Jones said the event highlighted the importance of collaboration.

“InSPiRE was an outstanding example of what can be achieved through universities cooperating to achieve better outcomes for their research higher degree programs and the students that those programs support,” Professor Finlay-Jones said.

The 200 students who attended InSPiRE experienced a different theme every day hosted by a different university.

Flinders University, Collaborative Research Network sponsored attendee, Carolyn Gregoric, said she was inspired by the event.

“It’s a great concept that could readily be adapted across the nation to improve the calibre of post graduate study. The opportunity to meet so many fellow researchers who I otherwise would not have come in contact with was valuable,” she said.

Attendees at InSPiRE were impressed with the high calibre of training and collaboration.

“It was a very valuable demonstration to both the WA Minister for Education, Energy and Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Peter Collier and the WA Chief Scientist, Professor Lyn Beazley AO of all WA universities collaborating to enhance research training in the State,” Professor Finlay-Jones said.

“The energy and commitment of the participants was indeed palpable, and it was clear there would be ongoing strong demand for this.”

It is envisaged thatInSPiRE will become an annual event and complement each university’s training and support programs.

ECU’s Graduate Research School offers a range of other support services, including the innovative SOAR program, which provides Support, Opportunities, Advice and Resources for postgraduate students.

The program has been replicated at universities in Australia and institutions in the US have also expressed interest in the ECU model.

For further information about the Graduate Research School visit their webpages.


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