CDU HDR Futures Conference 2019


Registrations are now open for the conference

View the Program

Register NOW



A/ Prof Inger Mewburn

(The Thesis Whisperer)



Where can your research skills take you?

Dr Ben McNeil




Fake Science: The importance of science communication and how we can fix internet misinformation
Inger MewburnBen
In this lecture Associate Professor Mewburn will share the results of a long term study of job advertisements which revealed the nature and extent of the job market for PhD graduates in Australia. She will share some ongoing research into employer attitudes, which shows some curious ideas about PhD graduates. This lecture will be helpful to anyone contemplating their future, inside or outside of academia

To be a scientist is to come up with ideas, test them and then publish the results in a traditional journal. Universities and governments provide metrics to reward this activity via the number of papers. Meanwhile, the public impact of research is not rewarded. This 'Publish or Perish' model has therefore fundamentally failed in helping translate academic knowledge to better impact peoples lives around the world. The growth of climate change denial and anti-vaccination are some examples of this science communication failure,  which translates to huge social and economic consequences.

The good news is the world is changing rapidly - fake news and misinformation is now a top priority to fix. In this talk I will give an overview of my own career in science being on the front-line of climate debates in the media, highlight the importance of developing communication skills in science and give an overview of how we can fix the fake news era, with universities playing a critical role in addressing this huge growing problem.

Guest Speakers

Dr Hugh Kearns

Is there something about the PhD (and HDR) that increases the chances of mental health issues? Of course some PhD candidates bring mental health issues into their PhD with them but are the way we structure it (or don’t structure it) and support them (or don’t support them) also factors. It’s always easy to blame the victim but perhaps we’re doing things (often unwittingly) to make it worse?

In my role I work with thousands of research students all over the world. They often confide in me about the struggles and strains of the experience. They tell me things they would never tell their supervisor or anyone in authority at their university. And some themes do emerge.

In this session I will describe some of these themes and then issue a challenge to research students, research supervisors, post-graduate co-ordinators and support staff in graduate schools to do something about this. And I will make some suggestions!

Dr Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann (AO)

In this presentation, Dr. Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann and Gavin Morris will share a strength based ‘truth telling’, revealing the impacts of colonisation and traditional healing practices specific to the Nauiyu Nambiyu community. A key theme to emerge is that of an Ancient University. This study is unique as it was requested by the Nauiyu community and it is the first of its kind that utilises an Indigenous research methodology on the Country and with the people to which it belongs. Dadirri has been used increasingly as a research methodology but never in its home in Daly River.


In this session, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities of researching in an Aboriginal community and make some suggestions for those contemplating their future within Indigenous research.

Gavin Morris


4 SeptemberPre-Conference Registration, drinks and nibbles approx 3:30- 5:30pm
5 & 6 SeptemberConference


Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Professor John Finlay-Jones, invites CDU HDR Students, Supervisors and other researchers, as well other interested parties to the CDU Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Futures Conference to be held at the Casuarina Campus on 5 and 6 September 2019.


The themes of the conference are “sustainability” and the “future”. The aims are:

  • Showcase CDU HDR research activity, partnerships and impacts undertaken across CDU
  • Provide an opportunity for HDRs to promote and explain their research to peers
  • Learn about different types of research design and methodologies across disciplines and within disciplines
  • Be inspired by keynote speakers and hear about researcher skills for future careers
  • Make new connections among the CDU HDR cohort and with other academics
  • Interact with other HDRs and the CDU research community through social activities

The conference will feature key note speakers, HDR candidate presentations, opportunities to connect, prizes for outstanding presentations and a talent show. The conference is a chance for the CDU research community to come together, to build on the university’s research culture and encourage friendships, networks and collaborations.    

The two-day program aims to be of great interest to HDR candidates at all stages of their candidature. Supervisors, other academics and other interested parties are also welcome to attend. Conference training will be provided during the week of 29 July - 2 August. The Conference will also follow three days of REP training including workshops to help put the final touches on presentations.

2017 Conference

To find out about the last CDU HDR Conference, including abstracts booklet, prize winner and photo gallery, go to our 2017 Conference webpages.

If you have any suggestions or queries regarding the conference, please email or call 08 8946 7460.