Participants at the Centre of Excellence School for Early Career Researchers.
Participants at the Centre of Excellence School for Early Career Researchers.

Early Career Researchers extend collaborations across ARC Centres of Excellence

Author  Sally Storey
Date 15 November 2023

The Centre of Excellence School for Early Career Researchers was a hype of excitement as emerging scholars from across three Australian Research Centres of Excellence were brought together as a collaborative community.

Across the two-day symposium, Early Career Researchers form the ARC Centres of Excellence for; Automated Decision-Making and Society, Children and Families over the Life Course, and the Digital Child engaged in presentations, workshops, panels and social activities.

Hearing from Centre of Excellence (CoE) leaders about their aims, approaches, strengths and challenges, participants made connections where their research overlapped.

Kieran Hegarty, Research Fellow from the RMIT University node at the ADM+S said, “By bringing together leading researchers from across three CoEs, multiple institutions, and diverse disciplines, the ECR School gave us an opportunity to explore and experience how abstract concepts like ‘interdisciplinary’, ‘multidisciplinary’, and ‘transdisciplinary’ work in practice.”

Prof Marcus Foth, Founder and Director of the Urban Informatics Lab at QUT, facilitated a workshop ‘What’s the difference between multi- trans- inter- disciplinary work? And why does it matter?

Kevan Jones, Learning Advisor from the University of Queensland, ran a ‘Pitching your research’ session, focusing on the art of pitching research and refining the skills of communication research concisely.

The ‘Developing Successful Collaborations’ panel brought together ADM+S research collaborators Dr Kate Bower (Fellow, UTS Human Technology Lab, CHOICE Advocacy) and Dr Peter Bailey (Machine Learning Lead for Search & Recommendations, Canva) with Dr Kate Liley (National Manager, Goodstart Early Learning), where panellists discussed opportunities and challenges in brokering relationships with collaborators from diverse research backgrounds.

Participants collaborated across all three CoEs to brainstorm and map key issues that each CoE addresses to identify research synergies. Researchers worked in teams to generate and present a speculative proposal that addressed one of the grand challenges.

“What was evident in developing this project and hearing from the other groups was the similarity we shared—not in terms of discipline or institution—but in terms of a commitment to using our research to engage with diverse communities and understand and respond to social inequities and other complex problems,” explained Kieran Hegarty.

Ashwin Nagappa, researcher from the Digital Media Research Centre at QUT and alumnus of the ADM+S Centre said that participating in the CoE School for Early Career Researchers proved invaluable in navigating the peaks and valleys of an academic career.

“This experience not only equipped me with valuable insights but also fostered a sense of camaraderie among emerging scholars.

“I am grateful for the support and guidance received, shaping not just my academic pursuits but also my personal and professional growth,” said Ashwin.

The ADM+S Research Training Committee extend their thanks to:
ADM+S researchers Prof Jean Burgess, Prof Dan Angus, Milovan Savik, Kieran Hegarty, Ashwin Nagappa, Lyndal Sleep, Robert Lundberg, Kunal Chand, Henry Fraser, and Suvradip Maitra who participated and delivered sessions as part of the symposium.

The CoE School working group: Kate Gilkison, Tianyi Ma, Alice Campbell (Children and Families over the Life Course), Sonia White and Aleesha Rodriguez (Digital Child), Sally Storey (ADM+S).