Deputy Associate Dean Research, University of Tasmania
Dr Karen Barry has 20 years research experience in plant health for agriculture and forestry, as well as substantial lecturing and PhD supervision experience. In recent years a large part of her focus has been on graduate research management and skills development, including within her capacity as a Deputy Associate Dean (Research). Through collaboration with workplace psychologists and mental health experts, she has initiated studies into wellbeing in PhD candidates, and is passionate about supporting the PhD journey in all aspects.
Monitoring and improving postgraduate wellbeing for research success
Workshop, Wednesday 16 May, 1100–1230
Research training is a rewarding, yet challenging journey. Over the past two decades there has been growing evidence of psychological health problems in PhD candidates worldwide, and latest reports indicate alarming levels.
This workshop will start with an overview of current research about wellbeing in research students, including:
- What are the challenges of research training and key stressors?
- Institutional strategies to alleviate stress – research program structure and support
- Self-care strategies to alleviate stress – case study of a mindfulness training intervention.
Open discussion and group activities will be conducted to explore the participant’s experience of key stress points in the PhD journey and the support that the institutions of workshop participants provide, or could do better. A particular focus will be on how stress may be experienced by industry-focused research student compared to those without industry connections.
A short seated mindfulness activity will be conducted (10 min) to demonstrate how it works. Other self-care strategies will be discussed and a package of information provided on resources and support for universities, research administrators, supervisors and students.
At the conclusion of the workshop a network of interested participants will be established with the aim of initiating future research and activity in this important area.