Melbourne Research Experience Survey

2021 MRES is now closed

Every two years we ask you for feedback on your research experience. The information you provide helps us identify areas of good performance and areas for improvement.

Take part and have your say

If you are a current graduate researcher who commenced prior to 1 December 2020, you will receive an email containing a link to the survey. Simply use the survey link to provide your feedback. The survey will take 15-20 minutes to complete. Those who complete the survey by Sunday 8 August 2021 will be entered into a draw to win one $500 or one of five $100 Giftpay Flexi e-gift cards (or voucher of equivalent value if based overseas).

You will be asked about your experience of supervision, the resources and support available to you.

You will also have the opportunity to provide general comments about your graduate research experience.

Reporting from the MRES

Outcomes will be reported by academic division, and where appropriate by department or school. Results are not presented where there are fewer than five responses. More comprehensive reports of your views on supervision and support will be compiled and submitted to academic division leadership through the Committee of Graduate Research Associate Deans; to Academic Board through the Higher Degrees by Research Committee and senior management.

You Said, We listened

key initiatives undertaken by your faculty/graduate school since the 2019 survey.

  • Faculty of Arts
    • Reviewed and revised PhD coursework program, to increase flexibility in subject choice and more opportunity for advanced methodological training
    • Acquired additional faculty spaces to increase candidate access to study space over the lifecycle of candidature
    • Consolidated and streamlined GR administrative support structures in the Schools and Faculty to deliver more consistent services and support for graduate researchers and their supervisors
    • Commenced twice-yearly forums with the GR representatives to hear concerns, share ideas and seek improvements
    • Increased the focus on industry engagement, establishing an internship certificate
    • Reshaped the Faculty research funding support schemes to support to GRs to pursue virtual fieldwork and online enrichment activities.
  • Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning
    • Initiated fortnightly forums, including informal meetings and formal lectures/topics for discussion ranging from COVID-19 impacts, to confirmation preparation and year level cohort catch ups.
    • Created a Canvas (Learning Management) Community Page to facilitate communication and cohort building opportunities
    • Provided Research Student Association (RSA) representatives opportunity to contribute to the Faculty’s research strategic planning through targeted consultation and involvement in annual Faculty Research Leadership think-tanks
    • Initiated more regular forums to update supervisors on key graduate research issues.
  • Faculty of Business and Economics
    • Launched the inaugural, annual Celebration of FBE Graduate Research event in 2020 to honour prior year alumni and current graduate researcher achievements
    • Ran an intensive Writing Weekend for Business & Economics, Arts and Education later-year PhD candidates.
    • Piloting a revamped version of the academic professional development program in 2021, through the Faculty’s Williams Centre for Learning Advancement (WCLA). Focusing on Managing Subjects, Managing Career and Experiential Learning.
    • Developing our Graduate Research Development and Training Framework, which will include Digital Collaboration and Tools.
  • Faculty of Engineering
    • Created prestigious scholarships especially for Engineering and Information Technology candidates – the Ingenium Scholars Program and the Indigenous Research Scholarship
    • Supported more joint PhD scholarships with international universities
    • Focused on supporting our female candidates through tailored events and increasing the number of female supervisors.
  • Faculty of Fine Arts and Music
    • Auditing the suitability and availability of desk spaces for graduate researchers following the re-opening of campuses. We will improve the information about this on our web page.
    • Planned expansion of the Academic Assistantship Scheme to provide additional professional mentoring and training and opportunities to develop teaching skills
    • Revised the Faculty Small Grants Scheme for graduate researchers to provide funding for every candidate.
  • Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
    • Held the inaugural MDHS Graduate Research Conference in 2020 to support graduate researchers unable to attend conferences due to COVID-19, providing opportunities to interact and share their research with peers and listen to national and international speakers.
    • Organised the inaugural MDHS Wellbeing Summit in 2019 to
      • Identify significant issues of wellbeing and their risk factors in our environment(s)
      • Provide recommendations about the prevention and management of these issues.
    • Conducted advisory chair training sessions focusing on supervisor and graduate researcher wellbeing.
    • Continuously improving communications with graduate researchers and supervisors and working with graduate researchers to improve the graduate researcher experience.
  • Faculty of Science
    • Hosted regular thesis boot camps to support graduate researchers to completion
    • Hosted booting-up your thesis camps to support graduate researchers early in their candidature
    • Introduced a Graduate Research professional skills series including sessions on the job market; presentation skills and an industry panel focusing on navigating the transition into a career
    • Introduced biennial resilient researcher webinars
    • Held annual Faculty of Science three-minute thesis competitions.
  • Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences
    • Held quarterly inductions for incoming graduate research candidates
    • Hosted regular Zoom catch-ups for candidates with the Associate Dean and Directors of Graduate Research
    • Held workshop for supervisors on best practice in supervision
    • Supported the FVAS Graduate Research Symposium.
  • Melbourne Graduate School of Education
    • Created more scholarship opportunities for graduate researchers
    • Providing guaranteed $1000 travel funding per year to support career development by facilitating opportunities to present at domestic and international conferences and/or conduct research fieldwork in Australia and/or overseas
    • Established thesis to publication scholarships to support graduate researchers under examination to convert their thesis into publications
    • Provided high quality support services and administrative pastoral advice, including monthly online drop in sessions
    • Set minimum expectations for GR supervision across academic levels
    • Held monthly online “Shut up & write” sessions
  • Melbourne Law School
    • Created a dedicated Director of Graduate Research role, focused solely on supporting graduate researchers
    • Established an Indigenous Law and Justice Hub to improve graduate education and research
    • Created more opportunities for scholarships and scholarship top ups
    • Redesigned the fortnightly Research Support Program aimed at commencing graduate researchers
    • Held regular enrichment events and town hall meetings led by the Associate Dean, Research
    • Undertook a faculty-wide research review in consultation with graduate researchers.

Reporting inappropriate behaviour

Occasionally, survey respondents wish to make the University aware of concerning or inappropriate behaviour they have experienced or witnessed.

We encourage you to contact the Safer Community Program in the first instance. They can provide advice and support, including on what to do if you would like to make a formal complaint. If you are concerned about the behaviour of a University of Melbourne staff member, you can also contact the Inappropriate Workplace behaviour line.

If you do wish to make a disclosure, the University also has an anonymous register for students, staff, alumni or visitors to record instances of inappropriate behaviour The Anonymous Register for Inappropriate Behaviour.

Useful links

Further information

Bill Jones (Business Intelligence and Reporting)
Charlotte Hart (Chancellery Research and Enterprise)