Commentary

This case study plots the development of a range of strategies to build a research community and improve the quality of the research experience for both students and staff. The Director of HDR understands the potential in positions such as these to enhance career trajectory but she also engages substantially with the work, including taking on the ‘messy’ parts of the job such as following up with supervisors who don’t complete the paperwork. 

This case study looks back at how the transition process could be improved to ensure that positive initiatives are maintained as part of the role. The time spent on developing and improving initiatives, based on good practice, is an investment by the university, but one which can so easily be lost during changeovers. She poses the question about whether it is choosing the right person for the job, or is it about making sure the initiatives are actually documented and established as processes, or is it about the need for stronger institutional structures so that processes don’t collapse?

Perhaps it is also about better position descriptions for the role. The labelling of the role in this university as ‘administration’ sets the tone for a managerial role rather than a mix of ‘administration’ and ‘teaching’, to accommodate the curriculum development work that goes into building an effective HDR education program.

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