Full Programme


The 2018 programme is available. Download here. 



2018 Keynote Speakers


First Keynote Address:
Doctoral education and impact: The Australian perspective

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Dr Alan Finkel AO
Alan commenced as Australia’s Chief Scientist on 25 January 2016. He is Australia’s eighth Chief Scientist. Prior to becoming Chief Scientist, he was the eighth Chancellor of Monash University and the eighth President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE).

Since commencing as Chief Scientist, Dr Finkel has led a number of national reviews, including serving as the Chair of the Review into the National Electricity Market (‚ÄúFinkel Review‚ÄĚ) and the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap. He is leading the STEM Industry Partnership Forum for COAG Education Council, and he serves as the Deputy Chair of Innovation and Science Australia.

Dr Finkel has an extensive science background as an entrepreneur, engineer, neuroscientist and educator. He was awarded his PhD in electrical engineering from Monash University and worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in neuroscience at the Australian National University.

In 1983, he founded Axon Instruments, a California-based, ASX-listed company that made precision scientific instruments used at pharmaceutical companies and universities for the discovery of new medicines. After Axon was sold in 2004, Dr Finkel became a director of the acquiring company, NASDAQ-listed Molecular Devices.

In 2006, he focused his career in Australia and undertook a wide range of activities. He led the amalgamation that formed the Florey Neuroscience Institutes; he became Chair of the Australian Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO) and was a director of the ASX-listed diagnostics company Cogstate Limited. He was Executive Chair of the educational software company Stile Education, Chair of Manhattan Investment Group, Chief Technology Officer of Better Place Australia and Chair of Speedpanel Australia.

Dr Finkel was the 2016 Victorian of the Year and the recipient of the Mountbatten Medal (UK). A winner of the Clunies Ross Award for facilitating international neuroscience research, Dr Finkel is committed to science education. He co-founded Cosmos Magazine, which in addition to magazine publishing operates a secondary schools science education program. At ATSE, he led the development and implementation of the STELR program for secondary school science, which has been adopted in more than 600 Australian schools. As Chief Scientist he has led the development of the STARportal information web site for extracurricular STEM activities.

Dr Finkel also established the Australian Course in Advanced Neuroscience to train early career neuroscientists.

Second Keynote Address:
The Purpose and Impact of Postgraduate Knowledge

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It was with great sadness that, shortly after QPR2018, we heard of the untimely death of Prof. Brenda Leibowitz, whose work formed a part of this very-well received keynote address.

We would like to pass on our sympathies to her family, friends and colleagues. A tribute to Brenda from one of those friends and colleagues, Prof. Chrissie Boughey, can be found on the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA) website. Please click here.

Prof. Gina Wisker
Head of the University of Brighton’s Centre for Learning and Teaching, and Professor of Higher Education and Contemporary Literature.

Gina teaches and researches in learning, teaching, postgraduate study, and supervision. Her publications include The Postgraduate Research Handbook (2001, 2008) The Good Supervisor (2005, 2012), The Undergraduate Research Handbook (2007, 2018), and Getting Published (2015). She is a visiting professor/fellow at the University of the Free State and the University of Johannesburg, South Africa and at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. She has supervised over 30 PhDs to completion and runs postgraduate supervision and academic writing courses worldwide. For several years Gina contributed as a guest to the state of the art postgraduate supervision course at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Gina also teaches, researches, and publishes Twentieth-century women’s writing, postcolonial, Gothic, and popular fictions: Key Concepts in Postcolonial Writing (2007), Horror (2005), Margaret Atwood, an Introduction to Critical Views of Her Fiction (2012), and Contemporary Women‚Äôs Gothic Fiction (2016).

Dr Gillian Robinson
Reader Emerita at Anglia Ruskin University

Gillian she was Director of Research Degrees and Coordinator of an International Ph.D. Programme for twelve years. Her research interests are in doctoral learning, issues of cross cultural supervision, the supervision of creative practice-based Ph.Ds, and postgraduate student wellbeing. She is also known internationally for her work in Art and Design Education where continuing research interests and publications are focused around the value of sketchbooks as a tool for developing thinking skills and meta-cognition.

Prof. Brenda Leibowitz
Brenda is SARChI (South African Research Chairs Initiative) Chair: Teaching and Learning in Post-School Education and Training and works in the University of Johannesburg’s Faculty of Education. Her key role in the university is to support the scholarship of teaching and learning amongst academics. She is presently convenor of the Teaching Advancement at University (TAU) Fellowships Programme and convenor of the South African Universities Learning and Teaching (SAULT) Forum. She is principal researcher (South Africa) for the ESRC/NRF funded project entitled South African Rurality in Higher Education (SARiHE). She holds a PhD in Education from the University of Sheffield. Her research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning, social justice, practice based approaches to learning and professional learning.

Mini Plenary:
Enabling mental health for research degree students

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Dr Hugh Kearns
Hugh is recognised internationally as a public speaker, educator and researcher. His areas of expertise include self-management, positive psychology, work-life balance, learning and creativity. He draws on over twenty five years of experience as a leading training and development professional within the corporate, financial, education and health sectors in Ireland, Scotland, North America, New Zealand and Australia. He has coached individuals, teams and executives in a wide range of organisations in the public and private sectors.

Hugh lectures and researches at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. He is widely recognised for his ability to take the latest research in psychology and education and apply it to high-performing people and groups. As a co-author with Maria Gardiner, he has published ten books which are in high demand both in Australia and internationally.