About GRASP Plus

GRASP Plus is a catch-all for everything that does not quite fit anywhere else. More importantly, it is also the team’s attempt to expand the program to include more diverse, fun and broad content and resources that are relevant to HDR students. Please let us know if you have ideas for content, and we’ll add them in!

GRASP Playlist

The GRASP motivational songs playlist is coming along nicely, we have 11 songs so far:

(Sign up for a free Spotify account, or just take the list and listen to it wherever you get your music from).

Get in touch if you have ideas for songs to add, anything that motivates you to keep working on your research and your thesis, or cheers you up when things are difficult.

Thesis Fest 2022

Thesis Fest is a two-day, in-person event hosted by Curtin University Library focused on supporting Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students with research skills and wellbeing. The program is designed to help you re-engage with your research, and to assist you in working towards final submission with confidence and success. Recordings can be viewed below.

View Thesis Fest 2022 full program

View Thesis Fest speaker profiles


Day one opening address

Dr Franca Jones

Building effective research networks and communities (especially in the time of COVID) during your PhD.

Jonathan O’Donnell The Research Whisperer University of Melbourne

Good networks in academia generally lead to more research collaborations, more career opportunities, and better profile for your work. But what happens when none of the traditional ways of networking appeal to you? In fact, what if those modes actively put you off getting out there and doing any networking at all? What if COVID has shut down many face to face events where you would have met people? This talk contrasts ‘networking’ with ‘community building’. It provides sound advice on how you can build a supportive community around you. It’s ideal for those of you who hear the word ‘networking’ and cringe.

Jonathan O’Donnell runs the Research Whisperer blog and @ResearchWhisper Twitter stream, about doing research in academia.

Getting the best from your supervisor relationship

Dr Andrew Cameron Student Assist Officer Curtin University

A healthy relationship with your supervisor can mean your time as a HDR student is productive and rewarding, but a negative experience can lead to delays, discouragement, and stress. This session will explore the challenges and opportunities of working with your supervisor and how to make the most from the relationship.

Make your writing flow like water

Professor Amanda Salis Senior Research Fellow National Health and Medical Research Council

You’re sitting in front of your computer, you know something’s wrong with your writing, but you don’t know how to fix it. Sound familiar? Come to this 60-minute training with Prof. Amanda Salis and learn how to recognize writing that doesn’t flow, explain how to fix it, and write in a way that flows from the outset, using five writing techniques that promote flow. Bring something that you have written and that you would like to improve.

The pastoral role of the Thesis Chair

Professor Christopher Reid Dean, Graduate Studies Curtin University

Ask the Professor anything

Join us as two Professors from Curtin University open the floor up for questions from HDR students.

Professor Daniel Gucciardi School of Allied Health Faculty of Health Sciences
Associate Professor Susanna Castleden Acting Dean of Research School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Enquiry Faculty of Humanities.


Day two opening address

Hannah Allan Director, Research Services and Systems

Wellbeing and self-care during your PhD

Associate Professor Narelle Lemon The Wellbeing Whisperer Swinburne University of Technology

Self-care is about proactive action to support your wellbeing. Self-care is often described as a process, an ability, and often as engagement with behaviours that have one engaging with different wellbeing science that promotes subjective wellbeing. Self-care also requires personal and professional negotiations. We place constant pressure on ourselves to navigate the expectations that is placed on us during undertaking a PhD. Finding a sense of belonging and valuing the pace of care and caring is forever being negotiated. In this presentation I’ll focus on how self-care is not a selfish act, and that it should not be a hidden part of who we are as PhD students, scholars, and academics. I’ll share my 5 dimensions of self-care framework and unlock the potential in all of us to grow, maintain and protect our wellbeing with some tools that can assist us all to flourish.

The Hero’s Journey

Professor Julia Richardson Head of School School of Management & Marketing Curtin University

Drawing on Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Adventure metaphor and her own experience as a HDR student, supervisor and examiner Julia will discuss answering the ‘call’, confronting your own resistance, connecting with guardians and magical friends, making a commitment, engaging with deep change, changing identities and new beginnings. Metaphors are a powerful tool to explore the psychological challenges of undertaking and completing the HDR journey. The Hero’s Adventure metaphor is a powerful framework, inviting you to reflect on your own thought processes and capacity to learn and adjust to a different way of thinking/being.

Deliver your research in 3 minutes

Professor Amanda Salis Senior Research Fellow National Health and Medical Research Council

When you only have a short amount of time in which to talk about your research, whether for an elevator pitch, a three-minute thesis competition, or a conference presentation, this 60-minute training will help you make every word count. Topics covered include but are not limited to: how to show the importance of your research in such a short timeframe; how to make your presentation stand out from others; how to make your research understandable to non-specialists. The expected outcome is that you will feel confident about planning and delivering your research in short presentations.

Stories from the valley of despair (HDR panel)

Listen to a panel of recently completed PhD students as they discuss motivation, staying on-track and how to stay well during the course of your research.

Dr Chantal Game Faculty of Business & Law  
Dr Robert Wells Faculty of Health Sciences  
Dr Damon Lalich Faculty of Humanities  
Dr Faaiz Al-Shajalee Faculty of Science & Engineering  
Chair: Dr Petra Dumbell Academic Skills Advisor Curtin Library

Close and Reflection

Associate Professor Min Teah Dean of Research Faculty of Business & Law


We invited students attending Thesis Fest to submit a networking poster to our poster wall at the event. The aim of the posters is to help HDR students to connect with like-minded peers to establish or expand your network as well as to aid cross discipline collaboration in shared research areas. We have made these posters available online after the event so you may continue to connect with each other to get the most out of this networking opportunity.

View the networking posters here via BlackBoard

If you are experiencing any problems accessing this file via Blackboard please see the Instructions here.

Thesis Fest 2021

Selected recordings from Thesis Fest 2021 can be viewed below.

2021 Thesis Fest Follow Up event: Networking for Success:

Tips and tricks shared by Curtin HDR students during knowledge sharing session

2021 Thesis Fest Day 1

2021 Thesis Fest Day 2


EndNote is a reference management and bibliography-creation program. It allows you to collect, organise and store references, and create formatted citations and reference lists in Microsoft Word. For information on using EndNote see the Library’s EndNote guides:

You may also like to visit the Library’s workshops calendar to see details of any upcoming EndNote workshops.

Advanced Microsoft Word

When working on a long document such as a thesis, it can be tedious to get through all that formatting. Watch the workshop recording to get some tricks and tips for simplifying this process and getting Word to do the work for you. Freeing up your formatting time leaves more room to get your research and writing just right.

Conference poster workshop

Do you wonder what it takes to successfully submit a poster to a conference? How can you convey your research visually pleasing, but also informative and with getting all the important facts across? Listen to the recording of our session, find out what our speakers shared about their success stories with conference posters and provide you with advice on design.