Thriving and Connecting: Discover What’s New at the RDU

As the Researcher Development Unit (RDU) here at the University of Melbourne, our commitment extends to all researchers, recognising the diverse challenges and aspirations within our vibrant research community. 

As 2024 unfolds, we are proud to showcase a comprehensive suite of programs specifically designed to support, inspire, and empower every researcher at every stage of their journey. From fostering effective communication and enhancing impact literacy to promoting well-being and navigating the complexities of the academic landscape, our tailored offerings aim to support your unique path. 

The RDU is directed by Professor Kat McFerran, from the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, highlighting the interdisciplinary reach and collaborative spirit that define our unit. Alongside our academic leadership, our professional staff team is integral to the coordination and implementation of our programs. The team includes: 

  • Professor Kat McFerran – Academic Director 
  • Associate Professor Kate Howell – Academic Lead, Graduate Research Supervision 
  • Andrew Dunstan – Program Manager 
  • Lucy Zhan – Programs and Events Coordinator 
  • Reuben Dyer – Guidance Coordinator 
  • Poppy Paraw – Digital Resources and Content Coordinator 

An important tool for staying up-to-date with researcher development offerings is the RDU Events portal. Providers from around the University promote their events to researchers of all faculties and career stages, so there’s always something to look forward to. Keep an eye on the portal and subscribe to our newsletter for a monthly digest of upcoming events. 

Featured programs from our GR portfolio: 

  • Graduate Researcher Orientation: Kickstart your journey with us! This is your primer to life as a graduate researcher at the University, offering a comprehensive introduction to the resources and support systems available to you. 
  • VYT (Visualise Your Thesis): This programme, presented in collaboration with the library, challenges graduate researchers at any stage of their candidature to present their projects in a 60-second, eye-catching, video. It’s a great way to showcase your research impact, learn digital communication skills and win cash prizes! 
  • Research Communications Workshops: Led by expert communicator Jen Martin, these workshops are designed to polish your ability to communicate complex research ideas clearly and engagingly. 

For those eager to dive into the world of research development, the RDU’s programs and events offer a gateway to empowerment and discovery. With a focus on empowerment, connectivity, and wellbeing, the RDU is not just a unit; it’s a community builder, a guide, and a partner in the journey of research excellence. If you’d like to learn more about us, please do browse our website or get in touch at  

We hope to see you at an event soon! 

The RDU team 

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