Skill Spotlight: Collaboration and Leadership


Welcome to this week’s HDR Development Bulletin.

This week we are focusing on the topic Collaboration and Leadership. You can find this skill here on the REST FLO site.

At some point in your HDR candidature, someone has probably said to you that your HDR is a training ground. You do not have to know everything; you should ask questions; and should make the most of this opportunity to learn. These things are all true – however, just because you are ‘researchers in training’ does not mean you have to position yourself as (or remain) a novice! So lets explore something that is talked about less often (due to things like power dynamics, imposter syndrome etc.), which is the expertise you bring with you to your program as well as the expertise you rapidly develop during your candidature.

The very nature of the HDR experience means you are emerging leaders at the forefront of innovation, research, and knowledge dissemination in your research area. HDR students also often take on collaborative and/or leadership roles within their academic communities, working as teaching assistants, mentors, and running student organizations. These roles require an abundance of collaboration and leadership skills including effective communication, self-awareness, decision making, and sometimes advocacy (for yourself and for others). Chances are you have developed a number of these ‘softer skills’ before starting your candidature – through previous study, work and life experience.

HDR student expertise plays a pivotal role in shaping not only the academic landscape but also the broader community. So take a moment this week to reflect on how your collaboration and leadership skills are being used. Is there more would like to be doing being to both sharpen your skills or influence you HDR experience?

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GA7: Collaboration and Leadership