Digital spaces for HDR students

This is a quick one for HDR students (who know who you are) to remind them of digital points of connection with the HDR community at Flinders.

When we feel like we belong in a group, we are more likely to be able to navigate the challenges of being part of that group.

For example, if you are a HDR student and you feel connected to and part of the HDR community, then you will find it easier to navigate the challenges of being a HDR student.

We see this belonging effect pop up in many different settings. Challenges are easier to meet, if we feel we are meeting them with the collective and not just on our own.

So what drives belonging? I’m actually working on a post at the moment addressing that specific question, drawing on a nice paper I have been reading on the topic. Stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, one of the drivers of belonging is opportunities to connect. We won’t feel part of a group, if we don’t have opportunities to connect with people from that group.

In the HDR world, where everyone is working on different projects, and may be separated by time and space, digital channels become important.

Two are worth noting here.

  • The first is the HDR Connect Teams site. It contains discussion forums, thesis writing groups and the WriteBunch – a daily meeting to connect online and write silently with others in a group setting. There is a good chance, if you are a HDR student that you are a member of that Teams site, but you may not have logged in to check it out.
  • The second is the HDR Development Bulletin – an email newsletter “keeping HDR students informed of upcoming sessions and opportunities”. Check your email for the most recent edition, which is what reminded me to write this post.

I know after COVID that many of us (myself included) got a bit fatigued with online connection methods, but they remain hugely valuable. If you are a HDR student and have seen these digital channels in your email feed, but not visited to explore, I encourage you to do so.

It is amazing what feeling part of a community can do for our wellbeing and commitment to our work. And if you’ve been feeling a bit alone in the world of higher degree research, these lifelines are available to you.

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