Researcher Development

Researcher Development @ UniSA

The Researcher Development project is a UniSA commitment to provide development opportunities for early and mid career researchers (ECRs and MCRs) to thrive in their careers. It also aims to enhance employability and support capacity building of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates and academic staff. 

This university-wide project will be delivered across 2022-2023 and is aligned with the Academic Enterprise Plan section 1.7, aiming to provide researcher development opportunities for research degree candidates and staff throughout their careers.


Aimed to support researchers at all stages, the Researcher Development project provides strategies for advancing the personal, professional and research goals from PhD to Professor.

As goals and targets, the Researcher Development project aims to establish a program, tools and enabling systems to provide enhancing skills, leadership training and networking opportunities from end of 2023. We’re excited to share the range of targeted activities being piloted with the research community in 2022, including Writing Retreats, Action Learning, Leadership and ECR Academy.


These day long (9am - 5pm) writing retreats provide you with an opportunity to have dedicated time and space to write – book chapters, articles and grant papers. The aim is to attend with stated writing goals and switch off your phone and email for the day.

The retreats rotate with one being held at each of the four campuses and a monthly online Zoom session!

These retreats are supported by professional writers who will be able to provide advice and guidance. 


Register for sessions here

Contact us for more information

With the Action Learning method, you will have the opportunity to master problem-solving skills by working in groups to address organization-wide issues and problems whilst learning from their efforts.

Action Learning involves learning from your own and other people's experiences. Using the group to critically review and find solutions to immediate problems, participants can learn with and from each other. Learning occurs not just through 'technical instruction', but also through questioning, understanding, reflecting, and discovering the world around us.

As a group, participants solve real problems together by working on real issues, in real time.

Participation in this program is by nomination from the Dean

The Leadership training will be facilitated through Ethos.

This program will provide practical assistance to you to tackle research leadership from three perspectives:

  • Lead your self
  • Lead your team
  • Lead your discipline

You will also gain a deeper understanding of leadership and how to build research capacity in a university.

Participation in this program is by nomination from the Dean.

The UniSA ECR Academy is a six-month program for academic staff in the early stages of their research careers (up to 7 years post-PhD).

A taster of these exploratory and immersive sessions can be found below:

Session 1: Leadership, Culture and Teamwork (September 2022)

This interactive session will focus on setting the scene, getting to know each other, defining what a vibrant research culture looks like and exploring how to lead research successfully. Think practical activities, panel discussions and peer networking.

Session 2: Building a Sustainable Research Career (October 2022)

Led by an external consultant, this lively session will include conversations about self-management, work-life balance, learning and creativity, with an overarching aim of supporting the development of your research career. 

Session 3: Grant Development and Research Support (November 2022)

Do you know all of the routes to research funding in Australia? What supports are available to you within UniSA? Are you skilled at crafting a compelling case for funding in grant applications? This session will kick-start your funding strategy for 2023, with ongoing support available to develop a winning fellowship and/or grant application.

Session 4: Research for Impact (February 2023)

Using real life case studies, this session will outline impact in simple terms and explore the various pathways to impact, including the types of evidence and measures you can use to show your impact. An outcome of this workshop will be the development of an Impact Plan for your own research.

Session 5: Ways of Knowing: Exploring Methodologies (March 2023)

This session will provide opportunity for deep reflection on the nature of inquiry, from ancient living cultures such as Aboriginal Ways of Knowing through to western and lived experience. Build your expertise as a researcher through interdisciplinary conversations about research methodologies.

Session 6: Research Partnerships and Networks (April 2023)

This session will support you to develop your networks both inside and outside of UniSA. You will explore working effectively with mentors and sponsors of your research, establishing powerful research collaborations and building partnerships from a basis of ethical engagement and integrity.

ECR Academy Celebration Event (April 2023)

In this final session we will celebrate the achievements of ECR Academy participants with senior leaders from across the university and alumni from previous ECR development programs. This will be a great opportunity to showcase your research and take the next step into our ECR Alumni network.


The pilot activities are a redevelopment of the ECR Program established in 2007. More information on the grassroots of this program can be found here.

Please contact us for more


UniSA is committed to giving its researchers the skills and support to lead industry engagement, cultivate partnerships, be entrepreneurial, and utilize their transferable skills in solving real-world problems.  

The University is working with our partner Cruxes Innovation to deliver a number of programs to help researchers acquire these skills.  Early in 2023, we’re offering Cruxes’ Base program to UniSA researchers for the first time.

Base is purpose-designed for researchers at any stage of their career – but particularly early/mid - who are interested in exploring the journey of creating impact with their research.  The cost of participation will be fully funded by the University.

The program begins with a 3-hour online workshop on Tuesday 7 March from 9:30am, followed by interactive, self-paced on-line modules that are recommended to be completed within 4-6 weeks. As part of the Base program, you will also have access to a 30-minute 1-to-1 coaching session with the program facilitators to dive into your unique context and needs. 

Apply before the deadline of Friday 24 February 2023 to accelerate your research career.

Base is open to all researchers across Academic Units and Centres. 


For more information contact


TREK, peer-led program for industry engagement and collaboration

Commencing April 2023 – application process just opened!

The program is designed for researchers in any field who want to embed their industry engagement and collaboration skills, validate the impact potential of their project, and build collaboration with industry, community or government  partners.  It’s primarily aimed at individual early- to mid-career researchers, but it's valuable for researchers at any stage of their career who want to hone their craft in creating impact with their research. 


The Trek Program equips you with:

  • Frameworks and communication skills to rapidly test and refine the value of your research with stakeholders.
  • Relationship-building and stakeholder management skills including tools to develop and execute targeted engagement plans.


The Trek Program runs over eight weeks.  It involves participation in online cohort-based peer coaching sessions, completion of self-paced online modules, and discovery conversations with external stakeholders.  At the conclusion of the program, each participant presents their research impact vision and the insights they have gained during the program at an online “showcase” event.  The total time commitment is approximately 30 hours over the eight weeks.


Trek Program Session dates:  

  • Session 1: April 26
  • Session 2: May 10
  • Session 3: May 24
  • Session 4: June 7
  • Learnings showcase: June 14


Applications are open now. To apply, please click HERE - Registrations close on April 7. 

Achieve more from less throughout 2023 by accessing the wide range of online webinars offered to you by Campus Plus.  These online webinars aim to support researchers gain a better understanding of the opportunities commercialisation can bring, as well as help you achieve greater research commercialisation returns and impact, from holistic strategic direction and implementation at an institutional level to commercialisation awareness and capacity building at an individual level.


Upcoming Sessions for February and March: 


Many of these webinars are recognized by ATTP, and attendance at one of these webinars will give one Continuing Education point towards RTTP status.

Maximise the value of your research by gaining the tools you need by registering here.

Click here to view the 2023 Schedule and register ahead of the crowd!

Please note that these sessions will be recorded and the opportunity to view them at a self-paced timeframe is optional – all you need to do is register.


For more information, contact


Webinars are presented by Campus+. 




The Researcher Development project is sponsored by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Enterprise, Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington. The project is overseen by the Researcher Development Action Group (RDAG), chaired by Professor Susan Hillier as academic champion. The Terms of Reference are available here. The project team based in the UniSA Research Office can be contacted via