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Settling In: The Researcher's Guide to Your University

Topic 2: Settling in to your local research community

If you are commencing at a new university, you will have a huge amount of learning to accomplish over the first 6 months. You will need to build your networks, your knowledge of who is expert and helpful, and a sense of how things are done, and clarify what is expected from you in terms of performance. This topic is designed to provide you with some prompts for the in-depth discussions you should undertake with your supervisor and other relevant colleagues. It will assist you with fast-tracking the assimilation process.

This topic will assist your research induction meeting with your supervisor. It complements the formal research orientation program that your university or faculty may offer. The end of this topic will be a guided conversation with that person – and possibly others you have identified as significant sources of assistance.

Learning outcomes

After completing this topic you should be able to:

  • Meet with your supervisor to clarify your working context, discuss your performance expectations, career, and development needs
  • Identify the important sources of knowledge and who you should make contact with
  • Engage with appropriate research networks that support your research
  • Set up your research and web profiles
  • Meet with other local experts to address any knowledge gaps identified through reading this module.

Topic content

Read the following notes.

2.1 Planning your meeting with your supervisor

2.2 Setting up your research and web profiles

2.3 Building your research networks

Optional activity - Commencing your focused discussion

Complete this activity after you have worked through the subtopics.

Now save your amended induction interview checklist onto your computer for use in the meeting with your supervisor. At this point you are ready to meet them for a focused discussion on who and what you need to know. Make an appointment and ask that the meeting be scheduled for 1 hour. Prior to the meeting send your personalised meeting checklist to your supervisor for consideration. (Remember that you will also have to forward them the username and password that you were given to access these materials.)

Getting Started in a New University: A Guide for Research Supervisors

This resource provides some useful pointers for your supervisor on what you have been doing and how you may be supported. Don't forget in your meeting that you are aiming to achieve four outcomes:

  •  To identify who and what you should know
  •  Clarify the performance expectations against which you will be measured
  •  Agree on your performance and development goals for the coming year
  •  Identify mechanisms for helping you to reach your development goals.

Good luck!

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