Developing a collaborative research community in the Joint Higher Degree by Research Conference 2021
The inaugural Joint Higher Degree by Research Conference celebrated the variety and diversity of research topics being explored by candidates.
On Friday, 3 December 2021, James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore, in collaboration with the University of Reading Malaysia (UoRM), held the inaugural Joint Higher Degree by Research Conference. This initiative builds on the MOU signed between the two universities in 2019 to further collaboration opportunities.
The theme of the conference was “Postgraduate Passages: Crossing Borders, Tracking Milestones”, which references the shared experience of all HDR candidates of tracking their candidature milestones towards completion. By offering a platform for postgraduate students from both universities to submit research abstracts for presentations and discussions during the conference, the conference also aimed to foster social and research collaboration amongst the candidates. At the same time, the conference also celebrated the variety and diversity of research topics being explored by candidates across disciplines and reinforced the development of a supportive and collaborative research community both locally and regionally.
In addition to the research presentations, the conference also included a couple of keynote addresses which introduced the Collaborative Research Culture Framework — which uncovers new ways to set priorities and manage relationships to ensure good use of the time, resources, and people — as well as tips on writing a good journal article.
JCU, Singapore PhD (Society & Culture) Candidate Muhamad Alif Bin Ibrahim received the Best Abstract Award for his presentation on “Assessing the Face and Content validity of the Couple Resilience Inventory through Qualitative Research: Insights from Same-sex Couples in Singapore”. Meanwhile, JCU, Singapore PhD (Health) Candidate Michelle Tan Yan Ling received the Best Presenter Award for her presentation on “A Scoping Review of the Application of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in Treating Common Psychiatric Disorders”.
PhD (Health) candidate and UoRM part-time lecturer Mohammad Izzat Morshidi worked with JCU, Singapore PhD (Health) candidate Catherine Toh Mui-Hua in the organising committee. Izzat said, “I am grateful that the conference was successful and was highly commended. Organising an event that required collaboration between two universities divided by the Straits of Johor was indeed a challenge. It was a lengthy process with weekly meetings and constant communication with the committee to ensure that every element of the conference was well organised. I truly appreciate the grit and hard work of my colleague Ms Catherine Toh, who has toiled together with me since the conception of the idea for the joint campus conference. I hope the conference remains a mainstay and fosters greater collaborations between the two campuses.”
Catherine added, “This is my first experience being in a research conference organising committee for my fellow HDR candidates. It really is an eye-opener. I’ve learnt so much. Above all, the skills that I’ve acquired along the way have been the most rewarding part of the journey. I am delighted that the pandemic has not stopped us from collaborating with one another. The whole experience was exciting, challenging, and enjoyable! I’m glad to be part of the committee. Thank you JCU, Singapore! Thank you UoRM!”
Find out more about our Higher Degrees by Research courses at James Cook University in Singapore.