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Support available

The SOAR Centre is run by skilled Peer Advisers who are also research candidates. They offer knowledge and experience developed through their own research journey. You can meet with Peer Advisers in our SOAR Centre for one-to-one support or group workshops.

Book an appointment for one-to-one help with a Peer Adviser.

Research skills training

As a researcher, you will encounter challenges that may require extra help. In addition to the support offered by your supervisor, school and the Research Service’s training program, the ten SOAR Peer Advisers have a variety of research skills to provide you with the support you need. Peer Advisers can provide support in areas such as:

  • induction, e.g. GRIP, MyPLAN, getting started as a research student;
  • research software, e.g. SPSS, EndNote, NVivo;
  • academic writing and formatting, e.g. literature reviews, research proposals;
  • understanding research methodologies;
  • Microsoft Office suite, e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint;
  • IT troubleshooting;
  • data collection and analysis;
  • presentation skills and communicating your research;
  • ethics application process; and
  • career planning.

Adjusting to research life

Our Peer Advisers have already experienced a number of challenges on their research journey. Some of these are more personal than academic and may include:

  • managing work-life balance
  • working full-time and studying part-time
  • juggling family commitments and understanding
  • experiencing cultural differences
  • adapting to living in Australia

Our SOAR Peer Advisers are trained in cultural awareness and transition issues and are happy to listen to your stories and discuss your situation. Peer Advisers may refer you to other services provided at ECU that may also help you.

Referral to other services

The SOAR Centre works closely with other services at ECU, for example Career and Employability Services, Student Counselling, Library Services, and research and writing advisers. If needed, Peer Advisers can refer you to any of these services.

Small Group Workshops (SOAR sessions)

SOAR sessions are interactive small group workshops on a variety of research-related topics, where Peer Advisers share their own experiences and knowledge. Examples of SOAR sessions include:

  • Thesis structuring and formatting using Word;
  • Introduction to EndNote;
  • Managing work/life balance;
  • MyPLAN demonstration;
  • Publishing your research; and
  • Conducting Focus Groups.

More information about SOAR Sessions is available in the research student newsletters sent via student email.

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