RMIT University

23 April 2012

Doctoral education leader visit

The Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate-inspired strategies for program evaluation and improvement-focus on student learning outcomes will be explained in Melbourne today.

US Professor George Walker will conduct two workshops at RMIT University, which are also open to students and staff from Victoria and La Trobe universities and the Australian Catholic University.

His first workshop, from 10am to noon in the Research Lounge, will be for higher degree research students and examine the issue of preparing for a research career while working on a doctorate.

Professor Walker will focus on managing the relationship with a supervisor, developing professional communication skills and learning to network effectively.

The workshop from 2pm to 4pm, at the Storey Hall Conference Centre (The Green Brain), is for supervisors and research training leaders, where he will speak about his work as Director of the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

His work at Carnegie provides a foundation for understanding the needs and goals of doctoral education - a roadmap for bringing a new paradigm to doctoral education.

Professor Walker directed “The Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate” (CID) while a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation.

The CID was a five-year action and research project that worked with doctoral-granting departments committed to restructuring their programs to better prepare graduates. Six disciplines were included: chemistry, education, English, history, mathematics and neuroscience.

He is Professor of Physics and Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies at Cleveland State University.

Professor Walker has held appointments as Professor of Physics, Vice-President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at Indiana University, and Senior Vice-President for Research Development and Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School at Florida International University.

He has served as Chair of the Board of the Council of Graduate Schools, President of the Association of Graduate Schools of the Association of American Universities, and Chair of the Council on Research, Policy and Graduate Education of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

Professor Walker has chaired and served on many advisory committees including those at Los Alamos, Livermore scientific laboratories, and the Educational Testing Service.

The workshops are part of a program by the RMIT School of Graduate Research (SGR) to host a series of visiting professors this year, further enhancing SGR's leadership role in research training and education across the university.

Professor Denise Cuthbert, Dean, SGR, said the visits were aimed at enhancing research education at RMIT by engaging the research training community in a range of workshops, seminars and special presentations, some in conjunction with colleges and schools.

“Each visiting professor will provide valuable opportunities for staff and research candidates to learn about international research training initiatives, and to participate in the exchanges of ideas and best practice,” she said.

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Professor George Walker.