Events & Initiatives

We facilitate several programmes and events for postgraduate students that are ongoing throughout the academic year:

In addition, we also organise one-off social and academic events. Take a look at our Semester 2 calendar to find out more.

Any questions: email

Academic Leadership Initiative (ALI)

Seminars on teaching, research, service (and more) give students the opportunity to learn about the possibilities and realities of a career in research.


What is a teaching portfolio and is it important? How do I get a job as a professional teaching fellow?  Teaching is an integral part of a research career from one-on-one mentorship to full class lectures. The teaching seminars show you how to prepare for the road ahead, and the different pathways on offer.


A research career involves more than data analysis and write-up. Researchers need to apply for grants, manage a budget, peer review publications, and more. Early career and seasoned researchers tell you what you should know before embarking on a research career of your own.


Service typically takes up 20% of an academic’s workload. Service might include reviewing articles, editing a journal, or membership on a community board, among other options. The service seminar will shed light on the reasons for doing service and the different types available,.

ALI Seminar Schedule 2022

Seminars will be held on-campus and via Zoom on Thursday afternoons throughout the year. Further details will be sent to enrolled FMHS students via email.

Teaching Portfolio, Inventory & Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Professor Janine Wiles

Thursday 19 May 1pm-2pm

Professional Teaching Fellow & Lecturing

Dr Laura Wilkinson-Meyers

Thursday 22 September 1pm-2pm

Research Grants, Strategy & Budgets

Professor Andrew Shelling

Thursday 25 August 1pm-2pm

Research Support & Impact



Peer Review & Editorial Process

Professor Melody Smith

Thursday 20 October 1pm-2pm

Research Fellow

Dr Ben Dickson

Thursday 24 March 1pm-2pm 


Professor Maurice Curtis

Thursday 5 May 1pm-2pm


Writing an Academic CV

Professor Laura Bennet

Thursday 2 June 1pm-2pm


Clinician: how do I balance everything?!

Professor John Windsor

 Thursday 28 July 1pm-2pm


R&D in Industry

Associate Professor Shane Scahill

Thursday 7 April 12:30pm- 1:30pm


Entrepreneurship & Commercialisation

Associate Professor Ehsan Vaghefi

Thursday 6 October 1pm-2pm



Clinical Research Associate

Dr Meghan McIlwain

 Thursday 30 June 1pm-2pm



Buddy Programme

The buddy programme provides postgraduate students with a support network and knowledge sharing community. Doctoral candidates are selected as buddy group leaders (BGLs) and facilitate casual meetings with their small group of buddies (PgDip, Honours, or Masters students) throughout the semester. The buddy programme aims to improve:



BGLs meet with their buddy groups every fortnight to check in. Buddy groups are designed to be a safe space for pre-doctoral students to share concerns about their study programmes. It’s easy to feel isolated when doing postgraduate study; buddy groups provide comfort for students- you are not the only one finding it difficult!

Academic Performance

Every BGL is a 2nd year (+) doctoral candidate. They have done the work that you are completing for perhaps the first time- literature reviews, research presentations, 700 level exams, and more. BGLs offer the tips and tricks for getting through difficult aspects of research and postgraduate study.

Understanding of Academia

What does a career in research actually entail? Our BGLs share their experiences of doctoral study, and their knowledge of careers in academia.

Peer Mentoring

Drop-in sessions on statistics and writing are scheduled throughout the year. If you have a question about ANOVAs, or want someone to read over your abstract, join a Zoom and ask the doctoral student mentor. All FMHS postgrads are welcome.


Statistics can be tricky. What is the right statistical test to use? What about outliers? How do I fix the label on my graph in R? Multiple comparisons? Maybe you need a chat to sort through your thinking process, or you just need a quick clarification. We are happy to help.

Semester 2 help sessions are fortnightly on Wednesdays at 1pm on Zoom.



An effective piece of writing has often been read by several pairs of eyes. At the writing drop-in, we are happy to read over your piece of writing to check for clarity, flow, and meaning. It’s often important for scientists outside of your field to be able to understand your writing- we can tell you whether your work is crystal-clear or needs further explanation.

Semester 2 help sessions are fortnightly on Wednesdays at 1pm on Zoom.

Monthly Coffee Social

Join us for a cup of coffee and a chat. The coffee socials are a great way to meet fellow postgraduate students in casual and relaxed setting. 

Semester 2 coffee socials will be in person. The upcoming dates are:

Friday 5 August 2pm

Tuesday 6 September 11am

Monday 3 October 1pm


Doctoral Workshop Series

These workshops answer common questions and problems faced by doctoral students (though all FMHS postgrads are welcome to attend). Dates for the workshops will be sent out via email.


The Provisional Year

A general discussion led by Prof Trevor Sherwin on what the provisional year is, how the review process works and what is expected in the full thesis proposal.


Thesis with Publication

Thesis with publication or traditional thesis? In this workshop, Prof Trevor Sherwin answers your questions about including publications in your doctoral thesis. Even if write-up feels like a long time away, it’s a good idea to start thinking about the different options for your thesis early on.


Managing Stress and Staying Resilient

Achieving and sustaining an optimum level of performance is paramount to post graduate students, yet challenging due to this highly demanding context they operate in. In order to thrive and sustain optimal performance, functioning and health, effective demand /stress management is essential as is the maintenance of high levels of resilience.


How to Write Your Thesis

A discussion on different types of theses, copyright rules, timing of examination, when to hand in your thesis and what happens after that.

Student Support

An overview of the types of support available to doctoral students, including when, where, and with whom to seek this support.

Statistics Crash Course

The Stats Crash Course is an intensive entry-level introduction to statistics for budding biomedical researchers. This course is taught using the R software with packages such as ggplot2. No prior coding experience or knowledge is assumed. There are six sessions, each of 2 hr duration, facilitated in Semester 2. Registration details will be sent via email prior to commencement of the course. The Stats Crash Course covers topics including:


Describing, visualising, and wrangling data


Parametric assumptions: t-, Mann-Whitney, Chi-Square, Fisher's Exact, Wilcoxon tests


One-way, two-way, factorial ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis test, interaction and order effects


Repeated measures ANOVA, fixed and random effects, linear mixed models


Correlation and regression


Effect sizes, type 1/2 error, statistical power & power calculations

Semester 2 Events

Locations and Zoom links are sent to students via email, and can be found on our monthly newsletter.

Week 1 (18/07 - 24/07)
  • Beer & Board Games, Thursday 21 July 4pm-6pm
Week 2 (25/07- 31/07)
  • Student Equity Seminar, Monday 25 July
  • Statistics & Writing Help, Wednesday 27 July 1pm
  • ALI Seminar Thursday 28 July 1pm-2pm
Week 3 (01/08- 07/08)
  • Student Equity Seminar, Wednesday 3 August
  • Monthly Coffee Social, Friday 5 August 2pm
Week 4 (08/08- 14/08)
  • Statistics & Writing Help, Wednesday 10 August 1pm
  • Student Equity Seminar, Thursday 11 August
  • ALI Seminar, Thursday 11 August 1pm-2pm
Week 5 (15/08- 21/08)
  • Student Equity Seminar, Wednesday 17 August
  • PDS vs PGSA Pub Quiz, Thursday 18 August 4pm-6pm
MID SEM BREAK (29/08- 11/09)
  • Monthly Coffee Social, Tuesday 6 September 11am
Week 6 (12/09- 18/09)
  • Student Equity Seminar, Tuesday 13 September
  • Doing our Duty Seminar, Thursday 15 September
  • Statistics Crash Course, Thursday 15 September 3pm-5pm
Week 7 (19/09- 25/09)
  • Statistics & Writing Help, Wednesday 21 September 1pm
  • Student Equity Seminar, Wednesday 21 September
  • ALI Seminar, Thursday 22 September 1pm-2pm
  • Statistics Crash Course, Thursday 22 September 3pm-5pm
Week 8 (26/09- 02/10)
  • Student Equity Seminar, Thursday 29 September
  • Statistics Crash Course, Thursday 29 September 3pm-5pm
Week 9 (03/10- 09/10)
  • Monthly Coffee Social, Monday 3 October 1pm
  • Statistics & Writing Help, Wednesday 5 October 1pm
  • ALI Seminar, Thursday 6 October 1pm-2pm
  • Statistics Crash Course, Thursday 6 October 3pm-5pm
Week 10 (10/10- 16/10)
  • Statistics Crash Course, Thursday 13 October 3pm-5pm
  • Beer & Board Games, Thursday 13 October 4pm-6pm
Week 11 (17/10- 23/10)
  • The Provisional Year, Wednesday 19 October 10am
  • ALI Seminar, Thursday 20 October 1pm-2pm
  • Statistics Crash Course, Thursday 20 October 3pm-5pm
Week 12 onwards (24/10- until end of year)
  • Monthly Coffee Social, Tuesday 1 November 11am
  • Postgraduate Pathways Seminar, Monday 14 November 1pm-2pm
  • Considerations before doing a PhD Seminar, Monday 14 November 2:30pm-3:30pm
  • Beer & Board Games, Thursday 17 November 4pm-6pm
  • End of Year Celebration with PDS, December date to be confirmed
  • Thesis with Publication, Wednesday 14 December

Better Postgraduate Support is Our Mission

University of Auckland, Grafton Campus