PhD Symposium

Following the success of previous intensive PhD Symposia in Sydney in 2013 and the Gold Coast in 2015, an interactive 2.5 day SOAC PhD symposium will run prior to the SOAC 2017 Conference in Adelaide.

The PhD Symposium invites doctoral candidates working on any aspect of urban research to share and develop their ideas and research skills. The Symposium will be structured around intensive study modules in small groups, together with plenary sessions and presentations from both senior and early career academic mentors.

PhD candidates will be divided into small groups based on the SOAC conference themes, and assigned both a senior and early career mentor. Each student will be given the opportunity to present on their PhD research, with a chance for discussion and feedback from the mentors and other students in the group. Mentor guidance and plenary sessions will focus on current challenges in the urban and environmental research fields, and issues related to research methodology including data gathering and analysis techniques. 

The symposium will be held at Flinders Victoria Square, conveniently located in the heart of the city. Attendance for the symposium is free of charge, however capacity is limited.  Participants will need to meet their travel and accommodation costs.





Important Dates:

31st March 2017 – Call for PhD Symposium abstracts

12th June 2017 – Deadline for abstract submissions

21st July 2017 – Accepted participants notified and research briefing/proposal requirements distributed

15th October 2017 – Research briefing/proposal deadline

25th - 27th November 2017 – PhD Symposium

27th November 2017 – Early Career Researchers Workshop

28th - 30th November 2017 – SOAC Conference

Call for Abstracts for PhD Symposium Information

To apply for the PhD Symposium, submit an abstract of 300 words prior to the June 12th deadline.  Your abstract should indicate the research question and provide a brief review of the issues, research design and methods.  The on-line abstract submission process will ask you to provide also your working thesis title, keywords, stage of candidature and other information which will assist in the symposium organisation.

If the PhD event is over-subscribed, participants will be selected for diversity and to achieve alignment with the conference themes.  Your participation will be confirmed by July 21st 2017.

Confirmed participants will submit a Research Briefing / Proposal of 3000 words no later than October 15th, covering the following:

  • abstract
  • background/rationale for the research
  • main objective of the research
  • research questions
  • research design and methods
  • expected outcomes

The research briefing/proposal will be shared with your group and mentors prior to the workshop. 

SOAC PhD Event Testimonials

“I can safely say that the SOAC PhD symposium was the best professional development event I attended as a PhD student. It offered a good balance of small group sessions and larger research skills presentations. Having met and interacted with established academics and fellow students during the preconference symposium I hit the ground running for the SOAC conference, both academically and socially.”
Mariana Atkinson, UWA, Participant 2013

“The SOAC PhD symposium was one of the highlights of the first years of my PhD.  The small, focused group presentations helped me discuss my research in an appreciative, yet critical atmosphere with other students and experienced academic mentors. I met others enthusiastic about research in similar fields to my own and was able to talk openly about the entire PhD process – a great social-intellectual refreshment.”
Christian Roggenbuck, RMIT, Participant 2015

“The SOAC PhD symposium is a great opportunity to share your research ideas in a professional yet friendly environment. Presenting my research-in-progress helped me to improve its quality and consistency. I got valuable feedback from session mentors and peers. I met some wonderful people who are now in my academic network and some are friends for life.”
Ehsan Sharifi, UniSA, Participant 2015

“Presenting and discussing research is a daunting thing. We need comfortable and inclusive spaces to inspire research ideas and offer advice that is outside of normal supervisory and university arrangements. The SOAC PhD symposium is one of those spaces, it offers an experience that you wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere. It is organised by PhD students for PhD students. You can’t go much wrong with that!”
Rachael Cole-Hawthorne, Griffith Uni, Participant 2013, Organiser 2015 

“As Chair of the Organising Committee for SOAC 2015, it was my pleasure to work with AECURN members in designing and hosting the pre-conference symposium for PhD students and the workshop for early career researchers.   I know that participants at both events benefited greatly from the opportunity to learn from each other and from experienced research mentors in developing their own research projects. I wish I had been able to be part of something like AECURN when I was starting out on my academic career.”
Professor Paul Burton | Director Cities Research Institute, Griffith University