Newsletter • QUT Design Lab ➤ June 2020

Message from the Director, Professor Evonne Miller

This month I would like to encourage everybody to take a few minutes to do a Research Career Assessment, and then identify a concrete plan of action for the second half of the year.

Each of us is at different stages in our research career trajectory – perhaps about to, or just completed a PhD (anyone within 5 years of PhD completion is considered early-career) or mid-career (5, 10 or 15 years post-PhD), and many of us may have prioritised the design and delivery of units, especially this year.  However, it is still important to take a moment to think about what you want to achieve in your research, and what you might need to change or focus on over the next six months.

Step 1 is to be clear about your academic brand – which helps you be clear about what opportunities to chase and which ones to turn down.  This image is from writing coach Cathy Mazak, who outlines in her podcast how to write an academic mission statement and gain clearly about your research priorities.  This is a process we are following in the Design Lab currently, as we clarify the key priority areas of strength within each Program – and determine how best to grow each.

Cathy Mazak wheel

Take a moment to look objectively at your academic CV; not to be disheartened, but to assess what needs action and to set a goal to achieve in the next quarter (by September). This might be to draft and submit one Q1 publication (perhaps with a HdR student or colleague; and by committing to attend Thea’s weekly SUAW session, now online) or to grow your social media profile, so to become more active on LinkedIn or Twitter (set a tangible goal, like sharing one post per month) as a way to better connect with industry in your field – or follow up a guest lecture in a unit, or email Shelly to do a quick 3 – 5 minute ZOOM interview about your research aspirations, which we will share widely.

The end-game here is to (1) grow your research quality and (2) connections with potential industry partners, who might be future research collaborators – on a project that inspires you.


In this together
National Reconciliation Week: 27 May – 3 June

This National Reconciliation Week, Design Lab Staff and their families are invited to learn more about the Stolen Generations with our screening of Servant or Slave, and learn more about native title with our screening of Wik vs Queensland, with both digital screenings running in partnership with the Reconciliation Film Club.


Vintage writer's desk

Writing Support: Early-Mid Career Academic Women
The Women in Research Sub-Committee is pleased to provide support for early to mid-career academic women, including a limited number of hours of editing support, and various writing workshops delivered by Karyn Gonano including:

  • Springboard into your writing
  • Writing circle
  • Writing about the impact of your research and its significance
  • Writing your bio – for impact

Request further information here


Climbing a rope

Program Huddles : Get Involved
All design lab members (including staff, research students & post docs) are encouraged to attend our monthly Huddles.  Members may attend more than one Program Huddle – the more the merrier.
1st Tues / Month: Designing Creative & Resilient Communities
(Glenda Caldwell)
2nd Tues / Month: Designing for Health
(Marianella Chamorro-Koc)
4th Tues / Month: Designing Future Technologies
(Jared Donovan)


Conversation Series

The next Conversation Series event is to be held via Zoom, and presented by Dr Selen Türkay and Dr Ross Brown at the special time of 1pm on Tuesday, 16 June.  All QUT Design Lab members are encouraged to attend, including PhD students, and expand their network and understanding through participation in question-time at the conclusion of the presentation.


NVivo Virtual Conference: 23 September
Qualitative Research in a Changing World. The NVivo Virtual Conference is scheduled for September 23, 2020. Hear from experts to doctoral students on how they are adapting their research (or not) due to the changed research landscape.  Learn from each other and share knowledge.  Call for abstracts closes 30 June. Learn more


More-than-Human Futures: Research Group
The group will forge a transdisciplinary collective of Creative Industries Faculty academics and partners to lead a proactive, creative response to unfolding planetary ecocide. By identifying and co-creating new pathways for all Australians we will embrace more-than-human futures, grounded in Indigenous teachings of caring for Country.

Their new website is not yet online, but will be very shortly!  Group members can be reach via  Congratulations to this proactive team led by Prof Foth


Niggle : Brisbane Design Awards

Big congratulations to Chief Investigator Dr Oksana Zelenko and her team who has received a GOLD in the Brisbane Design Awards for her project with Kids Helpline, Niggle: A new app making mental health help more accessible to young people. Learn more.


Funding success

The Cool and Covered team, lead by Louise Balwin have won a $100,000 tender to undertake a massive state-wide benchmarking of shade in public and school playgrounds right across NSW.  Learn more about the project here.


Research Success

When it comes to access to digital platforms and technologies, not all people have an equal experience, but a collab between DMRC & The Design Lab researchers aims to address the growing gap experienced by as many as three million Australians living below the poverty line. Learn more.


Special QUT Design Lab Scholarship 

Applications closing 13 JULY for the Special QUT Design Lab Scholarship.  Please promote to quality, potential PhD students.  The following guidelines apply:

* The scheme is only open to new PhD students.
* Successful applicant must commence (in country) by 1 Sep, 2020.
* Applicants must have a letter of support from a Design Lab member.

For full details please contact Shelly


Focus on Students
With an interests in design robotics, digital fabrication, user experience (UX), interaction design (IxD), human-robot interaction (HRI), and research-through-design (RtD) Alan Burden is one of the Design Lab’s promising PhD students, due for completion by the end of this year.  Alan, is participating in the 2020 Early Career Researcher Showcase competition and there is a people’s choice option.  To show your support, please vote.  Best of luck Alan – we look forward to celebrating!

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