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In late-October this year, the HEARing CRC held its 2016 PhD training/professional development day as part of the wider HEARing CRC Symposium at the Australian Hearing Hub, Macquarie University.

The day provided a great opportunity for our new cohort of PhD students to come together from four universities across Australia (Macquarie University, The University of Melbourne, Western Sydney University and The University of Queensland) for the first time. The day focused on presentation skills but was structured to enable participants to learn more about one another’s research and to foster new friendships and collaborations.

Providing a modern communication perspective on the student’s development was Sandy MacDonald – an online-business marketer, TEDx presenter and professional communicator. Throughout the day Sandy, and her husband Roger (a journalist, editor and poet), led in-depth sessions around engaging communication, interspersed with small group activities.

The day culminated with each student delivering a three-minute pitch to the group, without any presentation aid, that introduced the topic of their research and its importance. These talks were truly excellent and revealed each student’s expertise and enthusiasm for their subject matter, as well as providing some exclusive insights into their often preliminary research results.

The following day, the student’s presented visual summaries of their PhD research at the CRC Symposium’s lunchtime poster session. During the session, the students were available to discuss their research with the symposium attendees, including project leaders, key scientists and special guests.

Two prizes were awarded for the posters – attendees voted for a People’s Prize, won by Heivet Hernandez-Perez from Macquarie University and an Expert Panel (Bob Cowan, Harvey Dillon, Lisa Norden and Dani Tomlin) selected Samantha Tai from the University of Melbourne as their winner. Voting was very tight and everyone agreed the standard was excellent. Both Samantha and Hievet received a $150 voucher each from the CRC, which they can spend on attending a national conference, professional membership or training activity.

If you missed out on seeing the posters, most of them will be appearing on the HEARing CRC’s Slideshare page. It’s anticipated that next year the students will showcase their engaging presentation skills at a session at the HEARing CRC Research Symposium.