The Research and Innovation Leaders for Industry project
This presentation will outline a project that examined the impact of the Australian Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Program on doctoral graduates’ experiences and outcomes. Of particular interest were the claims that the CRC Program equips graduates to be ‘industry ready’ through its collaborative organisation of government, industry and university partners in the production of end-user driven research in areas of national significance. The study surveyed PhD graduates 5-12 years post-graduation who had been involved in a CRC during their doctorate, along with a comparison sample of graduates from similar disciplines at three research intensive universities. The survey included: Questions about PhD experiences; post-graduation career experiences; perceptions on the development, use, and importance of graduate attributes; and demographic information. Australian employers of PhD graduates were also surveyed and asked about: Their organisation; their expectations and perceptions of recent PhD graduates’ possession and demonstration of various graduate attributes and skills; their provision of on-going training and mentoring for PhD graduates; and their perception of leadership characteristics in PhD graduates. Responses were received from 327 CRC graduates and 741 non-CRC graduates, along with 280 employers across the higher education, public-, and private-sectors. Key findings from this project will be outlined within a consideration of the importance of the development, utilisation, and translation of graduate attributes and skills for the diversity of post-graduation roles that doctoral holders engage in.
Dr Rachael Pitt is a registered psychologist who researches in higher education, research education, and doctoral studies. Her broad interests include survey methodologies, the operationalisation of graduate attributes at the doctoral level, PhD graduate employment outcomes and pathways, and the extent to which postgraduate research education prepares graduates for their ensuing diverse careers. In particular, she is interested in changing conceptualisations of the doctorate and academic careers, with a particular focus on the types of activities undertaken by academic staff in the Australian system who are categorised as being ‘research-only’.
Dr Pitt’s role within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences includes assisting the Associate Dean (Research) by undertaking research into Faculty research initiatives and processes. She also works collaboratively with interdisciplinary colleagues to conduct research into the above areas of interest and provide supervision to research higher degree candidates.