The NECTAR Early Career Academic development mentoring program

ANU plans to ‘lead the Nation in mentoring’ (ANU strategic plan 2017-2021). This includes establishing a strong culture of mentoring for early career academic staff. Now ANU, through NECTAR, is opening up has not just a mentoring program, but a strategic academic career development mentoring program with cross-disciplinary networking opportunities, included.

Early Career Academics (ECA) are working under huge psychological and career pressure in a bottle neck of a career pathway. Successful academics when asked how they got through, almost always refer to quality mentoring.  Moreover, mentoring was the only significant factor decreasing stress and increasing job satisfaction in the NECTAR ECA survey of 2015, where only half respondees had any form of mentoring.

The NECTAR Mentoring Program will start in March 2018 and build on the strength of the highly regarded Mentoring Program of the science Colleges, developed over the last three years. This will be a collaboration between NECTAR and the Joint Colleges of Science and is funded and supported by the ANU Colleges.

Registrations open soon, stay tuned.

More information will be posted shortly.


Collaboration across boundaries 2017 – a success!

20171207-_MG_4313NECTAR launches a new channel to cross-disciplinary collaboration at ANU

OUR first Collaboration across boundaries – a cross-disciplinary industry engagement – last Thursday (7 December) was a great success. Over 100 people attended to see 41 posters, including 5 posters presenters form CSIRO, 4 films and 4 artwork series.

NECTAR thanks the Industry representatives who attended and judged the competition including CSIRO, the Capital Health Network, the ACT Primary Health Network, and the Saudi Arabian Embassy among others.

NECTAR volunteers were instrumental in making this event a success, particularly Dr Elizabeth Sturgiss and Dr Umme Habiba Hossain. Thank you to all our NECTAR volunteers.

We would also like to thank our partners the Joint College of Science Early Career Academic Development Committee, particularly Julia Sharwood, and the Heritage Early Childhood Centre.

Congratulations to the winners:

Christina Spry won: Most engaging poster or art work – her prize was $2000 research funds!

Vini Gautam won Outstanding poster or artwork – with a prize of $100 to take a collaborator out to dinner at University House.

Michal Glikson won Outstanding poster or artwork with her interactive poster/ website See also her film – what happens if you create in a space that is totally unpredictable?

Aparna Lal and Alice Richardson won the Audience Choice Award with the globe poster “Health in a Changing Environment”.

Congratulations and thanks to all participants.

If you have ideas on how to develop this event for next year please contact us!

Redefining the ANU PhD – NECTAR invited to the discussion

Join the discussion on redefining the ANU PhD Program

You are invited to Open Forums where you can have your say in this important discussion. (See below).

NECTAR has also been offered the opportunity to nominate a representative for the Committee of Inquiry. Expressions of interest for this position to NECTAR by 10am, 30th June.

Here is the letter from Prof Imelda Whelehan (ANU’s Dean of HDR)


We are redefining the ANU PhD program.

During the development of the new Strategic Plan we made a commitment to redefine our PhD program.  We are now starting to work out what this will mean for our academic staff, supervisors and students.

ANU has the highest HDR load per total student population of any Australian university, consistently high research rankings and an enviable international reach. To continue to provide some of the best academic programs around the world and to give our students the best opportunities for their futures, we have a responsibility to reflect on what we do well, and to discuss what we might review and change. We are inviting you to help shape our discussions and have your say on what the new ANU PhD of the future could look like.

To start the discussion I will be hosting open forums for all interested staff and students. Please register below for one of the forums.

Questions will include:

  • What should a 21st century PhD look like?
  • How can we ensure that the ANU secures our position as a world leader in graduate research education?
  • What is best practice for PhD delivery worldwide?
  • What changes can we make?

In these forums I will be using Poll Everywhere to allow live interactive audience participation. Bring a mobile device (phone, tablet, laptop or iPad) to enable you to join the interactive discussions.

Please join me.

With best wishes


Professor Imelda Whelehan

Dean, Higher Degree Research Office of the Vice-Chancellor | Chancelry 10 East Road


Wednesday, 5 July from 10am-11.30am Venue: R214 Seminar Room, Ian Ross Building #31 ANU Register here.

Tuesday, 25 July from 1pm-2.30pm. Venue: The Drawing Room, University House, 1 Balmain Crescent ANU Register here.

Thursday, 3 August from 10am-11.30am Venue: ANU. Exact venue to be confirmed shortly. Register here.

Tuesday, 8 August from 10am-11.30am Venue: The Drawing Room, University House, 1 Balmain Crescent ANU Register here.

Thursday, 10 August from 10am-11.30am Venue: 1012, Fred Gruen Economics Seminar Room, HW Arndt Building #25A50 Register here.



NECTAR Retreat 2017

NECTAR Retreat is ANU’s Annual Early Career Academic Development event

At this event you can: 

  • Be heard,
  • Take charge of your own network, and
  • Lead the future strategy of ANU!
In 2017 this event was held at the National Museum of Australia over two days. It looked like this:

Key events in the program:

  • Roundtable discussion with Professor Brian Schmidt, ANU Vice-Chancellor
  • Direct collegial discussion with both ANU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellors!
  • Strategic directions: What does it take to see your vision realised?

With Professor Graham Durant, Director of Questacon; Professor Joanne Tompkins, Executive Director (Humanities and Creative Arts), ARC, and Dr Tony Willis, Executive Director, NHMRC.

  • Workshop on innovation in teaching with Glen O’Grady, Director CHELT
  • Engaging with industry to advance your vision through strategic partnerships

With Professor Michael Breadmore (1 of only 3 Australians in Analytical Sciences top 40 under 40) and world leading anthropologist Professor Genevieve Bell

  • Engaging with the public as an expert, Dr Rod Lamberts, Deputy Director CPAS
  • How to improve supervision at ANU and develop a culture of mentoring, with ANU’s new Dean of Higher Degree Research, Professor Imelda Whelehan  

(Full program NECTAR retreat 2017 available here .pdf)

More info:

Contact us

IMG_9692 (4)

Image of NECTAR Retreat 2016

Did you miss the NECTAR 2016 Retreat? NECTAR 2016 Retreat resources now available

We now have video & podcast links recording highlights from the NECTAR 2016 Retreat sessions for:

  •  The NECTAR 2016 Retreat Roundtable with ANU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian P. Schmidt
  • The Teaching & Learning session led by Glen O’Grady, Director of the ANU Centre for Higher Education, Learning and Teaching (CHELT).

VC Roundtable Highlights (Videos)

NECTAR 2016 Roundtable with ANU VC, Professor Brian P. Schmidt: How can ECAs make a difference?

NECTAR 2016 Roundtable with ANU VC, Professor Brian P. Schmidt: PhD and postdoctoral internships

NECTAR 2016 Roundtable with ANU VC, Professor Brian P. Schmidt: Short term contracts and parental leave

NECTAR 2016 Roundtable with ANU VC, Professor Brian P. Schmidt: Training PhD students for alternative careers

NECTAR 2016 Roundtable with ANU VC, Professor Brian P. Schmidt: Small grants and ECA support

NECTAR 2016 Roundtable with ANU VC, Professor Brian P. Schmidt: Gender equity, research funding and quality of publications

Teaching & Learning with Glen O’Grady (videos)

NECTAR Teaching & Learning session with Glen O’Grady (CHELT): Understanding your TPI results

NECTAR Teaching & Learning session with Glen O’Grady (CHELT): Explaining the TPI model: What kind of teacher are you?

NECTAR Teaching & Learning session with Glen O’Grady (CHELT): Five different teaching approaches: The TPI model

NECTAR Teaching & Learning session with Glen O’Grady (CHELT): The importance of teaching philosophy statements for evidence of teaching

NECTAR Teaching & Learning session with Glen O’Grady (CHELT): How do I evidence capability in teaching and learning?

Or you can listen to the podcast versions here


From the NECTAR Team

Get publish ready! ANU Library “Publish and prosper” small group session

Want to navigate the world of scholarly communications and get publish-ready?
We can help you!

The ANU Library has recently created Publish and prosper, the first module of its Small Private Online Course (SPOC) designed to enhance your scholarly publishing knowledge and capabilities.

Please join us for an informal, interactive seminar exploring topics such as publication ethics, predatory publishers, finding a best-fti publisher, peer review and copyright.

The sessions will be facilitated by our resident expert, University Librarian Roxanne Missingham, who has over 180 articles published and is passionate about scholarly communications. There will be an opportunity to ask questions throughout the session.

For those unable to attend, feel free to follow along and engage on Twitter using #scholcomms #scholpub

Speaker: Roxanne Missingham, University Librarian,
Chief Scholarly Information Officer, Scholarly Information Services
The Australian National University

Date & Time: Thursday 25 August 2016, 11am–12pm
Location: Graneek Room, Chifley Library, ANU

Registration required:
Session will include light refreshments

Presented by ANU Library