Plan your development as a researcher

No matter what your goals, you will need to develop your research skills to succeed in a research degree and in your career.

Research skills are not just a byproduct of doing research. They are capabilities that you can actively and purposefully develop. Take charge of your development as a researcher by making the most of AUT’s research workshops, seminars, groups, and resources.

Postgraduate Researcher Development Planner​​: view development opportunities

The Postgraduate Researcher Development Planner​ m​aps out AUT’s research skill development opportunities (workshops, support groups, resources and so on) according to the research stage and research activities they support.

The particular skills you need to develop will vary across the life of your research programme. Early on, you need to understand how to critically read others’ research and go through the ethic​s approval process; later, you need to know how to disseminate your findings and communicate your research impact.

Use this planner to plot out your development across the duration of your programme. It’s hyperlinked so that you can go straight to the website or booking page for your chosen development opportunity.

Postgraduate Researcher Development Planner​

​​What skills do researchers need?​

Research is a complex endeavour, requiring a huge variety of skills. It’s not just about wha​​t you do in the lab or office. It’s also about how you communicate your research; how you organise your work; personal characteristics like resilience and integrity; and much more.

The Vitae Researcher Development Framework​ gives a great overview of the types of skills you need to be an effective researcher.

Vitae Researcher Development Framework​

AUT Researcher Development Team

The Researcher Development team in the Graduate Research School provides support to postgraduate researchers and their supervisors.
We offer seminar series, workshops, and events to help you build your research skills.

Dr Anaise Irvine, Portfolio Leader: Researcher Development


Anaise oversees the Graduate Research School's postgraduate researcher development programme. Along with Annalise Davidson, she plans the Postgraduate Seminar Series, the annual PG Research Symposium and 3 Minute Thesis competition, writing retreats, and doctoral inductions. She also edits the Thesislink blog for postgraduate research students, facilitates workshops on research communication and presentation skills, and acts as a staff ambassador to the Research Students' Peer Group network.  Anaise has a research background in science and narrative. Her PhD research analysed how contemporary films and novels represent genetic technology as a social justice issue. She has previously researched fictional representations of evolution and quantum mechanics.

Thesislink blog

Dr Kathryn Oxborrow, temporary Researcher Development Coordinator


Kathryn is covering the role of Researcher Development Coordinator while Annalise is on leave. She is an experienced academic support professional with particular skills in training and development, pastoral support, and teaching and learning technologies. In her PhD research she investigated how non-Māori librarians in Aotearoa learn about and engage with Māori knowledge in their lives and work. Kathryn is originally from the UK and moved to New Zealand in 2010.

Annalise Davidson, Researcher Development Coordinator (On leave till April 2022)


Annalise is the organisational wizard who coordinates the Graduate Research School's postgraduate researcher development programme. She organises and promotes all of the GRS' postgraduate events and workshops, answers enquiries, and is the friendly face greeting guests at our events. She can answer virtually any postgraduate student question on where to go, who to see, and what to do to make the very best of your AUT postgraduate experience.  Annalise also organises the GRS supervision workshop series, and can assist supervisors with their training and development needs.

Student FAQs

Contact us

Graduate Research School
+64 9 921 9907
City Campus: Level 5, WU Building

Website search