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All about the ACDE PhD seminar series

07 June 2023

We spoke to convenor Dr Larry Liu about the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics PhD seminar series. Here’s what we learned.

How long has the series been running?

The series has been running for several decades in what is now the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics. Many PhD students have presented in the series over that time and have now gone on to an array of research and other positions.

What makes this series so special and unique to ACDE?

This series is a vital component of our PhD in Economics training, providing a platform for students to engage with both researchers in the School and other attendees. The series covers a wide range of policy-relevant research topics at the national, regional and global levels and is a key part of the research environment of what is a leading public policy school. The seminars typically stimulate constructive discussions and help to build a strong community of learning.

As convenor what do you find most enjoyable about this series?

I find the engagement between the speakers and the audience is the most enjoyable part. The seminars enable a variety of constructive discussions, which are the key to high-quality intellectual activities. It is really pleasing to see students become confident and mature as a researcher through seminars over their candidature.

What is the purpose of the series and how does this series help PhD students build a robust thesis?

Students can benefit from delivering a seminar in multiple ways. Preparing presentations itself helps students to organize their thoughts and review their research systematically. Presentations and discussions are also the best way of practicing communication skills. In addition, students receive constructive feedback on their research from a wide audience. While students constantly receive feedback from their supervisors, it is important to collect feedback from a wider range of researchers because they can provide different perspectives, and this can make research more robust.

Why do so many professors and academics engage to help a broader range of PhD students than simply the ones they directly supervise?

The faculty engage with a broad range of PhD students for various reasons. Many are interested in the research out of curiosity. Also, many staff are keen to support students and contribute to the wider PhD training effort – the engagement is more than research itself, but also about shaping the next generation of researchers. The department strongly encourages faculty and students to attend the seminars to build a strong learning community.

Who is welcome to come along to this seminar series?

The seminars are publicly advertised, and everyone who is interested is welcome. In addition to regular audience from Crawford School academics, the seminars also attract attendees from other schools at the ANU and from government agencies such as the Australian Treasury.

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