Two Griffith University researchers have received special commendations at the inaugural national Excellence in Graduate Research Education Awards, hosted by the Australian Council of Graduate Research (ACGR).

Dean and Head, School of Education and Professional Studies, Professor Donna Pendergast, and Deputy Head (Research), School of Environment, Professor Catherine Pickering, received their awards at a special event in Sydney.

Professor Pendergast was recognised for her work in the Graduate Research Supervision category, and Professor Pickering was acknowledged for achievements in the Graduate Research Leadership space.

“This award represents the achievements of each and every HDR student I have had the privilege to supervise over the years,’’ Professor Pendergast said.

“HDR supervision is an exciting part of my work, with the opportunity to engage with people who are highly motivated and contributing to new thinking.”

Professor Pendergast’s approach to supervision, particularly her concept of Golden Threads, was shared at the awards ceremony.

“Golden threads run through students’ research with the selvedges formed by the bookend chapters. The golden threads should glisten at different points in the thesis and often shape the publication potential of the thesis.”

Professor Pickering also focused on the impact of PhD students and supervisors.

“They are the powerhouse of research in universities, contribution to research in Australia and globally,” she said.

“To have our work at Griffith supporting students as they transition from novice to experts in these inaugural national awards is an honour.

“Working with PhD students and supervisors at Griffith in developing research skills is a pleasure.”

At the presentation ceremony they were described as ‘exemplars of Australia’s excellent graduate research provision’.

The awards promote outstanding performance in higher degree research supervision, leadership and industry engagement and reward excellence of an international standard.

“The Council considers these awards timely in shining a spotlight on outstanding and innovative practice in research training,” ACGR convenor, Professor Denise Cuthbert, said.