The Research Support Program (RSP) assists graduate researchers to develop the high-level skills needed to complete an outstanding thesis.
What is the RSP?
The RSP is a series of seminars designed to assist you with your research and to give you support over the duration of your candidature in the Law School. All students, regardless of stage of candidature they are, welcome and encouraged to attend any and all of the seminars, which are run as an annual series. At the very minimum, these seminars will provide you with a regular forum in which to socialise with other graduate researchers and members of faculty.
In 2019, the co-ordinator of the RSP is Associate Professor Jianlin Chen. Jianlin is in room 743, and his phone number is 9035 3288.
Unless otherwise advised, seminars will be held on Wednesdays from 11.00am - 2.30pm (including 30 min provided lunch from 12.30pm to 1:00pm). Seminars will be held in room 302, Level 3, Law Library.
What does the RSP aim to do?
The aim is to make the seminars a welcoming and supportive environment where you can develop confidence, skills and a support network.
In particular, the seminars are designed to encourage you to think in an informed and creative way about your work, to understand its context within the broader landscape of legal scholarship, and to engage constructively with other scholars and their research. The seminars do this by introducing you to a range of approaches you will encounter as a legal academic, even if these are not the methods you use yourself. The aim is to explore a variety of ways that you might choose to enrich your own work, and help you to situate your research and to make the most of scholarly engagement.
Most sessions include a guest speaker from Melbourne Law School faculty, who will address questions of method and argument with reference to their own work, and reflect on their experiences in designing and executing research projects. Prior to each session, the presenter will circulate an illustrative piece of their own legal research or someone else's to provoke or assist discussion. The format will be informal, with an emphasis on discussion. Presenters will also speak generally about how they design research projects, decide on research questions, and defend these choices in scholarly debate, as well as broader questions about how they situate themselves as a scholar within the legal academy. Presenters may also comment on their own experiences in completing doctoral research.
RSP Seminar Schedule
2020 Research Support Program Schedule
11:00am to 2.30pm (including 30 min provided lunch from 12.30pm to 1:00pm)
Level 3, Room 302, Law Library
|Wednesday 4 March||PhD: what is expected and what to expect|
Law library, legal research and the PhD process
Christina Ward (Library)
|Wednesday 11 March||
Common law: cases, doctrines and theory|
Comparative: methodology, value and pitfalls
Wednesday 18 March
|Empirical Methods||Alysia Blackham|
|Wednesday 22 April||
Asking Better Research Questions|
Topic Selection and Framing
|Wednesday 6 May||Rejections and Failure||Jianlin Chen and Samantha Tang|
|Wednesday 20 May||Articles/Thesis Bootcamp: Scholarly critique in practice||Jianlin Cheng and Student volunteers|
|Wednesday 29 July||
Qualitative Research Methods for Law Research|
Publishing and promoting your research
Christina Ward (Library)
|Wednesday 12 August||
Academic Careers |
Panel of MLS/Laureate postdoctoral fellows
|Wednesday 26 August||Theorising particular areas of law||Tarun Khaitan|
|Wednesday 9 September||Publication: journal's perspective||MULR and MJIL editors|
|Wednesday 7 October||Conference/Confirmation: Effective presentation and teaching||Jianlin Chen and Student volunteers|
You are strongly encouraged to attend as many of these seminars as you can. If you are in your first year, you are especially strongly encouraged to attend all seminars. We also recommend that you attend as many as possible of the Faculty Research Seminars.