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 2021, the co-ordinator of the RSP is Professor Kristen Rundle. To comply with COVID restrictions and to accommodate the needs of students currently outside of Melbourne, Kristen will be convening the seminars via Zoom in 2021. She can be contacted by phone on 8344 4883 or email: email@example.com.
Unless otherwise advised, seminars will be held on Thursdays from 2.00 - 4.00pm in weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 of both semesters, via Zoom.
What does the RSP aim to do?
The aim of the RSP is to provide a welcoming and supportive environment in which graduate researchers 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 plan to 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 areas of expertise and experiences in designing and executing research projects. Presenters may also comment on their own experiences in completing doctoral research. Other speakers will address essential skills for pursuing high-level research projects. All seminars will be informal, with an emphasis on discussion. See the 2021 schedule for further details about the program.
RSP Seminar Schedule
2021 Research Support Program Schedule
Thursdays 2.00-4.00pm in weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, via Zoom.
|Thursday 4 March||
[I] Intro to the program|
[II] Law library, legal research and the PhD process
Christina Ward (Law Library)
|Thursday 18 March||
[I & II] Asking Better Research Questions|
(500 word summary of thesis proposal submitted by Monday 15 March)
Thursday 1 April
[I] Topic Selection and Framing (1): Mapping the experience|
[II] Common law: case, doctrines and theory
Kristen Rundle + 2nd / 3rd / 4th year PhD student volunteers|
|Thursday 22 April||
[I] Comparative research: methodology, value and pitfalls|
[II] Topic Selection and Framing (2): What might change?
|Thursday 6 May||[I & II] Empirical Methods||Alysia Blackham|
|Thursday 20 May||
[I] Qualitative Research Methods for Law Research: A Case Study|
[II] Interdisciplinary approaches: Law and Economics / Law and History
Thursday 29 July|
Note: revised time for this session only:
|[I & II] Theorising particular areas of law||Tarun Khaitan|
|Thursday 12 August||[I] Sociolegal approaches to legal scholarship|
[II] 'Critical' approaches to legal scholarship
Shaun McVeigh and
|Thursday 26 August||[I] Feminist approaches to legal scholarship|
[II] 'Specialist' methods: wrap up
|Hilary Charlesworth and|
|Thursday 9 September||[I & II] Project Management and Editing Skills||Chantel Morton|
|Thursday 30 September||[I & II] Evaluating Your Progress as a Graduate Researcher||Kristen Rundle|
|Thursday 14 October||[I & II] Conference/Confirmation: Effective presentation||
Kristen Rundle +|
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.