Cumbria links with Canberra

Cumbria links with Canberra

International ties to the other side of the world could be strengthened following the visit of the University of Canberra’s manager of graduate research to the Lancaster campus of the University of Cumbria.

Dr Helen Marsden, who’s also the director of researcher development at Canberra, was in the UK to attend the International Conference held in Stratford. She contacted Professor Diane Cox, Cumbria’s director of research and head of graduate school, to arrange a meeting.

“We’re a relatively small university that came from teaching origins in the 1990s but our research focus is growing and we’re now ranked in the top 100 young universities world- wide,” Dr Marsden said. “We have about 580 enrolled PhDs but many of them are part time and I’m keen to learn how the University of Cumbria manages a PhD cohort, particularly in relation to providing researcher development opportunities and other support.” 

Dr Marsden also chairs the Australian network of graduate school managers and acts as research training champion on the board of the Australasian Research Management Society.

At the moment Cumbria has 110 research students, a community that has grown in size and stature, with activity grounded in the real world. The outcome of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) showed that, overall, 80% of Cumbria’s research was considered to be of a standard recognised internationally or higher.

The university is committed to working on research and enterprise projects across the whole of Cumbria and north Lancashire, connecting research and enterprise with our London-based activities and to working with partners across the UK and overseas.

“Our PhD students, past and present, are active in a wide variety of subjects many of which have implications for our community,” Prof Cox said. “We’re only too pleased to show how we support our students throughout their work and if we can look to learn from the experience of Helen and her colleagues in Australia both Canberra and Cumbria will benefit.”