The Strategic Researcher

The Strategic Researcher supports early-career researchers (ECRs), mid-career researchers (MCRs) and other academics wanting to strategically develop as researchers and advance their career.

Applications for 2024 are closed.

Program overview

Research careers can be diverse, rewarding and exciting, yet the move from early- and mid-career (ECR/MCR) stages to leading research programs and teams can be complex and challenging. The Strategic Researcher program provides expert advice, flexible tools and resources, case studies, and opportunities for critical reflection and goalsetting needed to develop key capabilities to develop as a researcher.

  • Develop and maintain a research  plan
  • Manage your research workload and time
  • Build engagement and impact in your research plan
  • Establish a strong research profile
  • Manage and deliver research projects
  • Develop strategies for funding success
  • Lead research teams and engage in collaborative efforts

Program schedule

The Strategic Researcher is an online program, including seven x 2-hour monthly sessions on Fridays 10:00-12:00 (AEST) from May to November 2024.






17 May

Career & workload management

Learn about the current research landscape, discuss developing and maintaining a research career strategy, and cover practical approaches to managing your workload and time in the academic context.


28 Jun

Understanding research impact

Discuss the pathway for translating basic and applied research to real-world outcomes and impact, the institutional and national research impact landscape, and expectations for planning and achieving impact.


26 Jul

Planning for & achieving research impact

Learn about what researchers should do to maximise research impact. This includes practical steps that all researchers need to consider for research planning.


23 Aug

Building a research track record

Understand and prioritise your research activities to create a strong research profile.


20 Sept

Research project management

Cover practical skills for planning, managing, and delivering research projects using an impact framework template.


25 Oct

Strategies for funding success

Discuss steps and strategies for improving the likelihood of funding success, particularly in ARC and category 1 grants. Focus on long-term planning and steps to building a funding track record; aligning your research, funding and impact plans; and tops tips for grant-writing.

715 NovResearch leadership and team managementDiscuss skills for becoming a research leader, role model and transiting to leadership/management roles. Learn strategies to lead research teams and collaborations, supervise students and manage research (and other) staff.

About your facilitator

The Strategic Researcher is facilitated by Gayle Smythe from With Distinction Research. Charles Sturt staff will also join workshops as guest speakers on dedicated topics.

Dr Gayle Smythe (BSc(Hons), PhD) has a background in biomedical research and teaching. She’s held senior university positions including Head of School/Department, and Associate Dean (Research), and is experienced in university and research administration, management, governance and compliance. She has produced executive level university reports on research quality, training, integrity, engagement and impact; developed and implemented research strategic plans; and regularly works with Australian and New Zealand research teams to develop project plans, proposals, impact and implementation pathways, and funding applications. Read Gayle’s full bio here.