Communication, influence and impact

Completing the written thesis is an achievement, but it is just part of what it means to complete a doctoral degree. Raising awareness about your research and the ways it can improve the world we live in is essential. This development area brings together the tools and knowledge required to disseminate your work, drive it’s real-world impact and influence key decision makers and other stakeholders.

It is made up of four categories:

  • Publishing
  • Presenting and public speaking
  • Research impact
  • Innovation and commercialisation


Disseminating research through traditional and non-traditional outlets is a key way to further academic discussion, cement your reputation and - for those new to publishing - refine your academic writing and editing skills. Developing in this area is particularly important for those who plan to remain in academia after the doctorate.

Examples and resources

Courses, workshops and events: Publishing your research

Actions and experiences: Submit to an academic journal; Publish a blog post or news article; Mentor someone new to publishing; Explore new means of publication.

Links to other resources:

Presenting and public speaking

Seasoned professionals and those just starting out will understand the role public speaking plays in building interest in your research and developing or reinforcing your reputation. Investing in this skill with regular practice ensures you’re prepared to engage and inspire others at conferences, in the media or whenever opportunities arise.

Examples and resources

Courses, workshops and events: Three Minute Thesis; SGS Research Showcase; Presenting your research; Presenting your research with academic posters; Raising the Bar.

Actions and experiences: Join in group discussions; Explain your research to peers outside your field of study; Watch 3MT; Present your work at a conference, seminar or faculty lab session; Volunteer to speak on SGS workshop panels; Present at a PGSA Lunch and Learn; Attend a 3MT prep session; Participate in Raising the Bar.

Links to other resources:

Research impact

Identifying, driving and tracking the impact of your research is a vital practice for researchers, whether for funding applications or reporting or for improving your professional practice. It enables you to track your progress towards your goals, demonstrate engagement - and can even help remind you why you do what you do.

Examples and resources

Courses, workshops and events: Three Minute Thesis; Raising the Bar; SGS Research Showcase; Social media.

Actions and experiences: Update your staff profile; Set up an ORDIC ID; Set up a Google Scholar researcher profile; Develop your professional social media presence; Take up opportunities to present your work; Publish in academic journals; Contribute to media discussion, Consider open access.

Links to other resources:

Innovation and commercialisation

The ability to innovate and bring ideas to the marketplace will help you to create positive real-world change from your research. Developing your capacity for identifying and acting on opportunity fast can help you release value, secure patents and funding and significantly drive the impact of your work.

Examples and resources

Courses, workshops and events: Commercialisation workshop; Velocity; Summer Lab

Actions and experiences: Secure a patent from your work; Read about copyright and intellectual property.

Links to other resources:

Finding courses, workshops and events

There are a number of places outside of Wahapū that you can browse to find development activities, for example: