Academic Career Advancement Programme

The Academic Career Advancement Programme (ACAP) gives mid-phase doctoral candidates a head start in their academic future.

The ACAP (formerly DALI) involves a series of regular seminars over two semesters, focusing on careers in academia, teaching, and research.

Candidates enter a competitive selection process where priority is given to mid-phase doctoral students who have completed their provisional goals. Due to the high proportion of applications, meeting these criteria does not guarantee you a place.

Tuition is funded by the Academic Career Advancement Award. Please note: your supervisor will need to endorse your application, and will be notified when you apply for the programme.

The structure of the programme

The ACAP has two major elements:

Orientation morning is an opportunity for participants to get to know each other. Held during Orientation Week, it provides an introduction to the programme and prepares participants for their role in the regular seminars.

Regular seminars are co-facilitated by participants and will cover key aspects of academic careers such as research, teaching and professionalism. Where relevant, careers external to academia will also be discussed.

Dates and location

Orientation is held on the Wednesday morning during orientation week. Seminars are held on alternate Wednesdays between 1-4 pm. 

Venue: Kate Edger Information Commons, City Campus

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Programme of activities - 2022

Participants must be prepared to attend all seminars, as well as co-failitating a seminar on one of the topics listed below.

Orientation to ACAP - 23 February 

Get to know your colleagues and meet School of Graduate Studies staff. We will discuss your role in the programme and how to make the most of your ACAP experience.

Presentation skills - 2 March 

Giving a great presentation is key to getting your message across in a variety of both academic and industry contexts. 

Becoming an academic - 16 March 

Get started in academia with confidence. We will discuss adapting to the university environment as an early career academic and examine resources that will help you to plan your entry pathway.

Academic citizenship - 30 March 

Engaging with opportunities to be an active citizen of your institution and the wider educational community can be rewarding. Explore the university as an organisation, including its structure (departments, faculties and centrally) and the purpose of committees. Understanding the key policies that impact on research and teaching is essential for maintaining academic integrity.

Student engagement - 13 April 

Focus and motivation increases for students engaged in learning. Discuss ways to develop meaningful learning experiences in a variety of environments: small classes, large lectures and online spaces. Explore the impact of assessment methods on student engagement. 

Innovation in teaching - 4 May

Educators innovate teaching practices to improve student learning outcomes. What is innovation in teaching and why is it important? How can teachers and students create innovative learning spaces? How can we look at teaching problems differently in order to solve them? What does the future hold for learning?

Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SOTL) - 18 May

Understanding how to research your teaching will improve your practice and contribute to the growing field called the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (SoTL). Explore the SoTL process of researching teaching and learning within the disciplines and learn how to develop questions that can be researched.

The teaching profile and evidence - 1 June

Discuss approaches to developing an academic CV and a teaching profile that will underpin applications for employment and promotion. Understanding the impact of teaching is essential for student success. A key element of the teaching profile will be the evidence that shows examples and the impact of your teaching. Explore methods for gathering that evidence and writing it up.

Getting funding - 20 July

Focus on getting funding for early-career researchers.  Create a funding plan. Identify a mentor and/or collaborator. Identify funding opportunities and know when to apply. Discover keys to writing a successful application, and what to do if your application is rejected. 

Getting published - 3 August

Writing and publishing a journal article is about to get a whole lot easier! Understand the review process, the role of journal editors and reviewers, and how to respond to reviewers’ comments. Identify the most appropriate journals for your research area and the potential resulting impact on your research profile. 

Broader dissemination of research - 17 August

Disseminating your research to a wider audience can provide opportunities for collaboration. Explore strategies for networking and presenting at international forums, engaging with the public through media and social media, and partnering with government, iwi and industry. 

The research profile & evidence - 14 September

Your research profile will underpin applications for employment, funding and PBRF (Performance Based Research Fund) reporting. Explore strategies for developing a long-term research plan for academic and industry-based careers and for contributing to the wider research environment.

Career planning - 28 September

To ensure success, you need a plan. What does the job market  look like for PhD graduates? How do you go about getting the job you want?  Explore ways of representing yourself well in applications for postdocs or for academic, professional or industry jobs. 

Reflection and Graduation - 12 October

Reflect on your year and goals for your future career.

Meet some previous ACAP students

Contact us

Dr Julia Hallas
Doctoral Experience Adviser