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A workshop at ResBazQld 2023.

By Dr Mark Crowe, QCIF Skills Development Manager

Research Bazaar Queensland is one of the highlights of the QCIF year, bringing together researchers and support specialists from across QCIF’s Member universities, and ResBazQld 2023 was no exception. 

ResBaz is a conference where researchers come together to upskill in next-generation digital research tools and skills. In the spirit of a marketplace or bazaar, ResBaz is a highly participatory event where researchers from many different disciplines can learn, share knowledge and skills, and have fun.

Hosted at The University of Queensland across 21–23 November, ResBazQld 2023 attracted more than 290 participants from 18 universities and research institutes, including attendees from regional and Far North Queensland. Just over a hundred joined from UQ, with 82 from QUT, 50 from Griffith University, and 18 and seven making the trip to Brisbane from the University of Southern Queensland and the University of the Sunshine Coast, respectively. 

Adhith Sivaharen, a Master of Data Science student at the University of Southern Queensland, said after attending the event: “The insights gained here will undoubtedly shape our approaches to research and innovation in the years to come.” (See Adhith’s full blog post about ResBazQld 2023 on his LinkedIn page.)

This year’s ResBazQld featured a record 43 different workshops, along with six ‘key story’ talks (similar to keynote speeches), numerous networking activities, and plenty of social events, games and challenges. 

To no one’s surprise, AI-based workshops were the big attraction of the year, with workshops like “Evaluation AI Apps for your Literature Review” and “Demystifying AI for Research” booked to capacity. 

Python and R programming workshops continued to be perennial favourites, boosted by the addition of intermediate-level courses featuring topics including R Shiny, spatial analysis and text analytics. 

And as always, the program featured a strong selection of professional development training, including how to build your professional profile, understanding transferable skills, and practical networking training.

Each day at ResBazQld featured two key story speakers. This year we were fortunate enough to have six fantastic speakers including the irrepressible Professor Michael Milford, Director of the QUT Centre for Robotics; science communicator Jack Wang; and former QCIF team member Heidi Perrett, who spoke about the development of a satellite tracking tag from prototype to an international product used in livestock and conservation monitoring. 

Networking has always been at the heart of ResBaz; with attendance mostly by PhD students and early postdocs, we look to encourage the connections and friendships that will underpin collaborations for years to come. A key part of this was our social evening featuring regular ResBaz event “90 seconds of Research Impact”, a no-preparation, no-slides presentation of a research project delivered in 90 seconds or less. Twelve brave volunteers took on the challenge and, thanks to a wonderful presentation with a bonus point for finishing with exactly one second left, QUT Travel Planning PhD student Namrata Ghosh emerged the winner in a very high-quality field!

We would like to thank our sponsors Gale (the first national ResBaz sponsor, also supporting ResBaz Sydney and ResBaz NT), the ARDC, and Sage, as well as The University of Queensland for hosting the event. We’d also like to thank our speakers and instructors from many organisations and institutions across SE Queensland, and the ResBaz organising team of staff and students from UQ, Griffith, QUT, UniSC and QCIF.