Quality research training in a post-face-to-face world

Dr Anastasios Papaioannou1, Mr Aidan Wilson1,2, Mr Malcolm Ramsay1, Dr Weisi Chen1,3

1Intersect, Australia
2Australian Catholic University, Australia
3University of Technology Sydney, , Australia

Intersect has been delivering high-quality training in technical research tools for over seven years. In that time we have taught over 17,000 researchers at 1,400 courses, and all but a very small portion have been face-to-face courses.

In March, the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to suspend all in-person training activities. As training is one of our most highly regarded member services, and with a team of devoted and agile eResearch Analysts and Training Specialists, we were able to quickly and effectively transition the entirety of our training platform to an online environment.

Despite initial hesitation to move our technical training out of an in-person delivery method, online training has proved to be as effective, and has opened up avenues for expansion and potential partnerships with other organisations that we couldn’t foresee in an in-person model.

One such area of expansion facilitated by moving online is the opportunity to expand our course catalogue to include awareness level presentations that are less interactive, and more demonstrative. In July 2020, Intersect launched a series of research technology webinars providing quick introductions to eResearch tools and techniques. These answer questions commonly posed in training courses, are openly available to anyone, and free to attend.

This presentation will discuss the challenges we faced in moving online, the tools and techniques we have found to be effective in online training, and will report on how our training has continued to be very highly regarded by attendees in the era of social distancing.


Dr Anastasios Papaioannou is the eResearch Training Manager & Lead Research Data Scientist at Intersect. Anastasios holds a Ph.D. in Computational Biophysics from the University of Sydney, with his research focus being on data science and computational methods in applied medicine and biology. With over 6 years of experience as an Academic Tutor and eResearch Training Instructor and over 8 years of research experience, Anastasios works collaboratively with universities, research organisations, and government departments to develop and implement solutions to increase research productivity and help researchers enhance their skills and find solutions to their research challenges and problems.

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