Research indicates that postgraduate research students, and particularly those researching in law,
feel isolated socially and academically from one another, and from scholarly life. Postgraduate
research students are now more globally connected because of technology. Yet opportunities
to connect with colleagues locally, to share and reflect on research findings, methods and
experiences are insufficient. This paper reports on the preliminary stages of a project led by legal
and criminological scholars to establish a postgraduate student network that is interdisciplinary,
interfaculty and cross institutional in structure with a specific focus on ‘crim*’ related studies
including criminology, criminal law and criminal justice. The primary objective of the Network
is to enhance student engagement with research cultures within and beyond their own faculties.
The paper begins by considering the pedagogical issues around developing such a Network.
An absence of research on postgraduate research pedagogy is noted, particularly research on
group-based learning strategies. Drawing on existing educational literature, the authors identify
six pedagogical grounds that may inform development of the Network: (i) skills acquisition,
(ii) perseverance to completion, (iii) as adjunct to supervision, (iv) an additional site for
learning, (v) socialisation and identity formation, and (vi) countering the disciplinary isolation
and methodological limitations of the law. The second half of the paper reaches beyond the
pedagogical literature and presents a survey of existing postgraduate research group strategies
locally and internationally, particularly those directed at the learning needs of crim* students
more specifically. The authors conclude that developing a crim* group that is pedagogically
sound requires a reconceptualization of the broader pedagogical and institutional framing of
postgraduate research education (particularly in law).