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What Training services are available?

Intersect offers a wide range of specialised courses for researchers, from beginner through to advanced levels in High-Performance Computing (HPC), Excel for research, data management and visualisation, cleaning and exploring data, and more.

Delivered by Intersect's team of experts, training courses are customised and are regularly updated. Held at a training lab on campus, courses provide practical and research-relevant hands-on exercises.

Upcoming courses​​​​​​​

  • 24 Aug 2016: "Introduction to Programming with Python" at USYD Camperdown. Enrol now
  • 24 Aug 2016: "Excel Fu: Excel for Researchers" at UNE Armidale. Enrol now
  • 31 Aug 2016: "Introduction to Programming with MATLAB" at USYD Camperdown. Enrol now
  • ​1 Sep 2016: "Excel Fu: Excel for Researchers" at Western Sydney: Parramatta (South). Enrol now
  • 7 Sep 2016: "Parallel Programming for HPC" at USYD Camperdown. Enrol now
  • 8 Sep 2016: "Introduction to Unix for HPC - Day 1" at LTU Bundoora. Enrol now
  • 8 Sep 2016: "Powerful text searching and matching with Regexes" at UNE Armidale. Enrol now


Who can access the service?

  • Researchers, research groups, and Higher-Degree Research students from any Intersect member organisation.
  • For people and organisations outside the Intersect membership, training can be provided on a fee-for-service basis. Please email us:


What costs are involved?

  • Places are fully subsidised and provided at no cost to researchers and Higher-Degree Research students from Intersect member institutions.
  • For non-member organisations or individual researchers not associated with an Intersect member university, fees are charged depending on the nature and length of the training course. Fees will generally be $500 per day per participant. Depending on the location, additional charges may apply to cover costs (for instance trainer travel). Please email us:


If I cannot make it, how do I cancel my training?

If you are registered but cannot make it (we understand that plans can change), we kindly ask that you cancel your place:

  • Through Eventbrite: follow the cancellation instructions at the bottom of the email you received. Log into Eventbrite and choose under 'My Tickets' the event you are registered for. Under 'Current Orders', click 'Cancel Order'.
  • Or send us an email at to release your spot for someone else to benefit from the training. Thanks in advance!


Courses we offer


Excel for Researchers

Duration: 8 hours

This popular intensive workshop runs over one day and comprises a series of hands-on exercises modelled around a mock research project. This module is targeted at researchers who would like to take a deep dive into using Excel, either to apply it to their research or to add it to their arsenal of eResearch skills. Check the  course outline.

Minimum requirements: basic Excel knowledge.

Course objectives:

  • How to handle research data within Excel
  • How to use advanced features of Excel to answer research questions pertaining to their data.


Research Data Management Techniques

Duration: 2 hours

This brand new 2-hour workshop is ideal for researchers and higher degree research students (HDR) who want to know how research data management supports project success and are interested in research data management services and support available at their institution. Combining slide-based background material, discussions and real world examples, this workshop will equip participants with best practices for managing their valuable research data.

Minimum requirements: none.

Course objectives:

  • Start a plan for managing data within a research project
  • Learn how to avoid possible data management roadblocks that may affect project success
  • Learn how to publish citable research data to raise your research profile.


Software Carpentry Workshop - Unix, Python, and Version Control

Duration: 2 days, 16 hours

We are pleased to help coordinate and present Software Carpentry workshops to Intersect members. This intensive 2-day workshop delivered by our Software Carpentry accredited trainers is aimed at researchers and higher degree research students (HDRs) who would like to start learning to code in the Python programming language, automate repetitive tasks using the Unix shell, and safely store their code and data under version control in Git. The training runs for two days of hands-on learning, using teaching materials from the comprehensive Software Carpentry lessons, alternating short tutorials with practical exercises. All instruction is done via live coding and covers the core skills needed to be productive in a small research team.


Programming Essentials with Python - new!

Duration: 8 hours

This live coding workshop is based on the researcher-focused training modules from the highly regarded Software Carpentry Foundation.

You will learn:

  • Programming concepts and techniques.
  • Basic syntax, control structures and data types in Python.
  • Approaches to testing and defensive programming.


Introduction to Programming with MATLAB - new!

Duration: 8 hours

Join us as we build up a MATLAB program step-by-step to demonstrate programming techniques and concepts using the MATLAB syntax in order to visualise a research-related dataset.

This live coding workshop is based on the researcher-focused training modules from the highly regarded Software Carpentry Foundation.


Introduction to Unix - new!

Duration: 3 hours

You will receive a whirlwind introduction into the world of the Unix command line. Learn how to run a handful of useful commands that let you navigate the command line with confidence. Learn skills that will help you to automate your analysis, saving you time.

This live coding workshop is based on the researcher-focused training modules from the highly regarded Software Carpentry Foundation.


Introduction to Version Control with Git - new!

Duration: 3 hours

Have you mistakenly overwritten programs or data and want to learn techniques to avoid repeating the loss? Version control systems are one of the most powerful tools available for avoiding data loss and enabling reproducible research. While the learning curve can be steep, our trainers are there to answer all your questions while you gain hands on experience in using Git, one of the most popular version control systems available.

This live coding workshop is based on the researcher-focused training modules from the highly regarded Software Carpentry Foundation.


Powerful text searching and matching with Regexes

Duration: 2 hours

Have you ever wanted to extract phone numbers out of a block of unstructured text? Or email addresses. Or find all the words that start with “e” and end with “ed”, no matter their length. Regular expressions (regexes for short) are a powerful way to match and make substitutions to text. Come along to this workshop to learn what they can do and how to apply them to your research. 

This brand new 2-hour course has been specifically written for researchers and higher degree research (HDR) students who want to learn about how regular expressions can be used to search text in ways far more powerful than traditional “search” and “replace”. Check the course outline

Minimum requirements: none.

Course objectives:

  • How to use the tool to test a regular expression against some text.
  • How to construct simple regular expressions to find all capitalised words; all numbers; all words that start with a specific set of letters, etc. in a block of text.
  • How to build up a complex regular expression incrementally.
  • How to find helpful resources covering regular expressions on the web.


Regular Expressions on Command - new!

Duration: 3 hours

This course builds on the success of our introductory course Powerful Text Searching and Matching with Regexes and covers the classic Unix tools find, grep, sed, and awk. These tools are immensely useful for building automated research workflows that can transform, clean, summarise and bring consistency to complex datasets while harnessing the power of regular expressions.


Data Visualisation with Google Fusion Tables

Duration: 3 hours

This three-hour workshop is an introduction to data visualisation techniques using data and hands-on activities in Google Fusion Tables. The course is ideal for participants who work with large data sets and want to convey their research outcomes clearly and persuasively in a visual manner. By creating a heat map by merging geospatial data and crime statistics, participants will gain skills in visualisation that they can apply to their research. Check the course outline.

Minimum requirements: basic usage of Microsoft Excel and of a web browser.

Course objectives:

  • How to import data into Fusion Tables
  • How to merge multiple data sets in Fusion Tables
  • How to create heat maps using Fusion Tables
  • How to vary the visualisation used to illustrate your data in Fusion Tables.


Cleaning & Exploring your data with Open Refine

Duration: 3 hours

Do you have messy, inconsistent, or complex data? Are you struggling to get a handle on data that has been given to you? This 3-hour workshop introduces Open Refine, a powerful tool for cleaning, normalisation and exploration of datasets. Attendees will work through the various features of Refine, including importing data, faceting, clustering, and calling into remote APIs, by working on a mock humanities research project. Check the course outline.

Course objectives:

  • How to create a project in Open Refine
  • How to import and organise your data
  • Ways to explore your data
  • How to work with APIs.


High-Performance Computing (HPC) Courses

HPC (also called supercomputing) is the use of large-scale, off-site computers and parallel processing techniques for solving complex computational problems. HPC is typically used for solving advanced problems and performing research activities through computer modelling, simulation and analysis. The learning curve for HPC can be a little steep, but plenty of help is available.

Our series of HPC courses cater for the needs of all researchers, whether you are at a Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced HPC level.


Introduction to Unix for HPC

Duration: 12 hours

This one-and-a-half day course introduces attendees to using Unix for our HPC computing facilities. It is aimed at researchers and PhD students who have not used or have had only limited exposure high performance computing.

Minimum requirements: knowledge of Windows, Mac, or Linux systems. Check the course outline.

Course objectives:

  • Connect to a remote machine.
  • Use the Command Line environment of the Unix/Linux Shell
  • Data transfer between local and HPC machines
  • Manage jobs on the HPC machine using Portable Batch System (PBS).


Intermediate HPC - From Unix to HPC

Duration: 3 hours

This 3-hour course introduces attendees to our HPC computing facilities and is aimed at those with Command Line Unix Experience. It is targeted at participants who want to learn how to manage jobs the HPC machine using PBSPro and understand the architecture of the HPC machine, the layout of the disk partitions, and when to use the machine. Check the course outline


Minimum requirements: basic Linux knowledge.

Course objectives:

  • How to write job scripts
  • How to submit and delete jobs
  • Understand some PBSPro environment variables
  • How to use the different disk partitions on the HPC machine
  • Understand machine limits.


Advanced HPC - Parallel Programming

Duration: 6 hours

This intensive full-day course introduces different parallel programming methods: OpenMP as a widespread method for a shared memory programming model and MPI as the standard for a distributed memory programming model. It is targeted at C and Fortran programmers. Check the course outline.

Minimum requirements: good knowledge of HPC, with prior experience of writing programs for HPC, or having completed the Beginner and Intermediate HPC courses, experience in writing code in either C or Fortran.

Course objectives:

  • Understand different parallel programming methods and models
  • Design parallel programs
  • HPC hardware available through Intersect & NCI
  • OpenMP as a widespread shared memory programming model
  • MPI as the standard for a distributed memory programming model.