James Cook University offers a Cohort Doctoral Studies Program, one of the first of its kind in Australia. The program is designed to support and nurture doctoral students through their studies by providing workshops, seminars, coursework, peer learning facilitation and writing workshops in a cohort model where students commence and progress through their program as a group.
Dr Melissa Crowe, Head of Cohort Doctorial Studies Program
The Cohort Doctoral Studies Program is designed to provide additional support and networking opportunities to post-graduate research candidates enrolled at James Cook University (JCU) within the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine (DTHM). The program was initially established in September 2011 and has been nested under the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) since 2015. The Program commenced with one group of 13 candidates in 2011 and has since grown to 18 Cohort groups with 135 candidates. Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma of Research Methods candidates are also supported in the program along with HDR candidates (Master of Philosophy and doctoral candidates).
The Cohort Doctoral Studies Program is essentially aimed at practising health professionals working in the broad areas of medicine, dentistry, health (including nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, clinical exercise physiology, sport and exercise science, psychology, pharmacy, paramedics and health promotion), public health and biomedical, molecular or veterinary sciences. Medicine and health research candidates often return to study after varying lengths of time in the workforce, frequently combine research degrees with part or full-time work, often lack peers undertaking research degrees in their discipline and are sometimes studying at a distance because of the JCU focus on rural, remote and regional areas. The Cohort Doctoral Studies Program was implemented to address these issues.
Our program formalises and structures research education and candidates enter and progress through their programs as interacting cohorts. Candidates benefit from peer support and learning, networking opportunities, research education workshops, writing retreats, student conferences and academic mentoring.