RD7003 Elective Workshops


All face to face workshops have been put on hold until further notice.

We encourage PhD candidates to continue fulfilling the requirements of RD7003 Professional Development during these challenging times. However, we are introducing some flexibility into the administrative arrangements to acknowledge that the pandemic may have interrupted your PD plans.  Candidates who are approaching Mid-Candidature Review, at which time they would normally have been required to have completed 50 hours of their Elective Component, may now defer finalising their entire Elective Component (that is, all 90 hours) until the Pre-Completion Milestone.  This means that you will not need to demonstrate the completion of 50 hours of Elective Component at Mid-Candidature, but instead can finalise the whole requirement near the end of candidature.  Note that if you are approaching Mid-Candidature and you already have your 50 hours, you can go ahead and claim them at that milestone, as per the usual guidelines.  This new measure is intended for those who are finding it difficult at present to undertake PD activities and would like a bit more time. When submitting MCR paperwork, please make a note that you would like to defer your Elective Component until Pre-Completion, and the GRS team will make a note on your file.  Those who choose this option should note that the subject RD7003 will not be able to be passed until Pre-Completion.

The Higher Degree by Research Student Organisation in LearnJCU has online professional development options.

Please also see what External options are available here.

Included in the Professional Development Program is a series of sessions and online modules that are optional, termed Elective Components. There is no requirement for Research Masters candidates to complete Elective Components; however they are encouraged to do so as part of their HDR Professional Development Audit Plan.

Research Doctorate candidates must attend at least 52 hours of elective professional development activities in the first 18 months of full-time equivalent candidature, by the Mid-Candidature Review Milestone. Research Doctorate candidates enrolled after 1 January 2018 must also complete a further 40 hours of elective professional development by the Pre-Completion Evaluation Milestone.

The Elective Components provided as part of the GRS Professional Development Program can be used towards fulfilling that requirement, as may non-GRS activities that fit the criteria of training and are approved by each candidate’s candidature committee

Thinkwell Workshops

Maria Gardiner and Hugh Kearns have worked as an award winning team for the past fifteen years. They are well known as leading practitioners and researchers in cognitive behavioural coaching. As well as publishing ten books that have sold many thousands of copies, they are regular contributors to Australian media, including a popular segment on ABC radio.

Their particular expertise is in working with high performers and they have a long history of providing specialist services to the medical and academic professions.

For more information visit their website.

Hugh Kearns will be presenting workshops via Zoom in the week beginning Monday 13 July 2020. Register via CareerHub.

What do research higher degree (RHD) students do to finish on time, to overcome isolation, doubt and writer’s block, and to enjoy the process? And just as importantly what do they do in order to spend guilt-free time with their family and friends and perhaps even have holidays? If this sounds appealing, then this session will be of particular use to you.

This workshop describes the key habits that our research and experience with thousands of students shows will make a difference to how quickly and easily you complete your RHD. Just as importantly, these habits can greatly reduce the stress and increase the pleasure involved in completing a RHD.

The workshop helps you to understand how to increase your effectiveness and outcomes in the following key areas:

  • how you deal with your supervisor
  • how you structure your study time
  • your attitude (or lack thereof!) in relation to your research
  • dealing with writer’s block or having difficulty writing
  • getting the help you need when you are stuck
  • juggling multiple commitments and never having enough time
  • keeping on going when the going gets tough

Suitable for research students at any point in their candidature.

Date: Monday 13 July 2020

Time: 9:00 to 11:30

Via Zoom, Register via CareerHub.

A PhD is a major undertaking yet many people spend more time planning a weekend away than they do planning the next three years of their life. This generally leads to missing deadlines, running overtime, regular crises and lots of stress. If you want to finish on time and enjoy the process along the way then it is important to have a good plan.

You need some very specific skills and tools to plan a PhD. This workshop will introduce you to the PhD Planning Toolkit. You will learn how to use these tools to:

  • create your big picture thesis plan
  • unpack your thesis down into logical parts
  • create tasks lists for each stage of your thesis
  • estimate times and schedule tasks
  • create a Gantt chart for your thesis
  • keep on track as you implement your plan
  • plan your writing
  • manage the finances
  • identify risks and deal with setbacks

At the end of the workshop you will have your own PhD Planning Toolkit and know how to use it to plan your PhD.

Suitable for PhD candidates in early to mid-candidature.

Date: Tuesday 14 July 2020

Time: 9:00 to 11:30

Via Zoom, Register via CareerHub.

So you're a researcher. Chances are then that you are pretty busy. Firstly there's your research. Writing proposals. Getting ethics approval. Dealing with the paperwork. Meetings. Applying for grants. Getting grants and then managing the money and the people. Writing reports. And that's all before you even get to the actual research. Then there's papers to write, rejection letters to deal with and conferences to attend.

And for most people research is just one of the things you do. You might teach or tutor, run demonstrations, or manage a unit or even have another completely different job.

And that's just work. No matter how much you enjoy your research it's a fair bet that there are other parts to your life too. For example you probably have a family or friends, you may have social commitments and you may even have some personal interests.

This workshop will describe the most useful strategies that thousands of researchers have found helpful in balancing the many demands on their time.

  • how to be effective with your time
  • specific strategies for coping with email overload
  • picking the right things to work on
  • dealing with distractions and interruptions
  • how to say NO gracefully
  • setting boundaries
  • looking after me

Suitable for anyone who is juggling research with many other demands.

Date: Tuesday 14 July 2020

Time: 13:00 to 15:30

Via Zoom, Register via CareerHub.

Undertaking a PhD is both an exciting and challenging experience. It can be an emotional roller-coaster. The excitement of working on something you care about, exploring new ideas and making a contribution to knowledge. The challenges of feeling isolated and overwhelmed, dealing with setbacks, uncertainty, conflict and loss of motivation. Inevitably over the course of your PhD you will experience times when things aren’t going so well. This workshop draws on evidence-based strategies to help YOU stay well during your PhD.

Topics will include:

  • Managing the workload
  • Resilience and finding a balance
  • Learning how to switch off
  • Dealing with worries about setbacks and progress
  • Good habits e.g. exercise, sleep, routines
  • Dealing with isolation, lack of structure and loss of motivation
  • Procrastination, perfectionism and over-committing
  • Disagreements with supervisors and other colleagues
  • Support for more serious mental health issues
  • Supporting friends/colleagues who may be struggling

Suitable for PhD researchers who want to explore ways to stay well during their research career.

Date: Wednesday 15 July 2020

Time: 9:00 to 11:00

Via Zoom, Register via CareerHub.

Mapping your ideas is a creative way to organise your thinking. There are a range of tools such as concept maps, mind maps or idea maps.

These mapping techniques are used all over the world by students, teachers, researchers and in business as a way of improving learning and increasing creativity. They can be used to: organise the content and ideas in your thesis, structure a paper or report you need to write, prepare your lecture or presentation, or record brainstorming sessions. They are effective, easy to use and most of all FUN. In this workshop you will learn by doing. You will see how a idea map is created and then create your own using your own topic.

The workshop will include opportunities for you to use idea mapping with your own project. So bring along your ideas (and some coloured pencils)!

This is a learning by doing workshop. You will get to try out different approaches, see what others do and get guidance and suggestions on how you can get the most out of idea maps. In the workshop you will:

  • Find out about the different types of maps (concept, mind, idea)
  • Learn guidelines you can apply in developing maps
  • See examples of idea maps
  • Use maps to boost creativity
  • Find out about further resources

Suitable for anyone who wants hands-on experience of using idea maps.

Date: Wednesday 15 July 2020

Time: 13:00 to 15:00

Via Zoom, Register via CareerHub.

Thirty years of the best research in psychology has shown that it is possible to change habits and behaviours that can get in the way of us achieving our full potential. It is possible to change the beliefs that underpin our behaviours and consequently our successes . Despite there being an incontrovertible evidence base for how to improve our thinking and therefore our behaviours, the skills required to do this are not readily available to those wanting to maximise their performance. And this is certainly not available to those who work in universities. This unique workshop will bring you the latest research and practice in cognitive behavioural coaching (CBC) and show you have to apply it to your everyday life.

This workshop is an excellent one to do if you have already attended other ThinkWell courses, although it will still be useful for those who are attending for the first time.

In this workshop you will:

  • Find out what CBC is
  • Understand the fundamental thinking errors that reduce our performance
  • Discover how  we can use CBC to improve our performance
  • Develop the skills you need to use it for yourself
  • Explore other things that CBC is good for – confidence, resilience, work/life balance, good mental health and more!

Suitable for researchers and research students.

Date: Thursday 16 July 2020

Time: 13:00 to 15:30

Via Zoom, Register via CareerHub.

Conditional Components

Some candidates may be required to undertake Conditional Components, depending upon several factors, including the nature of their project and whether they are enrolled as international candidates.

Conditional Components may be a requirement of both PhD and Masters by Research programs. In the case of PhD candidates, Conditional Component activities are counted towards Elective Component hours for the purposes of RD7003 Professional Development. These components include the Skills for International Postgraduates (SKIP) program, which is compulsory for all international HDR candidates in the first year of their study. They may also involve the writing support program associated with the Post-Entry Language Assessment (PELA) system.

Other Conditional Components include diving, boating or other safety training requirements, or human or animal research ethics workshops (additional to compulsory ethics training).