SKIP (Skills for International Postgraduates) Program

SKIP is offered both face-to-face and via Zoom.  The 2021 schedule will be available soon.

Incoming international candidates who haven’t yet registered for SKIP should e-mail Dr Liz Tynan on Elizabeth.Tynan@jcu.edu.au to discuss options.

What is the SKIP Program?

SKIP is a writing support program designed for international HDR candidates in their first year of research higher degree candidature.

Skills for International Postgraduates (SKIP) is designed to help international HDR candidates finish their thesis on time by equipping them with experience in professional academic writing, including training in research presentation and writing for journals. SKIP provides individual editing assistance. SKIP participants are entitled to up to 3 hours of one-on-one thesis editing from the SKIP Convenor each year, free of charge. If additional editing assistance is required, arrangements can be made with an external editor at an hourly rate, to be paid for by the research candidate.

SKIP is not an English language program. English language support is provided separately for those who need it, primarily through the PELA program.

If you have prior experience in academic writing and wish to be exempted from SKIP, please ask your Primary Advisor to outline your reasons in an e-mail sent to grs@jcu.edu.au.  Note that candidates who opt out of SKIP are no longer entitled to individual editing assistance.

The SKIP program is offered in Townsville, Cairns and Singapore.  As part of SKIP, participants will have the opportunity to prepare for the Confirmation of Candidature seminar, including taking part in a candidate conference involving fellow SKIP candidates. At this event, participants will be able to practice their seminar presentation with an audience who will then provide detailed feedback.

Please note that we do not use CareerHub to register candidates for SKIP.  This is because we need to check that all registrants are international research candidates, not domestic candidates or candidates undertaking a coursework degree.  Please contact the Convenor, Associate Professor Liz Tynan (elizabeth.tynan@jcu.edu.au), who maintains registrations lists and stays in regular contact with participants. Please note:  SKIP participants do not need to enrol in the Academic and Thesis Writing Workshops as well, as there is some overlap in the curriculum.  SKIP participants may wish to attend the Academic and Thesis Writing Workshops later in their enrolment, as a refresher course.

SKIP Townsville: Each week for four weeks, all SKIP participants will attend a two-hour workshop on Friday mornings. During the program, arrangements will be made for a SKIP Candidate Conference, to be scheduled at a time convenient to group members.  This will run for three hours, and candidates may opt for either a face to face version, or a Zoom version.   In addition, an extended SKIP Consolidation Workshop will be held at the end of the series.  This workshop will be compulsory for candidates who have English as an Additional Language (EAL) and optional for native English speakers. All SKIP participants will also have a minimum of one hour of one-on-one editorial consultation with the SKIP Convenor, during which writing issues particular to the candidate will be discussed.

SKIP Cairns: Candidates attend four two-hour SKIP workshops, plus the SKIP Candidate Conference and the SKIP Consolidation workshop. The SKIP Consolidation Workshop is compulsory for candidates who have English as an Additional Language (EAL) and optional for native English speakers.  All SKIP participants will also have a minimum of one hour of one-on-one editorial consultation with the SKIP Convenor, during which writing issues particular to the candidate will be discussed.

To successfully complete the SKIP program, candidates are expected to:

  1. Attend all compulsory sessions, including the one-hour editorial consultation with the Convenor.
  2. Provide a sample of their work (such as a research proposal or literature review) for editorial appraisal; and
  3. Present their research project to the class, usually in the form of an abbreviated Confirmation of Candidature seminar rehearsal during the SKIP Candidate Conference.

Once all requirements of the SKIP program have been fulfilled, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion that may be submitted as part of the requirements of the doctoral subject RD7003 Professional Development.

PhD candidates may count 12 hours of SKIP participation towards the Conditional Component of RD7003 Professional Development, made up of 11 hours of class time plus one hour of editorial consultation.  If you participate in the Consolidation workshop at the end of SKIP, you may add another three hours to your SKIP total, bringing it to 15 hours.

  • An introduction to great academic writing: outlining and drafting, literature reviews
  • Confirmation of candidature: proposal and seminar
  • Technical and stylistic correctness: grammar, punctuation, concision and concreteness
  • Writing for journals
  • SKIP Candidate Conference, practice confirmation seminars in discipline groups, with structured feedback
  • SKIP Consolidation Workshop: revision, refinement, redrafting, style and self-editing

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Before beginning the SKIP program on 5 March, you will need to undertake the flexible online module The Art of Academic Writing, available on the Higher Degree by Research Community on LearnJCU, and complete the associated quiz.  This module should take approximately 12 hours to complete in full.  You will not be able to start SKIP until you have completed this module.

TopicDate and Time
Understanding the elements of great academic writing – an overview
Friday 19 March 2021
10am - 12pm AEST
8am - 10am SGT
Confirmation of candidature:  research proposal and seminar
Friday 26 March 2021
10am - 12pm AEST
8am - 10am SGT
Technical and stylistic correctness:  grammar, punctuation, concision and concreteness.
Friday 9 April 2021
10am - 12pm AEST
8am - 10am SGT
Writing for Journals + Journal Club
Friday 16 April 2021
10am - 12pm AEST
8am - 10am SGT
SKIP candidate conference:  practice confirmation seminars in discipline groups, with structured feedback
Date and time to be mutually agreed during SKIP Program

This series of SKIP will be presented in face-to-face sessions in Townsville.  Covid-19 protocols will be followed in our room.  I will establish a folder on the LearnJCU Higher Degree by Research Organisation where I will place your SKIP materials. I will also set up a discussion board for SKIP candidates, so that you can discuss SKIP-related issues with each other and with me.  Once these are in place, I will send you a message notifying you of how to access the materials.

Note that SKIP also involves submitting a draft document (such as your proposal or literature review) for editorial assessment, followed by a one-on-one Zoom to discuss. This can take place at any time that is mutually convenient, and does not have to occur within the class timeframe.

TopicDate and Time
Understanding the elements of great academic writing – an overview
Friday 7 May 2021
10am - 12pm AEST
Room TBA
Confirmation of candidature:  research proposal and seminarFriday 14 May 2021
10am - 12pm AEST
Room TBA
Technical and stylistic correctness:  grammar, punctuation, concision and concreteness.Friday 21 May 2021
10am - 12pm AEST
Room TBA
Writing for JournalsFriday 28 May 2021
10am - 12pm AEST
Room TBA
SKIP consolidation workshop. Revision, refinement, redrafting, style and self-editing.  Compulsory for candidates who have English as an Additional Language, optional for native English speakers.Friday 4 June 2021
10am - 12pm  & 1pm - 3pm AEST
Note that this is an extended session
Room TBA
SKIP candidate conference:  practice confirmation seminars in discipline groups, with structured feedbackDate and time to be mutually agreed during SKIP program

This series of SKIP will be presented in face-to-face sessions in Cairns. Covid-19 protocols will be followed in our room. I will establish a folder on the LearnJCU Higher Degree by Research Organisation where I will place your SKIP materials. I will also set up a discussion board for SKIP candidates, so that you can discuss SKIP-related issues with each other and with me. Once these are in place, I will send you a message notifying you of how to access the materials.

Note that SKIP also involves submitting a draft document (such as your proposal or literature review) for editorial assessment, followed by a one-on-one Zoom to discuss. This can take place at any time that is mutually convenient, and does not have to occur within the class timeframe.

Associate Professor Liz Tynan
Graduate Research School

TopicDate and Time
Understanding the elements of great academic writing – an overview
TBA
10am - 12pm AEST
Room TBA
Confirmation of candidature:  research proposal and seminarTBA
10am - 12pm AEST
Room TBA
Technical and stylistic correctness:  grammar, punctuation, concision and concreteness.TBA
10am - 12pm AEST
Room TBA
Writing for JournalsTBA
10am - 12pm AEST
Room TBA
SKIP consolidation workshop. Revision, refinement, redrafting, style and self-editing.  Compulsory for candidates who have English as an Additional Language, optional for native English speakers.TBA
10am - 12pm  & 1pm - 3pm AEST
Note that this is an extended session
Room TBA
SKIP candidate conference:  practice confirmation seminars in discipline groups, with structured feedbackDate and time to be mutually agreed during SKIP program

Further Information and Registration

International HDR candidates are encouraged to read the HDR Skills for International Postgraduates (SKIP) Program Procedure prior to registration.

For further information or to discuss your registration, please contact the SKIP Program Convenor directly:

Associate Professor Liz Tynan
Senior Lecturer and Co-ordinator, Research Student Academic Support
Graduate Research School
elizabeth.tynan@jcu.edu.au