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
2020 SKIP Schedule Townsville - Series 2
TopicDate and Time
The elements of great academic writing. Writing literature reviews.
Friday 2 October
10:00 - 12:00
Confirmation of candidature:  research proposal and seminarFriday 9 October
10:00 - 12:00
Technical and stylistic correctness:  grammar, punctuation, concision and concreteness.Friday 16 October
10:00 - 12:00
Writing for Journals WorkshopFriday 23 October
10:00 - 12:00
SKIP Candidate conference:  practice confirmation seminars in discipline groups, with structured feedbackDate/time to be mutually agreed
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 30 October
10:00 - 11:30 + 12:30 - 14:00

2021 SKIP Schedule Cairns

TopicDate and Time

The elements of great academic writing: paragraphs and abstracts; literature reviews

2021 - TBA
Preparing for confirmation of candidature2021 - TBA
Writing for Journals Workshop2021 - TBA
Technical and stylistic correctness: grammar, punctuation, concision and correctness2021 - TBA
SKIP Candidate conference:  practice confirmation seminars in discipline groups, with structured feedbackDate/time to be mutually agreed
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.2021 - TBA

2021 SKIP Schedule Zoom

TopicDate and Time

The elements of great academic writing: paragraphs and abstracts; literature reviews

2021 - TBA
Preparing for confirmation of candidature2021 - TBA
Writing for Journals Workshop2021 - TBA
Technical and stylistic correctness: grammar, punctuation, concision and correctness2021 - TBA
SKIP Candidate conference:  practice confirmation seminars in discipline groups, with structured feedbackDate/time to be mutually agreed
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.2021 - TBA

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