Developing as an Advisor

We offer a range of training opportunities for HDR Advisors. For more information please contact

Respectful Relationships for HDR Advisors

JCU Respectful Relationships Workshops – Advisors is a compulsory, practical, interactive workshop that explores issues of gender, power, relationships, consent and ethics in contemporary Australian society, with particular relevance to research supervision.  The workshop addresses sexual harassment and assault, safeguarding practices, and adviser obligations to ensure a safe and respectful research training environment.

The workshop is run by zoom with 20 – 25 participants. You will need a good internet connection, working camera and speaker to participate.

Note: The workshop includes discussion of sexual assault, and sexual harassment, and is designed to be completed by all Higher Degree by Research Advisors. If you feel unable to complete the workshop for personal reasons, simply email or contact a Sexual Misconduct Officer requesting a confidential exemption.

Register for this workshop HERE.

Workshop Dates all via zoom

DateTime (AEST)
Tuesday 1 November 202212pm - 1:30pm
Wednesday 2 November 20229am - 10:30am

Supporting our Supervisors

These optional workshops are intended to provide opportunities for HDR advisors to develop their practice within a community of peers. Off campus attendance is facilitated by a zoom link. An email invitation is issued to advisors via the Graduate Research School.

  • Each workshop includes a 30 minute presentation of case studies and resources followed by a 30 minute practical session.
  • Participants will leave each session with resources they can use when meeting with HDR candidates.
  • During sessions participants are encouraged to work with other advisors to share practices and build networks.
  • Topics will range from advice on use of resources and services, consideration of practices and introduction to new models of advising.
  • Invitations will be sent to all staff when sessions are available, currently only via Zoom.

Hear about data storage plans and IP agreement considerations that may inform work with your HDR Candidates and their projects. Panel members with expertise in data and IP management will join experienced advisors to discuss ways of ensuring the plans and agreements support and enable the research process.

When: Monday 7 February 2022 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST (10:00am - 11:00am SGT) via Zoom

Register to attend here.

Find out how to work with the library to support your candidates in scoping projects in order to support development of literature reviews. Hear about different types of reviews and resources and the ways your librarian can support you and your candidates’ progress literature reviews.

When: Tuesday 15 March at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST (10:00am - 11:00am SGT) via Zoom

Register to attend here.

Engage in discussion with experienced advisors on the challenges and opportunities in preparing candidates for completion. Topics covered may include: finalising the thesis, considering transition to work, and progressing research engagement.

When: Wednesday 13 April 2022 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST / 10:00am - 11:00am SGT via Zoom

Register to attend here.

Every research project has its challenges, and experience tells us contingency planning is essential. Hear from some experienced supervisors about how they approach the task and take time to share your approach to addressing HDR student project challenges.

When: Wednesday 15 June 2022 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST / 10:00am - 11:00am SGT via Zoom

Register to attend here.

It takes a village to transform an HDR candidate into an independent researcher. Hear from experienced supervisors on the role communities and cohorts can play in engaging candidates with peers as well as disciplinary, institutional and professional networks to enable their development as independent researchers.

When: Thursday 14 July at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST / 10:00am - 11:00am SGT via Zoom

Register to attend here.

Part of being an HDR advisor is nominating examiners and also being an examiner for HDR candidates at other universities. Learn strategies for making a good selection for your students and what it takes to be a good examiner.

When: Monday 8 August 2022 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST / 10:00am - 11:00am SGT via Zoom

Register to attend here.

Universities and research institutes continue to be encouraged to engage with industry and ensure that HDR candidates are prepared for careers beyond the academy.  Industry engaged HDR projects is one way to respond to this priority. Advisors with experiences of engagement tell us the good, the bad and the unexpected

When: Tuesday 13 September 2022 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST / 10:00am - 11:00am SGT via Zoom

Register to attend here.

How do you set up internships and mentorships for your ECRs and HDRs? Learn more from those that have the connections and have done it before. Experienced advisors share what they have learnt and advise how to prioritise and frame this work in the context of your career.

When: Wednesday 12 October 2022 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST / 10:00am - 11:00am SGT via Zoom

Register to attend here.

Hear from award winning advisors from 2022 about what they have learnt.

When: Thursday 1 December 2022 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST / 10:00am - 11:00am SGT via Zoom

Register to attend here.

Postdoc Training

Presenter: Dr. Kerstin Fritsches

Kerstin is a former research fellow who spent the majority of her 12-year research career on external grant and contract funding, with first-hand experience of the challenges facing early career researchers and a strong track record in postdoc affairs and career development. A lack of effective career training for PhDs led Kerstin to found Postdoc Training in 2011, to bridge a gap in professional development by delivering support tailored specifically for PhD students and postdocs. Postdoc Training delivers career development support and mentoring for researchers worldwide, and Kerstin has become a sought-after workshop facilitator on topics such as career planning and research leadership both in Australia and Europe.

‘Take Charge of your Career’ will equip researchers at JCU to be strategic, proactive and effective in planning and developing a career from a base in academic research. The programme will progress from mapping individual career paths based on strengths and preferences, to identifying ‘what’s out there‘, and examining how to build the contacts and capabilities to pursue target options successfully. The workshop will also provide practical advice on how early stage researchers should market themselves, establish networks and develop transferrable skills suited to specific career choices, whether within or outside academia.

Desired learning outcomes: Establish principles, build awareness and provide strategies and tools to enable participants to take effective charge of their own career development. Participants completing the workshop will leave with a clear understanding of how to plan, pursue and develop their preferred career paths. The programme will also create a platform for peer mentoring relationships among participants beyond the workshop.

Target Audience and format: The workshop is designed for mainly early career researchers at different levels of experience. Using the Zoom platform the sessions will be held over 2 half days and contain short presentations alternating with individual exercises and small group discussions via virtual break-out rooms. In preparation for the workshop, registered participants will be asked to complete a short survey on their career aspirations and challenges. This will help Postdoc Training further refine the presentation and guide discussions during the workshop. Participation in the survey is voluntary and anonymous.

Day 1: Thursday 17 November 2022 - 'Why and how to plan your career'

from 12:45pm AEST

Zoom room opens, please connect a few minutes early for an 11:00am start

1 - 1:30pm AEST

Introduction and overview of the day
Context: the employment market for researchers and what it means for you

1:30 - 3pm AEST

Session 1 - Aim: Know your strengths, know your options

  • Preface: taking charge of your career
  • Exercise Theme A: Capabilities and preferences
  • Exercises Theme B: Exploring your choices

3 - 3:15pm AEST

E-tea / coffee break

3:15 - 4:30pm AEST

Session 2 - Aim: Create your career plan

  • Preface: the art of ‘bringing the future into the present’
  • Exercises Theme C: Mapping your career
4:30 - 5pm AEST Optional post-workshop Q&A

Day 2: Friday 18 November 2022 TBC - 'How to implement your plans'

from 12:45pm AEST

Zoom room opens, please connect a few minutes early for an 11:00am start

1:00 - 2:45pm AEST

Session 3 - Aim:  Build your networks, develop your profile

  • Exercises Theme D: Define and strengthen your networks
  • Presentation: how to market yourself and create linkages that get you ahead

2:45 - 3pm AEST

E-tea / coffee break

3 - 4:10pm AEST

Session 4 - Aim: Develop and sell the skills that win you jobs

  • Preface: Skills and track record requirements for positions in academia, government and industry
  • Exercises Theme E: How to capitalise on transferrable skills
4:10 - 4:30pm AEST Mastermind exercise and clothing
4:30 - 5pm AEST Optional post-workshop Q&A

Register your interest via the online form.

Limited places available.

This half-day workshop addresses the reality that researchers must develop effective working habits if they are to succeed long-term in the highly competitive academic environment, and if they are to achieve a sustainable, healthy balance between work and their personal lives. The time management skills tackled in the workshop are equally applicable to success in roles outside academia. The training provides practical strategies and tools to increase researchers’ productivity by helping them recognise their chief time management challenges and develop relevant solutions. It tackles common issues such as prioritising constructively, making time for research and writing, managing interruptions and effectively running multiple projects at the same time.

When: Tuesday 15 November 2022 at 1-4pm AEST via Zoom

from 12:45pm AEST

Zoom room opens, please connect a few minutes early for an 1pm start

1 - 2pm AEST

Introduction and overview of the morning

Context: what it takes to develop effective working habits and why it matters

Group Exercises

  • Identify time management challenges
  • Set personal SMARTER goals for improving time management

2 - 2:10pm AEST

Short e-tea / coffee break

2:10 - 3:10pm AEST

Spring-clean your schedule and use planning to increase productivity

Focus:  strategies and tools to improve working habits

Discussions on challenges including: prioritising constructively, managing meetings, making time for research/writing, dealing with interruptions, managing parallel projects, managing email and other communications
3:10 - 3:20pm AEST Short e-tea / coffee break
3:20 - 4pm AEST

Applying strategies and tools to personal time management goals

Focus: participant-specific plan for optimising use of time, and working more effectively and productively

Group discussion and solo exercises

4 - 4:30pm AESTOptional post-workshop Q&A

Register via the online form

Limited places available.

Higher Degree by Research Advisor Organisation

This organisation in LearnJCU contains a range of resources and development opportunities. Modules support advisor registration requirements as detailed in Becoming an Advisor. Events and Resources are drawn from JCU Professional Development Events. Workshop materials are to support you in providing advisor events.

This course contains 9 modules with 8 quizzes and a range of portfolio activities to meet registration requirements.

Epigeum is a UK based publisher of online courses designed to transform the way in which universities and colleges support their core activities of research, teaching and learning.


  1. Introduction: the research higher degree context
  2. Attracting and selecting HDR applicants
  3. Approaching Supervision
  4. Setting your candidate on the right course
  5. Managing Progress
  6. Expectations and preparing for examination
  7. Issues in advising research candidates
  8. Continuing your advisory development
  9. Conclusion: Practise scenarios and full program resources

Written tasks and resources are available here for advisors wishing to elevate from Secondary to Primary; Primary to Primary Advanced and Advisor Mentor.

The material provided will support experienced advisors, approved by their College ADRE, to Chair HDR milestone committees.

Every 4 years advisors can confirm their continuing engagement with JCU's research education culture by completing a short quiz.

Here you will find information and resources about events to support advisor development

A series of materials to inform the individual advisor or to inform an HDR advisor workshop or seminar presentation.

If you have not previously accessed the organisation please email providing your JC number to be added.

  • Open the link to LearnJCU
  • Click on Organisation in the side menu bar

image of Blackboard side board menu.

  • Click on the Higher Degree by Research Advisors icon or title

image of icon tile.

Qualitative Research - Professor David Silverman

Professor David Silverman is Professor Emeritus in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths College, London, Visiting Professor in the Management Department at King's College, University of London and the Business School, University of Technology, Sydney as well as Adjunct Professor at QUT, Faculty of Education. He has authored 15 books and 45 journal articles on qualitative research, ethnography and conversation analysis. He has supervised over 30 successful PhD students, three of whom are now full Professors.

Professor David Silverman will be presenting this workshop on qualitative research.

Qualitative research is often regarded as the poor relation of quantitative research: less rigorous and less credible. For instance, in managing the Covid 19 epidemic, governments have largely turned to research which can be expressed in numbers.

To some extent this is understandable. We live in a world where numbers talk. On the other hand, qualitative researchers have not helped themselves by research frequently based on a few interviews with conclusions derived from telling examples rather than detailed analysis of whole datasets.

By contrast, David suggests that qualitative researchers are more likely to convince policymakers and practitioners when they employ rigorous data analysis to study behavior using naturalistic data. Rather than compete with quantitative researchers, this means our work can be complementary to them, studying phenomena unavailable to quantitative methods. David uses some examples from his own research on healthcare settings to illustrate his argument.

David concludes by drawing out some implications for PhD students and early career researchers. He will show how to avoid two dangerous orthodoxies about research and recommend, where possible, delaying consideration of practical relevance until the conclusion of a research project rather than beginning with a set of pre-defined policy aims.

When: 2022 TBC

Register to attend here.

Thinkwell Workshops

Suitable for HDR Advisors, Academics, Researchers and ECRs

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 the Thinkwell website.

Workshops will be scheduled in 2022 during the following weeks:

  • Monday 18 to Friday 22 July 2022 - presented by Hugh Kearns via Zoom
  • Monday 21 to Friday 25 November 2022 - presented by Maria Gardiner via Zoom

Register for these workshops here.

All workshops are via Zoom

** HDR Candidates must register for Thinkwell workshops via CareerHub, more information here.

When: Monday 21 November at 9:30am – 12pm AEST

Would you like to know the secret to high output, high quality, scholarly writing? In academia, because writing is such a big part of what you do, it is often assumed that it comes naturally. However, for most academics, it can be a hit and miss activity, with some days (weeks or even months!) being hard to get started. And when you do get started you might sit there for hours and not produce many words. Finally, when the words are on the page, you may wonder why you bothered since what you have written isn’t very good.

This workshop draws on the overwhelming body of research (and experience with thousands of writers). This research shows that there are very clear and practical evidence-based strategies that can greatly increase your writing quality and quantity. Key aspects of this workshop have featured in the journal Nature.

This workshop will help you to understand:

  • why it can be hard to get started
  • how we deliberately use distractions to slow down writing
  • the principles of quick starting
  • why snack writing is generally more productive than binge writing
  • how to deal with the internal committee that slows down writing
  • how to set achievable goals by writing in a silo
  • how to greatly double (or more) the number of actual words you produce
  • how to clarify your thinking and improve the quality of your work

When: Tuesday 22 November at 9:30am - 12pm AEST

Do you know the single most important thing that determines the quality of a piece of academic writing? You might think it is the data that you have. Or perhaps it is the literature on which you base your research question. Maybe it is the theory you choose. While all these things are important, none of them is as important as the narrative that you construct in your writing.

This workshop will show you why narrative is so important and how to construct a narrative. There will be demonstrations of creating a narrative and opportunity to practice creating your own narrative for either a part of your work or your whole work.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • why narrative is so important
  • where you will find the narrative
  • the power of the 10 year old, and if that doesn’t work, the border collie
  • how language gets in the way of narrative
  • how to recognise narrative in others work
  • how to write the narrative of your own piece of work

When: Tuesday 22 November at 2pm – 4pm AEST

Can you make completing a research higher degree easier for your students and for you? You absolutely can and this workshop will focus on what habits and strategies create the greatest chance of timely completion for your students. There will be time during the workshop to raise questions and issues related to your own situation.

Depending on the needs of the group, this course gives you practical strategies to deal with the most important areas of supervisor such as:

  • Attracting students (this topic will also be addressed in the Shameless Self Promotion workshop)
  • The fundamentals of the student/supervisor relationship
  • Planning the project to stay on time
  • Setting up good writing habits
  • Giving good and useful feedback to students

When: Wednesday 23 November at 9:30am - 12pm AEST

As a busy academic do you feel like you never have enough time to get to your research, particularly the writing part? And that other things like students, administration, committees, emails, project management, etc. demand all your time?

This workshop shows you how to guarantee you spend high quality time on your research outputs. It covers prioritising, goal setting and managing competing demands in a university context. If you want to increase your research output without compromising your work/life balance, then this workshop is for you. Key aspects of this workshop have featured in the journal Nature.

This workshop will show you how to:

  • take control of your time
  • prioritise
  • stop procrastinating and stay motivated
  • avoid distractions
  • say NO (and understand why it is so hard to do so)
  • balance competing demands
  • manage email and paperwork
  • work the slightly less hard way
  • think more realistically about your research productivity

When: Thursday 24 November at 9:30am - 12pm AEST

shower you with rewards. Tempting, but probably not true. As well as being clever and working hard you also need to be able to promote yourself.

In this workshop you will learn strategies for: putting yourself out there, asking for what you want, taking responsibility – not waiting for it to happen, developing your one-minute pitch and presenting yourself effectively for promotions, grants, and awards.

This workshop will look at:

  • asking for what you want
  • why waiting isn’t enough
  • why it is hard to self-promote (and why you need to)
  • using convincing language
  • developing a convincing pitch
  • social media – should you bother?
  • media and other methods to communicate
  • why publication is just the beginning – 20 things to consider doing with your paper once it has been published

When: Thursday 24 November at 2pm – 4pm AEST

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. This unique workshop will bring you the latest research and practice in cognitive behavioural coaching (CBC) and show you how to apply it to your everyday (and academic) 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 – writing, confidence, resilience, work/life balance, good mental health and more!

Other Events

2022 TBC