Developing as an Advisor

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.

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.

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

Register for this workshop HERE.

DateTime (AEST)
Tuesday 13 February 20241:30pm -  3pm
Thursday 23 May 202412pm - 1:30pm
Thursday 29 August 20244pm - 5:30pm
Thursday 21 November 20243pm - 4:30pm

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.

This session will assist you as an advisor and a researcher navigate the JCU research ethics environment. Craig Godfrey from the JCU Ethics team will explain their service, the national policy context in which research operates and the university’s requirements. Associate Professor Hilary Whitehouse, Deputy Dean, Graduate Research School, will share insights from her years of experience in assisting HDR candidates to make successful ethics applications and enact ethically compliant research work.

When: Monday 13 February 2022 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST (10:00am - 11:00am SGT) via Zoom

Register to attend here.

At this session you will hear about JCU’s thesis guidelines and requirements including embargoes on loading of thesis to the JCU repository. Staff from the library will also attend to explain the implications of including publications and JCU Read and Publish Agreements.  Experienced advisors will also speak about their experiences of working with students to structure their thesis in line with the nature of the topic, disciplinary requirements, and candidate career goals.

When: Tuesday 14 March 2023 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST (10:00am - 11:00am SGT) via Zoom

Register to attend here.

At this session Fiona Whittenbury, Manager, HDR Partnerships Development will explain the policies and programs framing internship programs. Grant Rossiter, Senior Careers Development Advisor, will discuss services and strategies to support career planning. Two advisors from different colleges will speak of their experiences as mentors/internships and/or supporting career outcomes for candidates.

When: Wednesday 17 April 2023 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST / 10:00am - 11:00am SGT via Zoom

Register to attend here.

At this session you will hear from eResearch Services about the Data Management Plan and how to use through higher degree research candidature to ensure suitable storage of data. Advisors will speak of their experiences of using the planning document, use of data, and data storage facilities.

When: Thursday 15 June 2023 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST / 10:00am - 11:00am SGT via Zoom

Register to attend here.

At this session two experienced advisors from different disciplines will explain how they work with candidates to develop methods and research design during candidature. Suitability of candidates at the point of admission, development of contingency plans to address changes of circumstance, and scoping considerations for PhD and Masters candidates.

When: Thursday 29 June 2023 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST / 10:00am - 11:00am SGT via Zoom

Register to attend here.

Come and hear about the GRS HDR Professional Development program, and the introduction of the PD management system SkillsJCU.  During this session Associate Professor Liz Tynan will explain how the new system will operate.  It is anticipated SkillsJCU will be launched in May 2023. Hear more about the workshops, online modules and resources available to support HDR candidates conduct their research and prepare for careers in industry, the professions and academia. Confirm requirements for doctoral and masters candidates’ PD during candidature.  Consider further how you might support your candidate in preparing their professional development plan for candidature.

When: Tuesday 28 March 2023 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST / 10:00am - 11:00am SGT via Zoom

Register to attend here.

Associate Professor Liz Tynan will introduce critical thinking practices supervisors can use in working with candidates. These practices are complementary to the critical thinking information shared in candidature workshops Liz offers. This session invites exploration and sharing of the advisors role in introducing critical thinking to enable and enhance the research experience.

When: Thursday 14 September 2023 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST / 10:00am - 11:00am SGT via Zoom

Register to attend here.

Details coming soon.

When: Monday 14 August 2023 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST / 10:00am - 11:00am SGT via Zoom

Register to attend here.

Hear about the upcoming scholarship round, and HDR recruitment strategies for advisors. This will be an open question and answer session so please come ready to have a discussion with Dr Lauretta Grasso from the Graduate Research School who oversees the annual JCU scholarship processes.

Topics will include:

  • Scholarships for domestic candidates
  • Scholarships for international candidates
  • English requirements and health cover for international candidates
  • Recruitment practices
  • Seeking externally funded scholarships
  • Seeking co-funded scholarships

When: Thursday 3 August 2023 at 12-1pm AEST

Register 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.

When: Thursday 8 and Friday 9 June 2023 at 11am - 3pm AEST

Register here

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: Monday 28 August 2023 at 11am – 2:30pm AEST

from 10:45pm AEST

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

11am - 12pm

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

12 – 12:10pm

Short e-tea / coffee break

12:10 – 1:10pm

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
1:10 – 1:20pm Short e-tea / coffee break
1:20 – 2pm

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

2 – 2:30pmOptional post-workshop Q&A

Register here

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.

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.

2024 Program