Developing as an Advisor

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

Download the HDR Advisor Professional Development Program PDFs here:

The Art of Advising

These optional workshops are intended to provide opportunities for HDR advisors to develop their practice within a community of peers. Attendance is possible face to face in Townsville, Cairns and Singapore. 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 how to work with industry and build a cohort of candidates. Learn to how your cohort can work to optimise the research education experience and grow a health and sustainable research culture and community.

When: Wednesday 23 September at 12-1pm AEST

Register here:

Hear from our expert panel on the JCU Scholarship Round process and the role it plays in attracting and recruiting quality applicants and candidates.  Consider strategies for supporting and guiding your HDR applicants as they prepare to apply in the round.

Scholarship Round Closing Date is 30 September 2020

Key links for applicants:

Key links regarding Scholarships

Professor Mohan Jacob's PowerPoint slides on scholarship scoring

View the recording here:

Presenter: Professor Cate Nagel, Chair University Human Ethics Committee

When: 17 June 2020

Find out more about how to support your candidates through the Ethics Application process.


Slides: download here.

Some follow up advice further to questions raised during the presentation, captured on the video:

  1. Can advisor panel members be included in Ethics advice sent to HDR candidates?
    Yes, some time it has been normal practice to copy in the supervisor where the student is a PI, and the Ethics advisor.
  2. Should exempt ethics projects be reported?
    We are benchmarking with other universities to assess how “non-research” projects are handled and will develop and communicate our related processes.
  3. Can more templates be provided to help ethics applicants prepare protocols?
    The HREC cannot provide protocols, this is more the domain of researchers. However we will develop some resources to address HREC considerations where children are participants.

Presented by Dr Melissa Crowe, Head DTHM Cohort Doctoral Studies Program and Libby Evans-Illidge, Research Director, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)

Meet Melissa and Libby, who run large Higher Degree Research cohort programs at JCU.  Hear about their different cohort models and how they contribute to the success of the candidates, their research education and studies.  Take the unique opportunity to consider if your students’ participation might benefit from being part of a cohort or what cohort practices may inform your advisory approach.

When: Wednesday 6 May


Presented by Professor Steinemann who shares her strategies and tips, gained from over two decades of supervision, for advising and completing PhD students (on time).

Topics include: PhD student selection, establishing expectations, setting clear tasks and schedules, publishing journal articles, staying on track, getting back on track, and motivating students in the process.

When: 18 February 2020


Higher Degree by Research Advisor Organisation

This organisation in LearnJCU contains a range resources and development opportunities.

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 universitues 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

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

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.

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

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

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 their website.

To register for any of the following workshops please complete this online form.

Academics and researchers are constantly being told to increase their research outputs if they want to get promoted, funded or even keep their jobs! But it becomes a catch 22 when you can’t do much research because you have no money, but no one will give you money because you haven’t done enough research. Despite this situation there are ways to build a research track record that require less money and can give you the start you need to build a decent track record (or even just to keep your head above water!).

In this workshop you will learn how to create research outputs that don’t cost much money including:

  • Finding small pots of money and PUBLISHING
  • Working with research higher degree and other students and PUBLISHING
  • Working with others and PUBLISHING
  • Creating 2 for 1 deals and PUBLISHING

Suitable for Academics, researchers and early career researchers

Date: Monday 13 July 2020

Time: 13:30 to 16:00

Via Zoom, details provided upon registration.

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, details provided upon registration.

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, details provided upon registration.

Is there something about the PhD (and HDR) that increases the chances of mental health issues? Of course some PhD candidates bring mental health issues into their PhD with them but are the way we structure it (or don’t structure it) and support them (or don’t support them) also factors. It’s always easy to blame the victim but perhaps we’re doing things (often unwittingly) to make it worse?

Hugh Kearns works with thousands of research students all over the world. They often confide in him about the struggles and strains of the experience. They tell him things they would never tell their supervisor or anyone in authority at their university. And some themes do emerge.

In this session Hugh will describe some of these themes and then discuss how deans of graduate schools, researcher developers and support staff can assist in enabling mental health for research degree student.

Presented by Hugh Kearns from ThinkwellHugh has worked with thousands of academic all over the world for the past 25 years. He draws on this experience and his background in psychology to provide this practical workshop on how to stay well during your academic career.

Suitable for Deans, ADRE’s, HDR Advisors, Research Developers and Research Education Support staff.

Date: Thursday 16 July 2020

Time: 9:00 to 11:00

Via Zoom, details provided upon registration.

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, details provided upon registration.

Working in research 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 research career 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 research career.

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 post-docs, early career researchers and mid-career researchers who want to explore ways to stay well during their research career.

Date: Friday 17 July 2020

Time: 9:00 to 11:00

Via Zoom, details provided upon registration.