Becoming an Advisor

A strong working relationship between the HDR candidate and their advisor(s) is crucial to the successful completion of their research degree. To be effective, advisors must be available to supervise HDR candidates and to encourage and assist them to produce a thesis that constitutes a substantial and original contribution to knowledge in the field of study. Policies and procedures with respect to supervision of JCU HDR candidates are designed to promote healthy working relationships and thus enhance the learning and research experience of the candidate.

For JCU Staff and Adjuncts who are new to advising:

Professional Development tasks to be completed prior to applying for registration are:

  • Attendance at a one day Initiate Session
  • Review of the online modules and completion of reflective tasks at the end of each module (generate a declaration of completion as verification)
  • Complete a series of written tasks and refer to
  • Attach the completion certificate for the module and verification of written tasks to your application and submit to your Associate Dean Research Education, as Dean of College or Director nominee for approval
  • Once approved by your college please forward the application to for processing

For Experienced Advisors new to JCU

Please email to register to attend the Scaffolding program offered as part of the Initiate session.

HDR Advisors Professional Development Program

JCU offers a range of workshops to support HDR Advisors:

Workshop overview:

  • Discuss advising with a panel of experts including current Associate Deans Research Education
  • Hear about JCU Policies and Procedures for Research Education
  • Meet key stakeholders supporting research education
  • Clarify registration requirements
  • Discover e-Resources for JCU HDR Advisors including the LearnJCU Modules and the template for Initiate tasks to be completed to meet registration requirements

Workshop Dates all via zoom

Date Time (AEST)
Wednesday 8 May 20249:30am - 3:00pm
Tuesday 20 August 20249:30am - 3:00pm
Thursday 7 November 202410:30am - 4:00pm

Register Here

If you have any questions please send an email to

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.

Date Time (AEST)
Tuesday 13 February 2024 1:30pm -  3pm
Thursday 23 May 2024 12pm - 1:30pm
Thursday 29 August 2024 4pm - 5:30pm
Thursday 21 November 2024 3pm - 4:30pm

Policies, procedures and practices for advising JCU research candidates change over time, and it is important for all advisors to stay up to date. Therefore, we ask all who are on the Register of Advisors to update their knowledge.  The easiest way to do this is to attend Supporting our Supervisor events and read Advisor Updates sent out as part of the GRS Newsletters. Based on attendance at an event your current registration date will be extended.

If you are unable to attend any events then once every four years you will be asked to read the JCU HDR Advisor's Handbook and complete the online quiz consisting of 10 multiple choice questions (see instructions below).

Instructions on how to access the online quiz in LearnJCU

  1. Log into LearnJCU
  2. Choose "Organisations"
  3. Choose the "Higher Degree by Research Advisor Organisation". If you do not have access to this organisation, please email the and you will be added (please quote your JC number in the email)
  4. Click on UPDATE: Online Advisor Training Quiz (left hand side)
  5. Read the JCU HDR Advisor's Handbook
  6. Complete the quiz - you must score 10 out of 10
  7. Send an email to to ensure your registration is extended.

Requirements for elevation to a new advisor level are detailed in the Supervisor Procedure. The related professional development tasks are:

Secondary to Primary

  • Complete the Supervisor Expectations survey (linked below) thinking first as supervisor and then as student.
  • Prepare a short comment on any expectations where you identified differing student and supervisor expectations.
  • Indicate how you might manage those differences.
  • Reference Module 4: Managing expectations, responsibilities and relationships as needed.

Download template here.

Supervisor Expectation Survey.

Primary to Advisor Mentor

  • Read this article and review Module 10: Developing your supervisory practice as needed before providing responses to three questions detailed in the written task. Download template here.

Submit your written task with your application for elevation via Email .

The role of the Chair of the Candidature Committee is to chair the meetings associated with the formal assessments of the progress of an individual HDR candidate and to make recommendations to the Dean, Graduate Research with regard to the outcomes of such evaluations in association with the Independent Academic. These recommendations should be informed by the Advisory Panel but the Panel members should not be present when recommendations are decided. Please review resources detailing the Chair and Independent Academic requirements if you wish for further detail about the roles.

A Registered Advisor wishing to become Chair of Candidature Committee is asked to speak with their ADRE about the potential for taking on this role.  ADRE's may also contact Registered Advisors to request they consider undertaking the role.  ADRE's in evaluating the suitability of a registered advisor to become Chair will consider their previous experience as an advisor and examiner, and their role in the College.  To be eligible to Chair, the registered advisor is required to view this short video on chairing milestone committees.  Please email to request an in-person briefing, for one or more advisors, if this is preferred.  Once the advisor has viewed the video they should email confirmation of viewing and as required request further contact to discuss their readiness for the role.

Secondary Advisors with limited experience would normally only be expected to nominate as Independent Academics on Confirmation of Candidature panels. The option to nominate to be listed as eligible to Chair could be made via their ADRE once they gain confidence. Like other advisors taking on the role of Independent Academic or Chair would require Secondary Advisors to watch the Regulate video and be familiar with the resources available on the roles of Chair and Independent Academic. Secondary Advisors who have completed Regulate training may be invited to act as Independent Academics on Candidature milestone panels.

Download the guide: How to access the HDR Advisor Organisation in LearnJCU

The HDR Advisor Organisation in LearnJCU is where you can complete the online modules and view a range of HDR Advisor professional development resources.

View the advisor application process here.