HDR Skills for International Postgraduates
HDR Skills for International Postgraduates (SKIP) Program Procedure
To assist International Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates complete their degree in a timely manner by providing training in professional academic writing and critical thinking as part of the HDR Confirmation of Candidature process. Unless formal exemption is granted, the SKIP Program is a conditional component of the HDR Development Activities Procedure for all International JCU HDR candidates .
This procedure applies to all International HDR candidates in their first six calendar months of candidature as part of the program of development activities to facilitate timely completion of their Confirmation of Candidature Milestone.
Terms mentioned in this document and not defined here are defined in the Glossary of Terms for Policies in the Student and Teaching and Course Management chapters of the University Policy Library  and in the HDR Requirements .
Timing of the Procedure
SKIP is run twice a year in both Townsville and Cairns. In Townsville, the Program is structured as a 12-week course, usually involving a two-hour seminar each week but also including two extended workshops that cover ‘Critical Thinking’ and ‘Writing for Journals’. Further information about this workshop is available on the GRS SKIP webpage.
In Cairns, the course is run as a monthly intensive spread over three months, plus the ‘Critical Thinking’ and ‘Writing for Journals’ workshops, making a total of five one-day-workshops per series.
Topics Covered by the SKIP Program
- An introduction to effective academic writing: outlining and drafting
- Paragraphs and abstracts
- Literature reviews
- Critical thinking
- Confirmation: research proposal and seminar
- The logic of written texts: grammar and punctuation
- Introductions and conclusions
- Writing for journals
- SKIP student conference: practice confirmation seminars
- Refine your writing: concise and concrete writing
- Effective editing seminar and practical editing workshop
Requirement for Successful Completion of the SKIP Program
To successfully complete the SKIP program, International HDR candidates are expected to:
- Attend all relevant SKIP sessions;
- Provide a sample of their work, such as a research proposal or literature review for editorial appraisal and feedback; and
- Participate in a presentation to class (usually a Confirmation of Candidature seminar rehearsal).
SKIP provides editorial help for individuals who have successfully completed at least one series of the SKIP Program. Candidates have access to up to three hours of one-on-one thesis editing assistance from the SKIP Program Coordinator for each full-time-equivalent year of candidature. If candidates require additional editing assistance, this may be arranged with an external editor at an hourly rate to be paid for by the candidate. The Graduate Research School will not meet the cost of such external assistance.
Request for Exemption
HDR candidates who wish to be exempted from the SKIP Program should ask the Chair of their Candidature Committee to outline their reasons in a letter to the Dean, Graduate Research Studies, providing justification for and evidence to support the candidate’s request. Exemptions must be endorsed by the candidate’s Advisory Panel and approved by the Dean, Graduate Research Studies. Exempted candidates will not be eligible for editorial assistance from the SKIP Program Coordinator but can request the Coordinator’s assistance in arranging support from an external editor at an hourly rate to be paid for by the candidate. The Graduate Research School will not meet the cost of such external assistance.
Related Documents and Legislation
 HDR Development Activities Procedure