Getting Started

Congratulations on the start of your research degree!

The following information relates to you as a commencing Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidate. Individual Colleges will also have information for new candidates, particularly relating to Workplace Health and Safety legislation. Please organise to undertake a College-based induction that includes Workplace Health and Safety matters as soon as possible after enrolment, and ensure that you retain evidence that you have completed this training. Contact your College’s Academic Services Officer (ASO) for further information.

Peer-to-Peer Support

To make your transition to a research degree and to JCU as smooth as possible, we offer opportunity to meet with an Ambassador who is a fellow Higher Degree by Research Student (HDR) currently studying at JCU. We allocate an Ambassador to every new student! You should receive an email from your Ambassador some time in the four weeks prior to your commencement date. If you haven't and would like an Ambassador, please make a Peer-to-Peer Support booking, and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

The Graduate Research School (GRS) provides a welcome pack that highlights key information relevant to you as a commencing HDR candidate. The GRS also encourages candidates to familiarise themselves with the content of the GRS website, in particular the contents of this Commencing Candidates webpage as well as our Enrolled Candidates webpage.

Upon enrolment in your research degree, you should also download the following forms and complete them when you meet with your advisory panel:

The following information is relevant to all commencing research higher degree candidates at JCU. It is important that candidates are aware of their responsibilities in terms of professional and generic skills development and training, as well as research ethics, reporting requirements and candidature milestones.

Your computer account gives you access to the internet and your JCU email address, plus a number of online facilities and databases.

  1. Initiate your JCU computer account and email details. You will require your eight digit student identification number. Domestic students will find their identification number on the Offer Schedule. International students will find their identification number on their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).
  2. Change your password immediately after receiving your account details.
  3. Contact the IT Help Desk if you have any difficulties in setting up your computer account

All commencing HDR candidates must develop a plan to acquire the generic professional skills that best suit their study and career aspirations. This plan should be developed in association with the candidate’s Advisory team between commencement of the degree and the first major degree milestone, Confirmation of Candidature. Progress towards achieving this plan will be formally reviewed as part of the Confirmation of Candidature, Progress Reporting, Mid-Candidature Review and Pre-Completion Seminar and Assessment processes.

The GRS Professional Development Program offers free access to a wide range of seminars, workshops and training sessions to support each candidate’s individual requirements.

Commencing HDR candidates must participate in Induction as well as complete the compulsory components during the first six to twelve months of their candidature. Please note that both Masters by Research and PhD candidates must undertake all compulsory activities, unless they have formal, written exemption. While only PhD candidates are required also to undertake 40 hours of Flexible (previously known as Elective) professional development, the compulsory component must be completed by every HDR candidate.

Are you interested in undertaking an Internship? HDR Internships count toward 7 out of 10 points in the Professional Development 'Leadership and Initiative' category and take on a variety of forms.

Zoom Induction sessions are held regularly each year, along with Induction activities on LearnJCU.

For more information please see the RD7003 Compulsory Workshops page.

JCU HDR candidates, advisors, graduates and family members share their insights into the process of undertaking a research degree.

View the videos here.