Make the most of Professional Development

Doctoral candidates at JCU undertake the subject RD7003 Professional Development as part of their degree. This subject requires completion of a minimum number of hours of professional development. The number of hours depends upon when you started your degree:

  • Before 1 January 2018 - 80 hours by Mid-Candidature Review (32 Compulsory Component/48 Elective Component).
  • After 1 January 2018 - 120 hours by Pre-Completion Evaluation (28 Compulsory Component/92 Elective Component)

RD7003 allows you the flexibility to put together a program of professional development that best suits your career aspirations. Make the most of it, and start planning early.  Whether you wish to become an academic, or go on to a career in the many sectors that welcome the skills you hone during HDR candidature, you and your advisory team can design a PD program that will give you the attributes that employers are looking for.

Professional development activities undertaken during your candidature will be formally recorded on your Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS), so future employers can see your achievements.

While the Graduate Research School offers a wide range of both face-to-face workshops and online modules that you can use to build your PD program, you are not restricted to the GRS offerings. You can choose to undertake a JCU undergraduate or postgraduate subject (at no cost to you), or you may look further afield to courses and workshops outside JCU. You are strongly encouraged to work with your advisory team to formulate a personalised Professional Development program that suits both your project and your career aspirations.  The Elective Component of your program can be what you want it to be, within broad guidelines. Check the RD7003 Subject Outline for details. Please note the inclusion of a new category, Leadership and Initiative, which works on a points system and encourages all candidates to publish papers, attend conferences, establish writing circles and journal clubs, become members of committees – a whole range of professionally valuable activities.  When you reach a threshold of 10 points, you will be exempted from 40 hours of professional development.  For more information, please go here.

The list below shows GRS courses that may be undertaken online, through the LearnJCU Higher Degree by Research Organisation.

For candidates who are external or who would like to explore flexible online options for PD training, the below list shows GRS courses that may be undertaken online, through the LearnJCU Higher Degree by Research Students Organisation.

Contains not just the compulsory core course, but also a range of elective courses such as Human subjects protection, The humane use and care of animals in research, Conflict of interest, Safety and health and Intellectual property. Completion of each course, including the end-of-course quiz, will gain you three hours that you can count towards the Elective Component of RD7003.

Contains a wide range of topics pertinent to research practice, including modules on Breaches of the Code, Planning your Research, Managing and Recording Your Research, Data Selection, Analysis and Presentation, Scholarly Publication, Professional Responsibilities and Communication and Social Responsibility Completion of each topic, including the end-of-course quiz, will gain you three hours that you can count towards the Elective Component of RD7003.

Contains not just the compulsory module Undertaking a Literature Review, but also a range of elective courses such as Introduction to the Research Skills Master Program, Transferrable skills, Entrepreneurship and Ethics.  Three hours’ credit per topic.

Highly recommended for all candidates who need to use statistics in their research. Training is available in stats for Biomedical sciences, Business, Engineering and technology, Natural sciences and Social Sciences.  Three hours’ credit per topic.

Useful training for all research degree candidates who need to be clear on exactly what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

Especially recommended for HDR candidates who are planning a career in academia.  Learn about Lecturing, Resources to enhance student learning, Making the most of discussion, Supervising projects and dissertations, Marking and giving feedback, Understanding the principles of course design, Developing your teaching and Teaching with patients.  Three hours’ credit per topic.

This four-topic course, created by Associate Professor Liz Tynan at the GRS, is intended to provide candidates with an overview of academic writing.  Completion of the whole course will provide 12 hours of RD7003 credit.

Previously known as, this program provides online, course-based video instruction for information technology, business, communication, design, education and creative skills. The 3,000+ courses and 130,000+ videos are geared to beginner, intermediate and advanced users.

You are also welcome to make your selection from the wide range of external courses offered by other providers.  You may use your student funds to pay for external courses, so long as your advisory team agrees.  For a range of external courses, see External Training Opportunities. Of particular interest are the eGrad School, which offers highly regarded training that many JCU HDRs have undertaken.

Also, the Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Incorporated (ACSPRI) runs excellent courses, as does Coursera.