RD7003 Professional Development Workshops

Compulsory Components

The Professional Development Program includes Induction sessions and online modules that are compulsory for all HDR candidates, whether they are undertaking a PhD or a research masters. These Induction activities have both face-to-face and flexible elements. The face-to-face Induction is held three times per year in Townsville and twice per year in Cairns. In addition, a range of flexible online compulsory modules should be undertaken before Confirmation. These are available in the Higher Degree by Research Students Organisation on LearnJCU, and are marked with the word COMPULSORY. The online elements of Induction include short quizzes that must be completed, with a pass rate for each module of 80 per cent. You will find a record of your completion of the quizzes in the My Grades part of the LearnJCU Community.

Guide to using CareerHub and LearnJCU

JCU HDR candidates are advised to ensure that they are familiar with the requirements set out in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Elective Components

Also included in the Professional Development Program is a series of sessions and online modules that are optional, termed Elective Components. There is no requirement for Research Masters candidates to complete Elective Components; however they are encouraged to do so as part of their HDR Professional Development Audit Plan.  Research Doctorate candidates must attend at least 52 hours of elective professional development activities in the first 18 months of full-time equivalent candidature, by the Mid-Candidature Review Milestone. Research Doctorate candidates enrolled after 1 January 2018 must also complete a further 40 hours of elective professional development by the Pre-Completion Evaluation Milestone. The Elective Components provided as part of the GRS Professional Development Program can be used towards fulfilling that requirement, as may non-GRS activities that fit the criteria of training and are approved by each candidate’s candidature committee

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.

Maria and Hugh present a range workshops at both the Cairns and Townsville campuses each year, click on the links below for more details.

Leadership and Initiative

The new Leadership and Initiative category of RD7003 Professional Development encourages candidates to engage in professionally beneficial activities during candidature, and have these formally acknowledged on their Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS).  This category enables candidates to undertake a wide range of activities for which a points system applies.  Once candidates reach 10 points, they will be exempted from 40 hours of Professional Development.  Points are available on a sliding scale, where some activities (such as becoming a Respectful Relationships facilitator) attract more points (3 points), than attending a conference (1 point).  The activities include but are not limited to:

Establishing and running a writing circle or Shut Up And Write Group3
Establishing and running a journal club3
Chairing a committee to organise and run a conference for peers3
Publishing a journal article3
Being an HDR Ambassador3
Training for and becoming a Respectful Relationships facilitator3
Running skills training (for example, R training) for peers3
Presenting a paper or a poster at a conference3
Being a committee member for a peer conference2
Assisting an academic to organise a conference2
Undertaking official social media activities during an academic conference2
Attending a conference, without presenting1

All activities that demonstrate leadership and initiative are encouraged.  Please contact the subject coordinator if you are unsure whether your proposed activities fit into this category.

Subject Coordinator
Associate Professor Liz Tynan

More training opportunities

The following JCU and external training opportunities may be claimed as Elective Components of the HDR Skills Audit and Plan, if your advisory team agrees that they are valuable professional development activities. Registration information will vary and you should visit the listed websites or contact the nominated convenors for further information.

Introduction to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Perspectives Workshop

This full-day Cultural Awareness Program gives participants an opportunity to raise their awareness and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history, kinship systems and contemporary issues. Participants will experience the sharing of personal stories and be given an overview of the impacts of colonisation and the representation of significant historical events from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective.


The JCU Library offers extended EndNote workshops throughout the year which are recommended for postgraduate students and academic staff.  Attendance is free of charge and registration is not required.  Please check the JCU Library website to confirm timing and venues.

JCU 'Study Smarter" Online Resources

A range of learning support services and resources are also available via the JCU Current Students webpage, which provides links to workshop notices and online study resources.

JCU Research Support Online Services

The JCU Library's Research Services website provides links to information and resources including:

  • JCU Collections
  • Statistics databases
  • News and social media
  • Managing references
  • Copyright
  • Measuring and maximising research impact; and
  • Policies and guidelines

    Where HDR candidates choose to undertake paid training external to JCU, it is expected that travel and registration costs will be borne by the candidate.  Candidates must also ensure that they receive official notification of attendance/completion if they wish to use external courses in partial fulfilment of RD7003 Professional Development. Here are some external opportunities:

  • ACSPRI Resources and Courses
  • ESRI Virtual Campus GIS courses
  • ANU online courses from the Australian National University
  • e-Grad School Australia
  • QSR International NVivo Workshops
  • ComWriter

Click here for more information.

Some candidates may be required to undertake Conditional Components, depending upon several factors, including the nature of their project and whether they are enrolled as international candidates.  Conditional Components may be a requirement of both PhD and Masters by Research programs. In the case of PhD candidates, Conditional Component activities are counted towards Elective Component hours for the purposes of RD7003 Professional Development.  These components include the Skills for International Postgraduates (SKIP) program, which is compulsory for all international HDR candidates in the first year of their study.  They may also involve the writing support program associated with the Post-Entry Language Assessment (PELA) system.  Other Conditional Components include diving, boating or other safety training requirements, or human or animal research ethics workshops (additional to compulsory ethics training).