Working with a Principal Advisor
IMB requires that all IMB postgraduate candidates have a single Principal Advisor.
It is important that candidates appreciate that IMB Lab Heads (your Principal Advisor) are internationally acclaimed leaders in their fields, and have a great many demands on their time. These include (but are not limited to) maintaining their expertise by reading and analyzing to the latest scientific literature, including attending and presenting at major international/domestic conferences. They also write and review scholarship, grant and fellowship applications for a range of agencies (UQ, ARC, NHMRC...), and submit and referee manuscripts, and serve as editors, for high impact peer reviewed scientific journals. In spare moments they review and plan their own research (your project included), create and identify valuable intellectual property, draft and submit patents, and commercialize discoveries. Many IMB Lab Heads have significant administrative responsibilities, across IMB and UQ, as well Australian and international societies and agencies, as well as strong relationships with industry. It is this high level of activity and achievement that differentiates IMB Lab Heads, and that no doubt attracted you to join them in the first place.
It is also important to realize that although your Principal Advisor committed to support you for the duration of your postgraduate studies, this does not mean that you have exclusive call on their time. The relationship between candidate and Principal Advisor is a complex balancing act that works best if the candidate rapidly acquires a level of independence that allows them to problem solve day-to-day issues, with the more challenging problems and exciting results being brought to the attention of the Principal Advisor. Be sure to draw on your Associate Advisor(s) and to a lesser but nonetheless important degree the non-advisory members of your Candidature Committee. Dont forget that you are part of a research group, an IMB Division, and the IMB (and UQ). There is a wealth of expertise and resources available at your finger tips, if you take the time to learn how to access it.
All of the above does not in any way lessen the importance of the relationship between you and your Principal Advisor - rather it demonstrates that even as a postgraduate candidate you should be looking to build a network of collaborators - one that has you and your Principal Advisor at the core.