How to be a Principal Advisor
All IMB Group Leaders are automatically eligible, subject to being listed on the UQ Principal Advisor Registry.
Selected IMB Postdoctoral Fellows may be eligible subject to meeting the following criteria:
- The relevant IMB Group Leader MUST approve and agree to host any RHD student(s) within their lab.
- The relevant IMB Group Leader MUST agree to take on the role of associate advisor (and if needed Principal Advisor).
- The Postdoctoral Fellow MUST have intellectual oversight of the proposed research project.
- The Postdoctoral Fellow MUST have the resources (i.e. funds, equipment) to support the student/project.
- The IMB Director of Postgraduate Studies MUST endorse the application.
- The Postdoctoral Fellow MUST be listed on the UQ Principal Advisor Registry.
IMB Principal Advisors assume a minimum 50% FTE advisory load/candidate, with a cumulative (indicative) maximum of 5 FTE. When taking on multiple postgraduate students be aware that you MUST have the time, expertise and resources (infrastructure, space and budget) to fully support them. If in doubt please contact the IMB PG Coordinator for advice.
IMB Principal Advisors can monitor their FTE load and the progress of candidates online via Pebbles Senior.
Principal Advisor responsibilities include:
- Being a mentor.
- Providing an appropriate, innovative and exciting research project.
- Providing intellectual and technical training.
- Providing essential infrastructure and resources.
- Providing a safe and productive workplace.
- Participating in all Milestones.
Although there are no universally agreed golden rules to being an exceptionally successful Principal Advisor, this should not prevent you from inventing your own, and aspiring to be the very best you can be.
Some useful tips:
- Keep regular contact with all your postgraduate candidates.
- Build a research group culture that values networking and cooperation, over competition.
- Monitor the progress of the project (i.e. Is it going well or has it stalled?).
- Monitor the progress of the candidate (i.e. Are they growing professionally, or have they stalled?).
- Monitor the mood of the candidate (i.e. Are they happy or unhappy?) and be alert for personal problems that derail even the best candidate.
- Provide praise and encouragement when things are going well - this is easy.
- Be encouraging and positive when things are not going so well - this is often not so easy.
Remember that each of your postgraduate students has placed 3-4 years of their life in your hands. Respect that commitment and work with them to achieve those outcomes that match their abilities and those outcomes that meet the expectations of all stakeholders (candidate, Candidature Committee, IMB, UQ, granting and scholarship agencies, family and friends...).