About the project

The HDR1 Experience and Employability Project is an initiative of a consortium of eight Queensland universities. Co-funded by the Queensland Government and implemented by representatives from each University in collaboration with representatives from Trade and Investment Queensland, the project officially launched at the start of 2018. It focuses on enhancing the leadership and professional capabilities of Queensland HDR candidates2.

Project objectives:

  • Assist HDR candidates to develop their employability skills;
  • Develop closer links between domestic and international HDR candidates across Queensland;
  • Create a network of international HDR ambassadors; and
  • Build cultural competency and global citizenship capabilities in HDR candidates.

The project aims to achieve these objectives by:

  • Delivering an employability themed conference for 80 international HDR candidates (10 candidates from each of the 8 Queensland universities);
  • Delivering a range of online leadership, career, and professional development resources;
  • Implementing an HDR peer-to-peer buddy initiative; and
  • Developing a leadership network of HDR ambassadors.

This project will address opportunities to improve the existing support and training for HDR candidates as identified through evaluations and candidate feedback.

Although the project is targeted towards the 3,000+ international HDR candidates in Queensland, the outputs from the project will be beneficial for all HDR candidates.

Click here for an overview of the project context and its alignment with the state and national agenda.
Click here for an overview of how the project advances Queensland.

About us

This is a partnership project across eight Queensland universities, collectively named Queensland Universities.

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Project Partners

The eight partner universities include:

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cqu2    usq_3      bond

             qut3            usc

This project is co-funded with the support of the Queensland Government’s International Education and Training Partnership Fund, managed by the International Education and Training Unit (IETU) within Trade and Investment Queensland.

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Project Governance

Project Management Team

The project is led by Professor Sue Berners-Price, Dean, Griffith Graduate Research School. Delivery of the project is overseen by a Project Manager (Dr Sharon Saunders), a Project Coordinator (Cassandra Wardle), and a small Project Team.

Steering Committee

The steering committee is made up of the Deans and Directors of the Graduate Schools at each of the eight universities.

Working Party

The working party consists of an institutional representative from each of the eight universities, as well as the Project Coordinator and Project Manager.


HDR stands for Higher Degree Research. In Australia, our HDR students (known as ‘candidates’) are completing a research degree, usually referring to a PhD. Click here for more information on what this means.

HDR students are referred to as ‘candidates’ by Australian universities and governments to distinguish them from other students. HDR candidates cross the divide between students and staff.

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