Frequently Asked Questions for Honours students at CMD

FAQ for Honours students at College of Medicine and Dentistry (CMD)

Updated 03/06/2017
To the CMD Honours page
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The MBBS Honours program aims to allow academic high-achievers to learn about research and undertake research later in their professional career. This is an opportunity for students to gain a deeper understanding of how new knowledge is acquired. An Honours degree advances the academic qualifications of MBBS graduates in an increasingly competitive field.

Previously some high achieving students (having a D or HD) were offered participation in the Honours program. Students having a credit could do a side-entry application. All that is changed and the current routine is that all students with at least a credit in the two preceding years aiming to commence the Honours program in January must submit a pre-Honours application during the year preceding commencement. For due dates look at the bottom of page informing about the Honours program. The due dates will not be extended. Students having a pass are not eligible to apply.

The pre-Honours application should outline the planned project and be signed off by advisors for the project. It takes time to find a project with advisors and to jointly plan the project in enough detail. Consequently, you need to start planning for this early during the year preceding commencement.

The pre-Honours application is eligible on this web site.

The Honours handbook

The Honours handbook provides information about a lot of details and should be your first place to inform yourself:
pdf-icon Honours handbook 2019

Below are answers to some more questions.

To consider before deciding to enroll in the Honours program

information Would the Honours program assist in giving me a foot in the door to gaining a future work position? The main concern I have is that Honours is only beneficial to those who want to have an academic career. (Updated 05/09/2013)

Answer: The annual number of medical students has increased rapidly in Australia giving it a top position in medical education. The number of students related to the population is among the highest in the world. One consequence is that the competition for internship and registrar positions (and ultimately for a job as a consultant) will increase. Doing an Honours gives you an extra merit compared to students not doing Honours. This extra merit will not compensate for lack of clinical knowledge and skills but may make a difference if you compete with other students having similar grade and work experience. If you do an Honours by publication (see below) also getting you two peer reviewed publications in your CV will give you an even stronger edge compared to those not doing Honours.

More importantly, Honours is likely to change your perception of knowledge and give you some ability to read between the lines in a scientific manuscript. This is likely to make life slightly more interesting even if you do not continue with research.
information Is the Honours program only open to students from James Cook University? I have an exam from overseas. Can I enroll into the Honours program? (Added 18/3/2013)
Answer: The Honours program is only open to students currently studying at, or those that already have a degree from, School of Medicine and Dentistry at James Cook University. High achieving students with an exam from other Australian universities may be considered on a case by case basis (contact the Honours program coordinator). An exam from a foreign university will not be accepted as an entry to the Honours program.
information Does the Honours offer apply for a Y5/Y6 program only or can I choose to take it up in Y6/PGY1 or even later? (Updated 23/01/2013)

Answer: Yes, you can wait until year 6 and PGY1 conditioned that you get at least a credit grade in year 5. You may also try to enroll as a side entry later up to post graduate year 5 (conditioned that you at the end of year 6 achieved a satisfactory (or >60% on marked items) for all assessment items. The Honours program in medicine comes in three different shapes:

  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Honours). Course code: 72009. Overload in parallel to undergraduate studies, usually the final two Years (5+6), of the MBBS program. This involves successful completion of all subjects these years, in year 5 and 6: MD5110, MD5120, MD5130 and MD6110, MD6120, MD6130. This is the most common pathway.
  • Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours. Course code: 72109. Research-based year undertaken on a full-time basis (ie a year off from the MBBS Program). Although it does extend graduation from MBBS by one year, it has the advantage of allowing total devotion to a research project.
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with Honours (Graduate). Course code: 107209. Overload in parallel to Year 6 of the MBBS and Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY1), or at any time up to PGY5. This involves the successful completion of MD6110, 6120, 7103 and 7104 in Year 6, and MD7105 and 7106 in PGY1.
If you take up Honours in year 5+6 choose course code 72009. If you take it up in year 6 or later use course code 107209.
information Is there a difference in how you plan your Honours project if you start in year 6 compared to starting in year 5.
Answer: If you start in year 5 your first year will focus on planning, ethical approval and literature review. You would likely prefer to do data collection early during year 6 (and it would be smart to use your elective for this) and then do data analysis and writing up during the remaining of year 6. If you start in year 6 it would be smart to plan your elective late in year 6 using it to do data collection before internship (since the latter can occupy a lot of time).
information Is there a problem enrolling in the Honours program in Darwin in year 5?
Answer: Currently Darwin does not allow you to be enrolled in the Honours program during year 5. If you are doing year 5+6 in Darwin then you can't undertake the Honours program until year 6.
information I heard that I can complete honours up to PGY5. Does this mean I can start in year 5 and finish at any time until PGY5, or do I have to start and complete the honours program within two years?

Answer: The Honours program comes in three different shapes:

  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Honours). Course code: 72009. Overload in parallel to undergraduate studies, usually the final two Years (5+6), of the MBBS program. This involves successful completion of all subjects these years, in year 5 and 6: MD5110, MD5120, MD5130 and MD6110, MD6120, MD6130. This is the most common pathway.
  • Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours. Course code: 72109. Research-based year undertaken on a full-time basis (ie a year off from the MBBS Program). Although it does extend graduation from MBBS by one year, it has the advantage of allowing total devotion to a research project.
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with Honours (Graduate). Course code: 107209. Overload in parallel to Year 6 of the MBBS and Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY1), or at any time up to PGY5. This involves the successful completion of MD6110, 6120, 7103 and 7104 in Year 6, and MD7105 and 7106 in PGY1.
Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours is a one year course. The other two pathways are a two-year course starting in the beginning of a year. You can initiate the graduate Honours program up to PGY4 (finishing in PGY5). When you enroll it will always be a two-year program starting in January.
information Can I enroll in the Honours program before year 5 or at least start my project prior to year 5? (Updated 11/09/2013)

Answer: The Honours program comes in three different shapes:

  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Honours). Course code: 72009. Overload in parallel to undergraduate studies, usually the final two Years (5+6), of the MBBS program. This involves successful completion of all subjects these years, in year 5 and 6: MD5110, MD5120, MD5130 and MD6110, MD6120, MD6130. This is the most common pathway.
  • Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours. Course code: 72109. Research-based year undertaken on a full-time basis (ie a year off from the MBBS Program). Although it does extend graduation from MBBS by one year, it has the advantage of allowing total devotion to a research project.
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with Honours (Graduate). Course code: 107209. Overload in parallel to Year 6 of the MBBS and Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY1), or at any time up to PGY5. This involves the successful completion of MD6110, 6120, 7103 and 7104 in Year 6, and MD7105 and 7106 in PGY1.

Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours is a one year course. The other two pathways are a two-year course starting in the beginning of a year. You can initiate the graduate Honours program up to PGY4 (finishing in PGY5). When you enroll it will always be a two-year program starting in January.

The one year Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours (Course code: 72109) can be undertaken after year 3. However, the other two year versions of the Honours program at SMD is only offered to students entering year 5 or thereafter. The reason is that these Honours programs has some focus on clinical research and this would be difficult to undertake before commencement of the clinical part of the MBBS course.

However, if you plan to enroll in the Honours program in year 5 then we strongly encourage you to start preparations during year 4. Suitable preparations are:

  • Link up with advisors and nail down a title, research questions to be answered and a preliminary method that will provide answers.
  • Start with doing a systematic literature review (tips on that is given further below)
  • Start with ethics application
Do not start data collection until you are formally enrolled in the Honours program. Any data collection you do prior to the formal enrollment in the Honours program can’t be used as part of your Honours project.
information Will the Honours program entail a higher fee to the university? (Updated 01/01/2014)

Answer: There is no increased fee if you are a domestic student (being a citizen of Australia or New Zealand or having permanent residency in Australia) and is doing an undergraduate Honours as an overload during year 5+6 (course code: 72009). All other students will experience some increased fees. The level of fee changes every year so a general figure cannot be given. Furthermore, the fee may also be dependent on individual circumstances and how it relates to your original terms of agreement/offer for your position at JCU. Thus, we recommend you to check for yourself:

  • Domestic students would contact – Student Enquiry Centre on phone: 1800 246446 or email
  • International students in Townsville would contact on phone: 07 4781 5601 or email .
  • International students in Cairns would contact on phone: 07 4042 1558 or email

When you ring and discuss fees ensure you clearly explain the time course of the Honours program you aim to enroll in related to the time course of your MBBS studies. The wrong information has sometimes been given because the person in the other end did not understand that some versions of the Honours program continues after completion of the MBBS studies (which is crucial to determine the size of the fee).

If you transfer to the Honours course and your project proposal is rejected then some students (international students and students commencing after year 5) may have to pay some course fee for the first study period.
information I want to do a part of (or the whole) of my project abroad. Is that OK? (Updated 23/08/2015)

Answer: You need to consider

  • You need to stay at the JCU campus at least for the first three months if you intend to do the full time Honours overseas. During this time you attend the research seminar, refine your Honours proposal and do administrative work such as ethics application or other planning.
  • Insurance: JCU has an insurance covering research work in Australia and other countries. You may wish to consider additional private insurance.
  • Finances: The total financial contribution to your Honours project from JCU SMD is $1,000. Staying abroad will result in higher costs (mainly travel and accommodation). You will need to pay travel and accommodation privately. Overseas research may also result in extra costs for the research project. You and your supervisors need to sort out the finances and, if needed, find additional funding.
Ensure that these issues are sorted out before you decide to go ahead with a specific project.

Getting started

information What forms needs to be completed to enroll in the Honours program? (Updated 26/10/2017)

Go to the overview of the Honours program (specifically study Dates and deadlines). That table will tell you important steps and dates.

1. Submit a pre-Honours application

The pre-Honours application must be submitted during the year before commencing the Honours program.

2. Submit an internal JCU application for your Honours program

All students need to submit an internal JCU application as soon as the pre-Honours application is submitted and it must be on the desk of the research office no later than 6th of December. Which application you submit will depend on your Honours program and situation:

  1. Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Honours) - Course code: 72009
    • For students about to enter year 5 of MBBS. Student will transfer from the MBBS course to the MBBS Honours course and overload their honours studies in parallel to undergraduate studies within the final two Years (5+6) of the MBBS program. This is the most common pathway.
    • Form required: Course Transfer application for undergraduate students
    • Once you accept your offer for Honours via eStudent you will need to complete a new HECS and SA-Fee form before enrolling into all of your subjects for the year. Enrolment will need to be finalised by 8th of January.
    • Your subjects for year 5 will be MD5110 (SP3), MD5120 (SP1) and MD5130 (SP2). Your subjects for year 6 will be MD6110 (SP3), MD6120 (SP2) and MD6130 (SP2)
    Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours. Course code: 72109
    • For students about to enter year 5 of MBBS. This course is a research-based year undertaken on a full-time basis (ie a year off from the MBBS Program). Although it does extend graduation from MBBS by one year, it has the advantage of allowing total devotion to a research project.
    • You will take a Leave of Absence from MBBS and apply for a concurrent admission to Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours.
    • Form required: Application to study at JCU
    • Once you accept your offer for Honours via eStudent you will need to complete a new HECS and SA-Fee form before enrolling into all of your subjects for the year. Enrolment will need to be finalised by 8th of January.
    • Your subjects will be MD4111 (SP3), MD4112 (SP1) and MD4113 (SP2)
    Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with Honours (Graduate). Course code: 107209
    • For students about to enter year 6 of MBBS. Students will remain admitted to MBBS for year 6 and apply to study graduate MBBS Honours concurrently. Students will be admitted and enrolled into two courses. Overload in parallel to Year 6 of the MBBS and Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY1), or at any time up to PGY5.
    • Form required: Application to study at JCU
    • Once you accept your offer for Honours via eStudent you will need to complete a new HECS and SA-Fee form before enrolling into all of your subjects for the year. Enrolment will need to be finalised by 8th of January.
    • Your subjects for year 6 of MBBS will be MD6110 (SP3), MD6120 (SP1) and MD6130 (SP2), as well as your honours subjects MD7103 (SP1) and MD7104 (SP2). You will then complete MD7105 (SP1) and MD7106 (SP2) in the following year
    Bachelor of Dental Surgery with Honours (Graduate) - Part time. Course code: 73009
    • Overload in parallel to year 5 of BDS and the first post graduate year.
    • You will remain admitted to BDS for year 5 and apply to study graduate BDS Honours concurrently. You will enrol in subjects under both courses.
    • Form required: Application to study at JCU
    • Once you accept your offer for Honours via eStudent you will need to complete a new HECS and SA-Fee form before enrolling into all of your honours subjects for the year. Enrolment will need to be finalised by 26th of February.
    • Your subjects for year 5 of BDS will be DS5101 (SP1) and DS5102 (SP2), as well as your honours subjects DS6103 (SP1) and DS6104 (SP2). You will then complete DS6105 (SP1) and DS6106 (SP2) in the following year
    Bachelor of Dental Surgery with Honours (Graduate) - Full time. Course code: 73009
    • Working full time with Honours studies after completion of year 5.
    • Form required: Application to study at JCU
    • Once you accept your offer for Honours via eStudent you will need to complete a new HECS and SA-Fee form before enrolling into all of your honours subjects for the year. Enrolment will need to be finalised by 26th of February.
    • Your subjects will be DS6101 (SP1) and DS6102 (SP2

Sign the form, scan to a pdf and send by e-mail to the generic MBBS Honours e-mail . The signed hard copy of the form must be on the desk of the research office no later than 6th of December:
The College of Medicine and Dentistry
James Cook University
The Research Office
Building 39 - room 224
Townsville, QLD 4811
Australia
Be aware that mail sometimes takes longer time than anticipated! Submit early to be ahead of problems.

3. Register into the standard subjects on eStudent

Remember to first register in the standard subjects on eStudent before 8th of January (Do not enroll in any standard MBBS/Dentistry subjects if you are to commence the one year full time program). The reason for this is to ensure you can continue your studies in case the pre-Honours application is not approved.

4. Wait for the outcome of your pre-Honours application

First await the outcome of your pre-Honours application so you know if your application was accepted or not. If it is accepted proceed with item 5 below.

5. Enroll into the Honours subject codes on eStudent + submit online HECS form

Once the pre-Honours application is approved the following will happen: Head of the College of Medicine and Dentistry will sign a document recommending the faculty registrar to register all students with an approved pre-Honours application for registration into the Honours program. This document and the students course transfer applications will be compiled at the research office in Townsville and send to the faculty registrar for registration. Please note that student enrolment will remove you from the standard MBBS subjects in this process. Students will only then be able to enroll into the Honours subjects on eStudent after the faculty registrar has finalised this registration. Now enrol into the Honours subjects for study period 1 and 2 on eStudent. This must be finalised no later than 8th of January. You will now be enrolled solely in the MBBS with Honours subjects.

6. Monitor possible problems in the enrollment process

For any question regarding the enrollment process please contact . It is important to monitor your JCU e-mail also during all of December-January in case we need to contact you.

Not being enrolled means that your ethics approval (given under the condition that you are an Honours students) is not valid and you are breaking the law. Hence, important that you give priority to this early.

information Can I use the clinical elective during year 6 for my Honours program? What about forms and the final elective report? (Updated 14/01/2015)

Answer: Please be aware of Lex Daniel: You can't start your first Honours year with an elective requiring travel outside Cairns, Darwin, Mackay or Townsville. The reason is that it would collide with the mandatory attendance at the introductory Research seminar. It is your responsibility to ensure that this clash does not occur.

Students can use 0-100% of the Clinical Elective for honours activities. The Elective Proposal submitted before the placement is still required and must describe potential future clinical applications from the Honours project. The Confirmation form for clinical elective is not needed if you use 100% of your elective for the Honours project.

There is no need to submit evidence of attendance if 100% of the elective is used for the Honours project. If less than 100% is used for the Honours then you need to submit evidence of attendance for the clinical part.

Students are also required to submit a Clinical Elective Report after the placement as described in the year 6 rotation outline detailing the experience. There are two versions of the reporting form. If less than 100% is used for the Honours project use the standard form for a clinical placement and step 2 in the report form is completed by the clinical supervisor. If you use 100% for Honours use the alternate reporting form (below) and step 2 is completed by your principal Honours supervisor.

word document 2014-09-30 --- Rotation Supervisor Report Marking Sheet for Honours.docx (78 kB)
information Can I start working on my Honours project during the year before formally enrolling into the Honours program? (Updated 07/05/2014)

Answer: Yes you can, and should, start to prepare your Honours project as soon as possible during the year preceding formal enrollment. Start in this order:

  1. Find advisors and an idea to a project. Discuss with your advisors how your project should be described in text. Why should this study be done? What is the research questions to be answered? What methods should be used to answer these questions?
  2. Complete the web application JCU - SMD - Honours - Pre-Honours application (available from mid-June) during the year preceding commencement of the Honours program. This need to be done before 9th of December (preferably much earlier).
  3. Register your project in the SMD project database
  4. Start with the systematic literature review.
  5. Start with ethics application.
Do NOT start with data collection until you are formally enrolled in the Honours program the following year.
information Where do I find advisors (supervisors) or topics for my project and what are the requirements for them? - updated 28/08/2014
Answer: There are three main pathways to get a relation with an advisor:
  1. One option is that you do one small part of a large project that is already up and running. In this situation a more or less detailed plan for what needs to be done comes from the advisor.
  2. Another alternative is that an advisor has an idea or a research opportunity for a project not yet up and running. In this situation you will be able to have a fair bit of influence on deciding all details.
  3. The third pathway is that you have your own idea and need help to sort out how to realize it. This means that you will create a project based entirely on your own ideas.
In all these situations you need advisors. To facilitate match-making between students and advisors the College offers some resources:
  1. A project database of ongoing projects. To find this click Search in the menu to the left. Then look under Customized Search. Click on Search for ongoing or completed projects. You will find different lists. In each of these lists Date commenced is clickable sending you to more information about the project. The name of the principal researcher (on top) or other co-workers or advisors are clickable leading to contact information.
  2. A database of ideas / research opportunities. This is our match-making website where researchers put up research opportunities. To find this click Search in the menu to the left. Then look under Customized Search. We do not want indexing robots to index all our ideas for future research projects. Consequently the match-making site is hidden unless you create a personal profile and log in. You will find different lists. In each of these lists the date for last update of information is clickable sending you to more information about the research opportunity. The name of the principal researcher (on top) or other co-workers or advisors are clickable leading to contact information.
  3. Contact the Honours site coordinators in the site where you will be most of the time when you would do Honours. Their names and contact details are found in the latest version of the Honours handbook. I recommend that you try to make this contact in small groups if possible.
  4. Approach researchers you know are involved in research with a topic similar to your interest.
You should investigate this in the order suggested above. Finding advisors and a project is the first hurdle you must sort out before being accepted to the Honours program. You will usually end up with more than one advisor. The combined requirements for your advisory panel is:
  • At least one advisor must have some formal affiliation to JCU. The interpretation is that they must be on JCU’s payroll for at least 5% of full time. The other advisor does not need to have any affiliation with James Cook University and they do not even need to have their work place in Queensland (given that they are happy advising you on distance).
  • At least one advisor must have some research training. Preferably a PhD. At least a Masters by Research (not Masters by course work).
  • It is desirable that at least one supervisor is familiar with the topic.
Theoretically one advisor can fulfill all requirements above. However. most students have two advisors. There is no upper limit on the number of advisors you are allowed to have. If you need three advisors to fulfill these requirements (and if you can find them) then we are happy with you having three advisors. However, due to a lack of advisors JCU will usually not be able to supply more than one advisor for each Honours student. Furthermore, having lots of advisors is sometimes troublesome and also reduces the number of advisors available for other Honours students. Consequently, we recommend most Honours students to have two advisors, one academic affiliated with JCU and one clinical familiar with the topic. Having one or three advisors should only occur during special circumstances. You do not need special permission to have one or three advisors. Just ensure that your advisory team meets all three requirements.
information Is it OK if my advisor already has ethics approval or must I write an ethics application as part of the Honours education? (Updated 04/01/2014)

Answer: The requirement is that you must do the bulk of the work in the project. If the work results in one or more publications then you must be the first author if you want to do a thesis by publication. It is OK if your advisor already has done ethics application (but that might be a sign that the advisor or someone else nearby want to be first author). Thus, it is important to early on clarify this so you won't have nasty surprises later.

You will need to submit an amendment to all involved the ethics committees (including JCU) adding yourself as an investigator. It is important to also have an application to JCU HREC (since you are associated with JCU).

information Where do I find documents for course transfer, the Honours Handbook and documents for financial reimbursements? (Updated 04/01/2014)
Answer: All relevant documents are located at learnjcu. Some of them are also found at the webpage for documents relevant to Honours students at SMD (only accessible after you have logged in here).

Miscellaneous problems that may occur

information I am struggling to keep up with the timelines. Can I get an extension? (Updated 01/08/2014)

Answer: It is always a good idea to consider your goals. Increasing the goal from getting a scoring of 80/100 to 95-100/100 probably quadruples the time you need to put in to your work. Do you really need to aim for getting 95-100 out of a possible 100 scores? There is a balance between being sloppy and being overambitious. It seems that being overambitious is more often a problem than sloppiness (although the latter exists). This needs discussion with your advisors, some careful thinking and a decision.

Do you feel that your preparations for a seminar or a submission is not enough? A good alternative is often to do your best and submit in time. You may lose a few points but you may also get better scoring than you hoped for.

A common question is can you get an extension? The answer is no... ...and yes. You can usually not get an extension (more about that further down) but you can apply for a leave from the Honours course. So what is the difference between extension and leave?

In an extension you are still enrolled in the Honours course but your timeline with due dates are extended. A leave means that you between subjects (an Honours course consists of more than one sequential subjects) apply for a leave. You are not enrolled in the Honours course while on leave and a consequence is that the student Deed poll covering research involving Queensland health is not valid and JCU insurance covering research is also not valid. Furthermore the ethics approval is probably given under the assumption that the research is done by JCU (or in collaboration with JCU) and that would also be violated if you are on leave. This would make further data collection impossible while being on leave.

Special circumstances are required before you would be granted an extension (more about this below). However, you do not need a particular reason to apply for a leave as long as you do not exceed the maximum allowed time for leave for that course.

Applying for a leave is slightly different depending on which course you are enrolled:

  • Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours – Course code 72109: This one year full time course consists of two subjects: MD4110 and MD4120. You can apply for a leave when you are between MD4110 and MD4120. The leave can be of any length up to a maximum of one year.
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Honours) - Course code 72009: This two year part time course embedded during year 5 and 6 consists of six sequential subjects MD5110, MD5120, MD5130, MD6110, MD6120 and MD6130. You can apply for a leave when you are between any of these. However, since this course is embedded with the MBBS program it would also mean a leave from your MBBS studies delaying your graduation. The practical consequences is that applying for a leave in this course is not a preferred option. It would probably be better for you to deflect the Honours component and roll back to MBBS without Honours. You could still continue to pursue your research project in your own pace without the deadlines of the Honours course. Please note that if you have paid course fees for the Honours program up until now it will not be paid back.
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with Honours (Graduate) – Course code 107209: In this course you commence the Honours course after year 5. It is not directly embedded with the MBBS program which means that taking a leave will not influence on your MBBS graduation. This course exists as a one year full time version with the sequential subject codes MD7101 and MD7102. Most students prefer the two year part time version with the sequential subject codes MD7103, MD7104, MD7105 and MD7106. You can apply for a leave when you are between any of these subjects. The total maximum allowed leave is 12 months.

The process of applying for leave is:

  • Follow the steps described in JCU about leave of absence. Submit your Leave of absence application as described on this web-page.
  • Make a copy of your Leave of Absence Application and send by e-mail to together with a few lines about your situation. We need to be aware of what is going on to be able to plan the Honours course. Furthermore, if your reason for wanting a leave is not private but related to the Honours program then we might be able to fix it.

OK now I know all about taking a leave but is an extension where you remain enrolled really out of the question? No, but it will only be granted in extreme situations such as serious illness with a medical certificate. If this is the case please send an e-mail to the Honours program coordinator explaining your situation. Delays in the ethics and research governance process is (unfortunately) considered a normal part of the research process that should be planned for from the start. That is not an acceptable excuse to apply for an extension.

It is recommended to first have a discussion with your advisors, then with the Honours coordinator at site and finally the Honours program coordinator before making your final decision.
information I am struggling in year 5. Can I postpone my Honours to commence in year 6 instead? (Added 02/08/2016)

Answer: Yes you can given that you have not yet started data collection (OK to work on the literature review). You need to be aware of:

  • Honours in UG5+UG6 is without extra fee for domestic students. However, Honours in UG6+PGY1 has a fee (see above).
  • Talk to your supervisors and ensure they are willing to support you with postponing one year.
  • You need to do a new pre-Honours application towards the end of this year. You can probably copy and paste from your previous one (perhaps a good idea to see if you can improve some details). Beware of the deadline for the pre-Honours application.
  • If you decide to leave the Honours program in year 5 please remember to write to student services
An alternative might be to continue your research at a slower pace outside the Honours program or move to the course Graduate certificate in Research Methods. Again this requires a discussion with your supervisors.
information I try to add my advisor into a submission / application but my advisor does not appear to exist in this system. How do I proceed? (Added 06/09/2013)
Answer: You can only add advisors who has created a personal profile in this web portal. This is a simple procedure and you can read more about it on help for creating a personal profile. Ask the advisor to follow this instruction and complete the registration of a new profile (e-mail a link to the help information). You can add that person as an advisor as soon as they have created a personal profile.
information I need my advisors signatures and they are overseas! Can I get an extension? (Added 3/7/2013)

Answer: The short answer is no. You need to submit the confirmation form with signatures in time. Thus, ensure that you print your confirmation form early so there is time to collect signatures. To do this submit your submission electronically asap and then print the form carrying signatures. You can still go back and edit your submission until we get your confirmation form or until last due date (whichever occur first). Thus, ensure that you know if your advisors plan a long trip overseas so this does not come as a surprise to you when you need their signatures.

In case of desperate lack of time (should not happen with some planning) print the confirmation form, sign it yourself, scan it to a pdf file, send it to your advisors, ask them to print, sign, scan and resend to you asap. Then submit the scanned pdf to
information I want to go to a scientific conference to present data from my Honours project? What kind of arrangements do I need? (Updated 26/07/2016)

Answer: Great! We encourage presenting data on scientific conferences. There are a few issues you need to consider:

  • Ensure you have pre-approved funding for the costs. You can include costs when you submit your pre-Honours application. However, it requires a named conference (not simply a conference). Money granted in the pre-Honours application may not be used for the allocated purpose and this can later be used for a conference instead. There is also a possibility to later apply for extra funding not included in your Honours proposal. For the latter create a new application and use the template JCU - CMD - Honours project proposal - complementary funding. The sum of all costs included in your submission of the pre-Honours application and a later application for additional funding can not together exceed $1,000. This is the maximum contribution from the Honours program. There is an option to apply for extra conference contribution from the College of Medicine and Dentistry (outside the scope of the Honours program). To do that contact Emma Anderson.
  • The second issue to consider is to get a leave in case the conference is not held when you have a holiday. This depends on if you can get a leave from clinical teachings and placements that occurs at the same time. Thus, you need to submit a formal leave application containing:
    • The formal student leave application itself.
    • Documentation that you are an Honours student (A copy of a document showing that you have enrolled in the Honours program).
    • Some documentation (a copy of an e-mail is OK) showing that your contribution to the conference (poster or oral presentation) is accepted.
    • A written remediation plan to catch up the lost clinical time. This requires you to discuss early with clinical supervisors and persons responsible for placements that you need to attend a seminar. Make these contacts as soon as dates for a seminar are made public. The reason for the requirement to make up for this time is that Honours is an overload so you are expected to make up.
    The conference and travel needs to be booked by JCU admin staff at your clinical school to be reimbursed (and to be included in the JCU travel insurance). Travels including accommodation and conference fees will not be reimbursed if you book it yourself.
information Getting access to approved funding for an Honours project (Updated 14/12/2017)

Honours allowance - Travel costs directly paid by JCU

Travels costs
All travels, flights, hotel, etc, must be booked by JCU admin staff. The cost will not be reimbursed if you book it yourself. The travel has to be booked by the Clinical Training Support Officer at your site (Cairns: Janine Eland, MacKay: Kelly White and Townsville: Jane Aitken). The Honours & Postgraduate Administration Officer can clarify if your travel is pre-approved and how much you have left to spend on the travel. Ask to supply the information and forward this to the relevant Clinical Training Support Officer at your site requesting them to make the booking.

1. Honours allowance - All types of expenses

  1. Log into https://au.researchweb.org/is/jcu/
  2. Go to your application for funding (usually the Honours project proposal).
  3. Click on the button “print form”. A Reimbursement form will be created by Researchweb. Print and sign this. (If the button "print form" is not there it means that you have already printed this form and submitted it.)
  4. On the printed form tick one of the two boxes. If needed add a "Creditor form". Sign and submit as instructed on the reimbursement form. In the creditor form put in your student number in the upper right box. Leave the question about ABN blank (you don't need this if you are a student). You can do 1-4 as soon as the funding is approved before the cost occurs.
  5. Staff at SMD research office tick in Researchweb that the Reimbursement form has arrived and you will get an e-mail stating that it has arrived. The button print form will now disappear.

Please note that your Honours proposal has a unique id number. If you initially applied for less than $1,000 and later do an application for complementary funding this second application will get another unique id number and you need to submit a Reimbursement form for that as well.

2a. Honours allowance - Expenses paid directly by the College of Medicine and Dentistry

Ensure you have first followed the advice given above and submitted a Reimbursement form. In this situation you (or your advisors) have an invoice that needs to be paid. Part of it should be paid by your pre-approved honours allowance and parts of it from another accound controlled by your advisor. Scan and send the invoice to . In the e-mail state the id number of your Honours proposal (if you have made an application for complementary funding specify the amount on each of your approved applications). In case the invoice exceeds your Honours allowance the rest need to be taken from an account advised by your advisor. One part is paid by your Honours allowance as described. The other part is paid and money taken from somewhere else (see below). If another account in control of your advisor should pay part of the invoice you need to attach a letter from your advisor stating that this is OK.

2b. Other grants than the Honours allowance

There are two types of external grants. Grants you applied for and funding that your advisors have. In both cases the money will reside on an account your advisor controls. You need to discuss access to these money with your advisor. Once you and your advisor agree send an e-mail to with the invoice and state what proportion of this needs to be paid from your Honours allowance (state id number of your pre-approved applications) and what proportion needs to be paid from another specified account. If another account in control of your advisor should pay part of the invoice you need to attach a letter from your advisor stating that this is OK.

You must also report grants other than the Honours allowance:

  1. Go to your registration in the project database (this link only works if you are logged in).
  2. Click on the Id nr to see the project registration.
  3. Click on Edit
  4. Go to the heading Funding
  5. Click on edit grant providers. Follow instructions to describe the grant.

2c. Honours allowance - Expenses first paid by you

Please note that all travels, flights, hotel, etc, must be booked by JCU admin staff and directly paid by JCU. The cost will not be reimbursed if you book it yourself. (more information above). Reimbursement for other previously approved expenses may be retrieved after the cost has occurred. The prior approvement was made when your project proposal was approved. Students must retain all receipts for reimbursement. Without supplying receipts, the reimbursement will not be processed. The procedure to get reimbursement:

  1. Log into https://au.researchweb.org/is/jcu/
  2. When the cost has occurred complete a Payment request. Ensure you put in your student number in the upper right corner. In NARRATIVE write a very short description and state the id number of your application in Researchweb. In the lower section allocate all costs to this account: 2131.11100.0001. Scan and send (with scanned copies of receipts as proof of expense) to . The cost must be consistent with the type of expense previously approved. This can be repeated if costs occur several times with some time in between.
  3. Your Payment request is reviewed by staff at CMD research office (usually the Honours admin). They compare your payment request with the prior approval and sign of as Receiving officer. They also register the cost in Researchweb so you as student and we as staff can keep track of expenses.
  4. The payment request is forwarded to Sonya van Bremen at SMD who signs off as Authorising officer
  5. The payment request is forwarded to Financial and Business Services who arrange for payment.

The Creditor form and Payment request can be found if you click on Honours resource kit.

3. Keeping track of expenses

Expenses related to your Honours allowance can be tracked in this web system. They are seen at the bottom of your Honours proposal submission (or your application for complementary Honours funding). Please note that it may take some weeks before payments are visible in this system.

Ethics

information How do I make an ethics application? (Added 14/07/2013)
Answer: First read on the web page describing the process of making an ethics application.
information In the application for ethics I need a signature from the Head of School. Who is that? (Updated 02/05/2014)
Answer. First ensure that your advisors are happy with your ethics application. Once you all agree on the writing submit the application so the text Draft disappears and an submission code is assigned. The signature you need here is from the Dean for School of Medicine and Dentistry. Print the complete ethics application as a pdf and send it by e-mail to requesting signature from the Dean. In the meantime collect the other signatures. In the end it might be that you have the pages with signatures in multiples copies. That is OK.

Data collection, data analysis and data storage

information How should collected data be stored? Can I carry it around on my laptop (Updated 04/01/2014)

Answer: There are three different situations:

  • Data are kept so each participant / informant is easily identifiable. This is unusual and needs special consideration. Such data can't be carried around on a laptop.
  • The most common situation is that each participant / informant can not be identified from the data set alone without a separate code key. Collected data must be immediately de-identified with the code-key kept separately. You can have de-identified data on your laptop but not the code-key. The latter should not be carried around. The code key should be locked. If it is an electronic file (such as an Excel-file) then it should be password protected. One tricky question is where to store the code-key. You should ask the data supplier (Queensland health, a private GP clinic etc) if they mind that the code-key is stored on a JCU server separated from the computer analysing de-identified data. If they don't accept that then they themselves must ensure that the code-key is kept safe for a long time.
  • The third situation is that data is stored with no possibility to identify each participant / informant.

There are some other rules that must be considered:

  • Laptops and any other portable devices carrying de-identified data must be password protected (especially USBs as they are easy to lose).
  • Regular backing up of data. A common mistake is to back-up on USB sticks kept in the same bag as the computer. If the bag is lost then everything is lost.
  • At the point of thesis submission students must arrange for storage of their research data (both the de-identified data and eventually also the code-key) with the school.
Read about the tropical data hub and discuss this with your advisors.
information I am going to use a quantitative approach (statistics). Can I enter data into Excel and later transfer them to SPSS? (Added 12/4/2013)
Answer: Yes... ...but this may sometimes cause problems. We recommend that you start using SPSS directly and enter data into SPSS rather than entering them into Excel and transferring them into SPSS later. However if you do transfer from excel consider this: Problems with dates when importing from Excel to SPSS.
information Where do I buy a licence for the statistical software package SPSS? (Updated 03/06/2017)

Answer: Read more about JCU policy for SPSS. In summary Honours students do not get a free license of SPSS. You have to buy it. Other students has purchased their SPSS licences from:

Check where you get the best price for SPSS Statistics Premium version.
information I am doing a qualitative study, do I have to do my own transcription or a set portion of the transcription or can I out source it? (added 7/2/2013)
Answer: It is OK to outsource transcription if you can find funding for the cost. Before deciding please have a look at the video describing transcription.
information I have never used the software SPSS. How do I start? (Updated 26/07/2016)

Answer: If you are new to SPSS have a look at this:

  • Basic introduction to SPSS
  • The recommended manual SPSS Survival manual by Julie Pallant. It can be bought through JCU bookshop (or online).
information How many decimals should I use when I present figures? (Updated 26/07/2016)
Answer: You should present your figures with an appropriate level of accuracy reflecting the uncertainty in your results. The best way to achieve this is to use a specific number of significant figures. Using a fixed number of decimals would result in some figures being less accurate than they actually are while others would be presented as more accurate than they actually are. This is clarified in Science-Network.TV about significant figures.

Seminars

information

Do I need to submit a leave application every time Honours seminars or teaching clash with other education or clinical duties? (Added 23/12/2016)

You need to notify your clinical placement / teacher / tutor for everything even if it is only an hours absence. You also need to submit a formal leave application for all Honours activities being more than four consecutive hours. The initial research seminar is a full day activity so you need to submit a leave application for that. The entry and exit seminars usually takes two days but your are not required to participate all that time. We expect you to see a total of ten presentations and you can split this in shorter than four hour sessions over the two days if you wish, otherwise submit a leave application. There is no requirement for remediation of clinical activities when you are absent for these mandatory Honours activities (but still a requirement for submitting a leave application if more than four consecutive hours).
information Will JCU assist in costs for travel and accommodation to the introductory research seminar (or the entry/exit seminar) if we are located at other sites? (Updated 21/01/2016)

Answer: CMD will provide up to a cap of $700 for travel and accommodation costs for Honours students located in a site with < 4 Honours students to attend the Honours Research Seminar in one of the other sites given that CMD at the time have funding available. Students doing the one year full time option will be considered located at the site they were in before commencing the Honours program.

To enable support for travel and accommodation, please email Cmd.honours@jcu.edu.au with your travel details no later than three weeks before the seminar to enable the College to book all your travel arrangements. Do not book any travel or accommodation yourself as you will not be reimbursed. All bookings must be made through the College. If students choose to drive their own vehicle, the College will pay a mileage rate of 55c per km so a record of the kilometres travelled is required. Please email MBBSHonours to discuss your options.

Students located in Cairns or Townsville may travel at their own expense to attend a seminar on another site than their own site. Always inform the Honours administrator at least two weeks prior to the seminar if you want to attend at another site.

Entry and exit seminars will be held at all sites using video link (chaired from Cairns). Overseas students are linked in for their presentation. All students are expected to present from their site. Hence, there is no support for travel and accommodation to attend the entry or exit seminar.
information I will be away during the entry / exit seminar. Can I participate using video-link or phone? (Updated 14/08/2015)

Answer: Contact the Honours program co-ordinator early. The principal solution (once the Honours program co-ordinator has given approval) is to pre-record your presentation using the built in functions for recording audio and autoplay in Powerpoint. You will be send an e-mail inviting you to a shared Dropbox folder where you upload your presentation as a single file. Ensure the file name contains your name. Send an e-mail to Cmd.honours@jcu.edu.au once your presentation is uploaded. This must be done at least 3 days before the seminar so there is time to check the quality. This will be the presentation delivered during the seminar and you will answer questions after your pre-recorded presentation is finished. Remember the time restrictions. Maximum 15 minutes for the presentation followed by 5-10 minutes of questioning. One common mistake is that you are too far away from the microphone or not talking loud enough making the audio too soft and difficult to hear. An external microphone near you gives the best audio.

We are linking several JCU sites together and on and off external sites as well. This is a large strain on our slightly limited internet capacity. Adding on streaming your presentation as a Prezi presentation may make all collapse (or work choppy). Playing a file that resides locally does not put any strain to the existing (slightly limited) internet capacity. Hence, if you are using Prezi and being away we want you to upload a pre-recorded file that we can play locally.

If you are in a country having some decent Internet infrastructure plan to use BlueJeans. Contact and state the date and time slot where you need to be linked in using BlueJeans. Medtech will send you a unique link where you link in to the video-conference.

The pre-recording and other preparations needs to be done well in advance. This is even more important if you plan to travel to a site with limited Internet connections where transferring large recorded files might not be possible.

During the seminar we will first show your pre-recorded presentation. We will also link you in to answer questions after your presentation. If you are in a country with good Internet infrastructure then we use BlueJeans sending both audio and video. If the Internet infrastructure is there but poor then we may try BlueJeans using no video, only voice. An alternative in case of very poor Internet connectivity is to link you in using phone (you need to find a phone that works where you are). Be prepared to answer questions concerning your presentation.
information What should I consider to get a good score on the entry seminar? (Updated 06/01/2017)
  • Most students prepare their presentation slides in front of their own computer. However, the manner in which material is presented should be appropriate if the presenter is in Townsville and a marker is sitting in Cairns or Mackay, being equivalent to be sitting on the back row of a very large auditorium. Thus, the presentation must make sense even if images and text are blurred during transmission. A font size of 14 looks large on your own computer but anything below font size 28 will be problematic in a video conference setting.
  • Carefully read the marking criteria in the Honours handbook and see what you think you would score. Can you make any changes to better cover all aspects in the marking criteria?
  • You should be able to present the project for assessors not having any prior knowledge of the project. Consequently, we will not provide the assessors of any information about your project before the seminar. It is more likely that your assessor will have experience of research and less likely that they will be experts in your particular topic. Hence, you need to present as if the assessor (and the audience) does not have specific expertise in the topic.
  • Colourful presentation with lots of pictures? There is no formal school policy so it is up to the different assessors and what they like. Personally I (Ronny Gunnarsson) favour colourful funny presentation rather than presentations where you get lost in the details. However, other assessors may have different views and there is no recipe that will work universally. You have to make a balanced guess. A few resources:

The Literature review

information Is there a guide for doing and a template for writing a literature review? (IMPORTANT INFORMATION) (Updated 05/09/2013)
Answer: The best advice is to comply with the PRISMA guidelines. Read more on advice for doing a systematic literature review. Following these guidelines will give you a manuscript that has the best possible chances of being accepted for publication (and getting the highest possible marks).
information Is it much more work doing a systematic literature review compared to a non systematic literature review? (Added 26/07/2016)
Answer: No. A systematic review gives you guidelines that enables you to have a better structure in your work. Hence, it might even be easier to do a systematic review rather than just a review. Please read carefully on advice for doing a systematic literature review.
information Is it necessary to register our systematic review with PROSPERO? (Added 05/08/2016)
Answer: This is not necessary but doing so will give you a higher score in the Honours assessment from JCU. Read the assessment criteria carefully in the latest version of the Honours handbook showing that this is rewarded. Furthermore, registering in PROSPERO increase your chances for being published.
information Can students collaborate in their Honours project? (Added 13/02/2014)

Answer: Honours students should not collaborate with each other. The reason is that each students performance is evaluated. However, there is one exception. Students can to some extent collaborate in the systematic literature review. The student primarily responsible for the review does the database search, screen titles and abstracts to compile a list of all possibly relevant publications retrieved in full text. The student mainly responsible constructs a screening tool to help identify publications fulfilling inclusion criteria, a data extraction tool to collect information from each included publication and a quality assessment tool. The student being responsible for the review may then collaborate with 1-2 other students concerning:

  • Full text screening to decide what publications to include.
  • Data extraction of relevant information from each publication.
  • Quality assessment of each publication.

All students should independently perform the above tasks for all publications. The results are then compared and discrepancies are resolved through discussion between students and eventually also advisors. The students assisting should be eligible to be middle names in the author list. An acknowledgement clearly stating the contribution from others is a requirement when finally submitting the thesis. This collaboration must be declared there.

There is no disadvantage from a grading point of view to have this collaboration since the student being graded has made the difficult parts leading the group of students in the work. One disadvantage is that your fellow students probably want you to assist with their reviews so in the end it will be more work. The positive side is that the learning experience will be greater and you may get more publications in your CV.
information How do I keep track of all references. I heard there are software that can help. Where do I find it? (Added 15/4/2013)
Answer: We strongly recommends that you use the software EndNote. It makes it easy to keep track of different references and to adapt your writing to different referencing
information Can I learn EndNote to format my manuscript to comply with the requirements for a specific journal? What reference format should I use for my review if I aim for a thesis by monograph? (Updated 24/04/2014)

Answer: EndNote can be taught to format your document according to any journal you may want to submit your manuscript to. These instructions are saved in a format file specific to that journal. It is likely that someone has already learned EndNote to format manuscripts for the journal you are interested in. These instructions can be downloaded and copied into your EndNote.

  1. Have a look at EndNote output styles to be downloaded. You can download instructions for a specific journal as a file.
  2. Then copy the downloaded files to your styles folder, which is typically located at C:Program Files (x86)-EndNote X5-Styles, or to your personal Styles folder.
  3. Restart EndNote.
  4. Click on the Edit menu, then choose Output Styles, then Open Style manager.
  5. Your new journal should appear in the list. Ensure you tick the box beside the journal name.
  6. Go to Word and open the EndNote tab. In the drop down list for Style choose your journal.
In case you are doing a thesis by monograph then your literature review should be formatted according to the version of Vancouver that is used by JAMA.
information I aim for a thesis by publication and have completed my literature review. Does it have to be submitted to a journal by due date for submission of the literature review to JCU? (Updated 31/04/2014)

Answer: To ensure you get as high grade as possible on the review from JCU it should be in a quality making it ready for submission to a journal. After submitting to JCU you will after a while get feed back and reviewers comments. Use these to further improve your literature review. We recommend that you then submit it to a journal. Don't wait too long because then your review will be out of date. Furthermore, you will need to focus on other aspects of your project so you may as well get it off your desk by submitting it to the journal soon after getting the feed back from JCU. The submission form to JCU will have questions on whether it is submitted or not but your response there will not influence the grade you get on your literature review.

When you submit your final thesis we request that your literature review is in a submission ready format adapted to the requirements of a journal or that is being submitted. However, we do not require that you actually have submitted it (but we strongly recommend that you try to do it).

Thesis by publication

information Do we put our advisors as co-authors as well on manuscripts for submission, or just ourselves? (Added 27/08/2013)
Answer: Normally the collaboration between you and your advisors would make them eligible as co-authors. Any advisor that has given input in discussions, feedback on drafts and reviewed and accepted the final manuscript should in most cases be a co-author. You are of course always first author and the publication will usually be referred to as Yourname et al. It might be a good idea to show this text to your advisors and ask for their opinion.
information Is it a requirement that I as an Honours student is first author of a manuscript / publication? Is it OK if I am second or third author? (Updated 31/07/2014)
Answer: You need to be first author on the manuscript for the systematic literature review and on one more manuscript to be able to use them in an Honours by publication. You can have more manuscripts where you are a co-author. This is a clear sign that you have done most of the planning and writing of the parts included in your thesis. If you collaborate with others ensure you have this discussion early so you don't get a surprise later on. If you are not the first author in two manuscripts then you must do a thesis by monograph instead. However, that does not stop you from being co-author on an infinite number of manuscripts not directly being a part of your thesis.
information What is the difference in merits between doing a thesis by monograph or a thesis by publication? (Updated 26/07/2016)
Answer: There is no difference when it comes to the possibility of getting a high grade in your Honours. However, also getting two peer reviewed publications (as a thesis by publication might give) makes your CV look much more impressive. Thus, a thesis by publication have some advantages and almost all students today submit a thesis by publication.
information Will there be any weighting applied to marks for papers that are accepted/in press vs papers that have been submitted? (Updated 31/07/2014)
Answer: No difference between “Submitted”, “Accepted for publication”, “In press” or “Published”. The manuscript / article will be marked on its own merits. However, if you submit manuscripts to a journal and get a reviewers response in time it might enable you to further enhance your manuscripts before submitting to JCU.
information What evidence will be required to document the stage of peer review that each paper is at?
Answer: A statement that the manuscript is submitted and the name of the journal. Also preferred a statement in what databases this journal is indexed (Thomson Reuters Web of Science would be the best one). There will be a question about this in the web-form where you submit your thesis.
information Are there minimum requirements for quality when choosing journals? (Updated 20/08/2013)
Answer: Yes. Journals must meet the following criteria:
Journals must be listed in:
information Will the impact factor ( or other metric) of the journal which accepts the paper be considered in the marking of the thesis? (Updated 04/01/2014)

Answer: No. The manuscript / article will be marked by its own merits. Previously it was very important to end up in a journal with a high impact factor because these journals were the ones most likely to be read. That is completely changed. Now it is all about:

  • Ending up in the best citation databases. For medical research it is usually Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Elseviers Scopus. If your manuscript ends up there then it will be found and read. This does not mean that the impact factor of the journal is irrelevant, just that it is less important now compared to previously.
  • Having your article as open access will spread the message better. Not all journals offer open access. Thus, this may influence your choice of journal.
information Open access journals (recommended by the University) usually have a publication fee exceeding the amount given to Honours projects. Is there specific funding for this? (Updated 24/11/2014)

Answer: Yes and this support is available to Honours, Masters, PhD and Professional Doctorate students with priority given to students in their final year of study and up to 6 months after completion. To be eligible you must fulfill all the following criteria:

  • Publications must be related to the student’s research project
  • Students must be the first author on the publication
  • There will be a limit of 2 publications per year per individual
  • You must be able to present evidence of acceptance prior to fund application
  • No more than 6 months has passed since examination.
  • The publication is a peer reviewed original contribution or systematic literature review.
  • The journal has an Gold open access policy (Thus, journals normally requiering a subscription and also offering open access of publications where authors paid a fee are considered as Hybrid Open Access and we don't reimburse this.)
There will be a limit of supporting maximum 2 publications per year per individual with a maximum contribution of AUD 3,000 per manuscript (don't forget to check exchange rates). The journals must also fulfill these criteria:
Journals must be listed in:

Students must present evidence of acceptance prior to fund application
To apply for this:

  1. Login at this site
  2. Click on My stuff and then on the sub-menu My applications/submissions.
  3. Click on the button labelled Create a new application / submission
  4. Choose the application template JCU - SMD - Costs for open access publication.
  5. Follow instructions.
information Will a thesis by publication be a duplicate publication if the manuscripts are already accepted for publication or published in a journal? Will this pose a legal copyright problem? (Updated 02/08/2016)

Answer: The current Honours handbook states that you should only submit the manuscript / publication with the final data (excluding the literature review) when you submit a thesis by publication for assessment and grading. This will only be read by a few reviewers so this does not pose any copyright problem. We require you to later submit a final version of your thesis by publication for storing and printing once your manuscripts are finally published (or a decision is made not to submit them). This final version will not be assessed and graded again but it will be made publicly available on the Internet. Hence, the later submission for storing and printing is likely to raise copyright problems. These problems and the best solutions are discussed below.

Publishers do not want manuscripts published elsewhere. They want the publication in their journal to be a unique publication not found elsewhere. Thus, when you submit your work you must state that this material is not published or submitted for publication elsewhere. In case your manuscript is accepted for publication many publishers require you to sign over the copyright for an accepted manuscript to them before publication. This is common procedure and nothing unusual. After doing this you are no longer the copyright holder. This means that you must obtain permission from the publisher if you wish to include your published papers in your printed thesis. This poses a (manageable) problem when finally submitting a thesis for printing and storage.

There are some possible scenarios when doing this second submission of a thesis by publication for printing and final storage:

  • Your manuscripts are already published when your thesis is supposed to be submitted and the publisher did not require you to sign over the copyright. In this situation you may incorporate your publications as they are after publication without asking for permission.
  • Your manuscripts are already published when your thesis is supposed to be submitted and you have signed over the copyright to the publisher. Write to the publisher that you would like to include a pre-publication version of the manuscript / article in your Honours thesis, referring to the original publication. (A pre-publication version is the word file accepted for publication - not the publisher's pdf). Few publishers would deny you to do this. They usually want you to include a phrase such as The following articles are reprinted with kind permission of (name of publisher). This statement should be included in the initial Acknowledgements (before the publications and the summary abstract for the thesis). Don't forget to ask the question!
  • All your manuscripts are not yet accepted for publication. In this situation submit your thesis for grading with the manuscripts as appendices. Your thesis will be read by a few people, evaluated and graded. Then wait to submit the thesis for printing and storing until your publications are accepted / published. Once they are accepted / published ask for permission and include pre-publication versions as described above.
Search for copyright policies among scientific journals
information When I plan a thesis by publication it says in the honours handbook that we should format our manuscripts in the style of whatever journal we wish for it to be published in. So which journal's style guide should I follow? (Added 07/08/2013)
Answer: First write a preliminary manuscript. Aim for a length of approximately 2000-3000 words (not counting words in abstract, references, figures or tables). When finished with the preliminary manuscript you will have a reference list at the end. Rank journals in your own reference list according to the number of times you cite a reference in that journal. Then check which of the top 5 journals found in your own reference list that fulfills the requirements:
Journals must be listed in:
You now have a list of 3-5 journals that are suitable candidates for submission. Have a quick look at their author instructions and then pick one of the. Now adapt your manuscript to the requirements of that journal. If you are using EndNote (see information above under the subheading The Literature review) then this is usually a quick procedure.
information I got a manuscript sort of rejected. They gave me a lot of criticism. What shall I do?! (Added 11/03/2014)

Follow these steps:

  1. Look at a video describing your feelings
  2. Realize that a better approach to rejection is needed.
  3. Read Rejection improves eventual impact of manuscripts.
  4. Find out if the response you got actually is a final rejection or just a long list of suggestions for improvements with an encourage to resubmit a revised manuscript. The latter is a half acceptance.
  5. If the editor wants a revised versions submit that. Otherwise find another journal and submit a revised version

If you submit a revised version to the same journal ensure you submit an author response / comment detailing your response to the raised criticism. This is usually done by citing referee and give a rather detailed response. See examples of referee statements and author responses / comments:

Thesis by monograph

information What referencing format should I use for a thesis by monograph? (Added 27/07/2016)
Answer: The thesis should be formatted according to the version of Vancouver that is used by JAMA. If you are using EndNote (see information above under the subheading The Literature review). This is usually a quick procedure where you download an instruction file.
information The handbook says we need to include a declaration and an acknowledgement. What are supposed to be in these? (Updated 26/07/2016)
Please read instructions in the latest version of the Honours handbook (above).
information My thesis is larger than the maximum allowed file size. What shall I do? (Added 17/11/2013)

Answer: You must upload your thesis in the file format pdf. If your file is larger than allowed then you have two options:

  • Use a software to shrink your pdf. This will decrease the quality. This may be a problem if the file is reduced too much. Check carefully that the shrinking does not make small text or figures impossible to understand.
  • Another option is to split your pdf in two files, part one and part two (clearly label them so the reviewer easily understand this). One option is the free software pdf tools which can split pdf files

Graduation and beyond

information If I were to begin Honours in Year 6 does that mean I would not be able to graduate with the rest of my class at the end of year 6, and need to wait till I complete Honours before graduating?

Answer: If you take the Graduate Honours option, you graduate MBBS at the end of Year 6, and then come back the following year to get your MBBS Honours degree. That way you are of course eligible for your intern place. A further clarification: The Honours program in medicine comes in three different shapes:

  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Honours). Course code: 72009. Overload in parallel to undergraduate studies, usually the final two Years (5+6), of the MBBS program. This involves successful completion of all subjects these years, in year 5 and 6: MD5110, MD5120, MD5130 and MD6110, MD6120, MD6130. This is the most common pathway.
  • Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours. Course code: 72109. Research-based year undertaken on a full-time basis (ie a year off from the MBBS Program). Although it does extend graduation from MBBS by one year, it has the advantage of allowing total devotion to a research project.
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with Honours (Graduate). Course code: 107209. Overload in parallel to Year 6 of the MBBS and Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY1), or at any time up to PGY5. This involves the successful completion of MD6110, 6120, 7103 and 7104 in Year 6, and MD7105 and 7106 in PGY1.
If you take up Honours in year 5+6 choose course code 72009. If you take it up in year 6 or later use course code 107209.
information If I enroll in the Honours program in year 6 how does it work as an intern during the second Honours year? Will I still be able to do the project if I gain an internship in a city other than where I studied year 6?
Answer: In this situation it may be a good idea to choose a project where you have completed data collection by the end of the first year you are doing Honours. That way it doesn't matter where you are for PGY 1 whilst you write up your research. If you want to do a project where it is not possible to complete data collection by the first year then discuss with your advisors to sort out how the practical things such as data collection, analysis and writing shall be done. If your advisors are happy advising you on distance then CMD has no problem in you leaving to another town, state or country. It is always a good idea to have a good communication with your advisors around practicalities.

Acronyms
CMD = College of Medicine and Dentistry
PublishedDocument information: Frequently Asked Questions for Honours students at CMD | Last modified: 2018-06-11 by Ronny Gunnarsson

Frequently Asked Questions for Honours students at CMD, from James Cook University
http://researchweb.org/is/en/jcu/research/smd-honours-faq