Are you in the process of selecting student partners to collaborate on a project with you?

Here are some top tips to consider when selecting a student partner. By no means are these recommendations exhaustive, but rather seeks to prompt reflection.

Diversity and Inclusion

The University of Queensland prides itself on its place as an inclusive and diverse global campus that includes students and staff from a wide range of backgrounds. With more than 1 out of 5 students enrolled as international, a thriving LGBTIQ+ community, and a commitment to gender equity, it is important for partnership projects to reflect these unique perspectives and experiences of our community. Some ways in which you can ensure these diverse perspectives are captured are by selecting students who may classify themselves as:

  • Domestic and International
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Different cultural and linguistic backgrounds
  • Students with varying disabilities and/or
  • Having work and caring responsibilities.

Another important factor is ensuring a gender balance. Student Partners have expressed that a balanced gender mix helps to ensure that partners feel as comfortable as possible in participating.

Team size

When choosing your team, it is important to be aware of how different group sizes will interact. As the Project Instigator, you will have to decide how many Student Partners will be required to achieve your project goals. Larger teams offer more diverse perspectives and skill sets, however can be more difficult to arrange mutual meeting times. As a general rule of thumb, we find that groups of 3 to 4 work well, however this will depend upon your scope and desired outcomes.

Skills and experiences

When selecting Student Partners, prioritise skills, motivation and knowledge. This may be outlined within their application. You may also choose to interview student partners to see if it is the right fit.

It is important for you to reflect upon the skill sets that you envisage will be required for the project. For example, do you want to engage with a partner with multimedia design or focus group facilitation experience, or general teamwork skills? Reflect also on how the skills and experiences of all team members may complement each other.

If you require Student Partners to have completed a specific course or program, ensure that this has been addressed within their application. 

Selection of Student Partners

You may also wish to conduct interviews (or meet) with the Student Partner applicants. Some previous Staff Partners have met with applicants to ensure that the personalities and expertise of all group members complemented each other. If you wish to conduct interviews, or meet with Partners prior to selection, this is to be arranged and conducted directly by yourself, and the list of successful partners must still be submitted by the originally provided deadline.

When you have selected the Student Partners you would like to participate on your project, please email their names and student numbers to prior to the deadline provided.



The Student-Staff Partnership Team would like to thank Brooke Szucs for co-authoring this document and to the HASS Student Futures Team for their constructive feedback.