This article outlines the potential for Research Higher Degree (RHD) supervisors at universities and similar institutions to use ethical review as a constructive, dynamic tool in guiding RHD students in the timely completion of effective, innovative research projects. Ethical review involves a bureaucratized process for checking that researchers apply risk management strategies when dealing with human participants. Ethical review can also be a powerful instrument for RHD supervisors in the creative arts if they use it to lead students through processes of imagining, articulating, and improving their methodologies and relationships with research participants. Proposed strategies involve adaptation of theories of visualization and imagination from several disciplines—imagined interaction from the social sciences and psychology, dramatic rehearsal from political science, and creative visualization from the health professions, sports coaching and many other personal–professional development contexts. By using creativity and imagination, supervisors can use ethical review to help students to ‘walk through’ the potential, progressive phases of proposed research in order to refine or redesign both ‘big picture’ strategies and specific steps taken to reach research goals. This can stimulate students to unearth possibilities that improve the quality and quantity of knowledge that their research generates and to avoid or manage problems that might disrupt their research.