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Program Structure

The structure of the program is outlined in the figure below. Click on the headings in the next section to read more about each component.

Research Development Framework (accessible version available)

  • Diagnostics & Planning

    All students participating in the full CaRST program are required to complete a CaRST Development Plan, which will assist in identifying your training needs and designing your own unique program of professional development. The plan also provides an opportunity to review your progress towards completion of the program requirements.

    The plan consists of several parts:

    • a research skills diagnostic,
    • the identification of research and career goals and setting of individual learning objectives,
    • a section to report on your training progress, and
    • a certification page that you and your supervisor are required to sign before submission.

    Your first completed plan is due at the CCSP, so you should begin thinking about CaRST within the first few months of candidature alongside the planning of your research activities. Your plan is not a static document and will need to be updated regularly throughout candidature to show satisfactory progress towards successfully meeting your CaRST requirements.

    Vitae’s Research Development Framework is required to complete the self-assessment section; therefore you will need to have access to this document as you are working on your plan.

    Key Resources:

  • Training & Development

    To support your career and professional development as a researcher, you will undertake a range of activities throughout candidature that are mapped to the four domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). PhD students must complete 120 hours in total, achieving between 10-60 hours in each domain while Masters of Philosophy students must complete 60 hours in total, achieving between 5-30 hours in each domain.

    There is no set curriculum with CaRST. You are able to create your own personalised program, selecting from a wide array of accredited training available within the University and from other relevant experiences that will enhance your knowledge and skills as a researcher. CaRST eligible activities fall into the following groups:

                          1. Formal Training Activities. These are pre-approved activities that have been assigned a set number of hours and domain from the Vitae Researcher Development Framework and are listed on the CaRST Training Activity Register. These activities include workshops, short courses, online courses and other structured training programs. There is no limit to the number of hours you can claim over candidature for these activities.
                          2. Core Activities. These consist of compulsory activities undertaken during the first twelve months of candidature such as completion of the CCSP and IBP-R for international students, which helps to give you a head start towards meeting your CaRST requirement. You are able to claim all hours that apply to you from this category.
                          3. Experiential Activities. These are relevant experiences that will enhance your development as a researcher, but are not formally taught, such as attending conferences and presenting at seminars and symposia. Recognised types of experiential activities and associated guidelines can be found on the CaRST Experiential Activities webpage. PhDs can claim a maximum of 20 hours per domain and MPhils can claim a maximum of 10 hours per domain for activities found on this list.
                            Although we have tried to capture as many activities as we can, we recognise our list is not exhaustive and will not cover any training that is in specialist areas of a research discipline. There is, however, a mechanism to participate in activities not found on our list and have them count towards your CaRST requirement by submitting an Activity Certification Form. These activities may be approved, provided they benefit your research and career and align with one of the RDF domains.

    Please download our CaRST Activities – Types and Conditions for more information.

  • Recognition of CaRST Hours

    At present, there is no online system for capturing and monitoring the full range of activities that students are able to claim for credit; therefore we are utilising a combination of paper-based forms and an electronic portfolio, or ePortfolio, to collect and store your training experiences. Students are responsible for managing their own training records and ePortfolio in order to receive the appropriate credit towards CaRST.

    Proper documentation requires (i) logging each training activity in the CaRST Training Summary
    worksheet provided, and (ii) uploading digital evidence of any training completed in your ePortfolio.

    Logging activities in your Training Summary
    Download a blank CaRST Training Summary worksheet, fill out your details at the top, and save to your computer or other device. You will be using this same worksheet throughout candidature to keep a running log of your activities and assess your progress, so you do not want to misplace this file!

    After you complete an activity, add it to the worksheet on a new line and include information about when it took place, the hours it is worth and the domain to which it applies (you will be able to look up this information for any CaRST accredited activity). The worksheet will automatically add up your total number of hours as well as hours by domain, calculate your total progress as a percent completion, and indicate whether you are within the acceptable range of hours required per domain.

    Maintaining evidence in your ePortfolio
    Once you log an activity in your training summary, you also need to verify its completion by uploading evidence into your own personalised ePortfolio. Each student is provided an account in the ePortfolio software Mahara. You will need to set up your ePortfolio and share it with your supervisor and the Graduate Centre at the specified times through a secret URL. You will receive an email with your Mahara account details at the beginning of your candidature. Instructions about how to set up your Mahara ePortfolio page is detailed in the manual instructions. Mahara is only available to HDRs commencing on, or after, 1 January 2017.

    What counts as evidence?
    Evidence may include online attendance records, a certificate issued by the organiser/convener, or a tangible output created during the activity. We have defined some types that would be acceptable below but there may be other ways to prove your involvement; you will need to use your own judgement or seek the advice of your supervisor or postgraduate coordinator.

    Examples of supporting evidence:

    • Certificate issued by the course organiser or CaRST
    • Email confirmation of attendance from the course organiser or CaRST
    • Screenshot of attendance recorded in the Course Bookings system
    • Screenshot of grades recorded in the MyUni Grade Centre
    • Copy of presentation materials (e.g. a poster or powerpoint) or conference agenda including your presentation title or abstract
    • Copy of a published piece of work
    • Screenshots of a website, blog, newsletter, or social media feed
    • Copy of a grant award letter
    • Copy of a patent application or business plan
    • Copies of meeting notes, minutes, or diary of committee work
    • Screenshots of your research profile online

    A blank certificate has been created for use when there is no tangible output or evidence of your attendance available and the organiser has not previously arranged to take attendance or issue a certificate. You will need to download the CaRST Certificate of Attendance, fill in the activity details and print the form, then have it signed by a third party or your supervisor.

  • Assessment and Award

    Your progress with CaRST will be reviewed at various checkpoints throughout candidature to ensure you are on track to successfully meet the CaRST requirements before thesis submission. These checkpoints have been incorporated into existing milestones, i.e. the CCSP, Major Review, and Annual Review. You will be required to submit your latest CaRST Development Plan, Training Summary, and a link to your ePortfolio.

    The number of hours that need to be completed in each year is not stipulated; however; it is advisable to spread your activities throughout candidature so that you are not trying to achieve the bulk of your hours at the end of your degree. CaRST activities (hours) must be completed before thesis submission.

    Your final CaRST Development Plan, Training Summary and portfolio of evidence is due at Thesis Submission. The Adelaide Graduate Centre will verify that the number of hours in the required domains has been fulfilled before issuing a certificate of completion and sending the thesis for examination. This certificate, along with your portfolio of activities, can be used to help demonstrate your skills to potential employers.

  • Summary of Forms and Resources

    You are required to complete a CaRST Development Plan, keep a record of your training activities/hours and upload digital evidence of your training to an ePortfolio. The Forms and Resources will help you meet these requirements

Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) Unit

Adelaide Graduate Centre
Level 2, Schulz Building
SA 5005


T: +61 8 8313 5882
F: +61 8 8313 5725