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How does CaRST work?

The CaRST program does not have a set curriculum as it is designed to be flexible to meet the diverse backgrounds, needs, and career aspirations of HDR candidates.

If you opt-into the full program, you will engage with CaRST throughout your research degree and participate in a range of activities in support of your career and professional development. Program requirements can be met through any unique combination of CaRST-approved activities, ultimately allowing you to create your own bespoke program of professional development.

  • How is CaRST Organised?

    CaRST is organised around the four domains of the Vitae Researcher Development FrameworkLink to external website and students participating in the full program must accrue a certain number of hours across these four domains in order to meet the overall requirement. Accumulating hours in each domain will help you become a balanced researcher with a well-rounded skills profile.

    Research Development Framework (accessible version available)

    Research Development Framework (RDF) Domains

    As a guide, PhD students can expect to undertake between 10-60 hours per domain for a combined total of 120 hours. The range for Masters students will be between 5-30 hours per domain for a combined total of 60 hours.

    PhD hours explained per domain diagram as detailed below’

    MPhil hours explained per domain diagram as detailed below

  • What are the Program Requirements?

    The full CaRST program has different criteria depending upon the degree into which you are enrolled. To fulfill the program requirements:

    • PhD students must accumulate a total of 120 CaRST hours
    • Master of Philosophy students must accumulate a total of 60 CaRST hours

    CaRST activities (hours) must be distributed across the four domains of the RDF.

    Students decide where and how to distribute their hours across the domains, with the following restrictions:

    • You must meet the minimum number of hours specified per domain.
    • You must not exceed the maximum number of hours permitted per domain. Students are welcome to continue to participate in activities beyond this; however, they will not count towards the total amount required.
    Summary of requirements for 2016 commencers who opt-in to the full CaRST program
    PhD Master
    Total number of hours required 120 60
    Minimum number of hours required per domain 10 5
    Maximum number of hours permitted per domain 60 30

    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.

    The table below depicts three scenarios for PhD students participating in CaRST. PhD students A and B have successfully fulfilled the CaRST requirement, even though their hours are distributed differently across the four domains. Unfortunately, PhD student C has NOT met the CaRST requirement despite accruing 120 hours in total. Student C requires at least 5 more hours in Personal Effectiveness (10 is the minimum) and has exceeded the limit in Knowledge and Intellectual Abilities (60 hours is the maximum) and will need to make up the difference in one of the other three domains.

    Three scenarios of how PhD students might participate in CaRST
    RDF Domains PhD
    Student A
    Student B
    Student C
    Knowledge and intellectual abilities




    Personal effectiveness




    Research governance and organisation




    Engagement, influence, and impact




    Total Minimum Hours




  • How do I earn CaRST hours?

    Hours are earned from a wide array of professional development activities that will enhance your skills as a researcher and increase your employability. To be recognized towards your CaRST requirement, the activity needs to:

    • align with the competencies outlined in the RDF;
    • be relevant to your professional needs and long-term career interests;
    • be verifiable by an objective source, i.e. confirmation of satisfactory completion can be provided.

    Activities that qualify may include:

    • participation in workshops, short courses (online or face-to-face), MOOCs, or other relevant postgraduate coursework
    • completion of milestones required for candidature, e.g. elements of the Core Component of the Structured Program (CCSP) and the IBP-R for international students
    • participation in conferences, seminars, and postgraduate symposiums
    • speaking at a conference, symposium, or seminar
    • published professional writing including technical and academic material, e.g. articles in a professional journal, conference papers, or book chapters
    • other, non-peer reviewed writing e.g. for a website, blog, or newsletter
    • enterprise and entrepreneurship activities, such as filing a patent, preparing a business plan, and pitching
    • public engagement, such as a school or community outreach presentation
    • participation and work on technical or professional committees

    These activities may be offered by:

    • your Faculty
    • your School
    • a Centre or Institute
    • the University
    • external agencies *

    *participation is subject to funding constraints

    CaRST will maintain a list of accredited activities offered at the University at both the central and local level on our website.  Each activity will detail the number of CaRST hours, the domain to which it applies, the appropriate booking methods, and evidence required to show satisfactory completion.

    Generally speaking, the hours assigned to an activity reflects the effort involved and follows the rule that 1 CaRST hour equals 1 hour of active engagement. Some developmental activities, such as attending conferences and giving presentations, have been pre-assigned a set number of hours per activity. Given the potential to continually develop your skills with each new experience, these activities may be repeated and earn CaRST credit each time; however, there is a cap on the total hours permitted for each type of activity.

    Students are advised to select from pre-approved opportunities in the first instance. Other learning opportunities or external training may also be approved, provided they benefit your research and career and align with one of the RDF domains. If you would like to nominate a new activity, your supervisor can submit the activity to CaRST and it will be reviewed by the CaRST Director for approval. Please visit the Activity Accreditation page for more information.

  • How Difficult is it to obtain 120/60 Hours?

    Participation in CaRST should not significantly increase the workload on top of your research activities.

    Students receive CaRST credit for a number of milestones undertaken during the first twelve months of candidature. These core activities include completion of:

    • Postgraduate Research Induction (2 hours)
    • Core Component of the Structured Program (19 hours)
    • Integrated Bridging Program Research (IBP-R) for international students (up to 30 hours)

    View table: Hours Earned for Completion of Core Activities

    In addition, a number of experiences you can expect to undertake during the normal course of your research degree will count towards CaRST, such as attending research seminars and conferences and delivering presentations. These activities have been pre-assigned a set number of hours per activity and may be repeated to earn additional CaRST credit; however, there is a cap on the total hours permitted for each type of activity.

    View table: Hours that can be earned through Experiential Activities

  • Program Structure

    CaRST entails the following steps: enrolling, identifying your training needs, selecting and participating in appropriate activities, recording these activities and reporting on them during candidature milestones.
    Learn more about each step

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