This page answers some of the most common questions we get asked.
If you have a question not covered here, contact Career & Research Skills Training at email@example.com.
- About CaRST
- Program structure
- Activity planning
- Booking activities
- Recording CaRST credits
- Assessment & award
What is CaRST?
Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) is a specialised training and development program for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students at the University of Adelaide.
CaRST comprises the ‘Development Component of the Structured Program’ and student participation extends from enrolment to thesis submission. HDRs are required to complete a minimum number of CaRST hours by thesis submission: 120 hours for PhDs and 60 hours for MPhils. Activities must also be distributed across all four domains identified in the Researcher Development Framework from Vitae.
Why was CaRST implemented?
CaRST has been developed to meet the rapidly changing nature of postgraduate education in Australia in which there is significant emphasis on broadening the research training experience. We are not alone in undertaking this approach and the CaRST program has been benchmarked against international best practices in research training and informed by interviews with key stakeholders, AGRS student survey data, and government policy and recommendations.
CaRST represents a strategic and forward-looking approach to deliver more comprehensive research training and career development for HDR students.
When was CaRST implemented?
CaRST was initially piloted with a small group of HDR students who commenced in 2016. In 2017, CaRST became a compulsory requirement for all PhD and MPhil students commencing on, or after, 1 January 2017.
What are the benefits of CaRST?
As a participant in the full CaRST program, you will:
- Identify your skills and training needs in the context of your research and career aspirations;
- Develop a plan to acquire, maintain, or improve on a broad range of research; and employability skills;
- Build a portfolio of evidence to present to potential employers;
- Increase your awareness of career options.
The outcomes of CaRST are to enable you to:
- Recognise the value of your training and experiences to articulate to others;
- Learn to be strategic and proactive about your own development;
- Gain more choice and control over your career;
- Increase your competitiveness for future employment;
- Maximise your potential for career success and satisfaction
I am applying for a higher degree by research at the University of Adelaide. Will I be required to participate in CaRST?
Participation in CaRST is compulsory for all PhD and Master of Philosophy students.
Only the following students are exempted from participating in CaRST and will not be required to complete a minimum number of CaRST activities (hours) prior to thesis submission:
• Professional Doctorate students
• HDR students in named degrees (e.g. Master of Clinical Science)
• Combined Master of Psychology/PhD program students
• HDR students who commenced prior to 2017
I am currently studying a higher degree by research at the University of Adelaide. Am I required to participate in CaRST?
CaRST is only compulsory for HDR students commencing on, or after, 1 January 2017. If you commenced prior to this date, you are not required to participate. You are, however, encouraged to attend workshops and events provided by CaRST.
I am transferring from another university. Am I required to participate in CaRST?
CaRST is a requirement of the PhD and Master of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, and students undertaking a same-level transfer from another institution are required to complete CaRST provided they still have more than half of their candidature left. This is considered on a case-by-case basis, and as this is based on FTE of candidature remaining, students in this category need to contact firstname.lastname@example.org within 2 months of commencing candidature at the University of Adelaide.
I am a Master of Philosophy student upgrading to a PhD. Am I required to participate in CaRST?
Master of Philosophy students upgrading to a PhD are required to complete CaRST and the total credits required will increase from 60 to 120 accordingly. Activities completed during the Master of Philosophy will carry over and count towards the 120 credit hour target.
Students who commenced a Master of Philosophy prior to 2017 and upgrade to a PhD after 1 January 2017 are able to apply for a waiver from CaRST. Eligible students must contact email@example.com at the time of the upgrade.
I am a Master of Clinical Science student upgrading to a PhD. Am I required to participate in CaRST?
CaRST is a requirement of the PhD at the University of Adelaide, and students upgrading from the Master of Clinical Science to a PhD are required to complete 120 credit hours of CaRST. Students are able to claim activities completed from the date they officially commenced their Masters as this is considered as part of their current candidature. We recommend that Master of Clinical Science students considering an upgrade opt-in to CaRST early to make it easier to track their activities. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I am a PhD student transferring to a Masters. Am I required to participate in CaRST?
Students who commenced a PhD prior to 2017 and subsequently transfer to a Master of Philosophy can apply for a waiver from CaRST. Eligible students must contact email@example.com at the time of the transfer to process the waiver.
I previously completed the CaRST program as part of a prior higher degree by research at the University of Adelaide. Do I have to participate in CaRST if I commence a new degree?
Students who completed the CaRST program in a previous University of Adelaide PhD or MPhil program are able to apply for a waiver from CaRST, provided the duration between the two HDR programs is not more than two years. Eligible students must contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly to seek approval. Waivers must be sought before submission of the CCSP.
I am a remote study student. Am I required to participate in CaRST?
CaRST is a requirement of the PhD and Master of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, and students studying remotely are required to complete CaRST. There are many opportunities for remote students to acquire CaRST hours without the need to attend workshops in Adelaide. Most of our workshops are now delivered online via Zoom with recordings of many past workshops available through the CaRST MyUni course. A wide range of other online courses, for example through LinkedIn Learning and AdelaideX, are also eligible for CaRST. Further, students can seek credit for other training activities not already listed as eligible for CaRST credit as well as for other practical and applied experiences that are typically undertaken as an HDR. Please visit our activities page for more information.
I am an experienced industry professional and already have transferrable skills. Do I have to participate in CaRST?
CaRST is an integral part of research education at the University of Adelaide, and all PhD and Master of Philosophy students regardless of career stage and experience are required to participate in CaRST. The purpose is to engage students in determining their own skill needs and to ensure that their research degree experience is broader than their major project alone. We appreciate the diverse backgrounds and experience of candidates. This is why the program is consciously flexible and avoids a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Students engage in the development programs of their choosing, including participating in training offered outside of the CaRST system. Credit can also be earned through completion various practical and applied experiences that are typically undertaken as an HDR. Please visit our activities page for more information.
I am starting a PhD program and already posses a Masters of Philosophy degree. Can I get a reduction in the amount of CaRST hours required?
No, CaRST hours may not be reduced. Professional development is an important part of your research training and all PhD students are required to undertake the same number of hours, 120 hours, regardless of their backgrounds, prior learning, or past experiences.
I am exempt but would like to participate in CaRST. Can I?
Exempt students are encouraged to attend workshops and events provided by CaRST but are not required to achieve a minimum number of training hours or track your training activities. If you would like to enrol in the full CaRST program, you would need to contact email@example.com before your CCSP is submitted.
Do I need to enrol in CaRST?
When you enrol as a HDR student in one of the degrees required to undertake CaRST, you are automatically enrolled and participating in CaRST. There is no further action required from you to enrol in the program.
When is CaRST?
Your participation in CaRST begins when you commence candidature and extends throughout the entire candidature term. There is no set curriculum, you have the freedom to select training activities that you see as valuable for your professional development.
I see a CaRST milestone in MyAdelaide with a due date that has already passed. What am I required to do?
CaRST is listed as a key milestone in MyAdelaide with a due date corresponding to your candidature start date. This date is a placeholder required by the system and can be disregarded. Be assured that the CaRST requirement of achieving a minimum number of training hours is due at thesis submission, although your progress will be reviewed at each milestone throughout your candidature.
What are the CaRST program requirements?
PhD students commencing from 2017 are required to complete:
- a total of 120 hours of CaRST activities
- activities in all four domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework with a minimum of 10 hours, but not more than 60 hours, in each.
Masters of Philosophy students commencing from 2017 are required to complete:
- a total of 60 hours of CaRST activities;
- activities in all four domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework with a minimum of 5 hours, but not more than 30 hours, in each
Aside from participating in training, what else does CaRST entail?
In addition to completing training, participation in CaRST requires you to:
- distribute your CaRST hours across the four domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework;
- complete a skills assessment and development plan to assist in identifying your training needs and developing your personalised program of professional development;
- record all your CaRST activities in CaRST Online;
CaRST progress is reviewed at all candidature milestones: the CCSP, major review, each annual review, and thesis submission. Students are required to submit a summary of their CaRST progress at each checkpoint.
How is CaRST organised?
CaRST is organised around the four domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF), a widely endorsed framework for the professional development of researchers. The RDF is applicable to all career stages and details the knowledge, behaviour and attributes of successful researchers in four important areas (domains):
- A: Knowledge and intellectual abilities
- B: Personal effectiveness
- C: Research governance and organisation
- D: Engagement, influence and impact
Accumulating hours in each domain will broaden skills, help you become a more balanced researcher and enhance their employability. A copy of the RDF can be found here.
PhD students must achieve a minimum of 10 and maximum of 60 hours of training from each domain.
Masters of Philosophy students must achieve a minimum of 5 and maximum of 30 hours of training from each domain.
Do I need to achieve a certain number of hours per year?
There is no a formal requirement to achieve a certain number of hours per year, however, you are encouraged to spread your hours throughout candidature, rather than collect them all up front or wait until the end. Your supervisor and the Adelaide Graduate Research School will assess your progress at each candidature milestone to make sure you are on track to complete the required hours.
How is the CaRST requirement assessed?
CaRST progress is reviewed at all candidature milestones: the CCSP, major review, each annual review, and thesis submission. Students are required to submit a checkpoint summary of their CaRST progress which will be reviewed by the Adelaide Graduate Research School and feedback will be provided to the student.
When should I start thinking about CaRST?
You can start participating in CaRST activities and filling in your development plan from the beginning of your candidature alongside planning your research activities. The first formal checkpoint is at the CCSP when you must submit your development plan and a summary of your CaRST progress from CaRST Online.
How do I know what skills I need?
All students participating in CaRST are required to complete a skills assessment and development plan, which will assist in identifying your training needs and designing your own unique program of professional development. When completing your development plan, consider your interests, career goals and aspirations. We also encourage you to discuss this with your supervisor who is an experienced researcher with a wealth of knowledge.
While completing the development plan, you will reference the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) which details the “knowledge, behaviours and attributes of successful researchers”. The development plan in conjunction with the RDF will assist you to consider the skills that are important to you.
Is there a timetable or set curriculum for CaRST?
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.
What kinds of activities contribute towards the CaRST program?
Activities that contribute towards CaRST can be classified into three different types:
- Training activities. This includes workshops, short courses, online courses and other structured training programs pre-approved for CaRST. All eligible training activities are listed in CaRST Online.
- Experiential activities. This category includes other learning experiences that enhance the knowledge and skills of a researcher but are not formally taught, such as attending conferences and presenting research. Visit the CaRST experiential activities webpage for a list of experiential activities.
- Other commercialisation and engagement activities. These activities focus on arrangements with external organisations that enable experiential learning related to the HDR. Visit the CaRST experiential activities webpage for a list of experiential activities.
I would like to claim an activity that is not listed with CaRST. Can I, and what do I need to do?
Although we have tried to capture as many activities as we can, we recognise our list is not exhaustive and there will be other opportunities you want to pursue to satisfy the CaRST requirement. If you participate in an activity that has not been approved but think it should count towards CaRST, you can self-record the activity through CaRST Online. For more information, view the ‘Self-recording an Activity’ quick reference guide from the help section in CaRST Online.
Eligible activities include workshops, short courses, online courses, other structured training programs, or experiential activities not found on our pre-approved table.
Once saved, the activities will be reviewed by the Adelaide Graduate Research School, you will only receive feedback if issues are identified.
Where can I find more information about the activities that contribute to CaRST?
Log in to CaRST Online to view all CaRST training activities including upcoming events. In addition, the experiential activities webpage lists all approved experiential activities that are recognised for CaRST credit.
Should I talk to my supervisor about CaRST?
It’s important that you maintain a regular dialogue with your supervisor about CaRST. Your supervisor is an experienced researcher and will have valuable advice for you regarding your training needs and may be able to suggest relevant training activities. Your supervisor is also required to sign off on your CaRST progress at each candidature milestone.
I'm a remote student, how do I earn the required CaRST hours when I can't attend the workshops in person?
There are many opportunities for remote students to acquire CaRST hours without the need to attend workshops in Adelaide. This includes participation in a range of online courses, viewing streamed or recorded workshops through the CaRST MyUni course, participating in experiential activities and other non-pre-approved training activities. If you are a remote student and would like to discuss these options, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do I go to book CaRST activities?
Log in to CaRST Online to view all CaRST training activities including upcoming events. Follow the booking instructions at the bottom of an activity page.
How do I get a CaRST Online account?
All HDR students will automatically be given a CaRST Online account at the beginning of candidature.
Where do I access CaRST Online?
How do I sign in to CaRST Online?
I have identified an activity in CaRST Online that I think would benefit my professional development. How do I sign up?
Booking information will vary depending on the training provider, please follow the booking instructions at the bottom of the activity page.
Can I register for and attend a CaRST activity prior to my candidature start date?
Unfortunately, we are unable to recognise hours for activities completed prior to commencement. For this reason, we recommend attending CaRST events only after your candidature has officially commenced.
Are the CaRST activities free to attend?
Yes! All of the CaRST training activities are free of charge for University of Adelaide HDR students. From time to time we will advertise an opportunity that is organised externally to CaRST and incurs a fee, but the fee charged will be clearly indicated.
Is it possible for HDR students who commenced prior to 2017 and not involved in the CaRST program to still access these events?
Yes, all HDR students are welcome to attend CaRST workshops. If you’re not participating in the CaRST program, you don’t need to track, provide evidence of, or complete a minimum amount of training.
I am not a current HDR student, can I still attend CaRST workshops?
CaRST workshops are for HDR students only. These courses are always in high demand and so we need to reserve the spaces for HDR students.
In CaRST Online, what does 'bookable', 'externally booked' and 'self-recorded' mean?
There are 3 different booking methods for CaRST approved activities. You can find the booking method of a particular activity listed beneath the activity name.
- Bookable: these activities are booked via CaRST Online and your attendance will be automatically recorded.
- Externally booked: these activities are booked via an external system. Booking instructions are provided and these will be added to your CaRST Record automatically when we hear back from the external course organiser(s). You do not need to self-record this activity.
- Self-recorded: these activities are booked via an external system and are not added to your record automatically, therefore you are required to manually add these to your record and supply your own evidence of attendance/completion. You can do this by clicking the blue 'add to my record' button found on the relevant activity page.
Why are all CaRST activities not booked through CaRST Online?
Some CaRST approved activities are not exclusive to HDR students and may also be open to staff members. These activities need to booked externally to CaRST Online to enable all eligible participants to access the booking system. Regardless of the booking method, you will find clear instructions on how to book each CaRST activity.
When is my progress with CaRST reviewed?
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 a summary of your CaRST progress at these milestone reviews.
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 progress review is completed when you notify the Adelaide Graduate Research School of your intention to submit your thesis. The Adelaide Graduate Research School will verify that the number of hours in the required domains has been fulfilled before sending the thesis for examination.
What am I required to do in regards to CaRST for the candidature milestones (CCSP (6 month review), major review, annual review and thesis submission)?
At each milestone review, you must submit a PDF of your CaRST progress summary (when on the Review page, click the ‘Generate PDF’ button and print to PDF).
If you have completed the CaRST requirement, you can instead submit your CaRST completion certificate (when on the Record page, click the ‘Download Completion Certificate’ button).
How do I create a PDF of my CaRST progress summary?
When on the Review page of CaRST Online, click the ‘Generate PDF’ button. Instead of sending to a printer, print to PDF. This will allow you to save a copy of the PDF on your computer.
I have completed the required number of hours ahead of schedule. Am I done with CaRST?
If you complete your CaRST hours ahead of time, you can submit your CaRST Completion Certificate in place of the Progress Summary at future milestone reviews. You are encouraged to continue to participate in professional development and to log these activities, but the accrual of additional hours will not be required.
I am not a CaRST student but the CCSP/major review/annual review forms ask for CaRST documents. What should I do?
The CaRST sections of these forms are only applicable to CaRST students. If you commenced prior to 2017 or are exempt from CaRST, please mark these sections as ‘Not applicable’. You are not required to produce any CaRST documentation for your candidature milestones.
What do I receive for completing the CaRST requirement?
If you complete the minimum number of CaRST activities (hours), you will receive a statement on your transcript on completion of your degree, indicating that you completed the CaRST requirement. Your transcript, along with your record of activities, can be used to help demonstrate your skills to potential employers.