Managing Your Candidature

Your candidature is the period of time from initial enrolment through to the submission of your thesis.

During this time your research may evolve and change or you may need to take leave for a variety of reasons. The information below will guide you on how to keep your enrolment up-to-date and ensure that your candidature aligns with your life.

Further details on the overarching rules for managing your candidature can be found in the chapter of the same name in the Research Student Handbook.

  • Program rules

    The overarching requirements of your degree are set out in the program rules. It is important that you are aware of the requirements and your responsibilities. The Specifications for Thesis outline what is required to be included in your thesis and how it should be formatted. The program rules and specifications for thesis should be read in conjunction with the Research Student Handbook.

  • Supervision

    From the time of commencing your candidature until your degree is awarded or your program discontinued, you will have a panel of supervisors comprising a principal and at least one co- or external supervisor, appointed by your head of school. As time passes and your project evolves you may find that you need to change supervisors which is done using the following forms as appropriate:

    Change of supervisor details

    Application for principal supervisor from outside students school/discipline.

    In rare circumstances a current HDR student may supervise another HDR student. Review the guidelines and if appropriate submit a student agreement form to the Adelaide Graduate Research School.

  • Leave

    Life happens. You may get sick, take a holiday, have a baby or need to be on a jury during your candidature. Check out the Making changes to your candidature section of the Research Student Handbook for the rules governing how much leave you can take and when, and in particular what scholarship holders and international students need to be aware of.

    Remember you must let the Adelaide Graduate Research School know when you return from leave so your candidature and scholarship, if applicable, can restart. The forms you will need are:

  • Study away

    Study away is intended for when you wish to attend a conference, undertake fieldwork, research or study towards your research degree while located outside the University for a limited period of time, not normally exceeding 12 months in total. Check out the ‘Making changes to your candidature’ section of the Research Student Handbook for the rules governing how much Study Away you can take and when, and in particular what scholarship holders and international students need to be aware of.

    Having an approved Study Away application means that you will be covered by the University’s Travel Insurance.  We strongly encourage you to read the product disclosure statement to ensure that you understand what is covered and what benefits are available to you.  As part of your Study Away application you will need to register with Study Overseas so that the University has a record of where and when you are travelling.  If there are any significant events, such as an earthquake or terrorist attack, we then have a record of where you are located and can contact you to check on your welfare.

    It is also important to regularly check the Australian Government’s Smartraveller website in the lead up to your departure and while you are away.  The site gives a comprehensive outline of all the potential health and safety issues in the countries you will be travelling to.  Knowing that there has been recent civil unrest and protests, that bag snatching or drink spiking is an issue, and what vaccinations you may need, is useful so that you can plan your trip and activities accordingly.

    If something does go wrong while you are travelling there is emergency assistance available through the University’s travel insurance, contact ITDS for password resets (best during Adelaide business hours) and contact your supervisors and the Adelaide Graduate Research School who may also be able to help.

  • Program changes

    As you work on your research you will find that your research and needs will evolve. Your topic may need to be refined or you may find you need to work away from the University.

    The following forms will assist you with making the required changes.

  • Intellectual property and embargo

    During your research you will generate new or build on existing Intellectual property. It is important that you are aware of the your rights and obligations under University policy and if needed the process for embargoing your thesis.  Further information is on our intellectual property and embargo page.

  • Transferring programs

    Enrolled in a masters and want to upgrade to a PhD? Enrolled in a PhD and want to transfer to a masters? The forms you will need are:

  • Joint PhD opportunities

    Enrolling in a Joint PhD allows you to spend time conducting research at a partner university and receive a jointly-badged PhD. Further information can be found on the jointly awarded PhDs page.

  • Extensions

    For some students, not everything will go to plan with their research and you may need extra time to complete your thesis. As you get towards the end of your scholarship or candidature and if you have documented academic delays you can apply for an extension. Check out the ‘Making changes to your candidature’ section of the Research Student Handbook for more information on extensions. The forms you will need are:

  • Grievances and what to do when things go wrong

    A PhD or masters by research is a challenging program to undertake.  Sometimes things don’t go to plan. You are encouraged to discuss your concerns with your supervisors, postgraduate coordinator, Head of School or the Adelaide Graduate Research School. The Research Student Handbook is a valuable resource and you are encouraged to review the sections on 'Unsatisfactory Academic Progress', and 'Grievances, Complaints and Problems During Candidature'. There are other University services that you should be aware of including:

  • Withdrawal

    If you have decided that a research degree is not for you a withdrawal form will need to be submitted to the Adelaide Graduate Research School. You are strongly encouraged to discuss your intentions and reasons for withdrawal with your supervisors and Postgraduate Coordinator, Head of School or the Adelaide Graduate Research School first. Also consider speaking with an education welfare officer or someone from the counselling team. Other options such as a leave of absence or transfer to another program may be possible.