Closedown FAQ's for HDR Student

The University will be closing down over Christmas for an extended period from 18 December 2020 to 11 January 2021.

Search the closedown FAQ'S

  • Why is the University closing down over Christmas (18 December – 10 January)?

    The University has a budget shortfall because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a way to reduce costs, University staff have agreed to an arrangement where they all purchase extra leave at the same time.  With all staff on leave at the same time the University is closed, and as staff are not being paid for this time, it saves money.  The period before and after the Christmas holidays is traditionally a quiet time for a large portion of the University which is why this time has been selected.

  • When will the Adelaide Graduate Centre be closed?

    The AGC will be closed from 4:00 pm Thursday, 17 December 2020 and will reopen at 10:00 am on Monday, 11 January 2021.  All AGC staff will be on leave and unavailable to respond to calls or emails during this time.

  • My supervisor will be on leave during the closedown. What should I do?

    During the closedown, most University staff, including your supervisors, will be on leave and unavailable to provide you with supervisory advice.  You can minimise any impact by planning with your supervisors about what you will do during the closedown, as soon as possible.

    We suggest that you use your annual leave or pursue desktop activities such as writing or data analysis where you don’t need your supervisor’s immediate input.  


  • Will the building where my office/lab/workspace is be closed down? What should I do if it is?

    The closedown period is an extension of the time during which the University is normally closed between Christmas and New Year. It is likely that a number of buildings will be closed (including the University Libraries). It is expected that you can use your annual leave or pursue desktop activities such as writing or data analysis which you may be able to do from home or in another space.

    Remember that as an HDR student, you can take 4 weeks of annual leave per year and you are encouraged to use some of this leave during the closedown.  If you don’t have sufficient leave, please discuss your individual circumstances with your supervisor and start planning what you will do during this time as soon as possible.

    Noting that staff supervision will generally not be available and the number of people on campus will be small, HDR students may only continue to work on campus when it is safe to do so under Occupational Health and Safety guidelines and with the approval of their schools and faculties.  This would generally exclude work in laboratories or on hazardous activities, although there may be some exemptions for facilities that will keep working to support critical research.


  • If I can’t access my building, what other study spaces are available?

    Hub Central (on North Terrace Campus) will remain open except for public holidays (card access only). In addition, the University will set up a secure write-up area for HDR students in Horace Lamb 422. You can find directions to HL 422 in this video. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can use the Architecture computer suite BSS 538 (Barr Smith South). In addition, Ask Adelaide will make their printer on level 3 available for HDRs over the closedown period.

    Student access to the Main Building at Roseworthy will also be maintained. At Waite Campus, the café and Hub in McLeod House will be closed.

    Alternatively, close to the University on North Terrace, the State Library of South Australia has study space, wifi and bookable computers. They are open 10am – 4pm over the closedown period, except for public holidays. Further information is on their website: Other options include your local library of which there are many across Adelaide and most will have wifi and bookable computers. Locations and opening times can be found here:

  • I have a milestone due during the closedown period. What should I do?

    The AGC will review and update milestone due dates to ensure that none fall due within the closedown period.  If you have any concerns about a particular milestone or due date please ask your supervisor to contact the Graduate Centre by email to request an extension.

  • I may need to submit a form or make a change to my candidature or scholarship while the University is closed. What should I do?

    Please try to submit all forms relating to candidature or scholarship changes by 2 December 2020, if you wish the change to be actioned prior to the closedown.  If this is not possible, please submit the form as soon as you can and we will action it as soon as possible, which may be once the Graduate Centre reopens on 11 January 2021.  All forms should be emailed to Graduate Centre

  • Can I travel overseas or interstate during the closedown period?

    The AGC strongly recommends that students do not travel overseas at this time as the international borders are likely to remain closed for the foreseeable future and it may not be possible to return to Australia.

    While some borders are currently open within Australia, changes could occur at any time in response to the COVID-19 situation. Please follow the news regularly. 

    We appreciate that this will be a challenging time, particularly for international students who haven’t seen their loved ones for many months.  The University is working on a program of activities to support students who will be in Adelaide during the summer months and HDRs are encouraged to participate.  Further information will be posted here as it becomes available.

    Please also view our FAQs on student support including the Wellbeing Hub, the Counselling Service and more.


  • Can I take a leave of absence during the closedown?

    During the closedown it is recommended that you use some of the 4 weeks of annual leave that you are entitled to each year or pursue desktop activities such as writing or data analysis which you may be able to do from home or in another space.

    If you are a domestic student and neither of these options are possible for you, you may apply for leave of absence.  It should be noted though that if you receive a stipend scholarship it will not be paid if you take a leave of absence. Scholarship holders should read their Conditions of Award carefully as some scholarships do not allow a leave of absence 14 days before expiry (except for medical reasons).

    If you are an international student the closedown is not considered grounds for student visa holders to take a leave of absence.  You will therefore need to take annual leave or pursue desktop activities as indicated above.

  • Will there be any delays to my scholarship payments due to the extended closedown period?

    Unless you need to make changes to your scholarship or candidature (such as leave of absence or extension), or your scholarship is due to expire during the closedown period, your scholarship payments will continue uninterrupted.

  • What are the deadlines for submitting changes which may impact my scholarship payments?

    Please note the following deadlines – any forms received after these dates may result in either an interruption to your scholarship payments or an overpayment which will need to be recovered in a subsequent pay period. 

    We appreciate that these deadlines are extremely early. However, we encourage you to plan ahead as much as you can and submit all forms well in advance of the AGC deadline wherever possible to ensure sufficient time for processing and most importantly, meeting HR payroll deadlines at what is already an extremely busy time of year. 

    Pay Date (note: all scholarships are paid fortnightly in arrears) AGC Deadline (close of business)
    Friday 20 November 2020 Tuesday 27 October 2020
    Friday 4 December 2020 Monday 9 November 2020
    Friday 18 December 2020 Thursday 19 November 2020
    Friday 1 January 2021 Wednesday 2 December 2020
    Friday 15 January 2021 Thursday 10 December 2020
    Friday 29 January 2021 Monday 11 January 2021 (noon)
    Friday 12 February 2021 Friday 22 January 2021


  • Will my scholarship and candidature be automatically extended because of the University closedown?

    No, there will not be any automatic extensions. 

    The closedown is only a short extension to the time that the University is normally closed at the end of each year.  Please either consider taking annual leave during this time or make plans with your supervisor for work that you can do away from the University without direct supervision such as thesis writing or other desktop activities.

  • Can I claim the days of the closedown period as a delay in any application for scholarship extension?

    Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the dates between 18 December and 7 January inclusive will not be considered in any future applications for scholarship/candidature extension. Students and their supervisors are expected to plan ahead for the closedown period. Any exceptional circumstances should be documented as part of any major review/annual review of progress/pre-submission review and claimed as part of any standard scholarship extension. Note that this applies to PhD students only.

  • What if my scholarship is due to expire during the closedown period?

    If you are eligible, please submit an extension of scholarship application by 2 December 2020, to ensure that the extension will be processed and your payments will continue uninterrupted.

    If you are planning to apply for an extension to your scholarship, please ensure that you complete the Annual Review of Progress as soon as possible. This will assist AGC staff to assess your application with as much relevant information as possible.

    If you are not eligible for an extension, your scholarship will cease on your scholarship expiry date. If you submit your thesis during the closedown period and still have an active scholarship, the date of your submission will be recorded as the date on which the email was received by the Graduate Centre for the purposes of determining the end date of your scholarship.

  • What happens if I receive an overpayment on my scholarship due to the processing deadlines and/or closedown?

    Due to the early deadlines for processing payments between November and January, it is possible that there may be an overpayment as a result of any changes you make to your scholarship and/or candidature, or if you submit your thesis earlier than your scholarship expiry date. 

    If you have received an overpayment, AGC staff will advise you of the amount, and will provide you with options for recovering the funds.

  • I need to submit a claim for reimbursement of allowances which are covered by my scholarship. When will these be processed?

    Applications for reimbursement of approved allowances must be submitted by the following dates:

    Payment Run AGC Deadline
    Thursday 17 December 2020 Monday 30 November 2020
    Thursday 14 January 2021 Thursday 10 December 2020
    Thursday 28 January 2021 Monday 11 January 2021


  • My scholarship will be expiring and my supervisor is considering establishing a short-term scholarship for me using their research funds. Will there be any interruptions in my scholarship payments?

    This will depend on when your principal supervisor submits all of the required paperwork to the AGC and when the short-term scholarship is due to commence.  Establishing scholarships is a multi-step process and requires approvals at various levels – a long lead time is usually required to ensure there are no interruptions to scholarship payments.  Your principal supervisor is encouraged to contact the AGC as soon as possible to discuss options.

  • Can I submit my thesis for examination during the Christmas closedown?

    Yes.  As all thesis submissions are via email you can submit your thesis to the Graduate Centre whenever it is ready.  Note that your thesis will not be processed and sent on to examiners until Graduate Centre staff return to work on 11 January 2021 and it may take a few days for a receipt to be issued to you. 

    The date of your submission will be recorded as the date on which the email was received by the Graduate Centre for the purposes of:

  • When should I submit my thesis to ensure that it is sent to my examiners before the closedown?

    It is strongly recommended that you submit your thesis as early as possible.  If you submit your thesis by Monday, 7 December 2020, and suitable examiners have been nominated by your School, your thesis will be sent to examiners prior to the closedown. If you submit your thesis after 7 December and prior to the 18 December, Graduate Centre staff will make best endeavours to process your submission, but cannot guarantee that your thesis will be sent to examiners prior to the closedown.

  • How will the closedown affect semester 2 conferral for HDR students?

    There is no change to the date when HDR students need to submit their final thesis and other requirements to the Graduate Centre to be eligible for conferral on 31 December 2020.  Please follow the directions in the email you receive regarding the outcome of your examination and submit everything by 8 December 2020.  Critical dates around submission of your final thesis, conferral and graduation are also available on the Graduations website.

  • I am a domestic student and have applied for admission and/or scholarship in the Major Round for 2021. When will I receive the outcome of my application?

    It is anticipated that the first round of offers will be sent prior to the closedown.  Offers will continue to be sent after the AGC re-opens on 11 January 2021.  All outcomes will be communicated by mid-February.

    Honours students who received an extension of their project will be included in the scholarship ranking using predicted scores.

  • If I receive an offer of admission and/or a scholarship, when will the AGC process my acceptance paperwork?

    The AGC will process scholarship acceptance paperwork from 11 January 2021.

  • I will be commencing my HDR program in Semester 1. When can I start? When will I receive my first scholarship payment?

    Domestic and international students currently located in Australia should plan to commence no earlier than 1 February 2021.

    If you receive a scholarship, your first scholarship payment cannot be processed until after the online enrolment process has been completed, and you have provided your Australian bank account details.

    Please note that there will be payment delays for scholarships which commence in January or February due to the Christmas closedown. Please refer to the table below for payroll deadlines.

    Pay Date (note: all scholarships are paid fortnightly in arrears) AGC Deadline  (close of business)
    Friday 15 January 2021 Thursday 10 December 2020
    Friday 29 January 2021 Monday 11 January 2021 (noon)
    Friday 12 February 2021 Friday 22 January 2021
    Friday 26 February 2021 Monday 8 February 2021
    Friday 12 March 2021 Monday 22 February 2021