Frequently asked questions for current HDR students.
How do I contact the AGC?
For all general enquiries please email email@example.com or call the AGC on 8313 5882 (Ext 35882).
- Please also refer to email addresses listed in FAQ responses below.
We will be continuing to update the FAQs with responses to common questions, so please check back here on a regular basis.
How shall I record the impact COVID-19 has on my research?
The effects of COVID-19 has had on your research should have been discussed in the meetings with your supervisors and specific details of any delays (what/why/how long) should have been recorded in the minutes of the meeting including strategies to mitigate the impact. Examples of impacts are “health issues”, “experimental difficulties”, “library services unavailable” etc.
A COVID-19 Impact Log has been created by the Graduate Centre to provide you with a mechanism to calculate any delay(s) you have experienced on a running basis. Please detail the nature of disruption, e.g. restricted access to libraries, supervisors, laboratories, fields, hospitals etc. but also reduced productivity due to health issues of any kind. We ask for an estimation of the number of days lost, based on a realistic and sensible approach.
For example, if a student feels that their research has been impacted by 20% over 10 days, they should claim 2 days lost. The total number of days will be automatically summed at the bottom of the spreadsheet. Medical certificates are not needed in the case of health problems. However, it is important that supervisors are made aware of the impact COVID-19 has had on the project, and are able to support the student’s claims.
You will be asked to submit your COVID‑19 Impact Log with your Annual Review of Progress and when applying for an extension of scholarship or candidature which will need to be signed by your supervisor and PGC/Head of School.
How do I apply for a COVID-19 Extension?
Up to 60 calendar days of COVID-19 Scholarship Extension are available for those of you whose research has been heavily impacted by COVID-19, including those who have been unable to undertake any research.
For students who are presently in receipt of a University-funded stipend scholarship, the extension will be paid at the scholarship rate applicable for each student.
The COVID-19 Scholarship Extension applies to the major award only. Any supplementary scholarships you receive will not be extended.
Under Government Scholarship rules, an approved extension stipend will be tax exempt for students who are enrolled full-time. Students who are currently half-time will receive the standard half-time rate (taxable). Master of Philosophy (No Honours) students will receive 100% of the standard rate for their scholarship.
Access to the COVID-19 Scholarship Extension is not automatic and you will need to submit an application. The COVID-19 Scholarship Extension application form is available on the Graduate Centre’s web site. You will also be required to submit a completed COVID Impact Log.
When do I need to apply for a COVID-19 Extension?
It is extremely important that you maintain your Impact Log and include any impact in your Major/Annual Reviews.
You should submit your COVID-19 Scholarship Extension application form and Impact Log as soon as the impacts of COVID-19 are no longer affecting your studies, or the delays have reached 60 calendar days – whichever occurs first.
Applications should be submitted based on the demonstrated impacts of COVID-19 on your research after 16 March 2020 and not on the basis of any anticipated future impact.
Students are encouraged to submit applications no later than 30 June 2021.
Can I change my full-time project to half-time?
If you are not a scholarship holder or an international student, there is no restriction on applying for a half-time attendance status, provided you have the support of your Supervisor and School.
Under normal circumstances, students in receipt of a scholarship and, international students who are in Australia on a student visa are required to maintain a full-time enrolment. We recognise, however, that COVID-19 has impacted many current students and that some of you may experience limitations to your ability to undertake full-time research e.g. due to social distancing rules around laboratory/facility access.
For University-funded scholarships, the University may approve half-time study at its discretion where there are compassionate and compelling reasons to do so; the adverse impacts of COVID-19 fall into this category.
Applications for half-time study for current students will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you wish to change your attendance status to half-time due to the impact of COVID-19, you should first discuss this with your supervisor, to ensure that you are able to progress your studies at a rate consistent with a half-time study load.
If you are in receipt of a scholarship funded by an external organisation, you will need to check whether the conditions of your scholarship permit half-time study.
Please note that if you are a scholarship recipient and your change to half-time status is approved, your scholarship payments will be reduced accordingly and will become taxable (this is an ATO requirement and not something determined by the University of Adelaide). A Taxation Declaration Form will need to be completed and sent to the Adelaide Graduate Centre at the same time as your Change of Attendance Status Form.
Please also note that if you are an international student in receipt of a scholarship and you convert to half-time, it is likely that you will need to apply for an extension of your student visa in the future in order to complete your studies.
What leave options do I have if I am unable to undertake any research at the moment?
All HDR students can access up to 365 days of leave of absence over the course of their candidature with additional leave possible in extenuating circumstances. Reasons for taking a leave of absence include sick leave, maternity leave or for compassionate or compelling reasons (such as the negative impacts of COVID-19 on your studies).
Domestic students can also take leave of absence for, employment commitments, leisure, or jury leave and maternity leave.
If you wish to take leave of absence for a reason unrelated to COVID-19, please complete the relevant leave of absence application form and provide appropriate supporting documentation, as per existing processes:
If you are an international student within Australia who is temporarily unable to undertake any research as a direct consequence of the adverse impacts of COVID-19, you may take approved Leave of Absence without impacting your student visa or being required to leave Australia.
Note that as the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) do not extend visas, you will need to apply for a new student visa before your current visa expires. DHA has now confirmed that they will waive the visa application fee for students who need a further visa due to Covid-19. However, please note that this change has not been implemented yet.
Note that students who apply for a new student visa may need to pay for additional OSHC and may need to pay for further health examinations. See: https://www.bupa.com.au/bupamvs/fees for potential health examination costs.
For questions relating to your student visa, please contact International Student Services.
Which Scholarships are University funded?
University funded major scholarships include:
- Research Training Program Scholarship
- Research Training Program Scholarship (International)
- Adelaide Scholarship International
- Adelaide Graduate Research Scholarship
- Faculty of Arts Divisional Scholarship
- Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences Divisional Scholarship
- Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Divisional Scholarship
- Faculty of the Professional Divisional Scholarship
- Faculty of Sciences Divisional Scholarship
- Master of Philosophy (No Honours)
- Master of Philosophy (No Honours) (International)
- Upgrade to PhD Scholarship
- GOstralia/University of Adelaide PhD Scholarship
- University of Adelaide Special Circumstances Scholarship
- University of Adelaide Indigenous Scholarship
- University of Adelaide International Scholarship
- Joint Award Scholarship
- University of Adelaide Wild Card Scholarship
- University of Adelaide Beacon Scholarship
What happens if my research was heavily impacted by COVID-19 for more than 60 calendar days?
In exceptional circumstances, an additional COVID-19 Scholarship Extension may be available. For example, if you planned to undertake research in a particular geographic area where access is restricted for longer than the period of general community impact.
Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will need to be referred by AGC staff directly to the Dean of Graduate Studies for consideration.
Students and their supervisors will need to demonstrate that all possible alternatives have been explored when submitting an application for COVID-19 extension which exceeds 60 calendar days (in total, whether in a single or multiple applications), including:
- Student changing their study load to half-time until the impacts of COVID have ceased;
- Student going on a Leave of Absence (unpaid) until the impact of COVID have ceased; and/or
- Supervisor and student considering what changes may be required to the PhD project.
Any second or subsequent application for COVID-19 Extension will need to address all of the above points.
Am I eligible for the COVID-19 Scholarship Extension if my scholarship is externally funded?
If your scholarship is funded by an external organisation and administered by the Adelaide Graduate Centre, we will be guided by the protocols put in place by the funding body and will need to seek further information before providing you with any specific advice. You are welcome to apply for extension, following the standard processes. However, we are not able to guarantee that extensions due to COVID-19 related delays will be approved for scholarships funded by external organisations, as the conditions of award cannot be changed by the University. You will need to ensure that you have received approval for extending the expiry date from the external funding body before applying for COVID-19 Scholarship Extension. Please include this approval when you submit your application.
If your scholarship is funded by your supervisor/academic area and administered by the Adelaide Graduate Centre, please contact them in the first instance, to ask whether your scholarship/project conditions will allow you to apply for the COVID-19 Scholarship Extension and whether your supervisor or the area can support the cost of the extension, making sure to copy: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your scholarship is funded by an external organisation (such as your government/employer), and you receive any scholarship payments directly from the external organisation, you will need to contact them and apply for extensions directly. If the Adelaide Graduate Centre is not already involved with processing your scholarship, we will not be able to facilitate or process any extensions on your behalf
I am a scholarship holder and require a scholarship extension for non COVID-19 related reasons, what should I do?
I am a scholarship holder and I am sick or I am caring for dependents who are sick, what should I do?
Students in receipt of a University-funded scholarship can access the following (maximum) paid sick/carer’s leave entitlements:
10 working days of paid sick leave per annum (accruable); and
60 working days of paid sick leave per tenure (= 90 working days in total)
For students in receipt of non-University funded scholarships, any entitlements for sick leave will be recorded in your original letter of offer.
Do I still need to complete my milestones?
Yes. You may just need to approach them differently than you would have before. Instead of a meeting in person the meeting should be held using Zoom (guides on using Zoom are available).
Note that if you change your candidature to half-time or take Leave of Absence in response to the impact of COVID-19, your milestone due dates will automatically be extended. If an additional extension is needed, as always, please request that your supervisor send an email to email@example.com indicating how much additional time is needed.
How do I submit forms?
Forms should be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. You are encouraged to complete the form electronically but if needed, a good quality photo of the form will be accepted. The Graduate Centre will accept email confirmation in place of signatures where necessary.
What is CaRST implementing to minimise the impact on programs?
As of 2020, the following will remain in place until further notice
- CaRST workshops will continue and students are expected to complete their hours as normal.
- Sessions will be delivered online as webinars via the Zoom platform. Instructions and a link to access the Zoom webinar will be emailed to course attendees 30 minutes prior to the start of the session. To minimise last-minute technical difficulties, you may like to spend some time becoming familiar with the platform and sign-in process prior to the session. For further information please review the CaRST Student Guide - Zoom Webinars .
- During this time, students are encouraged to take advantage of the range of training that is already available online. You can easily find online activities in the CaRST Online training catalogue; please ensure that you are logged in first to access this content.
- Pending activity reviews and reviews of CaRST progress at the CCSP and Major Review will be conducted as normal although delays are expected.
Please email email@example.com for all CaRST enquiries.
How do I submit my thesis?
Students should submit their thesis electronically as a single PDF together with a completed Certification for Thesis Examination form by email to the Adelaide Graduate Centre. If your thesis is too large to email, please use the University’s preferred file sharing software, Box, to create a link for us to download your file (instructions on using Box are available).
Note that students submitting a thesis with music need to submit one electronic copy of exegesis as a PDF and copies of any music files along with an index, and students submitting a thesis with creative work should submit the exegesis and creative work as 2 separate PDF files. Examinations will be conducted as normal although delays due to COVID-19 are expected. Any queries regarding thesis submission should be emailed to the Adelaide Graduate Centre.
Are thesis examinations affected by COVID-19?
Although all thesis submissions are now by email, there has been little change to how the Adelaide Graduate Centre Team are managing examinations. It is possible that some examinations may be delayed due to examiner availability during this time given academics all around the world have had impacts on their teaching as well as managing associated changes to their research. The Team track all examinations carefully and are in regular contact with examiners to ensure that examination outcomes are provided to students as soon as possible.
How can I record the impact of COVID-19 on my thesis?
During 2020 and in some cases extending into 2021, the work of many PhD and MPhil candidates has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The effect on individual candidates has varied considerably, ranging from negligible to significant compromises to the scope of research, extent of experimentation and/or validation that could be completed. While the University has extended the length of candidature for many candidates, to help compensate for any such effects, there remain many cases in which this has not fully compensated for the impact of the pandemic on the research undertaken.
Any candidate whose work has been compromised in this manner is advised to explain the nature and extent of those effects within their theses, to assist examiners to understand the context of their work and any limitations imposed that were beyond their control. However, the University’s expectation is that theses and creative works submitted for examination will nevertheless meet the standard required for qualification for the degree in that it:
- displays original and critical thought;
- is a significant contribution to knowledge;
- relates the topic of research to the broader framework of the Discipline within which it falls; and
- is clearly, accurately and cogently written and suitably illustrated and documented.