Frequently asked questions for current HDR students.
How do I contact the AGC?
While the AGC will continue to provide a full service to HDR students and University staff, our team is now working from home until further notice.
- 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.
- Please do not send hard copy forms to the AGC via internal mail, or through the postal system.
Please be advised that we are experiencing a high volume of emails, and where possible we will endeavour to reply within normal response times, but there may be some delay as we work through all of your enquiries. Please be patient and try and avoid sending multiple emails about the same question. We are very grateful for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. We will be continuing to update the FAQs with responses to common questions, so please check back here on a regular basis.
I am a full-time HDR student impacted by COVID-19. What happens to my candidature and scholarship?
Your candidature and any scholarship payments you are currently receiving will continue while you continue to work on your thesis full-time. Please talk to your supervisors and Postgraduate Coordinator regarding contingency plans to minimise the impact to your candidature in case you are required to work from home, you cannot travel and/or key research facilities are not available for a period.
A COVID-19 Scholarship Extension, half-time study or leave of absence are options where you are unable to work at full capacity; we recommend that you consider all the options, together with your supervisors, before making the choice which is most appropriate for your particular circumstances.
Please email all enquiries regarding the COVID-19 Scholarship Extension, half-time study, leave of absence, and other changes to candidature to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
My research has been heavily impacted by COVID-19, what should I do?
Update 11 May:
The University is increasing its support for HDR students by making available up to 60 calendar days of COVID-19 Scholarship Extension for those of you whose research has been heavily impacted by the current circumstances, 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 are in receipt of 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 new COVID-19 Scholarship Extension is not automatic and you will need to submit an application. The new 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.
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.
Is COVID-19 Special Leave still available?
No. To make it easier to access support and following information from the Government about amendments to legislative guidelines, the 60-day COVID-19 Special Leave provision (payable at 75% of the University-funded scholarship rate) was converted to a 60-day Candidature and Scholarship Extension (payable at 100% of the University-funded scholarship rate).
What if I had already applied for COVID-19 Special Leave?
Any students who have already applied for COVID-19 Special Leave will be contacted by the Graduate Centre with direct advice on your circumstances. Any student whose Special Leave application has already been approved will receive an Extension instead, paid at the full existing scholarship rate.
What leave options do I have if I am unable to undertake any research at the moment?
Update 11 May:
If you wish to apply for leave due to the adverse impacts of COVID-19, please consider the other alternatives, namely a COVID-19 Scholarship Extension, or conversion to half-time candidature, before deciding whether Leave of Absence is still right for you.
All HDR studentscan 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 not yet confirmed if they will waive the $620 visa application fee for students who need a further visa due to Covid-19. It may take some time before a decision is made and this FAQ will be updated when further information becomes available.
Note too 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
Does receiving the JobKeeper payment of $1,500 per fortnight have any impact on my scholarship?
Update 28 April:
Students in receipt of a University-funded scholarship will be able to receive the JobKeeper payment with no impact on their scholarship.
Please note: students should seek their own independent financial advice regarding any taxation implications of accepting the JobKeeper payment while retaining scholarship payments.
Students who hold scholarships from external organisations will need to confirm the impact of JobKeeper payments on their scholarships directly with the external organisation.
Can I apply for a scholarship extension due to adverse COVID-19 impacts on my research?
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we are constantly reviewing and updating our policies and the measures we have in place to support your wellbeing and academic success.
We are pleased to advise that University of Adelaide major stipend scholarship holders can now apply for a COVID-19 Scholarship Extension of up to 60 calendar days which is additional to any possible extension period available with your major University-funded scholarship.
The COVID-19 Scholarship Extension form is available on the Graduate Centre’s web site.
Subject to receipt of a completed COVID-19 Scholarship Extension form and subsequent approval, the Extension is available to:
- PhD, Professional Doctorate (by Research) and Master by Research candidates on a University-funded scholarship.
- Students already on a Scholarship Extension (any COVID-19 delays already compensated for in the original extension application will be deducted from the maximum entitlement).
- Students whose University-funded scholarship expired after 16 March 2020 where there have been additional delays due to COVID-19 that were not already compensated for in the original extension application.
What happens if I have used up the 60 calendar days of COVID-19 Scholarship Extension available but my research was still heavily delayed due to the impacts of COVID-19?
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. To apply, in the first instance, please email email@example.com, with cc to your supervisor(s) and include your updated COVID-19 Impact Log to demonstrate how COVID-19 has impacted your research.
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 COVID-19 Special Leave 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 shall I record the impact COVID-19 has on my research?
The effects of COVID-19 on your research should be discussed in every meeting with your supervisors and specific details of any delays (what/why/how long) should be recorded in the minutes of the meeting including strategies to mitigate the impact. Examples of impacts are “personal difficulties”, “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. It is important that you start to record and regularly update any specific delays to your research on the COVID-19 Impact Log. 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. The application for extension can me made now, but preferably after the full impact can be claimed or at expiry of your scholarship at any time in the future. There is no cut-off date for applications.
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 at 18 March, the following will take effect immediately and will remain in place until further notice:
- CaRST workshops will continue and students are expected to complete their hours as normal.
- Workshops will be delivered online only, and only close contact courses that are not conducive to live streaming will be postponed at this time. Students registered into upcoming workshops will be notified by email regarding online options or if the session is being deferred.
- 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.
Can students attend iCaRST remotely rather than on campus?
Yes, as of 25 March 2020, iCaRST Program 1 will now be delivered fully online including all lectures, seminars, and consults using Zoom or another suitable platform. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for all iCaRST enquiries.
How do I submit my thesis?
Students can 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 to transition to teaching online 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.
- From 20 March, Australia's borders have been closed. Foreign nationals are not able to enter. Only Australian citizens, permanent residents and their dependents will be able to enter Australia.
- From 22 March, all travellers entering South Australia have been required to self-isolate for 14 days from their arrival.
- From 4 pm ACDT on 24 March, South Australia's borders have been closed, and State border controls will be enforced.
Setting up a home office
In line with recommendations from the Australian Government to observe social distancing, we encourage you to discuss with your supervisor whether and how you can work effectively from home.