Skip to content
Currently Under Review


This year marks the second decade in the history of the Research Student Handbook and it will also mark a year of considerable change. As many of you will know, the Federal Government has announced a new innovations agenda as well as changes to the Research Training Scheme.

These reforms will challenge universities to ensure that they work closely with industry to develop and commercialise their research outputs. In addition, universities will be asked to do all they can to ensure that doctoral and masters graduates are career ready and will be ready to contribute to the national innovation agenda. You will hear much more of this early in the New Year through the AGC newsletter which will be promoting new courses and training opportunities.

In addition to responding to the Government initiative, the University will begin to introduce new requirements to meet higher expectations in regard to compliance and reporting. The other big change is that in the last 12 months, I have taken over the role of Dean of Graduate Studies following the retirement of Professor Richard Russell who served in that role for eleven years with great distinction. Many of you I know worked with Richard to resolve problems and I can assure you that my door, like his, will be always open.

This Research Student Handbook fulfils a number of very specific roles:

Firstly, it records a set of procedures that are used to interpret and implement the appropriate degree rules. This is important as it ensures all students and staff are treated equally.

Secondly, the Handbook explains to students how the University addresses issues of Commonwealth regulations in as much as they impact on student wellbeing and activity.

Thirdly, the Handbook provides guidance to students on how to solve problems which may arise during candidature and outlines the resources available to assist students.

In broad terms, practices relating to research training and research supervision at the University of Adelaide follow the guidelines set down by Universities Australia and the Australian Committee of Graduate Research.

As a research student, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the character of our University through the research you undertake, the networks you form (both within and external to the institution) and by the feedback you provide to us, during your candidature and on completion, about your student experience. It is my sincere hope that you will take these responsibilities seriously and assist us to further promote the reputation of our University as an exciting and challenging research environment.

For your convenience, where new information has been introduced since 2016 and where the Handbook has been updated for 2017, the relevant sections of the Handbook are labelled with ‘new’ and ‘updated’ respectively.

Writing and producing a handbook of this type requires a great deal of planning and work. Therefore, I would like to acknowledge the outstanding contribution of Ms Donna Gould, Associate Director of the Adelaide Graduate Centre, who has been responsible for this twelfth edition.

Once again, we would welcome any feedback that could improve future editions.

Professor John Williams

“As a research student, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the character of our University through the research you undertake.”


Level 2, Schulz Building,
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005


Telephone: +61 8 8313 5882
Facsimile: +61 8 8313 5725

Opening Hours

Mon-Fri: 9:00am-5:00pm