Leave of absence and parenting leave

Sometimes changes in your personal circumstances during your candidature may require you to suspend your studies for more than the 20 days annual leave to which you are entitled.

In these circumstances you may need to apply for a leave of absence (LOA) from your program.

Candidates must cease working on their research during approved periods of leave due to legal, ethical and insurance considerations.

Compassionate and compelling circumstances

There may be a variety of circumstances which require you to take leave from your research. These may include illness or other significant personal circumstances which will interfere with your studies.

If you are an international candidate within Australia on a student visa you can only have an approved leave based on evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances that are in accordance with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection compassionate and compelling guidelines.

How much leave of absence can I apply for?

Leave of absence provisions can be found in section 9 of the Higher Degrees by Research Policy.

Applications for more than an accumulated total of 12 months leave can only be approved in extraordinary circumstances by the Dean of the School of Graduate Research (SGR).

Parenting leave

Parenting leave is another form of leave of absence. Parenting leave provisions can be found in sections 11.1 to 11.3 of the Higher Degrees by Research Policy.

Requests for parenting leave are considered in addition to standard leave of absence provisions.

When can I apply for leave?

You may apply for leave at any time after you have enrolled.

Commencing (new) candidates who have not yet enrolled should defer study rather than take a leave of absence. You must submit an email to the School of Graduate Research requesting deferment before the enrolment date specified in your offer letter.

What is the impact of taking leave?

Approved leave will result in a recalculation of your candidature due dates. You can view your revised milestone and maximum completion dates on myRMIT.

You will be advised if your course enrolment is affected by your leave when you are formally notified of your application outcome. If you are a fee paying candidate, you will remain liable for all courses that you are enrolled in while on leave of absence.

Scholarship and sponsorship recipients

If you are receiving a scholarship or are a sponsored student, you will need to contact your scholarship provider or your sponsor before submitting your application for leave as leave may result in your payments being suspended.

Ethics approval and LOA

If you have an ethics approval (i.e. you are a named researcher on an animal ethics approval or human research ethics approval) you will need to contact the relevant Research Ethics Co-ordinator or administrator to discuss any implications that this leave may have on the ethics approval. In some instances, it may be necessary to apply for an extension to the ethics approval.

The process for applying for leave of absence

If you would like to apply for leave of absence you must submit a leave of absence application, including a leave of absence form (PDF 142KB) and supporting documentation. Please refer to the leave of absence process for more information.