Information for current Higher Degree by Research students

Useful links and information covering most aspects of your Candidature.

Enrolment (how to enrol correctly)

I need to re-enrol or change my enrolment

Each year, it is your responsibility to enrol in your program correctly.

  • You must be enrolled for the duration of your whole program and to submit your thesis, even if on approved leave.  
  • HDR enrolment is split across four research quarters, not two semesters.
  • You are required to enrol in 96 credit points (full-time) or 48 credit points (part-time) per year.  
  • If you are not planning to continue in 2017, you should formally cancel from your program.
  • You must be enrolled in either PhD or Masters research courses each term for the duration of your program.
  • You must also enrol into a Research Methods/Strategies course at the beginning of your Candidature or prior to presenting your Confirmation of Candidature seminar.

Completing the program

In order to satisfactorily complete all requirements of the degree you must have:

  • lodged the final archival version of your thesis/project, and
  • met all prescribed coursework components of the program.

Read here for information on your program structure:

Enrolment Online (EOL) can be accessed via myRMIT.
There is an enrolment guide for HDR candidates (PDF) on the enrolment for continuing students page.

Changing your enrolment study load

We understand that your circumstances may change throughout your program and you may wish to change your enrolment. To make any changes:

1. From your student email write to your primary supervisor asking for approval to change your study load, making clear the change you are requesting (full-time to part-time or reverse). Ask for approval to be sent back by return email to create an email trail.

2. Forward the email to guss.research@rmit.edu.au and include:

  • your student identification number
  • the change you are requesting  
  • details of the program you are enrolled in (i.e. MR210 or DR210).  

3. GUSS Research Services will communicate the request to the School of Graduate Research (SGR). SGR will write to your student email advising you to return to Enrolment Online (EOL) to accept the changes. You must check your email and action SGR’s advice within the set time.

4. If you don't hear from SGR within seven days, write to guss.research@rmit.edu.au to query your case.

How to add/drop Research Strategies

You must complete Research Strategies prior to your Confirmation of Candidature.

To make changes to this compulsory course:

1. From your student email write to guss.research@rmit.edu.au and include:

  • your student id
  • a request to be enrolled in or change enrolment in Research Strategies, listing the semester (one or two)
  • the program you are enrolled in (i.e. MR210 or DR210).    

2. GUSS Research Services will communicate the request to SGR. SGR will write to your student email advising you to return to EOL to accept the changes. You must check your email and action SGR’s advice within the set time. 

If you don't hear from SGR within seven days, write to guss.research@rmit.edu.au to query your case.

Important information

To successfully receive your Confirmation of Candidature, you must complete Research Methods at a PhD or Masters by research level.

If you have only completed Research Methods in your Honours or Masters by Coursework program, you will be unable to submit your thesis.

It is your responsibility to ensure missing or incorrect grades are corrected on your student record.

If you find a grade is incorrect or missing, contact the Research Strategies Course Coordinator within four weeks of the course finishing.

Failure to do so may result in an incorrect grade on your academic transcript and require you to repeat the course.

If you haven’t completed Research Strategies, you may not be able to present your second seminar.

You cannot submit your thesis if you have not completed Research Strategies in your current program code. If you’re unsure how this impacts you, seek advice from guss.research@rmit.edu.au.

How to add Qualitative or Quantitative Research Techniques

1. From your student email write to your primary supervisor asking for approval to add either Qualitative or Quantitative Research Techniques to your enrolment and the chosen semester. Ask for approval to be sent back by return email to create an email trail.

Please note you cannot enrol in both subjects in the same semester. Both subjects must also be taken separately to Research Strategies.

2. Forward the email to guss.research@rmit.edu.au and include:

  • your student id
  • the change you are requesting  
  • details of the program you are enrolled in (i.e. MR210 or DR210).  

3. GUSS Research Services will communicate the request to SGR. SGR will write to your student email advising you to return to EOL to accept the changes. You must check your email and action SGR’s advice within the set time.

4. If you don't hear from SGR within seven days, write to guss.research@rmit.edu.au to query your case.

Leave of Absence (LoA) and Parental Leave

Your wellbeing is important to us and we understand you may need to take a Leave of Absence or Parental Leave during your studies.

This option could be right for you if:

  • you, or a family member you are responsible for, is ill, involved in an accident, impacted by mental health issues or other life events that affect your research
  • your employment is impacting your research, including sessional teaching during the grading deadline period
  • you or your partner are about to adopt or give birth
  • your data collection is being delayed due to inability to access ethics approved organisations in Australia or overseas
  • your supervisory team will be on leave or unavailable for longer than six weeks.

For issues of a confidential nature please contact guss.research@rmit.edu.au.

To apply for a leave of absence:

1. Complete a Leave of Absence form (PDF) and have your primary supervisor sign it. If your supervisor cannot sign the form, an email will be accepted. If your primary supervisor is on leave, your associate supervisor may approve the form.

Important: International students on a visa must obtain approval from the Global Quality, Regulation and Compliance Group (GQRCG) before requesting School approval.

2. Upload the completed form with a memo briefly detailing the reason for the request and any medical or related documents to your Candidature Google folder and notify guss.research@rmit.edu.au from your student email.

GUSS Research Services will obtain School approval and submit the form to SGR.

3. SGR will send an approval letter to your student email. SGR may have queries so you must check your student email until the outcome letter is received.

Important: If you have a stipend scholarship, you must contact sgr-scholarships@rmit.edu.au to advise of the leave request.

Candidates with ethics approval, or pending approval, must advise the secretary of the relevant ethics committee when any leave is granted as it may affect the ethics approval. Seek assistance from your primary supervisor.

Important information about LoA

  • You are entitled to up to 12 months of Leave of Absence (LoA) for the duration of your Candidature. It is recommend that you do not take leave prior to your Confirmation of Candidature, but seek advice from GUSS Research Services if you have not yet presented your first seminar.
  • International students are governed by other guidelines; seek advice from GUSS Research Services.
  • Backdated leave applications are generally not accepted by SGR. Seek advice from guss.research@rmit.edu.au if you think you need to backdate your application.
  • If you wish the reason for your leave application to remain confidential, seek advice from the GUSS HDR Coordinator or Program Manager.
  • You can return early from approved LoA; send an email to sgr.candidature@rmit.edu.au  and guss.research@rmit.edu.au and sgr-scholarships@rmit.edu.au (if you are a scholarship recipient) advising your new return date.
  • Requests for Parental Leave can be made via the process listed above and will not impact upon the LoA allocation for candidates.
  • Approved LoA ‘stops the clock’ on your Candidature and extends due seminars. This is provided the application is processed before your next seminar. RMIT policy states you must not be working on your research while on approved leave.
  • If your next seminar will be due shortly after your return from approved leave, you are expected to book it before your leave application is submitted or prior to your return.
  • You may drop off the group email list and not receive useful emails until you return from leave. The School is unable to change this.
  • You are advised to read the RMIT LoA Policy for further information.


Annual leave

The academic year for HDR candidates is 48 weeks with four weeks annual leave.

Advise the School of your intention to take annual leave on the GUSS Data Collection/Annual Leave Google form.

Your annual leave is entered onto the Research Master database and may be viewed by the SGR.

Cancellation and readmittance to your program

RMIT strongly advises you discuss cancellation with your supervisors and/or the HDR Program Manager or Coordinator before cancelling your program.

If you are planning to cancel your enrolment, please be aware:

  • Online cancellation requests are processed automatically and are effective immediately. You are strongly advise to backup any data, emails and other documents/files on RMIT servers before you submit a cancellation.
  • Access to RMIT facilities and resources will be revoked immediately. This includes access to RMIT buildings, supervisory support, the Library and Student Services. Alternative arrangements may be put in place; please seek advice from GUSS Research Services at guss.research@rmit.edu.au.
  • You can apply for readmission at any time within three years of your cancellation date.
  • RMIT scholarships will be terminated once the cancellation is processed and will not resume if you apply for readmission. It is your responsibility to advise your scholarship/sponsorship provider that you are cancelling your enrolment and seek advice about the impact that this will have on your scholarship/sponsorship.

International students

If you are an international student in Australia on a student visa, please note the following information when cancelling your enrolment:

  • RMIT will report the enrolment cancellation to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and cancel your Confirmation of Enrolment (eCOE) within five days of the enrolment cancellation.
  • It’s your responsibility to contact DIBP to find out what impact this will have on your visa. If you hold a student visa and are no longer studying, you are generally required to leave the country. RMIT does not provide advice about the amount of time that you have to organise this; you must contact DIBP for more information. 

Cancellation process

You can cancel your enrolment online via myRMIT. You are encouraged to visit the cancellation page before submitting a request online. 

How do I apply to be readmitted if I cancel my program?

To be readmitted into your program:

1. Discuss your readmission with your supervisory team if they are still at RMIT.
If your supervisors have left RMIT or retired, contact GUSS Research Services at guss.research@rmit.edu.au to make your readmission request and include:

  • the background of the request
  • a summary of work completed prior to the cancellation of enrolment
  • an outline of the work remaining
  • a timeline for the completion of the work remaining.

2. The HDR Program Manager will consult with the supervisory team and make a decision regarding readmission.

Readmission within maximum: when you resume your Candidature as it was at the point of cancellation.

  • Any outstanding milestones will need to be completed as soon as possible.
  • You will not receive any additional leave of absence entitlements.
  • If you were scholarship recipient prior to cancellation the scholarship will not resume.

Readmission for examination: when you want to readmit to complete examination.  

Discuss your readmission with your supervisory team if they are still at RMIT.

If your supervisors have left RMIT or retired, contact GUSS Research Services at guss.research@rmit.edu.au to make your readmission request and include:

  • the background of the request
  • a copy of your completed thesis.

Important information

A strict timeline for re-enrolment is imposed by the School of Graduate Research to allow you to submit your thesis.

The School requires sufficient time to complete all required tasks, such as uploading your thesis to Equella prior to you being allowed to re-enrol. Check the timeline and requirements with the HDR Coordinator or Program Manager at guss.research@rmit.edu before commencing a re-enrolment process.

Supervision

How does supervision work?

You are required to have a minimum of two supervisors at all times and are expected to meet with them on a regular basis during Candidature. The frequency of meetings with your supervisors may vary depending on the stage of Candidature and the study load. It is expected that you will have at least one meeting per quarter (i.e. four meetings per year) that is formally documented.

Why are meeting minutes important?

Meeting minutes are required by (Education Services for Overseas Students) ESOS legislation and RMIT policy. Minutes are also very useful for candidates and supervisors to assess progress and to flag any potential issues before they impact the research project or Candidature. 

Who is responsible for documenting meetings?

Documenting supervisory meetings is a shared responsibility. You and your supervisors should decide early in Candidature who will be responsible for taking minutes/notes and how they will be distributed. We suggest storing them in your Google Candidature folder.

What has to be included in the meeting minutes/log?

Please see Part A of the Supporting HDR progress process for information on what has to documented.

Concerned about supervision?  

If you’re concerned about any aspects of your supervision, we encourage you to seek advice by requesting an appointment with the HDR Program Manager or Coordinator at guss.research@rmit.edu.au. All advice is confidential.

Notify guss.research@rmit.edu.au if your primary supervisor or a key member of your supervisory team:

  • is going to be absent from the University for more than six weeks (or ceases to fulfil their supervisory duties)
  • is going on research leave  
  • is leaving or retiring from RMIT. This also applies to your associate supervisor.
  • is taking recreational leave and/or attending conferences beyond five weeks
  • becomes ill and is unavailable to you beyond four weeks
  • becomes unavailable beyond five weeks for any reason
  • if there is a conflict or incompatibility in the supervisor/candidate working relationship.
  • if there is a change in your research topic after Confirmation, or which impacts ethics approval, or which your current supervisory team cannot advise you on.

Read the Higher Degrees by Research Code of Practice.

There is also a useful working with your supervisors page for candidates on the SGR website. 

I want to make changes to my supervision team

All supervisors, including those external (not employed by RMIT) must be registered with RMIT.  

To change or add a supervisor:

  • Ask the academic/s being added to your team if they require RMIT supervisor registration.
  • Download a Change of Supervisor form (PDF).
  • Fill in and obtain all required signatures and the supervisory load per cent.
  • Upload the form to your Candidature Folder and advise guss.research@rmit.edu.au.
  • GUSS Research Services will obtain School approval and submit the form to SGR.
  • SGR will send an outcome letter to the student’s/supervisor’s email. SGR may have queries so you must check your student email until the outcome letter is received.

Your Candidature   (milestones, submission, extension)

Progress is formally measured by monitoring your research through three compulsory Candidature milestone reviews:

  • Confirmation of Candidature
  • Second milestone review
  • Third milestone review.

All Candidature milestone reviews must be scheduled in accordance with this timeline:

Degree

Timing of Confirmation of Candidature

Timing of Second milestone review

Timing of Third milestone review

PhD

Between 0.5 and 1 EFTSL after candidate’s research commencement date

Between 1.5 and 2 EFTSL after candidate’s research commencement date

Between 2.5 and 3 EFTSL after candidate’s research commencement date

Masters

Between 0.25 and 0.5 EFTSL after candidate’s research commencement date

Between 0.75 and 1 EFTSL after candidate’s research commencement

Between 1.5 and 1.75 EFTSL after candidate’s research commencement date

What is consumed load and Equivalent Full-Time Study Load (EFTSL)? 

Consumed load is the amount of time that a candidate has been enrolled in their HDR Candidature. It is calculated and reported in EFTSL. EFTSL takes leave and study load into consideration to ensure that all candidates have the same amount of time to complete their research degree. 

How is consumed load/EFTSL calculated?

Consumed load/EFTSL are calculated on a daily basis – it is the number of days a candidate has been enrolled, divided by the days in a year (365.25) and multiplied by study load (1 for full-time and 0.5 for part-time).

How do I book my milestone seminars?

The 2017 GUSS Milestone Seminars Manual (PDF 290 KB) outlines all roles and responsibilities to assist you to book and present your seminars.

  • Check your seminar due dates, which are availablein MyRMIT or the Candidature Summary sent to you by SGR. Your seminar should be presented at least eight to 12 weeks before the final due date. Seminars should be booked at least six months prior to avoid missing your preferred date.
  • GUSS Milestone seminars are conducted on set dates during the year. This is to ensure room and chairperson availability. Check the 2017 Milestone Seminar dates (PDF 110 KB).
  • Discuss the available dates with all your supervisors to decide a date and time. The Independent panel member should be decided and consulted at this time to avoid later changes.
  • Read the 2017 GUSS Milestone Seminars Manual. Ensure your supervisors have read the manual.
  • Book your seminar on the Seminar booking calendar (link) and fill in the Milestone booking form. Your panel  must be confirmed and documents uploaded by the dates in the 2017 Milestone Seminar dates (PDF 110 KB).
  • Please check the seminar dates to ensure you meet the required deadlines.

Important information

It is your responsibility to present your seminar before the due date. Late milestones may make you ineligible for School funding and your Candidature deemed ‘at risk’ resulting in a Candidate Action and Support Plan (CASP) meeting.

You are strongly advised to book your seminar at least 12 weeks prior to the final due date. RMIT’s HDR Policy does not allow postponement of seminars. Seminars sometimes need to be changed because a panel member suddenly becomes unavailable, which is why SGR insists you book ahead of the final due date.

International students required to report the outcome of seminars to their sponsor or home country government may wish to avoid an overdue seminar or unsuccessful outcome requiring a repeat seminar.

More information about milestones can be found in sections 15-21 of the HDR policy, Part B of the Supporting HDR progress process and on the SGR website

Moving overseas or changing location

If you are moving to a new country or returning to your home country (outside Australia) for more than 12 weeks, for any reason other than data collection or approved field work:

Important information

International onshore candidates leaving Australia, are advised that the change of location may be reported to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). This may impact your student visa. 

International offshore candidates planning to study in Australia must submit an additional form (please contact SGR) to obtain an eCOE, which is required to apply for a student visa. Contact GUSS Research Services for assistance.

You are responsible for informing your sponsor or scholarship provider of any changes to your location.

Scholarships may not be available to candidates located outside of Australia. It is  your responsibility to check the terms and conditions of  your scholarship.

Contact us

The GUSS Research Services team is here to assist you with all aspects of your research program.

Jenni Morris
HDR Coordinator
guss.research@rmit.edu.au
+61 3 9925 1828
Primary contact for all administrative matters

Dr Georgina Heydon
HDR Program Manager
georgina.heydon@rmit.edu.au
+61 3 9925 3640

Assoc. Prof. Marco Amati
Deputy HDR Program Manager
marco.amati@rmit.edu.au