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Research Higher Degree Candidature Essential Resources Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) ) The policy identifies, defines and articulates the entitlement and access to essential resources for research candidature. Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidature is supported by Research Training Program (RTP) funding, which provides a Commonwealth funded place to Higher Degree Research students. RTP aims to recognise and reward high-quality research training environments and support excellent and diverse research activities.

(2) It applies to all Schools and Research Institutes, supervising HDR candidates and delivering a program of research study.

(3) Its purpose is to:

  1. provide support to HDR candidates;
  2. enable flexibility in meeting the requirements of candidates working in broadly different areas of academic enquiry;
  3. guide consistency across the University to ensure equity of candidature support among candidates.
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Section 2 - Definitions

(4) Definitions for the purpose of this policy:

  1. A Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidate means a student who is undertaking independent research in either a Doctorate or Research Master’s program.
  2. The Dean means the Dean of a University School.
  3. The Director, Research Institute means the Director of a University Research Institute (Institute).
  4. The Associate Dean, Research and HDR or HDR Director means the relevant Associate Dean or Director (e.g. HDR Director or Director, Research and HDR) as determined by the Dean or Director, Research Institute.
  5. Research Culture includes a structured program of research seminars; access to distinguished visitors; entry to any space provided for academic staff; opportunities for social interaction with other candidates and the provision of opportunities for collegial informal interactions.
  6. Standard support means on-campus workspace and secure storage; computing and information technology facilities; office materials; and candidature support funds.
  7. Workspace means a standard space provided for the purpose of desk-based research and writing. The workspace will:
    1. meet work health and safety regulations;
    2. be suitably insulated from noise;
    3. be accessible to people of all abilities;
    4. have flexible access, as determined by the academic unit;
    5. be free of discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race and sexuality; and
    6. be free of sexual harassment.
Note: Definitions (4)e and (4)g have been adapted from the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations' 2010 Minimum Resources for Postgraduate Study.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) All HDR candidates are regarded as members of the research community. The University will provide resources and infrastructure to support HDR candidates to complete their degree and to participate in and contribute to the research culture of their School or Institute and the University within the financial constraints of the University and consistent with principles of equity.

(6)  Provision of resources and infrastructure are also governed by policies on Work Health and Safety (WHS) and Equal Employment Opportunity.

(7) The Dean or Director, Research Institute must attest that adequate supervision, resources and facilities are available before they approve admission.

(8) The nature and extent of resources and infrastructure available to support individual candidates will be widely communicated to include HDR candidates, supervisors, and all academic leaders in HDR education. It will be readily accessible on the University website, included at supervisor information sessions and described in handbooks.

(9) Standard support is reviewed on a regular basis, no less than every two years.

Part A - Engagement in Research Culture

(10)  The University will provide a safe intellectual environment with all academic freedoms (as defined within the University's Charter of Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech Policy) to support candidates’ research activity, creative endeavour, inquiry and scholarship of all its researchers and HDR candidates and will actively foster a sense of connection and belonging within the research community.

(11) The Graduate Research School (GRS), Associate Deans, Research and HDR, HDR Directors and Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that opportunities for participation are available for candidates through face-to-face, virtual and social interactions, email and electronic forms.

Part B - HDR Candidature Support Funds

(12) Schools and Research Institutes are required to use the funding allocation provided to them through the University's Research Investment Framework for HDR Candidature Support Funds (CSF) specifically to support the research of a HDR candidate. Schools and Research Institutes should budget on the basis that they will receive funding each year.

(13) Schools and Research Institutes should consider the requirements of the candidature in its entirety and may find that one year may be more resource intensive than other years.

(14) Schools and Research Institutes should adopt a flexible approach that permits an annual allocation of more than the nominal annual sum for an individual.

(15) CSF are available to assist in meeting the costs of the research work undertaken within a HDR candidature. CSF should not be viewed as the main source of funding for the candidature but as an additional pool that can pay for legitimate costs relating to a specific candidature. Schools and Research Institutes have the discretion not to approve CSF if not meeting the criteria specified in clause (17).

(16) CSF will be allocated over the entire candidature. An allocation will be made based on the pre-determined Field of Education code of the respective higher research degree. CSF will be approved and managed by School Deans and Directors, Research Institutes.

(17) CSF funds are available for a range of items including, but not limited to:

  1. skill development;
  2. research materials or equipment
  3. field work;
  4. transcription costs;
  5. participant reimbursement;
  6. travel for conference attendance;
  7. cost to support academic publishing;
  8. other travel consumables;
  9. registration fees;
  10. writing skill development;
  11. editing;
  12. technical costs associated with exhibition;
  13. recording and/or filming and film editing;
  14. thesis binding;
  15. special software purchases;
  16. access to external facilities;
  17. access to specialised equipment;
  18. access to vehicles for field trips;
  19. postage, photocopying or office materials;
  20. acquisition of data sets; and
  21. mandatory WHS awareness and training.

(18) The full nominal sum of the CSF does not need to be used each year if not required. CSF is a resource for which a candidate can apply to support their research, but is not an entitlement that must be used.

(19) The GRS as well as Schools and Research Institutes will describe the CSF on their webpages.

(20) Equipment purchased will remain the property of the University and is to be returned to the School or Institute upon completion of study or withdrawal from candidature, unless approval is granted by the Dean or Director, Research Institute for the candidates to retain ownership.

(21) Changes to the direction of candidate’s work will not automatically guarantee additional resources and any changes to estimated resource requirements must be negotiated within the School or Institute.

Part C - On-Campus Workspace and Secure Storage

(22) HDR candidates working on campus will be provided access to:

  1. workspace, including a chair and desk;
  2. tea room and wash room facilities; and
  3. lockable storage, accessible seven days a week during research candidature, except during a period of University, campus, building or School and Institute closure (e.g. End of Year), or other exceptional circumstances where access will need to be negotiated with the Associate Dean, Research and HDR, or the HDR Director.

(23) HDR candidates given access to these workspaces are expected to comply with contributing to a safe and inclusive work environment. Refer to the Bullying Prevention Policy, Code of Conduct, Discrimination, Harassment, Vilification and Victimisation Prevention Policy, Motting and Hazing Prevention Policy, Respect and Inclusion in Learning and Working Policy, and Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy).

(24)  Space and storage requirements may be met by shared use of desks and storage, in agreement with the Associate Dean, Research and HDR or the HDR Director.

(25) HDR candidates may be asked by Schools or Research Institutes to indicate their time requirements at the beginning of each semester in order to prepare rosters. Flexible rosters will accommodate candidates with caring responsibilities.

(26) Part-time HDR candidates will be expected to share workspaces.

(27) Workspaces will be configured in such a way as to implement particular methodologies or to comply with confidentiality or other ethical requirements if the Associate Dean, Research and HDR or the HDR Director determines that this is required, as well as requirements as outlined in the Health Safety and Wellbeing Policy.

(28) External Candidates (candidates based outside of NSW) and candidates working off-campus may be occasionally required to travel to campus. The costs associated with this travel should be estimated in the early candidature plan, confirmation of candidature and ongoing Annual Reports. Schools and Research Institutes will negotiate with candidates regarding the most appropriate way to apportion these costs between CSF, other School and Institute funds and the candidate.

Part D - Computing and Information Technology Facilities

Software and Network Access

(29) HDR candidates will be provided with access to University licensed software and applications on the same basis as academic staff, wherever possible, and with approval from the Associate Dean, Research and HDR or the HDR Director.

(30)  HDR candidates are only permitted to install University licensed software on University issued devices unless approved by the Associate Dean, Research and HDR or the HDR Director.

(31)  HDR candidates may be provided with access to University networks (including shared drives) on the same basis as academic staff, where appropriate and approved by the Associate Dean, Research and HDR or HDR Director.

Personal Computer Hardware

(32) HDR candidates working primarily on-campus will be provided with access to computer facilities associated with, and on the same terms as, the workspace referred to in Part C – On-campus Workspace and Secure Storage. A workspace will be provided to enable candidates to use their personal computers.

(33) HDR candidate’s access to their primary workspace and hardware may be rostered, but access to the candidate's profile will be available on other University devices.

(34) Personal devices can connect to University web-based applications that do not require a specific University licence.

Part E - Office Materials

(35) HDR candidates shall have access to a telephone, printer and photocopier at the School or Institute level, and in HDR shared spaces. Reasonable access for private purposes should be both acceptable and covered by privacy conditions.

(36) HDR candidates shall have reasonable access to School or Institute stationery and postage for the purposes of their research and will be provided an on-campus postal address Mailbox. Costs of large mail outs for research purposes will be requested from Candidature Support Funds.

Part F - Library

(37) HDR candidates will have access to physical and online Library holdings to support research.

(38) HDR candidates will have access to free document delivery to on-campus locations through requests to the Library.

(39) HDR candidates may be granted differential loan periods with approval from the Library.

(40) HDR candidates may borrow resources from other Australian libraries.

(41) HDR candidates will have access to specialist referencing software and training through the Library.

Part G - Diversity and Pastoral Care

(42) The University is committed to providing equitable support to HDR candidates from diverse groups, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, international, and those with a disability.

(43) Where registered disability support and/or an Academic Reasonable Adjustment Plan (ARAP) is in place, requests for additional support or reasonable adjustments will be accommodated wherever possible, in consultation with the candidate, the relevant School or Institute and a Disability Advisor.

(44) The University is committed to providing appropriate levels of pastoral support for all HDR candidates and promoting health and wellbeing, which includes counselling, peer support, and spiritual needs. Supervisors and the Associate Dean, Research and HDR or the HDR Director will be alerted to available resources in supervisor orientation and training programs.

Part H - Post-examination and Career Development Support

(45) Schools and Research Institutes may support candidates with publication or other research dissemination activity until graduation, subject to available resources. This may include a workspace, equipment, facilities, IT and Library access, or limited financial assistance where appropriate.

(46) Enrolled HDR candidates have access to career, resume advice and job matching services provided by the Office of Employability and Graduate Success.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(47) Research Higher Degree Candidature Essential Resources Procedures.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(48) Nil.