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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. Candidature support is funded by the Research Training Scheme (RTS) which provides a Commonwealth-funded place to higher degree research students and 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 - in which an HDR candidate is supervised and carries out a program of research study.

(3) Its purpose is to:

  1. provide support to Higher Degree Research (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. The Dean is the Dean of a University School.
  2. The Director, Research Institute is the Director of a University Research Institute (Institute).
  3. The HDR Director is the relevant Director (e.g. Director, HDR or Director, Research and HDR) as determined by the Dean, or an equivalent role as determined by the Director, Research Institute.
  4. Standard support - means on-campus work space and secure storage; computing and information technology facilities; office materials; and candidature support funds.
  5. Work space - is a standard space provided for the purpose of desk-based research and writing. The workspace will:
    1. meet health and safety regulations;
    2. be suitably insulated from noise;
    3. be accessible to people of all abilities;
    4. have seven day access to both women and men;
    5. be free of discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race and sexuality; and
    6. be free of sexual harassment.
(d and e adapted from the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations' 2004 Statement of Minimum Resources for Postgraduate Study)
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) HDR candidates, both full-time and part-time, are to be regarded as members of the research community. The University will provide resources and infrastructure to support HDR candidates within the financial constraints of the University and consistent with principles of equity.

(6) Resources and infrastructure provision are also governed by policies on Work Health and Safety (WHS) and Equal Employment Opportunity.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(7) The Dean or Director, Research Institute must attest that adequate supervision and facilities are available before he/she approves admission.

(8) An orientation program will be attended by all HDR candidates following admission.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(9) The nature and extent of resources and infrastructure available to support individual candidates will be widely promulgated 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.

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

Part A - HDR Candidature Support Funds

(11) Schools and Institutes are required to use part of the funding provided to them through the University's Research Investment Framework for HDR Candidature Support Funds (CSF).

(12) HDR Candidature Support Funds (CSF) are available to assist in meeting the costs of a candidature. CSF should not be viewed as the main source of funding for the candidature but as additional pool that can pay for legitimate costs relating to a specific candidature.

(13) Normally claims of up to $2000 per candidate per full-time year in low cost disciplines may be supported. In consumable-intensive high cost areas the allocation may be up to $7000. This amount includes other resource costs (e.g. access to specialised equipment), which can be substantial. There is considerable flexibility for Schools and Institutes to manage diverse situations. The nominal sum of a maximum of $7000 should be viewed as an upper limit and be considered in view of other resource expenses of the candidature.

(14) CSF funds are not a direct payment to candidates on the basis of their enrolment but should be carefully argued and agreed to by the supervisory panel as part of the candidature management. The supervisory panel should take a leading role in determining how the candidature project funds will contribute to the candidature.

(15) In assessing the application the supervisory panel and HDR Director will consider the timing of the request (for example, international travel may have greater benefit if taken later in the candidature), and the supervisory panel and student are encouraged to take a "whole of candidature" view of anticipated expenses. If there is a period of candidature with very low expenses, more may be allocated in other years where expenses are greater.

(16) CSF funds are available for a range of items including, but not only, skill development, research materials or equipment, field work, transcription costs, participant reimbursement, travel for conference attendance, other travel, consumables, registration fees, writing skill development, technical costs associated with exhibition, recording, filming, thesis binding, special software purchases, access to external facilities, access to vehicles for field trips, specialist software, postage, acquisition of data sets, photocopying, office materials and, in some areas of research endeavour, editing services, software licenses, mandatory WHS awareness and training.

(17) Research candidates will outline CSF requirements as part of their Confirmation of Candidature and in their Annual Progress Report(APR).

(18) Notwithstanding item 17, expenses and opportunities may arise that had not been anticipated at the time of Confirmation or the APR and they may be considered.

(19) Applications are made to the School or Institute and must be endorsed by the Principal Supervisor before submission for approval.

(20) Schools /Institutes should budget on the basis that they will receive funding each year, so if a candidate requires more in one year, then it is acceptable to balance that against future funding.

(21) Schools and 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.

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

(23) Applicants for funds should understand that not all candidates require the full nominal sum each year. CSF is to be regarded as resource for which a candidate can apply to support their research, it not as an entitlement that must be used.

(24) The University Research Engagement, Development and Innovation and Schools and Institutes will describe the CSF on their web pages.

(25) Schools and Institutes will describe the details of the CSF application process on their web pages.

(26) 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.

(27) Candidates should be aware that changes to the direction of their work will not automatically guarantee additional resources and any changes to estimated resource requirements must be negotiated within the School or Institute.

(28) Scholarship holders may be entitled to access thesis production funds specifically described in their Conditions of Award. Enquiries may be directed to the Scholarships Officer at HDRscholarships@westernsydney.edu.au.

Part B - On-campus Workspace and Secure Storage

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

  1. work space, including a chair and desk;
  2. tea room and wash room facilities;
  3. adequate lockable storage, accessible seven days a week during research candidature.

(30) Space and storage requirements may be met by shared use of desks where candidates indicate that they will not be working full time on campus.

(31) HDR candidates may be asked by Schools or Institutes to indicate their time requirements at the beginning of each semester in order to prepare rosters.

(32) Use of space will be monitored by Schools and Institutes and data used to inform time allocations for future sessions.

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

(34) Workspaces will be configured in such a way as to implement particular methodologies or to comply with confidentiality or other ethical requirements if it is determined by the HDR Director that this is required.

Part C - Computing and Information Technology Facilities

Software and Network Access

(35) HDR candidates will normally be provided with access to University licensed software on the same basis as academic staff for example: Windows Vista, Microsoft Office, Adobe Web Premium, IBM SPSS Statistics, Thomson Reuters EndNoteX4, and Minitab 16 for Statistics and off campus access to Web Outlook.

(36) HDR candidates will only be able to use University licensed software on University owned laptop machines.

Personal Computer Hardware

(37) 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 the sub-section 'On-campus workspace and storage'.

(38) Access to hardware may be rostered, but access to the candidate's desktop will remain available from other machines, libraries or laboratories.

(39) Personally owned laptops will be able to connect to the University network and access web-enabled services such as email, personal folders, vUWS, web-based file shares, and any generic services that do not require a specific University licence.

Part D - Office Materials

(40) HDR candidates shall have access to telephone, fax and photocopier at School or Institute level. Reasonable access for private purposes should be both acceptable and covered by privacy conditions.

(41) HDR candidates shall also 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. Large mail outs for research purposes will be requested from Candidature Support Funds

Part E - Library

(42) Access to core library holdings and electronic access to support research.

(43) Free document delivery through the library web pages.

(44) Differential loan period for HDR candidates.

(45) Subsidised direct borrowing access from one other Australian academic library.

(46) Free download and training for specialist software such as Endnote.