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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.

(2) It applies to all Academic Units of the University - Schools, University Research Centres, University Research Groups and Institutes in which an HDR candidate is supervised and carries out a programme of research study.

(3) Its purpose is to:

  1. support choices for Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates (how and where they work, and how their requirements may change as research progresses);
  2. enable flexibility in meeting the requirements of candidates working in broadly different areas of academic enquiry, as well as on-campus and off-campus; and
  3. guide consistency across all so that there is equivalence between candidates.
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Section 2 - Definitions

(4) For the purpose of this policy:

  1. standard support - means on-campus work space and secure storage; computing and information technology facilities; office materials; and candidature support funds.
  2. 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 24 hour 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.
(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) All commencing HDR candidates and supervisors are to be advised of the availability of this policy at the time of induction. This advice will include up to date information as to how to access copies of the policy.

(7) Resources and infrastructure provision will also be governed by policies on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Equal Employment Opportunity.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(8) Before the recommendation of admission by the College Research and Higher Degrees Committee, the leader of the Academic Unit will either:

  1. sign-off on a broad commitment, included on the ranking/admission application, indicating that standard resources can be provided, or;
  2. indicate to the College that an offer should not be made where the academic unit is not in a position to provide the additional resources required and specified in the candidate's application.

(9) An orientation programme will be attended by all HDR candidates following admission.

(10) HDR candidates will be asked to state on their application form whether they expect to work on- or off-campus, and if appropriate, in what proportion.

(11) Following enrolment HDR candidates will be given the opportunity to discuss resource requirements that differ from the standard provision of support mentioned above, eg laboratory, exhibition space, information technology (software or hardware), or other special resources.

(12) The support arrangements for each candidate, including standard provision and any special provisions agreed at the time of enrolment, shall be reviewed by the College Research and Higher Degrees Committee and confirmed as a formal element of the Early Candidature Plan or Confirmation of Candidature process when HDR candidates, along with their supervisory panel, will try to determine the resources required to support the rest of candidature.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(13) The nature and extent of resources and infrastructure available to support individual candidates will be widely promulgated to include HDR candidates, supervisors, heads of school, research centre directors, and research group leaders. It will be readily accessible on the UWS website; placed on notice boards in research candidate areas; and be part of supervisor training sessions and prominent in handbooks.

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

Part A - On-campus Workspace and Secure Storage

(15) 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 24 hours a day during research candidature.

(16) 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.

(17) HDR candidates will be asked to indicate their time requirements at the beginning of each semester and appropriate rosters formalised.

(18) Use of space will be monitored and data used to inform time allocations for future sessions.

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

(20) Where an HDR candidate's research requires space to be configured in such a way as to implement particular methodologies or to comply with confidentiality or other ethical requirements, this will be dealt with under the process outlined in Section 4 above.

Part B - Computing and Information Technology Facilities

Software and Network Access

(21) HDR candidates will normally be provided with access to UWS licensed software on the same basis as academic staff for example: Windows XP, Outlook, Office, SPSS for Windows, NVivo, and Minitab and off campus access to Web Outlook.

(22) HDR candidates working primarily off-campus, or those who require additional licensed software which is not available on a UWS wide basis, will normally be provided with 'self management' rights on Layer 3, enabling the use of UWS software.

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

Personal Computer Hardware

(24) 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'.

(25) Access to hardware may be rostered, but access to the candidate's Layer 3 desktop will remain available from other machines, libraries or laboratories.

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

Part C - Office Materials

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

(28) HDR candidates shall also have reasonable access to appropriate School /Centre/Group 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 Candidate Project Funds (see below Section 5, Part E - HDR Candidature Project Funds).

Part D - Library

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

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

(31) Differential loan period for HDR candidates.

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

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

Part E - HDR Candidate Project Funds

(34) An Academic Unit is required to use part of its Research Training Scheme budget for HDR Candidate Project Funds (CPF).

(35) CPF is a pool of money that can be accessed for legitimate claims of up to $2000 per candidate per full-time year in the humanities and social sciences. In consumable-intensive areas such as the sciences, and where extensive fieldwork is undertaken, it is expected that the maximum allocation would be $3000. It is also acknowledged that not all candidates require the full sum each year. Schools, Centres and Research Groups will manage the disbursement of funds, working to guidelines provided by the Office of Research Services. A flexible approach may be considered that permits allocation to an individual more than the nominal annual sum.

(36) CPF will be strategically managed and may also used for broader aspects of research culture development such as workshops, symposia, guest speakers.

(37) The UWS Office of Research Services and all Academic Units will describe on their web pages the details of CPF and the procedures for application.

(38) CPF funds include a range of items including skill development programmes, research materials or equipment, field work, transcription costs, participant reimbursement, travel for conference attendance, registration fees, technical costs associated with exhibition, recording, filming, thesis binding, special software purchases, office materials and, in some areas of research endeavour, mandatory OHS awareness and training.

(39) CPF may be made available, upon application, to assist candidates to meet the incidental costs of their research and/or research training program.

(40) Applications will be made to the Academic Unit of enrolment and require the support of the candidate's Principal Supervisor.

(41) Discussion of a plan for CPF expenditure should also form part of the Confirmation of Candidature process.

(42) Academic Units will report annually on their application procedures for, and disbursement, of CPF.