ACU Research

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research and scholarship

Managing your Candidature

The success of your research will largely depend on how you manage the key steps of your candidature.
Information about each of the steps, including links to policies and forms can be accessed below.

Candidates should also read the Higher Degree Research Regulations.

The 2018 Research Candidate Guide will be available to download shortly



  • Enrolment and Re-enrolment

    Applicants who have been made an offer of a place in a research course at ACU will be forwarded enrolment forms, with instructions on how to complete and lodge them.

    Processing of enrolment forms is undertaken by Graduate Research and is normally finalised within one week of receipt of the forms. Incorrectly completed forms/missing information can cause delays in the processing of enrolments, so it is important that you obtain all the required information before lodging your documentation.

    After you are enrolled, Graduate Research will send you a letter confirming the details of your candidature, as well as information about your Student ID card and ACU email address.

    Re-enrolment is an automatic process at ACU, unless you indicate that you wish to opt out of this when Graduate Research writes to you at the end of each year.

    Census Dates 2018

    Research candidature at ACU is governed by four research terms. Please note that any changes or variations to your enrollment must be submitted before the census date for the term where these are to take effect.

  • Higher Degree Research Orientation

    Orientation is currently held at the end of June/start of July on several ACU Campuses.

    Exact dates, times and venues TBC.

    An email invitation will be sent in May to candidates who enrolled after July 2017.

    For any questions please contact res.cand@acu.edu.au

     

     

  • Candidature Milestones Summary

    Candidates will undertake the following 3 Milestones:

    • Confirmation of Candidature
    • Mid-Candidature Review
    • Final Review

     

    Candidates may also be required to submit

    • HDR Student Academic Progress Report

     

    Candidates should review the HDR Milestone Instructions, the Summary of Candidature Milestones and timelines and Section 10 ‘Pursuance of Candidature’ of the Higher Degree Research Regulations for detailed information for each program and study-load.

    Candidates should also review each Milestone section on this webpage.

    Any currently enrolled full-time candidates who are due to submit their thesis for examination before 30th June 2018 or part-time candidates who are due to submit their thesis for examination before 31st December 2018, contact Graduate Research on res.cand@acu.edu.au for clarification on the requirements for their Final Year Review.

     

  • Milestone 1: Confirmation of Candidature

    The review of your provisional candidature will take place in accordance with Section 10 ‘Pursuance of Candidature’ of the Higher Degree Research Regulations.

     

    The Confirmation of Candidature process comprises the submission of a chapter, a progress report and a verbal presentation that will be assessed by a Confirmation of Candidature panel.

    The Confirmation of Candidature panel will assess the quality of the work undertaken since commencement of candidature, the feasibility of the project to be completed in a timely manner and the rate of progress made since commencement of candidature.

    Further information

    Information on the confirmation process, including the composition of the panel and the possible outcomes, is available in section 10 ‘Pursuance of Candidature’ of the Higher Degree Research Regulations

     

    The Confirmation of Candidature form is to be completed by the Confirmation of Candidature Panel.

  • Milestone 2: Mid-Candidature Review

    The Mid-Candidature Review will take place in accordance with Section 10 ‘Pursuance of Candidature’ of the Higher Degree Research Regulations.

    The Mid-Candidature Review process comprises the submission of two chapters, separate to the chapter submitted at Confirmation of Candidature (or papers if planning to undertake a PhD with publication), a progress report and a verbal presentation that will be assessed by a Mid-Candidature Review Panel.

    The Mid-Candidature Review Panel will assess the quality of the work undertaken since confirmation of candidature, the feasibility of the project to be completed in a timely manner and the rate of progress made since confirmation of candidature.

    Further information

    Information on the Mid-Candidature Review process, including the composition of the panel and the possible outcomes, is available in section 10 ‘Pursuance of Candidature’ of the Higher Degree Research Regulations

     

    The Mid-Candidature Review Form is to be completed by the Mid-Candidature Review Panel.

  • Milestone 3: Final Year Review

    Any currently enrolled full-time candidates who are due to submit their thesis for examination before 30th June 2018 or part-time candidates who are due to submit their thesis for examination before 31st December 2018, contact Graduate Research on res.cand@acu.edu.au for instructions regarding the Final Year Review.

     

    For all other Candidates, the Final Year Review will take place in accordance with Section 10 ‘Pursuance of Candidature’ of the Higher Degree Research Regulations.

    The Final Year Review process comprises the submission of two chapters, or papers (if submitting a PhD with Publication) that have not been previously reviewed at the Confirmation of Candidature Panel or at the Mid-Candidature Review, a progress report and a verbal presentation that will be assessed by the Final Year Review Panel.

    The Final Year Review Panel will assess the quality of the work undertaken since Mid-Candidature Review, the feasibility of the project to be completed in the timely manner and the rate of progress made since the mid-candidature review.

    Further information

    Information on the Final Year Review process, including the composition of the panel and the possible outcomes, is available in section 10 ‘Pursuance of Candidature’ of the Higher Degree Research Regulations

    The Final Year Review form (Word 62KB) is to be completed by the Final Year Review Panel.

  • Work-in-progress and HDR Student Annual Academic Progress Reports

    After confirmation of candidature, a candidate is required to present, on an annual basis, the progress they have made on their research.

    The program-specific requirements for submission of the HDR Student Annual Academic Progress Report (APR) are detailed in the Summary of Candidature Milestones and timelines.

    The review is intended to be an open assessment of your rate of progress by you, your Principal Supervisor and the Faculty Associate Dean Research. It allows you to highlight your achievements during the preceding year and to set goals for the next phase of your research. It also provides an opportunity for you to express any concerns you have with your candidature, so that a plan can be put in place to mitigate the effect of these on your research.

    Research candidates who do not complete an APR when required may have their enrolment terminated. They should also be aware that APRs are considered when extensions of candidature and/or stipend scholarships are requested, and when funding for travel, conferences and research support is sought.

    Further information

    Information on work-in-progress activities and the HDR Student Annual Academic Progress Report process can be found in section 10 ‘Pursuance of Candidature’ of the Higher Degree Research Regulations 

    Any questions should be directed to res.cand@acu.edu.au

  • Variations to Candidature

    The terms of your candidature are communicated to you when your enrolment is confirmed. Any changes to your candidature require discussion with your Principal Supervisor and in some instances other ACU staff, as well as written approval from Graduate Research.

    Before you apply to vary your candidature, you must ensure that you read Section 12 ‘Variations to Candidature’ of the Higher Degree Research Regulations along with the Research Training Program Scholarship Policy (if applicable) or your Stipend Scholarship Conditions of Award (if applicable).

    Some Variation to Candidature requests may necessitate the payment of tuition fees by candidates.

    Application to Vary Conditions of Candidature

    A candidate may make application

    • for a suspension or an extension to candidature;
    • for a suspension or an extension to a Stipend Scholarship;
    • to change course load from full-time to part-time (or vice-versa)(excluding International Candidates);
    • for sick leave*, maternity leave* or paternity leave*;
    • for approval to conduct research outside ACU;
    • for approval to change the title of a thesis.

    *leave entitlements for candidates are set out in Appendix B of the Higher Degree Research Regulations

    How to apply

    Complete the online form available on Orion.

    Log into Orion (https://orion.acu.edu.au/RMENet/) using your ACU user name/password and select HDR/HDR forms to lodge a new application or to check the status of an existing application.

    Due to Commonwealth Government reporting requirements, requests to vary candidature must be lodged prior to the census date for each research term. Retrospective requests to vary candidature will not be approved.

    Complete the Change of Supervision Arrangements form if you would like to change your supervision arrangements.

    Further information

    Information on variations to candidature can be found in Section 12 ‘Variations to Candidature’ of the Higher Degree Research Regulations.

    Any questions should be directed to res.cand@acu.edu.au

  • Ethics Approval

    For all Ethics information, refer to the Research Ethics pages.

    All research carried out by candidates enrolled in a research higher degree at ACU must comply with relevant State and Commonwealth legislative requirements and guidelines in relation to the conduct of research and its ethical considerations.

    Candidates and their Supervisors are required to inform themselves of these requirements and all relevant policies and guidelines on research-related matters.

    Failure to obtain written ethics clearance in advance of the data collection, including recruitment of research participants, is considered to be a breach of the ACU Research Code of Conduct and may also breach State or Commonwealth legislation.

  • Upgrade to a Doctoral Degree

    Course Upgrades

    A Master of Philosophy candidate who has been confirmed in their current degree and can demonstrate that the scope of their research has changed and would now be considered that of a Doctoral level, may apply to the Associate Dean Research to upgrade to the Doctor of Philosophy.

    A Master of Education (Research) candidate who has been confirmed in their current degree and can demonstrate that the scope of their research has changed and would now be considered that of a Doctoral level, may apply to the Associate Dean Research to upgrade to the Doctor of Education.

    A candidate cannot apply for an upgrade after twelve (12) months (or twenty-four (24) months for part-time candidates) of enrolment.

    In making application for an upgrade, a candidate must clearly demonstrate how the extended research meets the expectations of doctoral level research (refer definitions in Regulation 1). The application will involve a written submission as well as a presentation to an Upgrade Panel.

    How to Apply

    Candidates must complete the Request to Upgrade form

    Further information

    Information on applying for an upgrade to a Doctoral Degree can be found in Section 11 of the Higher Degree Research Regulations.

    Any questions should be directed to res.cand@acu.edu.au

  • Supervision

    From the time of commencing your candidature until you complete your degree, you will have a panel of supervisors comprising a principal supervisor and a co-supervisor, and possibly an assistant and/or associate supervisor. All supervisors will be accredited by ACU.

    Regular meetings and communication with your supervisors are essential to ensure that you have opportunities to raise any concerns or problems, and to receive feedback on your progress.

    ACU stipulates that supervisors meet with, or otherwise contact, research candidates on a regular basis. Depending on where you are up to with your research, this could be weekly, fortnightly, monthly or some other regular frequency. You should take brief notes and record action items at these meetings, and circulate them to all your supervisors after the meeting.

    A useful tip to ensure that regular meetings with your supervisors proceed, is to take the lead early on in your candidature for scheduling a regular timetable of meetings.

    For additional information refer to the Higher Degree Research Supervision Policy and Section 9 of the Higher Degree Research Regulations.


    Changing Relationship with Supervisors

    As you progress in your candidature and your expertise grows, your relationship with your supervisors will change. Their role will increasingly be to act as a sounding board for your ideas, to review and comment on your written work, and to provide you with feedback on your progress towards completion. Supervisors can also help you with personal difficulties either directly or by referring you to support services at ACU.


    Change of Supervision Arrangements

    To ensure that you have continuity of access to expert academic advice throughout your candidature, changes to the supervisory panel are discouraged. However, the composition of your supervisory panel may be modified to reflect changes in the direction of your research, and to accommodate staff resignations, absences and irresolvable conflicts.

    Any changes to the supervisory panel must be discussed with all parties involved in the supervision process, before the changes are endorsed by the Head of School/Research Institute director and Faculty Associate Dean Research. Changes should be requested on the Change of Supervision Arrangements  form.

  • Thesis Submission and Examination

    Preparing to submit your thesis

    You need to take the following steps before submitting your thesis for examination:

    Step 1:

    You must successfully complete your Final Year Review.

    Information about the Final Year Review can be found in the ‘Milestone 3: Final Year Review’ section of this webpage and also in Section 10 of the Research and Professional Doctorate Degree Regulations

    The Final Year Review form is to be completed by the Final Year Review Panel.

    Step 2:

    Three months before you intend to submit your thesis for examination, you must forward the completed Thesis Summary Form to Graduate Research. Your Principal Supervisor should complete and submit an Appointment of Examiners form at the same time.

    Step 3:

    Refer to the Guidelines on the Preparation and Presentation of a Research or Professional Doctoral Thesis for Examination for instructions on how to present your thesis for examination.


    Thesis Submission

    You may submit your thesis for examination at any time during the year.

    Three spiral bound copies and an electronic copy (PDF file) of your thesis should be forwarded to Graduate Research (res.cand@acu.edu.au), along with the completed forms sent to you by Graduate Research.


    Thesis Examination

    Thesis examination is a complex process and varies in length. You should expect the examination process to take up to four months from the date on which you lodge your thesis for examination. This timeline assumes that your Thesis Summary and the Appointment of Examiners form were lodged with Graduate Research at least two months before you submitted your thesis for examination.

    The examination process will be conducted in accordance with the Appointment of Examiners and  Examination Process Policy.

    If you have not received notification of the outcome of the examination process four months after submission of your thesis for examination, you are welcome to contact Graduate Research to request an update. Please note: staff in Graduate Research are not at liberty to disclose any details regarding the examination result until the examination process is complete.

  • Graduation

    As a research candidate you do not need to apply to graduate. Graduate Research will advise Course Completions that you are eligible to graduate after you have submitted the final bound copy of your thesis and associated documents, and the Chair of Academic Board has approved your completion. (Graduate Research works with the Chair of Academic Board in this regard.)

    ACU holds graduation ceremonies in April/May and September/October of each year. Due to the lead time associated with producing the Graduation Booklet, you will need to submit the final bound copy of your thesis to Graduate Research at least eight weeks prior to the ceremony at which you intend to graduate.

    Information about ceremony dates, the graduation fee and guest tickets, academic dress and testamurs is available from ACU’s Graduation Unit.

  • Thesis Binding List

    This list is a work in progress. We would like to get your feedback about binding services you have used. If you have any comments or recommendations, please email res.cand@acu.edu.au.

    Queensland

    • Able Bookbinding
      46 Latham Street, Chermside QLD 4032
      Ph: (07) 3359 0931
    • QUT Printing Services
      Ph: (07) 3138 4019

    New South Wales

    Sydney CBD Store
    Shop 3, 702 Harris Street, Ultimo NSW 2007
    Ph: (02) 9212 4144 Fax: (02) 9514 8648
    info@worldofprint.com.au

    Broadway Store
    Shop1, 180-182 Broadway, Broadway NSW 2007
    Ph: (02) 9212 4144 Fax: (02) 9281 2701
    broadway@worldofprint.com.au

    Victoria