Current Higher Degree Research Students

Doctoral candidates may transfer at any time into a Master by Thesis degree if the project is suitable and the request is supported by the principal supervisor and Head of School (refer Part A - for specific conditions).

Masters by Thesis candidates who meet the relevant admission criteria to undertake a doctoral degree under the Rule 8 (Professional Doctorate) or Rule 9 (PhD) may transfer at any time into a doctoral degree if the project is suitable and the request is supported by the principal supervisor, School Director of Higher Degree Research Training and Head of School (refer Part B - for specific conditions).

For more information about transferring your candidature please go to the Policy Higher Degree Research Candidate Transfer Policy. Download the Transfer from Masters by Thesis to PhD Candidature Application Form.

During your candidature situations may arise which may require you to alter the conditions of your enrolment. The following types of changes all require you to complete a Changes to conditions of enrolment form.

  • Change to thesis topic
  • Change to supervision arrangements
  • Change to attendance type i.e. from full time to part time
  • Interrupting your candidature

Doctoral candidates may transfer at any time into a Master by Thesis degree if the project is suitable and the request is supported by the principal supervisor and Head of School (refer Part A - for specific conditions). Masters by Thesis candidates who meet the relevant admission criteria to undertake a doctoral degree under the Rule 8 (Professional Doctorate) or Rule 9 (PhD) may transfer at any time into a doctoral degree if the project is suitable and the request is supported by the principal supervisor, School Director of Higher Degree Research Training and Head of School (refer Part B - for specific conditions). http://policies.scu.edu.au/view.current.php?id=00238

During your candidature situations may arise which may require you to alter the conditions of your enrolment. The following types of changes all require you to complete a Changes to conditions of enrolment form..

1. Confirmation of candidature

Per SCU rules Masters by Thesis candidates will serve a confirmation period no longer than six months full-time or 12 months part-time and PhD candidates will serve a confirmation period of at least six and no longer than nine months full-time equivalent.

Confirmation of candidature means you have been assessed as having the capacity to undertake the research project you have nominated and complete the degree.

Please see the Confirmation of Candidature Guidelines document.

2. In Candidature Review

For PhD candidates, an In-candidature review would be 12 months post Confirmation of Candidature (full time equivalent). For Masters by Thesis candidates and Professional Doctorate candidates, an In-candidature review would be 9 months post Confirmation of Candidature (full time equivalent). This is to evaluate progression towards finalisation of your research projects and the submission of your thesis is on track against the timeline provided at Confirmation of Candidature.

Please see the In Candidature review guidelines document.

3. Progress reports

As a candidate you are expected to make satisfactory progress toward completion of your degree, and as per SCU rules you are required to report on your progress every six months. This progress report is submitted to the Graduate School and both you and your supervisors have the opportunity to identify any issues that may have arisen. Confidential reports can be submitted direct to the Manager of the Graduate School should either the student or supervisors wish to report on an issue they feel uncomfortable about raising with each other. 

The major purpose of progress reports is to make the Graduate School aware of difficulties you may be having related to your research and/or supervision. Progress reports also allow the Graduate School to ensure that your supervisors and SDHDRT are aware of any problems that need to be addressed, that you are maintaining regular contact with your supervisors, and that you are making satisfactory progress in accordance with your research timeline.

The Australian Government Department of Education and Training (DET) has introduced a number of new reporting requirements for all Higher Education Providers to improve monitoring of the research training system. Research end-user engagement is now included in the required data that all universities must collect and report to DET. It is now compulsory for all Higher Degree Research (HDR) students to report on their own engagement with research end-users. 

A general example of research end-user engagement is an experience or activity where a HDR student has undertaken paid or unpaid placement, internship, fieldwork, training, scholarship funding or joint-supervision arrangement where their research will benefit a research end-user organisation via intellectual property or commercial gain.

The new indicators for reporting can be found here.

DET has provided a set of definitions for different types of external engagement activities.  There are five components that must be reported on:

  • Research internships with a research end-user.
  • Joint supervision by a research end-user.
  • Jointly funded or fully funded by a research end-user.
  • Formal training on industry engagement.
  • Other commercialisation and engagement activities.

What is a 'research end-user'?

Research end‑user is defined as an individual, community or organisation external to academia that will directly use or directly benefit from the output, outcome or results of the research.

Examples of end‑users includes businesses, governments, non‑governmental organisations, communities and community organisations.

Specific exclusions of research end‑user are: other higher education providers, organisations that are affiliates, controlled entities or subsidiaries of a higher education provider (such as Medical Research Institutes).

Research Internship

Research internship is defined as a temporary position with a research end‑user where a student has undertaken research and development (R&D) related to their higher degree by research (HDR). A research internship must be for a period of at least 30 days, can be either paid or unpaid, and can form part of the enrolment or be undertaken during a HDR period of interruption.  Examples of a research internship:

  • Working in a research capacity for an end-user such as businesses, governments, non-governmental organisations, communities and community organisations.

Jointly supervised by a research end-user

Jointly supervised by a research end-user is defined as a HDR student that has at least two HDR supervisors, with at least one supervisor from a research end‑user organisation. The supervision arrangements must be endorsed by the HDR student's HEP and the research end‑user supervisor must be actively engaged in the student's HDR.  Examples of joint supervision by a research end-user:

  • external supervisor who comes from a government research agency such as DPI, CSIRO or a non-governmental organization that undertakes research.

Jointly or fully funded by a research end-user

Jointly funded or fully funded by a research end-user is where a research end‑user contributes financially to the cost of a HDR student's research, stipend for general living costs or other costs associated with the research. The arrangement must be awarded specifically in relation to a HDR student rather than a general HEP research project that a student may be involved with.  Examples of where you would answer 'Yes' to the question on Funding support and enter the details in the form:

  • living stipend, sponsorship for training or conference attendance provided by an end-user.

Formal training on end-user engagement

Formal training on end‑user engagement is defined as any formal training recognised by the HEP that focusses on preparing a student for work with a research end‑user. This includes intellectual property, management/leadership, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and research commercialisation. Training can be administered by a research end‑user organisation or by the HEP.  Examples of where you would answer 'Yes' to the question on Formal training and enter details in the form:

  • completed training provided by Southern Cross University (including Orientation or other HDR workshops on topics such as intellectual property, collaboration, research commercialisation).
  • completed an external training course or workshop on the above.

Other commercialisation and engagement activities

These activities can be paid or unpaid, and no minimum amount of learning days applies. The activities exclude research internships unless they are shorter than 30 days, and exclude joint funding arrangements.

Other commercialisation and engagement activities is defined as an arrangement with a research end‑user that enables experiential learning related to the student's HDR. This includes practicums or performances, R&D consultancy work, R&D commercialisation work, entrepreneurship, community engagement/outreach, and research extension work either with or for a research end‑user.  Examples include:

  • a research publication or book produced from collaboration with a research end-user, as long as the engagement meets the requirements for one of the activities above.
  • paid or unpaid position (i.e. research internship) under 30 days in duration.