Current Higher Degree Research students

Marine Science student looking at a small shark in an aquarium

Higher degree researchers at Southern Cross University are engaged in relevant and original research projects across a range of fields. We are proud to support our current HDR students as they continue their journey as part of Southern Cross University's thriving and highly regarded research community.

Current HDR students and the University itself must comply with a number of requirements to fulfil all study, supervisory and administrative needs. These requirements are explained in the information that follows. The University also understands that during the course of study, individual circumstances may change. Again, we offer support and guidance to our current HDR students when this occurs.

International student wearing a head scarf measuring a tree trunk as part of her Forestry degree studies

Your HDR candidature

Find out information on:

  • Transferring your candidature
  • Changes to candidature and enrolment
  • Important milestones.

Close up shot of samples arranged in a centrifuge

Research end-user

Find out information on:

  • Research end-user engagement reporting
  • Research internships
  • Other commercialisation and engagement activities.

Man standing with arms crossed next to civil engineering simulation equipment

Examination and graduation

Find out information on:

  • Examinations and graduation
  • Thesis submission and availability
  • Restricting the availability of a thesis.

Your HDR candidature

Transferring your candidature

Doctoral candidates may transfer at any time into a Masters by Thesis degree if the project is suitable and the request is supported by the Principal Supervisor and Head of School. Conditions apply and can be found in Part A of the Higher Degree Research Candidate Transfer Policy.

Similarly, Masters by Thesis candidates may transfer at any time into a PhD if they can satisfy the admission criteria, the project is suitable and the request is supported by the Principal Supervisor, the School's Director of Higher Degree Research Training and the Head of School. See Rule 9 for PhD study. Conditions apply and can be found in Part B of the Higher Degree Research Candidate Transfer Policy.

Application to transfer from Masters to PhD candidature

Close up of researcher pouring soil sample from flask in a laboratory

Changes to candidature and enrolment

Southern Cross University understands that during your candidature, situations may arise which may require you to alter the conditions of your enrolment. The following changes all require completion of a Change to condition of enrolment.

  • Change to thesis topic
  • Change to supervision arrangements. This may mean a new Supervisor candidate agreement will need to be completed
  • Change to attendance type, i.e. from full-time to part-time
  • Interrupting your candidature.

Milestones

Important milestones need to be met as you progress through your HDR candidature. They are:

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

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

For more information, please refer to the Confirmation of candidature guidelines.

2. In Candidature Review: This review evaluates your progress towards finalising your research project. It also ascertains whether the submission of your thesis is on track with the timeline provided at your Confirmation of Candidature.

For PhD candidates, this review would occur 12 months post-Confirmation of Candidature (full-time equivalent). For Masters by Thesis and Professional Doctorate candidates, this review would occur nine months post-Confirmation of Candidature (full-time equivalent).

For more information, please refer to the In candidature review guidelines.

3. Progress reports: As a Higher Degree by Research candidate, you are expected to make satisfactory progress towards completion of your degree. To comply with Southern Cross University’s rules, you must report on your progress every six months. Reports are submitted to the Graduate School and you and your supervisors can then identify issues that may have arisen.

Confidential reports can be submitted directly to the Manager of the Graduate School. This is important if either the student or supervisors wish to report on an issue they feel uncomfortable about raising with each other.

Progress reports inform the Graduate School of any difficulties you may be having related to your research and/or supervision. They help ensure that (a) your supervisors and the School/Special Research Centre Director for Higher Degrees by Research Training (SDHDRT) are aware of any problems that need to be addressed; (b) that you are maintaining regular contact with your supervisors, and (c), that you are making satisfactory progress in accordance with your research timeline.

Top of Page


HDR Research End-User Engagement Reporting

Under the auspices of the Australian Government's Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE), reporting requirements for all Higher Education Providers are in place to improve monitoring of the research training system. The new indicators for reporting can be found on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.

Accordingly, research end-user engagement is now included in the required data that all universities must collect and report to DESE.

Important: As part of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment requirements, it is now compulsory for all Higher Degree by Research students to report on their own engagement with research end-users.

Hospitality and tourism graduate standing in front of concierge desk in modern accommodation setting

What is a research end-user?

A 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 your research. Research end-users include business, government, NGOs, communities and community organisations.

Specific exclusions of research end-user are other higher education providers; affiliate organisations; controlled entities or subsidiaries of a higher education provider (such as Medical Research Institutes).

What is a research end-user engagement?

Generally, it is an experience or activity in which the HDR student has undertaken a 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.

External engagement

DESE has provided definitions for different types of external engagement, with five components that must be reported on. They are:

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

Research internships

A research internship is defined as a temporary position with a research end-user in which an HDR student has undertaken research and development (R&D) related to their degree. The internship must be for a period of at least 30 days, can be paid or unpaid, and can form part of the enrolment or be undertaken during an HDR period of interruption.

Joint supervision by a research end-user

This is defined as a student with at least two HDR supervisors, at least one of whom is from a research end-user organisation. The supervision arrangements must be endorsed by the HDR student's Higher Education Provider (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 are:

  • An external supervisor who comes from a government research agency such as DPI or CSIRO, or a non-governmental organisation that undertakes research.
  • A living stipend, sponsorship for training or conference attendance provided by an end-user.

Jointly or fully funded by a research end-user

This is where a research end-user contributes financially to the cost of an HDR student's research, such as a stipend for general living costs or other costs associated with the research. The arrangement must be awarded specifically in relation to an HDR student rather than a general HEP research project with which a student may be involved.

Examples of where you would answer 'Yes' to the question on Funding Support and then proceed to enter the details in the form are:

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

Formal training on end-user engagement

This is defined as any formal training recognised by the HEP that focuses 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 then proceed to enter the details in the form are:

  • Completion of training provided by Southern Cross University (including Orientation or other HDR workshops on topics such as intellectual property, collaboration and research commercialisation).
  • Completion of an external training course or workshop on the examples in the previous point.

Other commercialisation and engagement activities

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

Other commercialisation and engagement activities comprise 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 mentioned in the previous section.
  • A paid or unpaid position (i.e. research internship) under 30 days in duration.

Top of Page


The examination

Once your thesis has been submitted, it takes approximately 6-8 weeks for the Graduate School to receive all the reports. Once all examiner reports have been received, these and any annotated copies of your examined thesis will be sent to the School Director and your Principal Supervisor for release to you. Please refer to our HDR Student Handbook or the Graduate School’s Examination’s Officer to learn more about dealing with examiner reports. It should be noted that when examiner reports are released to you through your supervisory team you will be given detailed instructions on how to respond to these reports.

Graduation

Once a candidate has completed all changes to their thesis and the Dean, Graduate Studies has recommended the awarding of a degree, all candidates must provide the following to the HDR Officer:

  • One electronic copy of the final thesis in PDF format
  • One unbound copy of the final thesis
  • A 100-word abstract of the thesis
  • A fully signed Thesis Deposit and Verification Form. This is pursuant to the University's policy that, subject to authorised exemption, all theses are to be included in the repositories of the University Library.

Upon receipt of this material, the Graduate School will initiate the preparation of your academic transcripts and refer your name to the Graduation Office in preparation for graduation. Candidates should also be aware that there are copyright implications that must be addressed before making your thesis available online.

Thesis submission and availability

Lodgement of all required copies of a research thesis is a prerequisite for graduation.

A candidate retains the intellectual property in the thesis. However, pursuant to University policy and rules, lodging a research thesis with Southern Cross University means that an unbound hard copy will be placed in the University library archive. Also, a digital copy will be uploaded to the online institutional repository to be published online within an approved institutional auspice.

A candidate may apply to impose access restrictions on both the digital and unbound copies. Please refer to the submission rules if you seek such restrictions.

Candidates should also be aware that there are copyright implications that must be addressed before making your thesis available online.

Please complete the Thesis Deposit and Verification Form and return it to the HDR Officer.

Restricting the availability of a thesis

Access to a thesis may be completely restricted for a defined period of up to 24 months (see University rules). A restricted thesis will have its citation and abstract data made available, but not the full thesis. Once the full thesis is published in the Research portal, there is no restriction on who may access it.

Top of Page


Contact the Graduate School

Manager, Graduate School

T: +61 2 6626 9426

E: helen.wolton@scu.edu.au

For general queries:

T: +61 2 6626 9186

T: +61 2 6620 3705

E: gradschool@scu.edu.au

Dean, Graduate Studies

T: +61 2 6620 3742

E: les.christidis@scu.edu.au

General contacts:

For general contact details please visit our contacts page.

+