HDR Student FAQs

Current as at 4pm on 9 April 2020


I am unable to travel to Australia/Canberra, what should I do?

Students who find themselves in this situation need to ensure they first speak with their supervisor and then undertake one of the following processes:

  • Apply for program leave
  • Apply to work away from the University

Information on these options and how to apply can be found via the UNSW variations to candidature page.

Can we work on-campus?

 All HDR students were notified that as of Thursday 2 April 2020 they will be required to work from home. Supervision can be held remotely via Microsoft Teams. Access to GRS and SEIT staff through email is still available.

 If you require access to UNSW Canberra buildings to undertake essential research activities, you must obtain approval from your Head of School, the Deputy Rector and finally from the Commandant of ADFA before resuming these activities. All supervisors have been informed of the approval process, and if you have concerns please discuss these with your supervisor as soon as possible.

Can I take my PC home?

Students are not permitted to take the PC console away from their allocated student desk. Students can however take home the PC peripherals (e.g. monitors, keyboard, mouse).

If students wish to take home any of these items they must send an email to SEIT@adfa.edu.au with supervisor approval. These items must be returned once allowed to do so and will be checked before students are approved to exit.

Can we use base allocation to purchase laptops and other equipment to assist in working from home?

All operating funds, including base allocation have currently been frozen UNSW – Canberra wide. If you experience issues with working from home and equipment, please contact your supervisor who will be able to follow appropriate channels for assistance.

I am currently conducting research experiments, can I keep using research labs?

Any use of laboratories has currently been halted for all HDR students. If you believe are unable to work from home on other research activities (writing, data analysis, simulation, etc), please first speak with your supervisor.

Please then refer to the email sent on Monday 30 March 2020 requesting information for all ‘Critical Research Lab Access for HDR Students’. If you require access and have not yet submitted the spreadsheet to SEIT@canberra.edu.au, please do so immediately.

I am due for a review, how will these be conducted?

From 15 April 2020 all reviews will resume via the online platform Mircosfot teams. Students should follow the Guidelines for Students and Supervisors sent out on Friday 3 April 2020[SO3] . We recommend all students maintain a diary documenting how COVID19 is affecting them so it can be uploaded as a support document at the next review.

I am worried that my progress and milestones will be affected by the current situation, what do I do?

Many of you are understandably concerned about your research progress and whether your review will be assessed as satisfactory or not. For some of you, it will now be difficult to meet the Research Progress Review milestones that were set 12 months ago in significantly different circumstances.

Please Document any delays or challenges to your research progress and milestones that arise as a result of the current situation. These documents can be submitted as part of the review process and will be considered by the review panel. Given the uncertainty that the COVID-19 situation has created, it is unlikely that any candidate’s progress would be assessed as unsatisfactory if the issues and delays are related to COVID-19. However, we are expecting students to work with their supervisors to do as much as they possibly can on their research project, given the limitations.

It is important to remember that milestones can be declared as “partially achieved” or “non-applicable”. It is possible to achieve a satisfactory outcome where there is a reasonable explanation.

I am due to submit my thesis for examination, how will this now be conducted?

From now on, submission of theses for examination will take place by email only to eliminate the need for face-to-face contact. Theses will also be sent out to examiners by email only. The procedure for thesis submission is:

Email one electronic copy of your thesis in pdf format to the Research Student Unit via rsu@adfa.edu.au. You should name your pdf using the naming convention: ‘[Studentnumber] [SURNAME], [firstname] – Thesis’. For example, a student named Ann Smith with zID z1111111 would use the file name '1111111 SMITH, Ann - Thesis'.

Please ensure that you have signed the Thesis Dissertation Sheet, Originality Statement and the Inclusion of Publications Statement in the electronic copy of your thesis. Electronic signatures are acceptable. Please refer to the information and the format guide at https://research.unsw.edu.au/thesis-submission under ‘Electronic Copies of Your Thesis’.

Take note that there is a size limit of 20mb for electronic submission via email. So if the electronic copy of your thesis is larger than 20mb, please submit to rsu@adfa.edu.au via a file sharing service.

What should I do if I am required to self-isolate and/or test positive for COVID-19?

If you are required to self-isolate and/or test positive for COVID-19 should follow the UNSW – Canberra HDR COVID-19 procedure:

  1. Contact their admin or direct supervisor.
  2. With the support of the supervisor generate an email to the Manager of Human Resources, Melanie Kovacs hr@adfa.edu.au cc’ing School Postgraduate Research Coordinator, Head of School
  3. The Manager of HR will make contact with the candidate and inform them of available support and process for tracking their wellbeing.
  4. The Postgraduate Research Coordinator will inform other relevant staff, e.g. Deputy Head of School (Research) and the School’s Student Liaison/Admin Officer.  The Manager of HR will inform Student Admin Services.
  5. Supervisor is to maintain regular ‘wellbeing’ contact (every 48 hours) with the candidate.
  6. Candidate to keep a diary and document any ways that COVID-19 has impacted their progress.
  7. Candidate to check their contact details in myUNSW and update where necessary.
  8. School to maintain weekly list of students that are:
    1. Overseas
    2. In Isolation (international/domestic)
    3. Infected
    4. Recovered
  9. School to provide a weekly report to rsu@adfa.edu.au

Where can I find more information on COVID-19 and the current situation for HDR students?

For more information on the current situation, please use the following websites: