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Higher Degree by Research - Minimum Resources Procedure

Section 1 - Preamble

(1) Charles Darwin University (CDU) is committed to providing an environment that enables and supports transformative education through higher degrees by research (HDR) and drives world-class research in areas critical to the sustainable and prosperous development of Northern Australia and the wider region.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This document outlines the minimum resources that HDR candidates should receive, such as computer resources and workspaces. The Faculty or Institute in which these candidates are affiliated primarily supply these resources.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This procedure applies to all HDR courses, candidates enrolled in HDR courses, and University staff responsible for supporting HDR candidates and courses.

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Section 4 - Procedure

(4) All HDR candidates should be allocated a minimum level of resources, the cost of which should be independent of the location in which they study, the field of education, or whether these individuals are enrolled part time or full time.

(5) Minimum resources should be supplied within the first month of candidature.

(6) The level of resources that first year HDR candidates receive should not decrease over successive cohorts.

(7) Because the needs of candidates vary, whether due to the requirements of the research project or the needs of the individual, the specific items purchased may vary across individuals.

(8) The Faculty or Institute with which the candidates are affiliated (the Home Faculty) is responsible for supplying these minimum resources because these units can accommodate the diverse needs of candidates.

(9) If the Home Faculty cannot provide the minimum resources, they must inform applicants of this shortfall before these individuals enrol and contact the Dean of Graduate Studies to discuss alternative arrangements.

(10) If HDR candidates are studying on campus, they are to be provided an individual workspace, either in a separate office or in a lockable shared area, within one week of commencement. At minimum, this workspace should:

  1. exceed four square meters;
  2. include a desk, chair, lockable filing cabinet with at least two drawers, and bookshelf in reasonable condition;
  3. be as close as possible to an accessible tearoom, post box, photocopier, and toilet;
  4. be available to candidates at all times, including weekends;
  5. be available to all enrolled HDR candidates, even after an extension has been granted; and
  6. be as private as possible; for example, if possible, no more than five other people should be able to hear this candidate speak on a telephone call.

(11) Whenever possible, especially on larger campuses, the workspace should be located as close as possible to other HDR candidates and early career researchers, either in the Home Faculty or not attached to any particular institute or centre.

(12) If candidates need specialised support, for example, because of a medical condition or disability:

  1. they should inform the Home Faculty of this need before they start; and
  2. the University must introduce reasonable adjustments, consistent with the Students with Disability Policy.

(13) For projects that depend on laboratory space, the Home Faculty will grant HDR candidates access to this space. Laboratory spaces are to be furnished with the equipment and facilities that are standard in the corresponding field of research.

(14) All HDR candidates need to be assigned a standard computer within the first month of candidature. Specifically:

  1. candidates should not need to share this computer with anyone else;
  2. all necessary generic software should be loaded onto these computers or available to download, including but not limited to word processing, spreadsheets, referencing software, statistical software, and anti-virus software; and
  3. all candidates will be assigned an email account and access to internet with unlimited download capacity; and

(15) These resources will be available to all enrolled HDR candidates, even after an extension has been granted.

(16) If candidates do not want to be assigned a standard computer they should be permitted to choose and to receive other items that are comparable in cost, including equipment that past candidates have purchased and used successfully.

(17) The University will provide candidates working with a non-standard computer or software with an appropriate level of support. However, candidates should be aware that the University may be unable to provide the same level of support for non-standard equipment as for standard equipment.

(18) In addition to workspaces and computers:

  1. the Home Faculty should supply HDR candidates with generic stationery supplies:
  2. PhD candidates will have access to up to 200 interlibrary loans across their candidature;
  3. Masters by Research candidates will have access to up to 100 interlibrary loans across their candidature; and
  4. other sources of funding will be available to organise more interlibrary loans.

Funding Other Expenses

(19) Faculties should allocate all HDR candidates a minimum level of funding to pay other expenses, such as stationery, materials, software, and conferences. Specifically:

  1. a minimum of 12% of the standard Research Training Program (RTP) stipend a year for full time candidates who are Indigenous or whose field of research is designated as high cost;
  2. a minimum of 5% of the standard RTP stipend a year for all other full-time candidates;
  3. a minimum of half this amount for part-time candidates in either category per year;

(20) This funding may come from the RTP stipend budget for the maximum duration of candidature before extensions, four years for PhD candidates and two years for Masters by Research candidates. After this time, the faculty may continue this funding although it can no longer come from the RTP budget.

(21) Funding for this minimum amount may come from other sources, such as funds available for a specific project. Any such funds are instead of and not additional to funding from the RTP budget.

(22) All HDR candidate purchase requests are to be approved by their Principal Supervisor.

(23) In addition to this minimum amount, Home Faculties can allocate additional discretionary funding to HDR candidates. The Home Faculty should develop and publicise a systematic approach to allocate these discretionary funds.

(24) Should unforeseen circumstances impede the progress of HDR candidates, these individuals should be granted priority access to these funds.

Transfer to Another Administrative Unit

(25) HDR candidates occasionally shift from one Home Faculty to another. In these circumstances the relinquishing Home Faculty will provide a statement to the accepting Home Faculty that details funding available to the candidate, including expenses to that point; and

(26) The accepting Home Faculty will ensure the candidate receives the minimum level of funding or more.

Third Parties

(27) If HDR candidates are working with a third party, such as a private institution or Government agency, this third party could offer the minimum resources in lieu of the Home Faculty. The Home Faculty must approve these arrangements and any resources the candidate can access must be documented.


(28) Each year, Research and Innovation, in collaboration with Faculties and the Menzies School of Health, will assess the minimum resources available to HDR candidates and may adjust them accordingly.

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Section 5 - Non-Compliance

(29) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct – Students.

(30) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Code of Conduct – Staff and Code of Conduct - Students.

(31) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.