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Higher Degree by Research - Admission and Enrolment Procedure

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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 procedure stipulates the principles and practices that guide the admission and enrolment of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates.

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Section 3 - Scope

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

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Section 4 - Procedure

Applications

(4) To apply, applicants must use the appropriate form, available from:

  1. the Higher Degree by Research (Domestic Students) Website for domestic applicants; or
  2. the Higher Degree by Research (International Students) Website for international applicants.

Eligibility

(5) To enrol in a HDR degree, applicants must:

  1. fulfill the minimum level of English language proficiency, as detailed in the University’s Admissions Policy; and
  2. fulfill the minimum level of academic proficiency.

(6) To achieve the minimum level of academic proficiency to enrol in a Masters by Research, applicants must have completed:

  1. at least half a semester FTE of relevant research activity at AQF Level 8 or above; or
  2. equivalent levels of research activity as described in HDR Guidelines on Eligibility to Enrol in a Masters by Research or PhD.

(7) To achieve the minimum level of academic proficiency to enrol in a PhD, applicants must have completed:

  1. at least one semester FTE of relevant research activity at AQF Level 8 and achieved a GPA equivalent to a Distinction;
  2. at least one semester FTE of relevant research activity at AQF Level 9 or above; or
  3. equivalent levels of research activity as described in HDR Guidelines on Eligibility to Enrol in a Masters by Research or PhD.

(8) Applicants who have achieved the minimum levels of English and academic proficiency may not be offered admission because of several possible reasons, including:

  1. limited availability of appropriate supervision, resources, or workspaces;
  2. limited overlap between the expertise of the applicant and the research priorities of the University;
  3. unsatisfactory progress in a previous HDR course; and
  4. behaviour that is evidently incompatible with the Student Code of Conduct.

(9) To guide these decisions, applicants must supply information about their prior enrolment in HDR courses at the time of application. These minimum eligibility requirements apply even if candidates have previously enrolled in a HDR program at this University or other institutions.

Assessment of Applications

(10) After an application is received, Research and Innovation will seek:

  1. endorsement from the Principal Supervisor and from the College or Institute in which the candidate would be enrolled, hereafter called the Home College; and
  2. approval from the Dean of Graduate Studies.

(11) To endorse these applications, the Home College must consider whether:

  1. the candidate has fulfilled the minimum levels of academic proficiency;
  2. the candidate has been assigned a registered Principal Supervisor and at least one registered Associate Supervisor;
  3. the research project is compatible with the research priorities of the University;
  4. the College or University can offer the resources, support, and supervision the proposed research needs; and
  5. the project will not raise issues around sanctions, defence controls, and foreign relations.

(12) When approving these applications, the Dean of Graduate Studies may impose special conditions, such as coursework requirements. Approved applicants will be advised by Research and Innovation if domestic and CDU Global if international.

(13) If applicants were not endorsed by the College or not approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies they will be advised they were unsuccessful and may request feedback about this decision from Research and Innovation.

Offer of Admission

(14) Approved applicants will receive a formal written offer that stipulates:

  1. the course;
  2. the Home College in which they will be enrolled and the names of supervisors;
  3. the latest date in which they can commence candidature;
  4. whether they will be enrolled full time or part time, as well as internal or external;
  5. the maximum course duration;
  6. the title of their thesis and the field of education;
  7. standard conditions of candidature and any other imposed conditions;
  8. any milestones and training requirements they must fulfill;
  9. tuition fees, payments and refunds;
  10. any requirements, conditions or benefits under the Educational Standards for Overseas Students (ESOS) National Standards; and
  11. instructions on how to accept the offer.

(15) To accept an offer, applicant must complete the instructions outlined in the formal offer. Research and Innovation will enrol the applicants who accept this offer on the nominated agreed start date.

Deferrals

(16) Before applicants enrol, they may apply to defer the commencement of their course. To decide whether to grant this deferral, the Dean of Graduate Studies may consider:

  1. the conditions of relevant scholarships;
  2. the needs of this applicant;
  3. the availability of supervisors, resources, and facilities;
  4. the feasibility of this research if delayed; and
  5. any other considerations and regulations

(17) The Dean of Graduate Studies can approve a deferral of 6 months or less from the date of their offer. In compassionate and compelling circumstances, the Research Committee may consider a deferral that exceeds this limit. Applications to defer the commencement date of a scholarship must accord with the Research Training Program and University Research Training Scheme Scholarship Policy.

Ongoing Enrolment

(18) Once enrolled in a HDR course, candidates must maintain continuous enrolment throughout their candidature unless granted a leave of absence. To maintain continuous enrolment;

  1. candidates must fulfil their progression milestones as outlined in the HDR - Progression Policy and Procedures;
  2. candidates must comply with student visa conditions where relevant; and
  3. Research and Innovation will remind candidates to re-enrol annually.

Full Time Versus Part Time Enrolment

(19) During part or all of their candidature, candidates can apply to enrol part time. These requests must be endorsed by the Principal Supervisor and the Home College as well as approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies. In exceptional circumstances, the Dean of Graduate Studies can approve the enrolment status of candidates retrospectively.

(20) When enrolled part time candidates should dedicate approximately half their working hours to this course. When calculating due dates, two days part time is equivalent to one day full time.

(21) To decide whether a candidate should be permitted to enrol part time, the Dean of Graduate Studies should consider:

  1. whether the corresponding delay in completion could diminish the feasibility or significance of this project;
  2. whether the corresponding delay in completion is consistent with scholarship conditions and other regulations;
  3. whether the benefits to the candidate offset the complications of these delays; and
  4. whether this arrangement accords with the Research Training Program and University Research Training Scheme Scholarship Policy.

(22) To change their enrolment status, international candidates must confirm their eligibility to change their enrolment status under the conditions of their immigration visa with the Department of Home Affairs. Most student visas do not permit part-time study.

External Mode

(23) Candidates may be enrolled as external candidates, in which they study away from the University. To decide whether to approve these arrangements, the Dean of Graduate Studies will need to consider:

  1. whether candidates can access the supervision and resources they need in this location;
  2. the risks to candidates in this location;
  3. whether the principal supervisor can support and monitor the progress of this candidate; and
  4. whether the candidates will be exposed to a research environment that fosters the development of their research, personal, and career skills.

(24) If approved, the Home College must commit to supplying the resources and services outlined in the HDR - Minimum Resources for Candidates Procedures. International candidates are not normally eligible to enrol in external mode.

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Section 5 - Non-compliance

(25) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct - Staff and Code of Conduct - Students is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures.

(26) 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 Governance Framework, Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.