The Office email advice of Graduate Research recognises that each HDR student has a different story, research project, discipline, motivation and methodologies. Therefore, there isn’t a single strategy that can be deployed for all students. Flinders University has enabled a digital doctorate to provide all the candidature architecture you need.
How can I connect with my supervisor and other key people for my HDR?
You can hold digital meetings with your supervisors or follow the recommendations from health authorities relating to social distancing. Some options for digital meetings include:
- WebEx Meetings is an online meeting space that allows you to meet with other people, without having to leave your home or office. You can meet anywhere, anytime, from any device.
- Microsoft Teams is part of the University’s Office 365 package. So, there is no special permission required to access it. There are 2 ways of accessing Teams, one way is through your web browser but we encourage you to download the app via the IDS Support portal icon on your desktop. For more information go to the student computing website.
- Skype is another easy option you could use. Go to the Skype website for more information.
How can I connect with Office of Graduate Research (OGR) staff for my HDR?
The OGR remains open and eager to assist any students in this difficult time. However, in light of the current circumstances, appointments and meetings are to be held online or over the phone wherever possible. Individual appointments with OGR staff members can be booked online through the OGR Appointments Scheduler in the REST FLO site. These will be held via Microsoft Teams.
Where can I find information about candidature management?
Please refer to the HDR students website for all your candidature needs.
How do I contact my College HDR coordinator if I have any HDR related queries?
Find your College HDR coordinator.
How can I connect with College research librarians for my HDR?
You can book an online appointment with a Research Librarian to discuss your research or how to access resources. The library has a remarkable series of databases for you.
View more information about the Flinders University Library’s response to COVID-19.
How can I get help with Inspire?
The Inspire website has a quick reference guide for all the functionality currently available: degree management; milestones; examination; skills development; and career planning and goals.
If you require technical issues and support relating to Inspire please submit an Assyst request and an IDS Service Desk representative will be in touch to resolve your request.
I’ve just started my HDR candidature, what should I be working on?
Early in the candidature, you can create research design and research questions. These often lead into a literature review or systematic review, depending on your methodologies and epistemologies and ontologies. Your supervisor can offer you the best advice to ensure a successful candidature. This is the time of minimal disruption for you.
I’m at mid-candidature, what should I be working on?
This is a good time for writing thesis chapters, working on literature reviews, ethics applications, undertaking reference checks or research plans for the next phase of your work. Your supervisor can offer you the best advice to ensure a successful candidature.
Take some time to review the research plan that has been already put in place for January-June 2020, map progress so far and document what is still planned for this period. Prepare an updated summary of your research and plan how you may spend your time if the location of your research is changed. You should work with your supervisor to identify components of your project that could be performed at home or an alternative location if there are prolonged candidature disruptions.
I’m in my final year of candidature, what should I be working on?
This is a good time for reviewing thesis chapters, proof-reading, undertaking reference checks and finalising your thesis for examination. Your supervisor can offer you the best advice to ensure a successful candidature.
At Flinders, the submission of thesis for examination is online via Inspire. For more information refer to the HDR students examination and completion website.
How can I achieve my Milestone presentation?
The OGR has enabled University-wide Milestone Presentations to allow HDR students to present their research in preparation for their Annual Milestones. These can be delivered online and successfully completed
Any Flinders University HDR student is able to book in a timeslot for their HDR Milestone Presentation via the REST FLO site. Prior to booking, please confirm the date and time with your supervisory panel and ensure that an assessor is able to attend, in person or online (please check College Milestone guidelines for further information).
OGR support will be available during the allocated timeslots to assist with any technical requirements.
What do I do if I am worried that I will not be able to meet my milestones due to interruption as a consequence of being directly involved in the COVID-19 response?
Discuss your situation with your supervisor and email the HDR Progression Team,firstname.lastname@example.org in the Office of Graduate Research to discuss the impact. The University recognises that each student’s case is unique and will be managed on an individual basis.
My supervisor has asked me to take two months intermission as experiments can’t be commenced. My concerns are around how this affects me if the situation continues, and how I can go on to do research after that.
The University’s approach is that research will continue as much as possible to maintain output, following appropriate guidelines (social distancing). The situation will need to be reviewed as it progresses.
A plan should be developed with your supervisor for the following 2-3 months assuming the situation remains as it is now. Also make sure you have your existing plan of what you had intended to do from January-July 2020.
Concerns around intermissions and effects on scholarships are to be discussed with your supervisor, or the College HDR coordinator and the Office of Graduate Research. Individual appointments with OGR staff members can be booked online through the OGR Appointments Scheduler in the REST FLO site.
How do I deal with increased caring responsibilities?
HDR students needing to assist children at home or elderly parents may need to consider an intermission or part-time option. Concerns around intermissions and effects on scholarships are to be discussed with your supervisor, or the College HDR coordinator or the Office of Graduate Research. Individual appointments with OGR staff members can be booked online through the OGR Appointments Scheduler in the REST FLO site.
What if my research needs to be undertaken overseas or with vulnerable people during this time?
We recognize it is important that the university support you to undertake research overseas or with vulnerable populations in Australia, and encourage you to adjust timelines for the research or their research design, to ensure both their own health and safety and also that of their research collaborators. Discuss this with your supervisors, and if Ethics is in place, report any changes. Find contact details.
What is the resourcing around ethics committees (SACHREC/SBREC/IBC/AWC) regarding timelines for approvals / modifications, for example, possibility of restructuring clinical trials due to modifications, or modifying data collection due to travel restrictions?
At this stage ethics committees are running to schedule and some are scheduling extraordinary meetings. Refer to research integrity, ethics and compliance for more information.
Fieldwork – how it can be transitioned during this time?
The Dean of Graduate Research has had discussions with many students about putting the problem into the work. Interviews can be done at a distance, but still face-to-face via technology.
The Deans of Research in the Colleges of Nursing and Health Sciences and Business, Government and Law have provided the information below to assist you with your data collection activities:
Consider whether your data collection activity can take place without in person contact.
You may wish to consider moving to online activities or phone calls. If so, it would be prudent to seek ethics approval for a modification to your protocol (consider privacy issues, data storage issues, implications for any costs incurred by participants).
Prepare the research space (be it on campus, or elsewhere)
- Ensure you can provide social distancing of at least 1.5 meters for the entire data collection activity (including travel to and from the data collection activity).
- Ensure hand sanitisers are available and used by all parties (including researcher, participant, carers, onlookers) frequently (i.e., at the very least they should be used before and after data collection activities).
- Ensure any equipment used is able to be fully sanitised after use by each researcher and each participant.
For more information about changes to fieldwork refer to this article.
Impacts in reduction of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) on research. SALHN have indicated that there may be a need for PPE from the University to be requisitioned (or preserved) to service the shortfall for the hospital / health care workers. What is the advice then to researchers requiring PPE?
Researchers must use PPE when required. At this stage there has not been a formal request from SALHN, and so this will be monitored, and clarity will be provided by the College Dean (Research) and COVID-19 Taskforce. In the meantime, research should continue where possible.
What if my supervisors have been seconded to attend to urgent COVID-19 related matters?
We recommend you arrange regular meetings with your principal supervisor and if that is not possible then your associate supervisor(s). If you are finding it difficult to access supervision at the moment due to COVID-19 related matters, then please contact the College HDR Coordinator and a temporary alternative supervisor/advisor can be arranged. You can also discuss this concern with the Office of Graduate Research. Individual appointments with OGR staff members can be booked online through the OGR Appointments Scheduler in the REST FLO site.
How can international HDR students currently overseas get support?
In your host country we recommend that you stay connected with your supervisor and research group via regular online meetings and other available mediums of communications.
In the College of Medicine and Public Health, international students currently overseas can connect with the CMPH HDR community via the planned regular Teams HDR forums. We are setting up an HDR community.
Can a candidature extension be granted due to COVID-19?
The University is monitoring the situation closely. Each student’s case will be individually assessed in line with national legislation. These are governed by the Higher Degrees by Research Policy Sections 4.5 and 4.6, and HDR Admission and Enrolment Procedures Section 6. For more information refer to the degree management website.
As per the email advice from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) on 12 May 2020, for students who had current enrolment as at 1 March 2020, the overtime fee will be waived between 4 years and 4 years and 6 months when the student provides concrete demonstration of how their research has been “adversely impacted by coronavirus restrictions.” Documented evidence must be provided. HDR students can contact the Office of Graduate Research about how to make an application by sending an email to email@example.com.
Can a scholarship extension be granted due to COVID-19?
The University is monitoring the situation closely. Scholarship and candidature extensions are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Six-month scholarship extensions are available – and granted – on the basis of disruptions to a research schedule. For more information refer to the higher degree by research scholarship information website. Or contact Student Finance on firstname.lastname@example.org.
As per the email advice from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) on 12 May 2020, current holders of an AGRTPS (domestic and international) stipend may be eligible for an additional 3-month COVID-19 extension.
For students who had current enrolment as at 1 March 2020 who do not complete within three years and six months, an additional extension of 3 months can be given, moving the extension of the RTP stipend to 3 years and nine months. The reason for this extension must be a concrete demonstration of how their research was “adversely impacted by coronavirus restrictions.” Documented evidence must be provided. The normal timelines, deadlines and processes for extension requests of candidature and RTP stipends remain in place. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
Please note it does not apply to current holders of FURS / CSERA / FIPRS / AJ & IM Naylon and privately-funded scholarships as these are not supported by the RTP funding.
Can I get an extension for my thesis corrections?
If the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting on your ability to finalise examiners recommendations to your thesis, please email firstname.lastname@example.org We will be able to review the situation on a case by case basis.
Will my thesis examination and completion be delayed?
Please continue to submit your thesis for examination as normal through Inspire.
The HDR exams team are working towards getting your thesis examination completed within the normal timeframes. If there is a significant delay we will email you individually to discuss this. You can continue to email email@example.com for any enquiries.
Can I still undertake HDR student professional development activities?
Yes, the Research and Employability Skills Training (REST) FLO site has topics on every aspect of candidature and numerous online options available within the topics.
All scheduled workshops will be going ahead, in an online format. As of next week, all of our workshops will be made available either through Collaborate, Microsoft Teams or WebEx, and everyone is welcome to attend. Please keep registering for workshops in Inspire as usual, and you will be provided with the Collaborate, Microsoft Teams or WebEx details before the session.