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Getting started

This step-by-step guide outlines the tasks you will need to complete during your Masters by Research, PhD or Professional Doctorate degree.

1. Nominate your supervisor

Supervisors can be nominated on your application for admission form. It is also necessary to complete a nomination of supervisor form. This form is approved by Dean of of School and should be sent to the Student Services Centre for their student files and records.

2. Research proposal

Your supervisor will assist you on the scope of your research proposal. The proposal should involve:

  • defining your research topic;
  • undertaking a literature review;
  • identifying the methodology;
  • discussing any costs or risks involved, and
  • setting up a project management plan.

3. Risk assessment and management plan

A Risk Assessment form is required when undertaking any research degree. In collaboration with your supervisor, you must identify the potential risks and then create a risk management plan to mitigate these risks.

4. Research proposal review process

A review of your research proposal ensures it is feasible and appropriate for the level of award. This review process is handled at the school level. Your supervisor, in consultation with you, will nominate two reviewers to review your research proposal. This usually includes a seminar and written feedback.

5.Ethics clearance

You must ensure you have ethics clearance before you commence your data collection. This is an essential part of undertaking a research degree.

To apply for ethics clearance, please log on to STREAM and complete an ethics application or ethics declaration.

6. Submit your research proposal for approval

To confirm your candidature, please submit the following documentation for the Associate Dean (Research) to approve:

  • checklist form;
  • reviewer’s reports (2);
  • outline of changes;
  • Risk Assessment and Management Plan;
  • Revised Research Proposal (hard or soft copy acceptable);
  • Graduate Research Induction Program (GRIP) confirmation of completion;
  • Originality check of written proposal and discussion of TURNITIN report with supervisor;
  • Preparation of an Application to Undertake Research involving Human or Animal Subjects or Ethics Declaration; and
  • A learning plan, with skills analysis and outline of training and development.

When the research proposal has been approved at school level, the documentation is forwarded to the Student Services Centre where it will be executively approved by the Dean of the Graduate Research School on behalf of the Research Students and Scholarships Committee.

7. Conduct research and write thesis

Once you receive formal email of your confirmation of candidature (research proposal and ethics approval) from the Student Services Centre, you may commence research. We suggest you keep in close contact with your supervisor, update your risk management if necessary, begin writing your thesis, and make use of support networks.

8. Examination of thesis

Your supervisor, in consultation with you, will find and nominate appropriate examiners to mark your thesis. The number of examiners depends on the course you are completing. Once examiners have agreed to mark the thesis, your supervisor will submit a nomination of examiners form for approval at least four weeks before you expect to submit your thesis. Be aware that you are not permitted to have contact with the examiners. Supervisors should submit the student’s final thesis to the Student Services Centre, who will be responsible for coordinating the examination process.

9. Graduation

Once your record is changed to “Course Complete” following the Board of Examiners, you will be sent the graduation information. You will also be sent further information closer to your ceremony.

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