HDR - Important information

Congratulations on commencing your HDR studies with Federation University Australia.

If you have any questions about commencing your candidature, please contact our HDR Team via email, over the phone on (03) 5327 9058 or in person in F Building, Mt Helen or Building 2W, Churchill.

Student services and support

Federation University Australia offers a range of student advocacy and support services, including disability support, counselling and an advisory centre. These services are available to all Federation University students.

Candidate / supervisor agreement

Within the first four weeks of commencing, you are required to complete the Candidate / Supervisor Agreement with your Principal Supervisor. This form must also be lodged with Research Services.

Changes to candidature details

You must seek prior approval from the Research Higher Degrees Sub Committee (RHDSC) if any details as described in this letter of offer change during your period of candidature. All changes must be requested via the relevant form and approved by your Supervisor(s) and Associate Dean (Research).

Communication during your candidature

Once you are enrolled as a student of Federation University Australia, you will be issued with a student email account. Your email address was provided to you in your Letter of Offer.

We recommend accessing your student email account at least on a weekly basis so that you don't miss out on any important information or risk your inbox capacity going over the designated limit and emails not being delivered. Please visit the Student Email ITS website for further details.

Leave from studies

Applications for leave from studies must be approved prior to any leave commencing. Leave will not be backdated, with the exception of sick leave.

Leave from Studies will suspend candidature, so that RTS / fees are not expended. Scholarship payments are also suspended for general Leave from all Studies, paternity leave and extended sick leave. Candidates wishing to take maternity leave may be eligible for continued scholarship payments and should refer to the Candidature Management Policy for details.

A Leave from Studies Form must be completed.

Leave from all Studies includes the following types of leave:

  • Requests for leave of at least six months but no more than 12 months
  • Parental leave (Primary Carer) (including adoption leave)
  • Parental Leave (Partner leave) (including adoption leave)
  • Extended sick leave (more than 20 business days concurrently)

Please note, students on Leave from all Studies are unable to access University facilities (including desks and computers), services (such as the Library), and HDR Faculty (candidature support) funding.

Annual leave

Students are permitted to four weeks annual leave. An Absentee Leave Form must be completed, signed by the student, principal supervisor and HDR Coordinator before submitting to Research Services (research.degrees@federation.edu.au). Leave should be taken each year. Further information on types of leave and leave entitlements can be found in the Candidature Management Policy.

Confirmation of candidature

This must be completed within 12 months of commencement of your PhD (Probationary) candidature for full-time candidates or 24 months of commencement for part-time candidates. Refer to Confirmation of Candidature for more information.

Ethics clearance

You may be required to submit an Ethics application in the first 12 months of candidature FTE. Please discuss with your supervisor and contact the Executive Officer, Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC)/Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee (AEEC), Research Services Office in due course.

Graduate Centre program

The Research Higher Degrees Sub Committee (RHDSC) expects all new students to be active participants in the Graduate Centre program. Sessions commence in March and are held every Wednesday, 12.30 pm – 2.30 pm during semester. If you are not "on campus" contact the HDR Team for arrangements to be made for you to receive printed materials.

It is compulsory for all new students to attend the Graduate Centre orientation session and the first (administrative) session of the Graduate Centre program. Students who commence after the March orientation will be offered an orientation session later in the year.

Progress reports

Progress reports are an important part of your candidature. The annual progress report is compulsory for all candidates and is issued in August each year. Interim progress reports are compulsory for nominated candidates and issued in February of each year. If you do not complete and return a progress report, your candidature may be deemed unsatisfactory.

Student Evaluation of Postgraduate Program (SEPP)

This is an evaluation by the student of the HDR program. All HDR students are encouraged to complete the evaluation. Responses are anonymous, and will provide important information to enable the University improve the supervisory experience of students.

Regulation 5.1 and candidature-related policy

Regulation 5.1 is the Federation University Australia's regulation which governs all Higher Degree by Research candidates. A copy of the regulation is available online at: Regulation 5.1. Candidature is also covered by research related Policy and Procedure:


Candidature management


Hours of study

It is expected that full-time students devote at least 32 hours a week on average to their studies and that part-time students devote at least 16 hours a week on average to their studies. You should not accept this offer unless you are prepared to commit this amount of time, as you cannot otherwise normally expect to make satisfactory progress.