LEAVE & CHANGES TO YOUR PROGRAM

Filling out the forms

ANNUAL (AKA ‘RECREATION’) LEAVE

You may take up to four weeks of recreation leave each 12 months (plus public holidays), pro-rata for part-time students.

It is really, really important that you take the annual (‘recreation’) leave that owes to you. PhD students often neglect to take proper time off, thinking for some reason that the often-‘unstructured’ nature of the PhD somehow balances out any ‘time off’ you might be eligible for/actually need. The PhD is hard work and part of that hard work is recognising that sometimes you have days or even weeks of being unproductive — but being unproductive is not the same as having proper time off. Having time off increases your productivity in the long-run.

Please negotiate with your supervisor when taking annual leave, complete the Notification of annual leave form and lodge it with the HDR Administrator. If, for some reason, you don’t get around to applying for annual leave, but nevertheless are absent from the university (i.e., you take off back home to visit family and friends), you should still pay us the courtesy of letting us know that you will be away; you don’t need to tell us where you are going, but we need to know if you are not around, just in case anything happens and we need to get in touch. A situation arose, for example, during the Jakarta attacks of 2016 when the School needed to get in touch with students who might have been in Indonesia at the time to make sure they were OK. A good number of such students had not recorded their travel plans or absences with us, meaning that we could not immediately confirm the safety of our people (yes, we see you as ‘our people’ because we care about our community!); instead, we had to rely on text messages to ‘people who might know where someone is’ and Facebook posts to gather information on people’s possible locations — not an ideal situation. So, please let us know when you are on leave.

Candidates should be aware that unapproved leave could result in their being in breach of the conditions of admission or scholarship award or, for international students, their visa conditions.

Download the Notification of annual leave form.

See the ANU’s Procedure: Higher degree by research – candidature and the page on research program leave for more info.

PROGRAM AND SCHOLARSHIP LEAVE (AKA 'SUSPENSION OF PROGRAM')

If you are unable to pursue your research program for personal or professional reasons, you may take leave from the program. This is not the same as Annual leave.

Any program and/or scholarship leave must be formally approved and an application should be submitted online well in advance of the date on which leave is envisaged to commence. You should write, in the first instance, to your supervisor explaining why you wish to suspend your course, and this should be endorsed by your supervisor. You should not assume that any request for leave will necessarily be supported. Be aware that unapproved leave could result in your being in breach of the conditions of admission or scholarship award or, for international students, your visa conditions. You can apply for a minimum of 7 days' leave or up to a maximum of 12 months' leave at a time. If more time is required, another online application needs to be submitted towards the end of the existing leave period. All applications for leave need to be approved by the chair of you panel and the Delegated Authority.

Scholarship leave is generally applied for when you apply for program leave. There is a section on the eForm application that asks you to list any scholarships you are on; this is because scholarships are not paid whilst you are on leave (except for paid medical leave), and payments need to be suspended for the duration of the leave. Things are slightly different if you are on an Endeavour award, in which case contact your Endeavour administrator.

The conditions for applying vary according to the type of scholarship you are on and whether you are an international or domestic student. International students must check their visa conditions and email the Office of Policy & Regulation before applying. You will be advised about the effect your leave may have on your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) and the possible consequences for your student visa. More information on visa requirements can be found on the International Office website.

More information about Research program leave can be found on the ANU's Postgrad research students website.

A request for this can be submitted via ISIS by following

  • Main Menu > ISIS > Degree Management > Manage My Degree > MMD HDR > Apply

CHANGES TO YOUR SUPERVISORY PANEL

Either you or panel members may request changes in supervisory panel arrangements during your candidature, and may seek advice on this from a number of sources. It is not unusual for students to make changes to their panel arrangements, especially if the research has changed direction (as often happens) and a supervisor can no longer provide advice on your topic. In these instances, talk the matter over with your supervisor and get the paperwork underway.

Sometimes you find that you and your supervisor simply do not get on. In these circumstances, it's best to act early to institute a panel that works for you. To do this, you must firstly investigate who else might be an appropriate supervisor for your thesis. Once you have some ideas, discuss the matter with your HDR Convenor, who can advise on the staff member's likely suitability and availability, and who can liaise with the current supervisor and any potential supervisors. Changing supervisor under such circumstances can be mentally and emotionally draining, so you should have a chat with someone you trust and who can provide advice on how the system works and on how best to proceed so that everyone stays emotionally safe. The Chair of your panel (who is likely also to be your Primary Supervisor) must sign off on any changes.

To formalise any changes involving ANU staff, fill out the HDR thesis topic or supervisory panel update form (below) and hand it in to the HDR Administrator. If your panel member is external to ANU you will need to send the HDR External Advisor Request form (on the same form, below) to the external advisor to complete and then send back to the HDR Administrator for processing.

Download the HDR thesis topic or supervisory panel update form

CHANGE TO PROGRAM INTENSITY/STUDY LOAD

If you are a domestic student, you can change from full-time to part-time study and vice versa. Commonly this occurs for health, family, or employment reasons. A change in program intensity should be discussed with the Chair of your supervisory panel. The application is approved by the Delegated Authority (the HDR Director). If you hold an APA or University scholarship you must remain full-time, or else you will forfeit your scholarship.

International students cannot normally change their program intensity.

A request for this can be submitted via ISIS by following

  • Main Menu > ISIS > Degree Management > Manage My Degree > MMD HDR > Apply


If the change being applied for is retrospective (i.e., the start date for the leave is earlier than 'today's' date), then you will need to contact the HDR Administrator.

CHANGE OF RESEARCH PROGRAM

It is possible to change your HDR candidature to another school or college within the University. If you believe that you would benefit from such a change, you should discuss the matter with the Chair of your supervisory panel and your area's HDR Convenor. If it is agreed that you should change research program, then you need to find a new Chair of Panel who will agree to take you on.

A request for this can be submitted via ISIS by following

  • Main Menu > ISIS > Degree Management > Manage My Degree > MMD HDR > [select form]


Changes to research program can only become effective on four dates a year, i.e., there are quarterly restrictions on when you can move to another area. Contact the HDR Administrator for more information.

CHANGE OF TOPIC

When you start your degree, you must register your thesis topic (or 'thesis title', as it is referred to, sometimes) with the HDR Administrator. If you want to change your topic in a significant way following your TPR you may need to undergo the TPR process again and no extension to the candidature can be guaranteed. Such a change should thus be carefully considered and discussed in detail with the panel.

A request for this can be submitted via ISIS by following

  • Main Menu > ISIS > Degree Management > Manage My Degree > MMD HDR > Change working thesis title

EXTENSION OF PROGRAM

If your thesis will not be completed and submitted by your maximum submission date, you must request an extension of program. This should be requested two to three months before the end-of-program date.

A request for extension of program can be made only on academic grounds, that is, it must be related to progress of the research, and you should not assume that any request for extension will be granted automatically. Indeed, a request for extension of program is unlikely to be granted unless you have completed all the relevant progress milestones to date and evidence has been provided of substantial progress on the thesis. There must also be a strong indication that your thesis will be completed and submitted within the period of extension requested. The maximum extensions that can be sought at any one time are 6 months full-time or 12 months part-time.

Extension of program and extension of scholarship are separate processes. You must take this into account if you are looking to extend either or both.

Please note that you can only submit a program extension request via eForms if you have not gone past your maximum submission date; further, you can only apply via eForms if you are within 3 months of your program end date and not before. You are required to finish your PhD within 5 years (if you are full-time); this includes time taken for leave. You can apply for extensions after the 5-year limit, although the Delegated Authority might not approve your application.

A request for this can be submitted via ISIS by following

  • Main Menu > ISIS > Degree Management > Manage My Degree > MMD HDR > Apply


If the change being applied for is retrospective (i.e., the start date for the leave is earlier than 'today's' date), then you will need to contact the HDR Administrator.

EXTENSION OF SCHOLARSHIP

Stipend scholarships such as APAs and ANU PhD Scholarships are usually awarded for a period of three years with the expectation that PhD programs will be completed within that time. In exceptional circumstances the University may grant up to a six-month extension of scholarship but only 'where the research has been delayed by circumstances beyond the scholar’s control' and where those circumstances are related to the research rather than being of a personal nature. If you have another Australian government or ANU-funded scholarship, then you need to check the conditions of award. Three months before expiry of the scholarship, you must discuss with your supervisor whether or not you are likely to submit within this period, and if necessary begin without delay the progress of applying for a scholarship extension, in liaison with the HDR Administrator.

As noted above with respect to extensions of program, requests for extension of scholarship can only be made on academic grounds related to progress of the research and you should not assume that any request for extension will be granted automatically.

Extension of program and extension of scholarship are separate processes. You must take this into account if you are looking to extend either or both.

A request for this can be submitted via ISIS by following

  • Main Menu > ISIS > Degree Management > Manage My Degree > MMD HDR > Apply

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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