Responsibilities and entitlements


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Understand your responsibilities and entitlements as a graduate researcher.

To help you succeed, we have established a clear set of guidelines. The information below outlines your responsibilities as a graduate researcher. You’ll also discover what you can expect the University to provide, and what you’ll get out of your degree.

  • What are your responsibilities?
    • Be self-directed in your learning and research.
    • Create good research habits early. Agree on a work plan with your supervisors and stick to it. You should meet deadlines and keep to your time commitments. If you're full time, you should spend on average 40 hours per week on your studies. If you're part time, 20 hours per week.
    • Be proactive and discuss any issues – good or bad – with your supervisors as soon as they arise.
    • Conduct your research ethically and responsibly.
    • Discuss and agree intellectual property and authorship issues with your supervisors.
    • Make the University a safe and supportive environment for everyone. For more information, read Respect at the University.
    • Look after yourself! A research degree is a big undertaking. It’s important to look after your health – both physical and mental. Make the most of the many social and support services available to you.
    • Stay informed. You will receive important information via email and the student portal.
    • Submit any written work in time to allow your supervisors to review it before your meeting.
  • What can you expect the University to provide?

    The University will provide you with a high-quality research experience:

    • Knowledgeable supervisors who are experts in their field
    • Guidance to ensure your research contribution is relevant and globally valued
    • Valuable resources and facilities to enhance your research: innovative technology platforms, online and physical libraries, rare collections, and University archives
    • Research and transferable skills training to progress your career within and beyond academia
    • Exciting opportunities to collaborate with leading researchers from other disciplines
    • A vibrant research community with ready access to mentors and peer support.
  • What can you expect to get out of your degree?

    The University is proud of its global reputation for developing independent researchers. We encourage you to be creative in your research.

    We support you to learn a wide range of advanced and transferable skills. These skills will shape a rewarding career in academic, professional, industry or government settings.

    By the end of your graduate research degree, you will have the skills you need to be an independent and well-respected researcher. You will be able to:

    • initiate research and pose viable research questions
    • design, conduct and report original research
    • contextualise research within a body of specialist knowledge
    • evaluate and produce literature that is research-based
    • understand key norms and perspectives relevant to your field
    • be flexible in your approach to problem-solving
    • analyse critically within and across a changing disciplinary environment
    • communicate your research to a variety of audiences, both orally and in writing
    • cooperate with and respect the contributions of fellow researchers and scholars
    • respect truth and intellectual integrity, and the ethics of research and scholarship
    • understand the relevance and value of your research to national and international communities
    • understand issues related to intellectual property management and research commercialisation.
  • What are the expectations for jointly awarded PhDs?

    Jointly awarded PhDs offer an exciting opportunity. You'll access expertise, resources and world-class training at two leading universities.

    These extra conditions apply:

    • You must meet the expectations outlined by both universities.
    • You will enrol at both universities for the entire period of your PhD.
    • You must spend at least one year of your candidature in each university.
    • The details of your enrolment will be outlined in an individual student agreement between the University of Melbourne and the partner university.
    • If successful, you will receive a single doctoral degree, jointly awarded by the two universities.

First published on 17 February 2022.

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