Changes to your circumstances

We understand that your professional and personal circumstances may change as you progress with your research. If your personal circumstances impact your research, you may need to change how you conduct your research.

Below is a list of things you may need to do or take into consideration to stay on the right path.

Below is a brief summary of the general provisions of an Master of Research (MRes) Yr 2, Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Candidates. It is not applicable to BPhil/MRes Year 1 coursework. Your actual provision will depend on your specific candidature arrangements.

Refer to the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Variations to Candidature Policy and your Scholarship Conditions of Award for detailed information.

Note these provisions are subject to approval and must be requested via the relevant form.

Candidature Provision

EWS Extended

Scholarship Extended

Scholarship Paid

Form Required

Annual Leave

20 working days per year accrued fortnightly

No

No

Yes

Apply using the Scholarship Leave Request Form (only required for scholarship recipients who are taking their annual leave outside of the January-December holiday period).

Sick Leave

20 working days per year accrued fortnightly

Yes

Yes
(only for periods between 11-20 days)

Yes

1–10 days: no form required
11–20 days: Notify the Office of Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships (OHDRTP) via email with the supporting medical certificate. Scholarships holders should also include the Scholarship Leave Request Form.

Parental Leave

Up to 60 working days
(over the course of the candidature)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Apply using the Leave of Absence Form (see relevant section below).

Leave of Absence

MRes Yr2: Max. 6 months over the course of the program on a Full-Time basis (pro-rata for Part-Time)
PhD/MPhil: Max. 12 months over the course of the program on a Full-Time basis (pro-rata for Part-Time)

Yes

Yes
(only for up to 60 working days of the candidature provision
and for medically substantiated periods of illness over the course of the scholarship tenure)

Yes
(only for up to 60 working days of the candidature provision
and for medically substantiated periods of illness over the course of the scholarship tenure)

Apply using the Leave of Absence Form (see relevant section below).

Extensions

MRes Yr2: Max. 3 months per request and no more than 6 months over the course of the program on a Full-Time basis (pro-rata for Part-Time)
PhD/MPhil: Max. 6 months per request and no more than 12 months over the course of the program on a Full-Time basis (pro-rata for Part Time)

Yes

NO
(except PhD/MPhil requests approved via the COVID Extension Scholarship Scheme)

NO
(except PhD/MPhil requests approved via the COVID Extension Scholarship Scheme)

Apply using the Extension eForm (see relevant section below) or COVID Extension Scholarship pdf form.

Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil)/ Master of Research (MRes) Year 1 candidates who enrolled from 2020 onwards should be able to modify their unit enrolment via eStudent. View tutorials for further guidance on changing units. You should only enrol into approved units.

If you are unable to do so via eStudent, please submit the approved Change of Units and Advanced Topics form [PDF 135KB] to hdrcurrent@mq.edu.au.

Please note the following:

Adding and changing units/advanced topic

  • You must submit your request within two (2) weeks of the start of the relevant session. No changes will be accepted after this date.
  • If the change in unit falls into a higher, Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) contribution band, you will have to pay the difference in fees on the same day as enrolment into the new unit (unless you have chosen to defer your payment to HECS-HELP). If the new unit is in a lower HECS contribution band, you may seek a refund (or it will be adjusted for your deferred payment). Alternatively, the credit balance may be used to cover fees for the next session.

Withdrawing from a unit/advanced topic

  • To withdraw without penalty, you must withdraw prior to the relevant session’s Census Date.
  • Candidates who withdraw from a unit after the unit Census Date are liable for the relevant unit fees and the unit from which they have withdrawn is recorded with a W (Withdrawn) grade.
  • Candidates who withdraw from a unit after the Last Day to Withdraw Without Academic Penalty incur both liability for the unit fees and an academic penalty where the unit from which they have withdrawn is recorded with a F (Fail) grade.
  • If you are seeking to withdrawal without financial or academic penalty, you must do so in accordance with the information on the Withdraw without penalty page.

If your residency details have changed, you must show proof of your new residency to Macquarie University by the next relevant census date for the change to take effect. For any students making upfront payments to the University, you should try to show proof of this change earlier to have the correct fees printed on your Statement of Charges by the relevant payment due date.

Candidates can request a change of residency in accordance with the instructions on the Notification of Change of Residency Status form [PDF 111KB].

If you obtain Australian citizenship, send a copy of your notarised citizenship certificate to hdrcurrent@mq.edu.au.

If the direction and topic of your research have changed and you have a new thesis title, you must submit a Change of Thesis Title eForm through eStudent.

If you are a citizen of a sanctioned nation, your supervisor must complete an Autonomous Sanction Questionnaire (ASQ) to undertake a risk assessment to ensure your research does not breach any of Australia's international sanctions. Your supervisor will upload this to your eForm after you have submitted it.

Note: Iranian candidates holding Australian student visas (subclass 500) must obtain approval from the Department of Home Affairs if they are planning on changing their thesis or research topic. This is in accordance with visa conditions 8203 and 8204.

Any changes to your thesis title/topic should be discussed with and supported by your current supervisor before submitting the eForm.

If you are a Cotutelle/Joint Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Co-Funded candidate, ensure you notify your partner institution about the change in your thesis title/topic.

After submission of the eForm, your request will go to your supervisor and the relevant HDR Offices. You will receive an email notification confirming that the change of title has been completed and recorded in our Student Management System.

A supervisory panel can go through a variety of changes: you may be changing Principal supervisor as your research is evolving, or adding an associate or adjunct supervisor for additional expertise. All changes to your supervisory panel must be recorded centrally, so you must submit a Change of Supervisor eForm through eStudent.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil) / Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Candidates are required to have a minimum of two supervisors appointed to their supervisory panel: the Principal Supervisor and Associate Supervisor. If at the time of enrolment there is only one principal supervisor, a second supervisor should be nominated within the first six months.

Master of Research (MRes)

Candidates are required to have a minimum of two supervisors appointed to their supervisory panel: the MRes Supervisor and Associate MRes Supervisor.


Any changes to your supervisory panel should be discussed with and supported by your current supervisor before submitting the eForm.

Note that HDR supervisors must meet the minimum standards for appointment to respective roles. Find more information on the HDR Supervision Policy.

After submission of the eForm, your request will go to your supervisor, departmental approver and the relevant HDR Offices. You will receive an email notification confirming that the change of supervision has been completed and recorded in our Student Management System.

"Offsite" enrolment refers to locations outside of the Macquarie University campus situated at North Ryde. This can be overseas, interstate but also includes regional NSW. Note that Macquarie University campus also includes the locations of Macquarie's controlled entities.

The University requires confirmation that the research being conducted offsite has all the required approvals (e.g. ethics or third party), including those that align to MQ's COVIDsafe plan [PDF 6,543KB] and current advice for researchers at MQ. Note that approval to enrol on an offsite basis does not always mean automatic insurance cover for the student, as it will depend on the nature and duration of the research.

Candidates who wish to enrol on an offsite basis have to complete and submit a Request for Offsite Enrolment form [PDF 294KB] and must not commence any research activities without written permission from the PVC HDRTP

Candidates on scholarship may have restrictions on the amount of time they can spend offsite and should check their conditions of award.

For further information about offsite research enrolment, see the Higher Degree Research Procedure for Commencing and Continuing candidates.

The following guidelines apply as a condition of all approved offsite enrolment:

  1. MQ HDR programs are normally offered on campus, on a face to face basis, except in extraordinary circumstances where the situation of the candidate prevents attendance to campus, such as the closure of Australia’s national and state borders.
  2. Requests to enrol on an offsite basis are to be made in writing via this form, and require endorsement of the Supervisor, Department and Faculty.
  3. Requests to enrol on an offsite basis are subject to approval of the OHDRTP and are not automatic.
  4. The research project must be designed such that the candidate can carry out their research and maintain progress towards timely completion of the degree, and if travel to Australia is not feasible, that completion of the program is viable offsite.
  5. All requests for offsite enrolment must be accompanied by a detailed timeline of activities for the period offsite requested.
  6. Where a candidate and Supervisor have not met in person, the Supervisor must confirm that at minimum a Skype/Zoom interview has taken place with the candidate.
  7. The candidate must provide a detailed description of their workspace, including access to internet, computer and other resources required for their research.
  8. A robust plan for communication must be documented and agreed to by the candidate and supervisory team. This is to include mode and frequency of communication that factors in any time zone differences, as well as a contingency plan should issues arise (i.e. if one party stops responding to messages or fails to meet appointments).
  9. Candidates who are approved to enrol offsite, must send certified and/or original copies of their personal and academic documentation (e.g. certified passport and testamur copy and original copies of academic transcripts) when requested, before the enrolment will be processed.
  10. Departments must, to the best of their ability, put structures in place to ensure the equivalent experience for offsite candidates as those attending campus, including (for example) online access to induction programs and seminars, workshops and HDR communities.
  11. Candidates enrolling on an offsite basis as a result of COVID-19 and the closure of Australia’s borders are expected to relocate to Sydney to complete their program at the earliest opportunity available, and should apply for a student visa as soon as they are issued with a CoE, even if they are unable to travel.
  12. MQ will ensure that all normal processing of CoEs and documentation required for visa applications is provided in a timely manner to candidates.
  13. OHDRTP reserves the right to withhold stipend payments to scholarship recipients who are enrolling on an offsite basis until they arrive in Australia, in accordance with the Letter of Offer and appended Conditions of Award.
  14. Candidates who are approved to enrol on an offsite basis without a stipend (living allowance) must describe how they are going to meet their living costs while studying on a full-time basis. The OHDRTP may recommend on a case by case basis that candidates enrol part-time.
  15. Candidates who are approved to commence their program offsite must submit a progress report quarterly, including the Annual Progress Report, in addition to the standard milestones (i.e. Protocol or Confirmation of Candidature).
  16. Both candidates and supervisory teams must commit to notifying the University (OHDRTP) as soon as it becomes apparent that the circumstances of the candidate are no longer viable for research to continue in an offsite capacity.
  17. Offsite enrolment in this context applies to cotutelle or joint PhD candidates commencing their MQ period on an offsite basis (away from MQ campus).

COVID-19 research FAQS

Current research requirements and practices are detailed on the information for research staff page and are updated regularly. This includes current approvals required for research off campus, in other countries, and face to face research involving Human Participants. Please note that all research involving at risk populations off campus requires approval from the COVIDSafe team.

International SOS

All candidates approved to work outside Australia should register with International SOS using Macquarie University’s provider code. iSOS provides access to intelligence and information services with up to date medical and security information in international locations. Advice including counselling support in local languages is also available.

Candidates are enrolled full time unless otherwise approved (via relevant clause and process), as defined in the HDR Rules.

Candidates may apply to change from Full-time (FT) to Part-time (PT) at any point in candidature, but must do so before the relevant census date for the enrolment period and be supported by the Faculty. Conversion between FT and PT is considered a permanent conversion until the candidate re-applies to revert the enrolment mode.

To request a change of attendance, complete the following: Change of Program form [PDF 231KB].

International candidates wishing to change to part-time enrolment may only do so subject to visa conditions.

Scholarship holders are only permitted to continue to be paid a part-time award under exceptional circumstances. Refer to the conditions of your award and attach your written case for part-time candidature (with supporting documents where necessary).

Candidates can apply to transfer (upgrade) between Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) after a minimum of one year and a maximum of one and a half years (or part-time equivalent) following enrolment in the MPhil.

To request a transfer, candidates should complete and submit the Transfer Application form [PDF 108KB].

The closing date for receipt of transfer applications for the first enrolment period is 7 February and for the second enrolment period is 7 August. Transfer applications received after these dates will, if successful, take effect from the next enrolment period.

For further information, see the Higher Degree Research Transfer policy.

Leave is a period of non-enrolment in which your supervision, access to University facilities and scholarship payments, if applicable, are suspended.

Applications are reserved for exceptional circumstances beyond a candidate's control and must be supported by your Principal Supervisor, Head of Department and Faculty Associate Dean (HDR). Such reasons include illness, maternity, or family responsibilities. You must provide documentation to support your leave application, such as a medical certificate.

Candidates wishing to apply for a period of leave are required to complete the following:

International candidates must notify the Office of Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships of any planned leave as soon as possible. The University is required by the Australian Government to inform the Department of Education and Training of any changes to enrolment within 14 days.

Scholarship holders should check their Conditions of Award before applying for any Leave of Absence (LOA) and/or Suspension of Award (SOA).

Returning from leave

You will be automatically re-enrolled into your program when your leave ends, subject to any outstanding fees.

If you are planning on returning earlier from leave, please email hdrcurrent@mq.edu.au as soon as possible so that your record can be amended. If you need to extend your leave then you will need to submit a new Leave of Absence request using the above forms.

If your scholarship was suspended during your leave period, and you are entitled for the stipend payments to continue on resumption of your studies, you will need to ensure that your bank details are up to date in eStudent. You will also need to ensure that you email hdrschol@mq.edu.au confirming that you are returning as planned. Failure to do so may result in delayed payment of your stipend.

For further information about leave entitlements, refer to the Variation Provision table in the first accordion above.

Candidates are expected to plan their research so they can meet their Expected Work Submission (EWS) date at the same time as other obligations they might have, both inside and outside the University. If you are unsure of your current EWS and consumed EFTSL, check your record in eStudent:

  • Navigate to the My Enrolment tab in eStudent
  • Click on 'Check Unit Enrolment'
  • When your course displays, click on the 'Enrolment Periods' link. See screenshot below.
  • You will see your EWS, Enrolment Period Summary and current supervisors.

Candidates can apply for extensions only in exceptional circumstances, where serious and unavoidable circumstances arise after enrolment that have affected their ability to commit fully to their studies. To request an extension to your EWS:

  • Log in to eStudent 
  • Complete a 'Request to Extend EWS Date' form.

Exceptional circumstances include illness, misadventure and carer responsibilities. Note that approval of extension is not automatic. You will also be required to provide supporting documentation such as an updated Completion Plan, confirmation from a funding or cotutelle partner that the extension is approved and/or medical documentation (if applicable to your request).

There are no options to extend scholarships beyond the maximum period outlined in your offer letter*.

Ensure that you read section 5.4. of the HDR Variations to Candidature Policy, which outlines the period of time an extension can be granted for. Different programs have different entitlements.

Any requests for extension must be discussed with and supported by your supervisor before submitting the eForm.

After submission of the eForm, your request will go to your supervisor, departmental approver and the relevant HDR Offices. You will receive an email notification confirming that your extension request has been completed and recorded in our Student Management System.

Application lodging deadline

You must lodge an application at least four (4) weeks before your current Expected Work Submission (EWS) date.

Extension for international candidates

If you are an International candidate and your extension is approved, the Office of Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships (OHDRTP) will issue you with an updated CoE to cover the extension period. You may be required to purchase additional OSHC and apply for a visa extension; however, this will depend on the period of the extension.

Fees for extensions (international candidates only)

From 2021, international candidates will no longer be charged full tuitions fees on a pro-rata basis for the additional period of enrolment. Instead, candidates who apply for and are approved for an extension of EWS date in accordance with the HDR Variations to Candidature Policy will be charged a flat rate of AUD $2000 for a 3 month extension as a write up fee (International Out of Time fee or “iOOT” fee). Further information and FAQs are available on the HDR Fees webpage under the International tab.

Thesis not submitted / extension not approved

  • Master of Research: If your thesis is submitted late, you will be penalised one percentage point from your final MRes thesis grade per calendar day until your thesis is submitted. Submission will be taken as the date your thesis is submitted electronically via the portal.
  • MPhil/PhD: If you do not submit your thesis by your Expected Work Submission date, your enrolment will cease. On cessation of enrolment, you will immediately lose access to the library, information and communication technology (ICT) resources, faculty research facilities and supervisory support. Refer to section 5.6. of the HDR Variations to Candidature Policy.

Readmission

If you are approved for re-admission following withdrawal/discontinuance after having consumed your full EFTSL entitlement, a period of enrolment sufficient for satisfactory completion of the thesis and submission will be determined by the University and will not exceed 3 months (full time equivalent).

Re-admitted international candidates will be liable for the iOOT fee for the additional period of candidature.

*Unless applied for and approved via the HDR COVID-19 Extension Scholarship Scheme

Withdrawal from candidature is a complete discontinuation of studies.

Before withdrawing you should first consult your principal supervisor, the faculty HDR manager and the department.

  • Bachelor of Philosophy/Master of Research Y1: Complete and submit a Change of Units and Advanced Topics form [PDF 138KB].
    • Candidates who withdraw after the Census Date are liable for the relevant unit fees and the unit from which they have withdrawn is recorded with a W (Withdrawn) grade.
    • Candidates who withdraw after the Last Day to Withdraw Without Academic Penalty incur both liability for the unit fees and an academic penalty where the unit from which they have withdrawn is recorded with an F (Fail) grade.
    • If you are seeking to withdraw without financial or academic penalty from units, you must do so in accordance with the information on the Withdraw Without Penalty page.
  • Master of Research Y2, MPhil or PhD: If you still wish to proceed with withdrawal, you must complete the ‘Request to Withdraw’ eform via eStudent. Failure to do so will result in your candidature continuing, thereby impacting tuition fees and any future enrolment tenure. Withdrawals cannot be backdated. Your withdrawal date will be the date you notified the University of your withdrawal by submitting the form.

International candidates must notify the Office of Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships (OHDRTP) of their withdrawal as soon as possible. The University is required by the Australian Government to inform the Department of Home Affairs of any changes to enrolment within seven (7) days.

Where a candidate has consumed their entire EFTSL allocation and withdraws, they may apply to be re-admitted for submission of their thesis within two years of withdrawal. Re-enrolling international candidates may be charged tuition fees. Refer to section 5.8 of the HDR Variations to Candidature Policy.

The Office of Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships (OHDRTP) is required to report your change in candidature to the Department of Home Affairs. Before submitting a change request, you should review the terms and conditions for your visa and ensure that you comply with them.

For specific information about the impact of a change to candidature, refer to the relevant section above.

Visit COVID-19 FAQs page for more information.

The COVID-19 extension scholarship scheme is open to current PhD scholarship holders funded by Macquarie University, who have experienced extreme disruption to their research program as a direct result of COVID-19. Requests for an extension are not guaranteed and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the PVC HDR Training and Partnerships.

If approved, the scholarship will include a stipend and, where relevant, international tuition fees for a maximum of 3 months. You may apply for this scholarship when you are within 6 months of your scholarship expiry, and applications will be open from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022.

To apply:

  • Log in to eStudent 
  • Complete a 'COVID-19 Extension Scholarship Scheme’ eform.

You must be able to demonstrate extreme disruption by detailing: (1) the impact of COVID-19 on fieldwork, experimentation, and data collection; and (2) that mitigation strategies were considered but alternative work could not continue. This disruption must be documented in your 2020 APR and have the support of your supervisor. See below for examples of extreme disruption.

If you were exempt from the 2020 Annual Progress Report then you may be asked to provide evidence you have documented the impact of COVID in an online COVID Impact Record (also completed as an eForm in eStudent).

If your EWS date and current scholarship expiry coincide and your application is approved, you will be granted a corresponding extension of EWS date, and do not need to complete and additional ‘Request to Extend EWS’ eform. After this, additional extensions of candidature will be considered in accordance with the HDR Variations to Candidature Policy and the 'Request to Extend EWS Date' eForm.

If you are unsure of your current EWS and consumed EFTSL, check your record in eStudent:

  • Navigate to the My Enrolment tab in eStudent
  • Click on 'Check Unit Enrolment'
  • When your course displays, click on the 'Enrolment Periods' link. See screenshot below.
  • You will see your EWS, Enrolment Period Summary and current supervisors.

If you are unsure of your scholarship end date, please contact hdrschol@mq.edu.au.

Guidance Notes on Extreme Disruption Due to COVID-19

  1. A candidate has been unable to access critical research resources (such as museum or library collections, laboratories, access to research collaborators) and has been unable to modify research program to mitigate the impact of this disruption.
  2. A candidate carries out their research on vulnerable populations (such as the elderly, children or indigenous populations) and access to these populations has been severely limited as a result of the pandemic. These impacts are time sensitive and could not be mitigated through modifications to program timelines or online participation.
  3. A candidate’s research involves field work that must be carried out in a location that is directly impacted by national or international travel restrictions.
  4. A candidate may have been able to continue working on their research, but due to the pause of face to face research or restricted access to campus/resources the research direction had to be adjusted to the extent that it is clear the candidate could no longer complete within the original timeframe.
  5. The personal or health impact of COVID-19 has resulted in a level of disruption that cannot be accommodated fully through existing variation mechanisms, such as paid carers leave, paid sick leave etc. This might include impacts on emotional or physical health and well being.
  6. A candidate was unable to work effectively during the lockdown, as a result of significant restrictions in their living accommodation. This might include limited access to the internet, absence of suitable technology or unsuitable working space. A candidate would have to show how such disruptions went beyond the typical challenges associated with working in a home rather than an office environment.

All information provided by candidates will be treated confidentially. Where requests are based on health reasons, candidates are not required to disclose personal details of their health. However, medical certificates should indicate the impact on the candidate’s ability to carry out their research for the period specified.

All candidates in MRes Y2, MPhil or PhD may complete a COVID Impact Record at any point in their candidature, where research plans have changed as a result of the pandemic and as a result the timeline to completion has shifted. This form serves as a documentation record only, and will be viewed by your Supervisor, Department and Central OHDRTP Office. This form will not action any changes to your candidature. You may use a copy of this record to support requests for changes to candidature at a later date.

To complete:

  • Log in to eStudent 
  • Complete a ‘COVID Impact Record’ eform.

A COVID Impact Record is intended to be a point in time record, and candidates are encouraged to submit subsequent COVID Impact Records as their circumstances develop and their research timelines shift.

COVID Impact Records do not replace the mandatory requirement for PhD and MPhil candidates to submit their Annual Progress Report.

The OHDRTP has introduced an interim progress report tool for candidates and supervisors. Interim progress reports are a formal, but short report on a candidate’s progress over the last enrolment period (usually 3 months) and an updated plan for the following three months. Interim progress reports are not a standard requirement, but may be mandatory in the following circumstances:

  1. Candidates who have been approved to enrol on an offsite basis (away from MQ Campus) due to travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19 must complete an Interim Progress Report every three months from their enrolment date, as a condition of their continued enrolment in the program, in addition to the standard progress milestones required in your Faculty.
  2. Candidates who have been approved to recommence their research on an offsite basis (away from MQ Campus) due to the impact of COVID-19 must complete an Interim Progress Report every three months from the commencement of their offsite research period.
  3. Candidates who have been recommended for Department or Faculty Review may be asked to complete an Interim Progress Report as part of an intervention strategy to allow the candidate and Supervisory panel to closely monitor progress.

To complete:

  • Log in to eStudent 
  • Complete an ‘Interim Progress Report’ eform.

If you have any questions about any change to candidature, contact the Office of Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships.

Contact us

  • Office of HDR Training and Partnerships
  • Macquarie University
  • Level 2, 16 Wally's Walk NSW 2109
  • T: +61 (2) 9850 4741