Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Monash Institute of Graduate Research Update

In response to a changing global workforce, the Monash PhD was introduced as one of Australia's first PhDs with career enhancement, professional development and transferable industry skills built into the doctorate

The introduction of the Monash PhD by the Monash Institute of Graduate Research has highlighted the need to capture, record and report on student attendance at skills training. To address this the Skills Training and Reporting Project was initiated to enable the following identified business requirements:
  • Provide students with a single interface to view all training activities (coordinated by MIGR, the Library and Faculties) available to them, book into their selected activities, and have their attendance at activities recorded and reported in a summary format;
  • Provide an online, secure record of a student’s skills training which is accessible at any time by the student, their supervisor/s and authorised faculty and MIGR administration staff;
  • Allow faculty and MIGR administrators to configure their training activities to display booking information for the student including; the training mode, venue, dates, timing, maximum class size and availability of spaces;
  • Provide all users, including students, administrative and academic staff, the ability to view and print a range of reports at any stage of candidature;
  • Allow for the generation of a certificate of completion in the appropriate Monash format for individual students.

The project has included:

  • Identifying future state processes to support the training components of the Monash PhD;
  • Roles and responsibilities to support the business processes;
  • Guidelines and expectations for staff and students;
  • Software solution:  The procurement process, Vendor engagement, Progress update
The contract for the solution provider was signed on 16 September 2014, with an expected timeline for completion in November. An information session about the Skills Training and Reporting Project was held on 6 October 2014, a copy of the presentation can be found on the MIGR intranet.

Graduate Research Committee

PhD and MPhil thesis word length review
Last month the GRC approved a new limit of 80,000 words for PhDs and 35,000 words for MPhils. This change will apply only to students commencing their degree in 2015. It will not be retrospectively applied to currently enrolled students.

Eligibility for MGS and MIPRS: applicants who already hold a doctoral degree
Currently applicants who hold a PhD can be considered for an MGS or MIPRS, a practice which conflicts with commonwealth scholarship guidelines. The GRC endorsed the recommendation that these students be considered ineligible for these scholarships, effective from the 2015 mid-year scholarship round.

Graduate research progress management
Both the GRC and Academic Board have endorsed the new Graduate Research Progress Management Policy and approved the following procedures:
Graduate Research Progress Management Procedures;
Graduate Research Termination Procedures (and supporting Guidelines for Termination Appeal Panel Chairs);
Graduate Research Re-Admission Procedures.

A Special Edition MIGR Update will be sent out later this week providing more information and links to FAQs on these changes.

MIGR staffing changes

We have welcomed some new faces around MIGR with additions to our Admissions, Scholarships and Candidature teams:

  • Yumi Guo – Admissions;
  • Lana Yip – Scholarships;
  • Sarah Crotty – Candidature.

As well as some familiar faces moving into new roles with Rebecca Hillman taking a secondment into the Examinations team. David Tsolakkis will be supporting the Programs and Support team whilst a replacement for Rebecca’s role is sought.

Admissions and Scholarships

End of year scholarship round
A reminder that applications for the end of year scholarship round close on 31 October 2014. Anyone dealing with prospective students are asked to encourage the submission of applications as soon as possible. A Monash-Warwick Alliance scholarship is available this round and as such applications for the Monash-Warwick PhD, where supervisors at both Universities are available, are strongly encouraged.

Scheduled Callista upgrade
A reminder that the upcoming scheduled Callista upgrade means that Callista and associated systems such as Higher DREAMS and the Scholarship Ranking and Allocation System will be unavailable from 9pm Friday, 7th November 2014 until 9am Monday, 10th November 2014 AEDT.

Scholarship opportunities
A complete list of scholarships available for graduate research students is available on the MIGR intranet page Scholarship opportunities.

Changes to the Web Enrolment System (WES)
MIGR is pleased to advise that as a result of some recent system enhancements, graduate research students will now be able to access more information about their enrolment and candidature through the Web Enrolment System (WES).

Students can log into WES any time, which means that they will be able to keep track of their candidature more easily, and find out when milestones (such as confirmation) are due. Scholarship and sponsorship details (where applicable) along with the student's thesis title can now also be viewed through WES.

In addition, a new MIGR Intranet site has been developed which students will be able to access from within WES. This site provides links and information to forms, handbooks and policies, examinations and scholarships.

Further information about these changes to WES can be found in the Web Enrolment System (WES) flyer.

2015 re-enrolment key dates

Opening date: Monday, 13 October 2014
Closing date: Friday, 28 November 2014

Late re-enrolment*
Opening date: Saturday, 29 November 2014
Closing date: Friday, 12 December 2014

*The late re-enrolment fee will apply during this period. The 2015 late re-enrolment fee is $307.

SMS notifications to students
To support timely re-enrolment, Enrolment Services will be sending out SMS notifications to students on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 as a reminder that the closing date for ‘on time’ 2015 re-enrolments is Friday, 28 November 2014.

Writing-up away
MIGR recently updated the Doctoral and Research Master's handbooks to clarify the criteria for which writing-up away status is granted, however no changes to procedure or criteria have been made. Writing-up away status allows students to relocate overseas. Local students only can apply for this status to relocate interstate; however International students on an Australian Study visa can only apply for writing-up away if they are relocating overseas, that is outside of Australia. Current procedure remains that applications for writing-up away will only be considered after the requirements for all research coursework and training, and for doctoral students the Pre-Submission Seminar, have been completed, and a full first draft of the thesis has been completed. Applications must be accompanied by written support from the student’s supervisor and academic unit, certifying that these criteria have been met. For further information please refer to the Doctoral and Research Masters Handbooks.


Nomination of Examiners
A reminder that to avoid delays in thesis dispatch, the ‘Nomination of Examiners’ form needs to be submitted at least 20 working days prior to the student's expected thesis submission.

Graduate Research Student Graduations
MIGR would like to congratulate all research students who recently completed their PhD and Research Master’s and will be graduating in the October ceremonies. A record number of students (56+) completed their Research degree during the weeks of 23 and 30 September!

Useful examination resources
MIGR Intranet – quick links
We are very excited that an Examinations quick link is now available from the MIGR intranet home page!
Quick submission checklist
Designed to support students to finalise their thesis by providing relevant information and required forms.
Examinations intranet
Information on thesis preparation, submission, and examination including links to forms.
A set of FAQs have been developed which aim to answer common queries including thesis submission and award of degree.
Examination forms
The full list of submissions forms has been consolidated for ease of use. Please remember to submit all forms via email:

Skills Essentials - Super Saturday

The Skills Essentials team has organised a full-day skill development workshop on Innovation on Saturday, 1 November 2014. This workshop will be facilitated by Mr Nick Oddy from Integral Consulting, and comes highly recommend by previous participants, with 100% from a previous session indicating they would recommend this session to others.

This Innovative Thinking and Practice workshop has been specifically designed for graduate research candidates. Combining the best of theory and practice in a stimulating learning environment, participants will discover their own unique approach to innovation and find a practical and immediate application for the innovation tools provided.

It is hoped that the Saturday time slot will enable participation by a greater number of part-time candidates that may otherwise find it difficult to attend full-day sessions held during the working week.

Graduate research students and administrators can find out more about this and other Skills Essentials events by visiting the seminar booking and information system.

2014 MIGR Forum

The 2014 MIGR Forum will be held on Wednesday, 26 November 2014. The forum will give insight into the ongoing initiatives MIGR has been undertaking this year, as well as an outlook for the future of the graduate research space, including the recently endorsed changes to progress management of HDR students. Further information and formal invitations will be forthcoming.

The Monash BIG IDEA

MIGR was pleased to provide part funding in support of the Monash BIG IDEA event held at the Caulfield campus on the evening of Thursday, 9 October 2014.

The Monash Entrepreneurs Club did a great job organising the event, as did Dr Peter O'Neill from the Department of Management. The event was a great success with student teams "pitching" their ideas to a panel made uo of successful entrepreneurs with a view to securing financial investment to facilitate the move from "idea" or "prototype" to market.

MIGR recognises the importance of maximising the commercial and community benefits flowing from the research conducted by our talented students and staff. This was the third Commercialisation style event that MIGR has been involved in in recent months having provided some support and funding for two previous events; Commercialisation of Ideas – Do We Need Entrepreneurs? and New Venture Finance, and we look forward to increasing our involvement and support in this area in coming years.

Contacting MIGR

To assist MIGR with responding to enquiries in a timely and efficient manner, a reminder to please use the MIGR generic email accounts. Please visit the MIGR intranet for a full list of MIGR contacts.

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