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During your candidature

PhD candidate Sigit D. Sasmito

This page is designed to assist you in navigating your Higher degree by Research programme.

Changes During Your Candidature

Request for Leave of Absence

You are entitled to request leave of absence where you suspend your candidature. However, total leave of absence, excluding sick, maternity, or parental leave granted during the period of candidature shall not exceed one year. Leave may only be granted in the first six (6) months of candidature in exceptional circumstances. 

Form:HDR21 - Leave of Absence Form (

The above form should also be used when applying for sick leave and maternity / parental leave. Below exception to sick leave.

Sick Leave exception: HDR candidates are entitled to 10 days sick leave per year. No form is required to request this leave. Candidates should discuss their intentions with their supervisors and keep records themselves. Only after the candidate has used this sick leave in the year do they need to them apply for any other subsequent sick. 

Annual Leave: HDR candidates are entitled to 4 weeks of annual leave per year. No form is required to request this leave. Candidates should discuss their intentions with their supervisors and keep records themselves.

Change of attendance (full-time/part-time)

If you need to change your type of attendance at any time during your candidature, you may contact ORI at to check if your request will be possible and then discuss this with your supervisor, then complete the form.

Form:HDR51 - Request to Change Enrolment Status (
Change of Supervisory Panel

Use this form if you wish to change the composition of your supervisory panel. Supervision panels tend to comprise a Principal Supervisor, one or more Associate Supervisors, and sometimes one or more Advisors.

Principal Supervisor and Associate Supervisors must be staff members at CDU and must register on the CDU supervisor register.

Advisors include academics at other universities, industry partners, or professional staff who want to contribute to this supervision. Advisors do not need to register on the CDU supervisor register.

If you are unsure whether your proposed Supervisor(s) is on the register, please check with the ORI or email

Form:HDR11 - Change of Supervisory Panel (
Extension of Candidature/Scholarship

All requests for extension to a Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship or to HDR candidature will now go to the Research Committee Extensions Working Party. 

Extensions are usually not permitted unless a student can demonstrate that more than two thirds of their research project is complete AND extraordinary events have precluded the candidate from progressing their research. Also note that all HDR students enrolled on 31 March 2020 have already received a 6-month RTP COVID- extension and no further stipend extensions for those students will be considered unless there are exceptional circumstances. 

If students are experiencing delays in their research, they should discuss this with their supervisors, Faculty HDR support staff or the Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) as soon as possible. A list of the supports available for HDR students can be found here. 

To request an extension, please submit the below Extension request form, along with all necessary supporting evidence and endorsements. We also require a clear timeline of what has already been achieved and what is yet to be achieved. Please see timeline for the template below. You will be advised by the Office of Research and Innovation if the extension has been confirmed following the Research Committee Extensions Working Party meeting, which are held every 6-8 weeks.

Form:HDR36 – Candidature and Stipend Extension & Funding Support Application (
Timeline to completion template:Timeline to completion template - update_0.xlsx (
Extension Form Submission Deadline (COB)Extension Working Party Meeting Date
05 February 202419 February 2024
26 March 20249 April 2024
14 May 202428 May 2024
02 July 202416 July 2024
20 August 202403 September 2024
15 October 202429 October 2024
26 November 202410 December 2024

Upgrade from Masters by Research to PhD

Principal Supervisor to complete the below form.

Form:HDR20 - Application for Upgrade Form (
Change of research topic or title

Change of research topic: A candidate who wishes to alter the focus of research at any time after the commencement of the course of study must notify the principal supervisor and relevant Faculty Dean in writing and seek approval. A candidate may be required to withdraw from candidature, as the Faculty sees fit, when there is a major change in the focus of research as the Faculty may have difficulties identifying suitable supervisory expertise. A new application for admission into a program of study leading to a degree of Master by Research or Doctor of Philosophy, based on the revised research project, may be made.

Change of research title: If the change of title does not alter the research topic, the candidate may email and provide the new research title.

Withdrawal from Candidature

Candidates who are considering withdrawing from their candidature due to any circumstances should consult with their supervisor in the first instance and Faculty HDR support staff or the Dean of Graduate Studies. A form should be completed by candidates to formalize their withdrawal.

Form: HDR53 - Withdrawal Form (

Financial Research Support, Faculty Research Grants, and Travel and Field work

A range of financial support is available through your Faculty to support expenses associated with your research. This includes your annual student research allocation, funding to attend conferences, visit external supervisors, or other cases.

For queries relating to your research financial support, research grants, or travel and field work, please contact your Faculty HDR Administration office.

Student Research Allocation

During the period of your candidature, the University allocates PhD and other research students, a student allocation each semester for the duration of your research as follows:

Masters by Researchup to 2 years full-time or 4 years part-time
Doctor of Philosophyup to 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time

This funding is provided to assist you with your postgraduate research expenses, for example: purchase of equipment, software, assistance with travel expenses, binding and printing of your thesis. Allocations accrue each semester and funds are available to students currently enrolled in an approved course of study.

Students must obtain approval from their supervisor before purchasing any items.

On your admission into the University, the Faculty determines whether your area of research is characterised as a “high” cost or “low” cost area based on regulations from the federal government. The base level of faculty funding you will receive will depend on whether your project is determined to be a “high” cost or “low” cost project. 

For this year (2024), allocation will be as follows:

High cost (full-time student)$1800 per semester
High cost (part-time student) $900 per semester
Low cost (full-time student) $800 per semester
Low cost (part-time student)$400 per semester

If you wish to know the balance of your account, please contact the Faculty/School HDR Administration Officer. You might find it handy to set up your own Excel spreadsheet and keep tabs on your expenditure/balance. Allocations are credited to your account at the beginning of January and July each year. 

*Funds are not inclusive of GST

For further information:   Please contact your faculty HDR Administration office.   

Claiming Reimbursements

Note: HDR candidates from Menzies School of Research please refer to Menzies handbook for this section

As mentioned above, students receive an allocation each semester. These allocations accrue each semester, and funds are available to students currently enrolled. Students should obtain approval from their supervisor before purchasing any items. To ensure you have sufficient funds in your student allocation please contact your Faculty HDR Administration Officer for a balance update prior to making any purchases.

How to claim a reimbursement from your student funding:

A reimbursement claim can be processed via the HDR Coordinator. A Reimbursement Claim form will need to be completed and submitted with receipts/tax invoices. Original receipts can be submitted or a clear scanned copy of all receipts. If you are unable to provide originals invoices/receipts, you must complete a Statutory Declaration stating, date of purchase, supplier name, amount paid, why you do not have the receipt. All paperwork is to be forwarded to the Faculty HDR Administrator for processing.

Claiming Expenses Incurred in a Foreign Currency

If you are claiming reimbursement for receipts in a foreign currency, you will be reimbursed the amount in Australia dollars at the current exchange rate of the day your claim is processed by the faculty. Unless you can provide the exchange rate that was used at the time of purchase.

Candidate Bank Account Details

If it is the first time claiming a reimbursement, a Bank Account Details form will need to be completed and sent to the HDR Coordinator with a copy of your student ID card (not applicable if you are external and don’t have a card). This only needs to be done once for set up in the finance system.

For further information:   Please contact your Faculty HDR Administration office.   

Conference Attendance

Students are permitted to use part of their allocation to support conference attendance. However, this cannot be used to the detriment of supporting other requirements in their projects. Students who have significant conference expenditures should note that this cannot be used as justification for additional funds to complete their project if they have completely expended their allocation.

Note: In certain circumstances, it is possible to apply for an advance on your allocation. This will be considered upon a formal request from you and needs to be fully supported by your principal supervisor.

For further information:   Please contact your faculty HDR Administration office.   

Faculty Grants

Note: HDR candidates from Menzies School of Research please refer to Menzies handbook for this section

Domestic and international Conference Travel Grant

A grant for travel costs (e.g., airfares, accommodation, food, local transport) and registration fees will be made available to eligible candidates upon submission of a budget and documentary evidence.

To be eligible for this grant: Candidates must have acceptance of a paper or poster presentation for delivery at a conference. Must also be enrolled, have completed at least 1 (one) year of your candidature, be in compliance with their reporting requirements and have completed all milestones compatible with the duration of their candidature. One application only per life of Candidature.

To apply for a Conference Travel Grant: Please contact your Faculty HDR Administration office.

External Supervisor Visit Travel Grant

This grant is to provide an opportunity for external HDR students to meet with their supervisor, or an external supervisor to meet with their student. One application per year for a full-time enrolled student.

Indigenous Participants Fund

This grant is to assist students doing research and working directly with Indigenous people and/or focus groups. May be used to support payments of indigenous participants. No limit applies on applications (but a justification is required for every application).

Other Support Grants

The faculty may provide other support grants – In circumstances where existing allocation has been exhausted or in cases of hardship. One application only per life of Candidature.

For further information:   Please contact your faculty HDR Administration office.   

HDR Candidate Travel and Fieldwork

Note: HDR candidates from Menzies School of Research please refer to Menzies handbook for this section

HDR Students do not have access to CTM travel management system, and travel will need to be booked by your Faculty HDR Administration officer. Before any bookings are to be made, pre-approval from your supervisor is required.

The required forms to be approved and submitted to ensure all travel is captured in the CTM system at least 2 weeks before travel date: a) Movement request and/or b) Fieldwork risk assessment and plan

You are responsible for ensuring that you have completed the necessary paperwork, organised the required authorisations and fulfilled any other requirements. If this is not done, the travel will be deemed to be unauthorised, and you will not be covered by the University’s insurance.

Students should review the University’s Insurance Policy Travel Policy / Governance Document Library ( to ensure it meets their individual needs. To claim a reimbursement of any travel expenses, you will need original receipts for all expences. You should not that Travel allowance (TA) is not available for students.

For further information:   Please contact your faculty HDR Administration office.   

Additional information

Conduct of Research

Information on research integrity and human and animal ethics to be considered during your candidature is available here. CDU HDR candidates are encouraged to consult Research Integrity Advisors (RIAs) on research conduct issues and alleged breaches of the Code and CDU Research Policy, as well as regarding broader research integrity, ethics and responsible research conduct matters.

CDU operates in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) - Updated 2018 and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. This includes information on authorship and principles for research. The CDU Research Enhancement Program sessions provide candidates with an introduction to all aspects of research integrity and ethics.


The Office of Research and Innovation and Colleges produce various communication bulletins and newsletters to update staff and students on research activities and opportunities including the HDR Student Newsletter.

The HDR Student Newsletter is sent out monthly to your CDU student email account. We send essential information regarding higher degrees by research news updates, workshops, and opportunities for HDR candidates. Please make sure that your CDU student email account is linked to the email address that you access on a daily basis.

You can arrange this through the ITMS. In addition, each College has individual communication activities and bulletins distributed to HDR candidates.

Show casing your research

During your candidature, you are encouraged to publish your work in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. Candidates are encouraged to aim for high- impact and reputable journals and attend distinguished conferences to demonstrate research excellence.

Publishing during candidature will help you write your thesis, and in addition, assist you in gaining employment in research-related areas. You are encouraged to seek support from your supervisor and research leaders in your college as well as the CDU library in deciding where to publish. Information on where to publish is available at 

If your publication is related to your affiliation with CDU, you are required to include CDU in your author affiliation by-line on the publication. The recommended way tolist your CDU affiliation is: researcher name, Charles Darwin University, institute/centre or Faculty name (as applicable), city/town, state, Australia.

CDU will support you to showcase your research outputs by displaying them on the CDU research web portal (the public face of CDU’s institutional repository) ([https://researchers.]. Research outputs that become indexed in Scopus with CDU by-line are automatically harvested and added to the institutional repository.

For other publications, you are required to submit a copy to the institutional repository by email to []. The university research outputs team will arrange for the full text to be made publicly available on the webportal, if appropriate, and will be in touch with you if they need any further detail on your publications.

The university currently has a subscription to Scival, which is a product that you are able to use to track metrics on your publications that are indexed in Scopus, and to identify and benchmark against other researchers in your field.

The CDU HDR thesis collection is publicly available on the CDU research web portal, and once you graduate, your HDR thesis will also be included in the collection. Once you have passed your Confirmation of Candidature, you are eligible to have your profile page displayed on the CDU Research Webportal. For further details about what is required, visit our RIS Landing Page showcasing CDU HDR Research.

Grievance and what to do when things go wrong

You are encouraged to discuss your concerns with your supervisors, Faculty Administrators coordinator, Assistant Dean of Research, The Office of Research and Innovation staff or the Dean of Graduate Studies.

For any official complaints that your supervisors or administrators cannot resolve.

08 8946 7738

Blue 5.1.35, Casuarina campus

Complaints | Charles Darwin University (

Respect. Now. Always

Charles Darwin University is committed to providing a safe and respectful learning, working and living environment. Sexual assault and harassment are unacceptable. CDU has a range of support services and people who can assist you.

In 2017, Universities Australia commissioned a survey and released the report, Change the Course, that reported on sexual assault and harassment at Australian universities. Following this report, CDU put in place a range of measures to address student and staff safety and increased our visibility of the support we offer through Respect.Now.Always campaign

For further information go to the panel - Australian Human Rights Commission report into university student sexual assault and sexual harassment survey and RNA Campaign. Click on the links below to read the report, who to contact, and CDU’s actions including the Consent Matters course.

Two actions to note are the establishment of Contact Officers on all campuses and online. Contact Officers are CDU staff that can be contacted by students or staff to assist them to access services or decide on action to take. Another measure is Consent Matters – a free, online short informative course about sexual consent. It is easy to read and provides information to students about staying safe and keeping others safe.

Respect. Now. Always. | Charles Darwin University (

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