Important Information While You Study

The Essentials

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Programmes are time-based and not semester-based. You are allowed between one (1) and two years equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) or between two (2) and four (4) years equivalent part-time student load (EPTSL) for a master by research degree (MPhil) and between two (2) and four (4) years equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) or between four (4) and eight (8) years equivalent part-time student load (EPTSL) for a doctoral degree (PhD).

Remarks. For HDR students sponsored by Curtin University Scholarship such as CMPRS and Faculty’s Tuition Fee Waiver, the funded stipend and/or tuition are only valid for 1.5 years for MPhil and 3 years for PhD. Therefore,  it is advisable that these students to complete their programmes within 1.5 years for MPhil and 3 years for PhD.

You may choose to enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. However, it is a mandatory for international students to enroll on a full-time basis to satisfy the visa regulations.

Supervisors

Your supervisors are there to help guiding you throughout your study at Curtin University Malaysia. They are the first people to go to when you have any question or concern related to your study, policies and processes, facilities and resource issues.

Thesis Chair

If you are having difficulties in your study or overall programme and have not been able to  resolve these issues with your supervisors, you should make an appointment to meet your thesis chair.

Enroling Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D

Associate Dean of R&D is responsible for monitoring your enrolments and progression.

Enrolling Faculty’s Dean

If your issues cannot be solved at the Associate Dean of R&D and thesis committee level, then you may make an appointment to meet the Dean to resolve them.

Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies (CMGS)

The Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies (CMGS) oversees high-level policy, administration and leadership matters related to Curtin’s HDR programmes. You may need to contact the CMGS if you are having issues in your course and these issues have not been adequately addressed at the Faculty level.

More Information

For more information about who to contact for what matter.

Issue Person
Faculty
Admission and requests to identify a supervisor Associate Dean of R&D
Trouble locating the and completing any HDR related forms Supervisor
Checking up on the progress of your Milestone application Supervisor or Associate Dean of R&D
Reporting issues with your supervisor Thesis Chair, Associate Dean of R&D and Dean
Advice on changing your enrolment status or taking leave Supervisor, Thesis Chair or Associate Dean of R&D
Advice on funding sources Supervisor or Associate Dean of R&D
Advice about computing resources/ issues Supervisor or Associate Dean of R&D
T&L activities example teaching Supervisor, Associate Dean of R&D, Associate Dean of T&L, Head of Department and Dean
Fee waiver policy matters Associate Dean of R&D
Advice and updates on milestone/thesis examinations Thesis Chair
Reporting grievances you are having with your supervisor team Thesis Chair, Associate Dean of R&D or Dean
Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies
Admission and enrolment policy matters HDR Admin Officer or Chair of Graduate Committee
Updates on course applications HDR Admin Officer
Scholarship policy matters HDR Admin Officer or Chair of Graduate Committee
Scholarship payment issues HDR Admin Officer
Policy matters related to change of enrolment / change of program HDR Admin Officer or Chair of Graduate Studies Committee
Advice on course withdrawal Chair of Graduate Studies Committee
Advice on show cause notices/ course termination policy and processes Chair of Graduate Studies Committee
Policy matters related to thesis examinations HDR Admin Officer or Chair of Graduate Committee
Advice and updates on milestone/thesis examinations HDR Admin Officer or Chair of Graduate Studies Committee
Fee waiver policy matters HDR Admin Officer or Chair of Graduate Studies Committee
Complaints and grievances that could not be resolved at the faculty level Chair of Graduate Studies Committee

Note. For any email to HDR Admin Officer, please email to GradSchool@curtin.edu.my.

During your enrolment, your progress will be formally monitored at three milestones.

  • Milestone 1 (M1)
  • Milestone 2 (M2)
  • Milestone 3 (M3)

Please visit the Milestones page for further information.

Supervisory Meeting Record System (Monthly Progress Report)

HDR students need to submit Monthly Progress Report every month (1st day of the month) for full-time enrolment and every two (2) months (1st day of the second month) for part-time enrolment.

It is a record of meetings between HDR students and their supervisors. For supervisory team, only the principal supervisor is required to submit this report.

HDR Students who fail to submit records of meetings may be assigned the “Conditional” status by the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies Committee. For persistent offenders, the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies Committee may recommend their scholarship (tuition fee and stipend) be suspended and/or their enrolment be terminated.

HDR students just need to submit their report online via this link.

 

Annual Progress Report (APR)

In order to meet government reporting requirements, Curtin requires higher degree by research students to complete an Annual Progress Report (APR) each year. The APR is a short online questionnaire which will give you the opportunity to review and confirm your enrolment details as well as report any impediments to progress which you have encountered in the previous year. You will be sent a link for the questionnaire at the opening of the reporting period.

2021 reporting period

In 2021 the Annual Progress Report will be open for typically a 6 week period in the first half of the year

All reports must be submitted via the online portal during this period. Extended access to the reporting website will not be possible.

Who needs to complete a report?

If you were enrolled in a higher degree by research on or before the 31 December 2020 you need to complete an annual report (unless you have submitted your thesis or have withdrawn from the course). This means that if you enroll on or after the 01 January 2021 you will not be required to complete the annual report.

If you are on Leave of Absence during the reporting period you must still complete the annual report.

Supervisors will also complete a report for each student.

What happens if you don’t submit your report?

If you don’t submit your APR by the closing date your enrolment status will be recommended to be changed to Absent Without Leave (AWOL).

 

Once Annual Progress Reports have been submitted to the system and their summaries are available, the Chair of Graduate Studies Committee arranges a Higher Degree by Research Review Board Meeting, one for each faculty. The meeting is chaired by the Dean of the Faculty and attended by members of all the Thesis Committees concerned at the Curtin University Malaysia. If principal supervisors or co-supervisors are on Perth campus, attendance via teleconferencing or other means can be arranged as necessary.

During the meeting, the Review Board considers and recommends the status of each HDR student. The recommended status can either be “Good Standing”, “Conditional”, “Pending” or “Termination”. After the meeting, the Thesis Committee should discuss decisions and recommendations from the Board with the respective student and plan for follow-up actions.

HDR admin officer also updates the students’ record and notify the students (especially those who are under conditional) on their academic status. The student may also regularly check their academic records in OASIS. Otherwise, they can request to their supervisor to access e-Academic and check their academic status.

All HDR students will have a thesis committee. A thesis committee consists of

  • Thesis Chair; and
  • Principal supervisor; and
  • Co-supervisor(s); and/ or
  • Associate Supervisor(s)

Your supervisory team carries the primary responsibility for your supervision, including the coordination of all communication between the supervisors and you. The supervisor will be a member of the academic staff of the school in which you are enrolled. You should be able to seek advice from your supervisor when you have problems in your research program. Many candidates find it best to present both the problem and potential solutions and discuss these, rather than solely relying on the supervisor to provide a solution.

For further information, you may refer to the following documents:

 

Your faculty will provide you with access to a computer, printer access and appropriate software to support your research programme. You will also be provided with a desk, secure storage and a telephone. Such resources may be shared, however your faculty will ensure that you have adequate and reasonable access commensurate to your research programme and stage of candidature.

Data Management Plan
You will need to create a plan for the management of the data you collect as part of your research, including data collection and storage. For further information see the Library’s Research Data Management webpage. The University provides the Research Data Management Planning Tool to assist you in creating your plan and accessing the University’s data storage facilities.

Data Storage
The Western Australian University Sector Disposal Authority (WAUSDA) requires all data you have collected in your research to be retained for a minimum of seven years after the completion of the research or seven years after it is published, whichever is later. This means that you and your Faculty must ensure secure storage of your data for this period.

 

Ensure you read the Guidelines for Essential Facilities For Higher Degree by Research. For Curtin University Malaysia, there would be some adjustments on the amount of available support and how it can be arranged.

The Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies (CMGS) provides discretionary funding to support HDR students undertake their research projects. This discretionary funding is administered according to the arrangements set out in the Guidelines for Essential Facilities For Higher Degree by Research and Research Support Fund Reimbursement List.

It is important for students and supervisors to note that any funding made available by the CMGS to support HDR research is discretionary and the allocation, administration arrangements and permitted uses may change from time to time throughout a student’s enrolment.

Lab, fieldwork and creative production costs

If you are undertaking a study which requires you to purchase essential materials, lab resources or data, or you need to undertake fieldwork, you may make a claim for reimbursement of your expenses from your research support allowance. Please obtain an approval from CMGS before making such purchase and/or fieldwork.

Editorial support

You may use your consumables allowance for editorial support. Please ensure you follow the provisions in the Guideline for Professional Thesis Editing.

All PhD students are eligible for mobility support to have travel related to their project, such as visiting and working in other institution’s labs or to attend a reputable conference. A maximum of RM2,500 funding is available during their course of research (University budget allowing). Normally, students are permitted to attend a conference after completion of Milestone 2 and prior to Milestone 3. Such funding support is not generally available for MPhil students. The use of this fund is subject to a final approval from CMGS.

It is important for students and supervisors to note that the funding made available by the CMGS to support HDR conference participation is discretionary and the maximum value and administration arrangements may change from time to time throughout a HDR student’s enrolment.

You can use the Curtin University logo on documents such as research participant information sheets, consent forms and questionnaires, but you must ask your supervisor to contact the Marketing & Communications Department to request a logo and to provide details about its intended use.

Making Changes

Your thesis title is officially recorded on your student record. Your thesis title on your student record must match the title of your submitted thesis.

The research title can be fully or partially amended due to the following reasons:

  • Your research topic is slightly modified (based on your discussion with your supervisor) and this also requires title modifications.
  • Recommendations by the internal assessors during milestone presentation (either during milestone 1, 2 or 3) as agreed by the thesis committee.

To change the research title, you need to discuss with with your thesis committee, complete  Variation to Candidacy Details form, and get it approved and signed by your supervisor and Head of Enrolling Area/AD, R&D prior to submitting this form to Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies.

The thesis committee involves the thesis chair a principal supervisor, co-supervisor(s) and/ or associate supervisor(s).

Changes in your thesis committee can be due to the following reasons:

  • Thesis chair, principal supervisor or co-supervisor(s)  has left the university and is no longer a university staff.
  • Thesis chair, main supervisor or co-supervisor(s) or associate supervisor(s) withdraws from the thesis committee.
  • Changing in percentages to each supervisor’s contribution.
  • Adding or reducing thesis committee member(s) (either thesis chair, principal supervisor, co-supervisor or associate supervisor).

You need to fill in Variation to Candidacy Details form, get it approved by Head of Enrolling Area/AD, R&D, and submit this form to Curtin Malaysia Graduate School’s office.

Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies Committee may approve a change to your thesis committee based on the recommendation of your faculty.

If you would like to change your thesis committee you should first discuss this with your supervisor or thesis chair. If this is not possible, then you should discuss the matter with the faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D.

It is important that you consult with your Thesis Committee and Associate Dean of R&D before requesting a change to your study mode.

A request for a change in enrolment can be made via the HDR Enrolment/Change of Enrolment Form. You need to submit your form to the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies after the form is approved by your supervisor and signed by Associate Dean of R&D.

Please be reminded that International students are only allowed to enroll on a full-time basis.

A request to confirm or to amend the enrolment can be made via the HDR Enrolment / Change of Enrolment Form. You need to submit your form to the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies after the form is approved by your supervisor and signed by Associate Dean of R&D.

To change from one higher degree research course to another, you need to apply for Milestone 1 again in the desired course. You cannot do this until you have achieved Milestone 1 in your current course, have an academic status of Good Standing and you have the support of your Thesis Committee.

Before approaching your supervisors, ensure you have read the Information Sheet for converting to another HDR course

Master by research degree to a doctoral degree

If you have obtained Milestone 1 and wish to change from a master by research program to a doctoral program, you must submit an application for Milestone 1 to a doctoral program to your Director of Graduate Research/AD, R&D and then CMGS.

Your principle supervisor will be required to certify that your proposed program of study is expected to produce an original contribution to your discipline that is of a standard internationally recognised for a research doctoral degree by providing a letter of support.

The recorded commencement date for the new program shall be that of your original degree.

You will be advised by the CMGS/GRS if you have been successful and your enrolment will be amended accordingly.

Doctoral degree to a master by research degree

If you have obtained Milestone 1 and wish to change from a doctoral program to a master by research program, you must submit an application for Milestone 1 to a master by research program to your Director of Graduate Research/AD, R&D and then CMGS.

The recorded commencement date for the new program shall be that of your original degree.

You will be advised by the CMGS/GRS if you have been successful, and your enrolment will be amended accordingly.

Your time-based enrolment commences from the date of initial enrolment into your thesis unit.

If the submission date of your milestone 1 (Candidacy), milestone 2 (Mid Candidacy) or milestone 3 (Pre-submission) extends beyond the limits prescribed (having taken any leave of absence into consideration), you will be placed on Conditional status.

If you are unable to submit your milestone 1, 2 or 3 within the designated period, you must apply for a formal extension.

The Australian Government’s Research Training Program (RTP) Guidelines allow a minimum period of three years and a maximum of four years equivalent full-time student load at the discretion of the University for a Doctoral student. For a Research Masters student the period of support is a maximum of two years at a full-time student load.

If the submission date of your thesis extends beyond the limits prescribed (having taken any leave of absence into consideration), you will be classified as Overtime and placed on Conditional status.

If you are unable to submit your thesis within the designated period, you must apply for a formal extension using the Request for Extension of Time to Submit Thesis form.  Extensions of time are only granted under exceptional circumstances. To be eligible for an extension you must be able to demonstrate:

  • reasons why you were unable to complete your research project on time;
  • that you have made a concerted effort throughout the duration of your research to keep the project on schedule

Scholarship holders

Be aware of the conditions of your scholarship, which usually only apply for a limited period of time, as this may mean that you will not receive funding for the extension period. You must contact the CMGS (GradSchool@curtin.edu.my) before applying for an extension.

 

Taking Leave

You are entitled to 20 days annual leave each year, calculated on a pro-rata basis. There is no formal application process, but you should obtain your supervisor’s consent prior to taking any leave. Please send an email to your supervisor to obtain an approval to your annual leave and then forward this approving email to Chair of Graduate Studies Committee and HDR Admin officer at GradSchool@curtin.edu.my.

If this permission is withheld, you should discuss the problem with your Thesis Chair. Annual leave may not be accumulated from year to year. If you are a scholarship holder, please check the conditions of your scholarship to confirm the amount of annual leave you are entitled to, and notify CMGS at GradSchool@curtin.edu.my before you take any leave. For scholarship holders, taking leave without the consents from the supervisor and Office of Graduate Studies or taking leave more than 20 days (without consents from the supervisor) may result in suspension of the tuition fee and stipend.

A leave of absence may be granted for a period of one to 12 months.

In exceptional cases, with provision of supporting documentation, more than 12 months of leave may be approved by the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies.

You must lodge an Application for Leave of Absence form prior to the start date of your proposed period of leave. Applications for retrospective periods will not be considered.

During a period of Leave of Absence, your enrolment will be suspended. You will not normally be allowed to remain on campus to conduct any research or demonstration. For scholarship holders, your scholarship (fee and stipend) will also be suspended. For International Students, approval of Leave of Absence is subject to their student visa requirements.

Important note: Due to student visa terms and conditions, international students may not be permitted take a leave of absence.

The University prefers that you do not take leave before approval of your Milestone 1. If Milestone 1 has not been attained at the time the leave of absence is approved, the due date for submission of the Milestone 1 will be extended accordingly.

If you are a scholarship holder, you are usually only funded for a specific period of time (normally three years for a doctoral program) during which it is expected that your research should be completed and your thesis submitted. Under these circumstances, should there be a period during which you are unable to actively engage in your research, it is recommended that you discuss your circumstances with your principle supervisor and Thesis Committee and apply for a leave of absence. You are also advised to check the conditions of your scholarship and you must advise the CMGS before taking a leave of absence.

You do not need to formally apply for sick leave if it is for a period of less than one month. However, you need to inform your thesis committee and also to inform the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies.

If your medical condition is going to affect the continuation of your studies beyond a month, you should complete an Application for Leave of Absence form and submit it along with your medical certificate.

If you are a scholarship holder you’ll also need to contact CMGS (GradSchool@curtin.edu.my).

Neither annual leave or sick leave (taken without an approved leave of absence) will extend your time to submit your thesis for examination.

Withdrawing Permanently From Higher Degree by Research Programme

If you are not able to continue your course and need to withdraw, you are advised to discuss with your thesis committee first on your intention.

To withdraw, you will need to fill in Enrolment/ Change of Enrolment form and submit the completed and signed form to Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies.

Before your application is approved, Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies will arrange a discussion session with you.

Cancellation of Enrolment

If your performance in your course is determined to be unsatisfactory, or if you do not comply with the policies, your enrolment may be Cancelled.

The process for the Cancellation of enrolment is detailed in the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student Progression Policy and Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student Progression Procedures.

 

The Conditional Status Information for Students provides some further information about the processes that may lead to the cancellation of enrolment.

Show-cause notice

If you have received a “show-cause” notice indicating the University’s intention to cancel your enrolment, you can:

  1. Lodge your appeal with the Chair of Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies Committee.
  2. Withdraw from your course to avoid cancellation of your enrolment.

If you choose to appeal and your appeal is unsuccessful, your Faculty chooses to continue with the cancellation of enrolment process.

Notification of outcome

You will be formally notified by the Chair of Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies Committee about the decision to cancel your enrolment.

International Students

If you are an International student studying on a student visa, a consequence of your enrolment being terminated is that you are potentially in breach of your student visa conditions. This may lead to your visa being cancelled by the Immigration Department. If you have any questions on visa issues, please contact the International Division.

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