Update to HDR students

27 October 2020

Dear HDR candidates,

Last week you may have seen an update from Professor Grady Venville to all students and today I'm writing to provide an update on some key issues concerning the HDR community. This email provides an update on:

HDR stipends

We've received several questions about HDR stipends and whether they will be reduced in 2021. I can assure you that all current HDR scholarships will be paid and the conditions of award will not change as a result of the ANU Recovery Plan. For University Research Scholarships (URS) and Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship holders, your automatic extension has been applied and will be paid. Stipends will continue to be paid as outlined in each ANU Scholarship Offer. You can read updated FAQs on our website.

I encourage you to visit our dedicated HDR candidate support page for additional information on financial assistance.


We've worked hard to develop a series of protocols and guides to assist HDR candidates who need to complete fieldwork. You can apply to recommence fieldwork in all Australian states and territories, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Required Research Fieldwork Protocols are met.
  2. A COVID-19 Fieldwork Plan has been approved.
  3. Fieldwork must comply with all travel requirements and restrictions applicable at the time.
  4. A WHS Risk Assessment has been completed and approved.
  5. A travel form and all supporting documentation have been approved in the ANU Travel System. 

You can find details on these requirements on our dedicated funding, ethics and regulations page. Please speak to your supervisor about fieldwork before submitting an e-Form.

International Student Pilot Program Update

Earlier this year, ANU and the ACT Government were exploring the possibility of assisting international students to return to Canberra as part of an International Student Pilot Program. We remain committed to bringing students back to our campus as soon as we can, however, this program is currently on hold. Once we have confirmation we can proceed, we will let you know.

In the meantime, we will continue to provide up-to-date information about the support services available for our international student community.


As you may be aware, we are unable to hold our normal graduations in 2020 due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. We're currently working hard to develop a digital alternative and we'll have more information on this soon.

More information about Graduations is available on our website.

Support services

This year has been like no other with many of us facing uncertainty and disruptions. Our University support services, including ANU Counselling and the ANU Wellbeing and Support Line, can be accessed remotely. These services can assist you with navigating your mental health and wellbeing, and I encourage you to use these services if you need them and to support those around you.

We have also created a site which provides you with strategies for supporting your wellbeing. These can assist you with managing your physical, mental, social, financial and spiritual wellbeing.

If you are isolating, have been tested, or have a confirmed positive result for COVID-19, please contact CommunityWellbeing@anu.edu.au.


Thank you all for your continued patience as we navigate this situation together. If you have any questions at all, your first point-of-call should be the ANU COVID-19 advice website. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please email your local HDR administrator or the Graduate Research Office (gro@anu.edu.au).

Please remember to remain in contact with your supervisory panel, and your School.

Stay safe,

Professor Ann Evans
Dean, Higher Degree Research