HDR administrative support

HDR COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The University has announced a range of support options for Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates in response to campus closures and travel restrictions related to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The following FAQs relate to the administration of your program and have been created to assist you in understanding the details of administrative support available.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible for support, please contact your local HDR Administrator in the first instance.

FAQs

Deferrals and study options

Q: What are my study options if I am unable to arrive in Canberra and commence my HDR Program by the latest commencement date for my current offer of admission?

A: The best option for you at this stage is to request a deferral of your offer to a later date. We recommend that you email the Graduate Research Office (GRO) HDR Pre-Candidature Team (hdr.admissions@anu.edu.au) asking for a new offer to allow commencement in the last quarter of 2020 (October to December 2020) when there is more chance that travel restrictions have eased.

Q: How can I defer my current offer if I am unable to travel to Australia?

A: You can request to defer your offer of admission by emailing the GRO HDR Pre-Candidature Team (hdr.admissions@anu.edu.au). Please include your ANU student ID number or online application number, your name, and your preferred intake, in your email to us.

Q: Can I commence my PhD/MPhil program offshore?

A: Offshore commencement of your PhD/MPhil program will be considered once your visa has been granted. There are a couple of other requirements as well, including that you provide us with a plan for the first six months of your research project. We'll also need to see that you've had regular contact with your Primary Supervisor and that you've opened an Australian bank account.

Q: Can I start my PhD/MPhil program offshore if my visa hasn't been granted yet?

A: Unfortunately, approval for offshore commencement where a visa has not been granted is currently not approved. You should apply to defer your offer of admission in the first instance whilst you wait for the outcome of your Student Visa application.

Q: I have a 2020 RTP or URS Scholarship offer that requires commencement in 2020. I am waiting on a Student Visa and may not be able to arrive and commence in 2020. Can I defer my offer of admission and scholarship to 2021?

A: You can apply to defer your offer of Admission to 2021 however at this point in time the 2020 RTP and URS Scholarships are still limited to commencements and take up in 2020. This may be reassessed later in 2020 taking into account the changing situation with regards to travel restrictions, however if the limitations remain in place then unfortunately you will need to request to be considered for another scholarship in the 2021 round.

Scholarships

Q: If I have approval to defer my commencement of admission will the Scholarship I have been awarded and accepted also be deferred in line with my admission?

A: Most scholarships will be able to be deferred together with admission deferral but this will be confirmed with the Research School/College when approval is sought as it depends on the type of scholarship/s that have been awarded.

Candidates that have accepted an offer for the Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) scholarship or University Research Scholarship (URS) awarded for commencement in 2020 will be able to take up the scholarship up until the end of 2020, in line with their approved deferral of admission.

Q: What do I do if I have deferred my offer and received my new offer letter but not my new scholarship letter?

A: Once approved to defer an offer of admission you will receive a new offer of admission. If you have already received and accepted a scholarship offer, the Scholarship offer letter remains valid, unless you are notified otherwise, so a new scholarship offer letter will not be sent.

English language requirement

Q: I have a conditional offer and am required to meet the Universities English language requirements. Due to limitations on taking an approved English language test, can I have this condition waived?

A: No. All applicants, whether domestic or international, must provide evidence that their English language ability meets the minimum requirements for admission. Therefore, it is not possible to have this requirement waived but you can request to defer your offer of admission to allow you more time to meet this requirement.

Q: Can we extend the two year expiry for approved English language tests?

A: No. All applicants, whether domestic or international, must provide evidence that their English language ability meets the minimum requirements for admission as outlined in the ANU English Language requirements for admission policy.

Student visas

Q: What is the processing time for a Student Visa given the current travel restrictions?

A: For information about the Visa application procedure, requirements and processing times for a subclass 500 Student Visa, please refer to the Australian Department of Home Affairs webpage. The Department has also published fact sheets with the latest information on the impacts of COVID-19 on Student Visas which can be found on the COVID-19 and the border webpage. The ANU GRO is unable to provide any Visa advice.

If you are experiencing Visa delays (longer than three months) please contact the GRO HDR Admissions Team (hdr.admissions@anu.edu.au) and provide the date you submitted your Visa application for tracking purposes.

Q: When should I apply for my Student Visa given the current travel restrictions?

A: You should apply for your Student Visa shortly after receiving your eCoE from the GRO Admissions Team. For information about the Visa application procedure, requirements and processing times for a subclass 500 student visa, please refer to the Australian Department of Home Affairs webpage. The Department has also published fact sheets with the latest information on the impacts of COVID-19 on student visas which can be found on the COVID-19 and the border webpage. The ANU GRO is unable to provide any visa advice.

If you are experiencing Visa delays (longer than three months) please contact the GRO HDR Admissions Team (hdr.admissions@anu.edu.au) and provide the date you submitted your visa application for tracking purposes.

Accommodation

Q: What should I do about accommodation?

A: Please refer to the HDR candidates webpage for HDR candidates and Honours / Masters Students. Information relating to student accommodation is available on the Residential students webpage.

Document Requirements

Q: I have to provide my final transcripts and degree certificate to meet the conditions of my offer but my University is closed. What should I do?

A: Please refer to your ANU Offer of Admission to determine the conditions that need to be met, if any. If you are required to provide final transcripts and your degree certificate, please provide the documents you are able to access for review by the GRO HDR Admissions Team (hdr.admissions@anu.edu.au). If we are unable to accept these documents in order to meet the conditions of your offer, your offer will remain conditional until the required documents can be provided. This may mean you will have to defer your offer to a later intake.

Automatic program extensions

Q: Am I eligible for an automatic six-month program extension as announced by the Vice-Chancellor (VC) in March 2020?

A: If on 30 March 2020 you were within your Standard Program Duration (up to four years for a full-time PhD, eight years for a part-time PhD), had not reached your Maximum Submission Date, and had not already applied for a program extension, you were eligible for an Automatic Program Extension. Automatic Program Extensions for eligible HDR candidates were completed (processed in the Student Administration System (SAS) and available to view on ISIS) by 22 April 2020. Eligible candidates will have received an individual email communication from GRO on 4 May or 5 May 2020.

To check your ISIS account to see your new Extension of Program End Date:

  1. Log into ISIS.
  2. Go to the NavBar icon (top right-hand corner of screen).
  3. Select the following menu options: Main Menu > ISIS > Research > Research Candidature.
  4. Select the 'Information' tab against your current HDR Program under 'Candidature Details'. Scan across to your 'Extension of Program End Date'.

If your program has not been extended please contact GRO (gro@anu.edu.au) for advice providing your name and UID.

Q: I received an Automatic Program Extension, am an International fee-paying student and am onshore, and I have been charged the $3,000 or $4,000 Program Extension tuition fee for my Program Extension in 2020. Can I apply to have these program extension fees covered?

A: Yes, you can by completing the COVID-19 HDR Onshore Program Extension Fee Support application form which can be found under 'Reference documents' on this webpage.

To be considered you should fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Have an automatic program extension for a period in 2020
  2. Have an approved program extension for a period in 2020

You can also use the form if you have already paid the program extension fees for an extension in 2020 and are seeking a reimbursement.

You will be asked to outline how your program has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, including any supporting documentation, and that you are requesting to have your Program Extension fees refunded. Your application will be considered by the Dean HDR on a case by case basis. The GRO Candidature team will let you know once a decision has been made and if approved will let you know how you can receive your refund.

Q: What will happen to my existing application for program extension?

A: If your approved Program Extension was received by GRO on or before 10 April 2020, your extension should now be complete. Please check your ISIS account to see your new program end date:

  1. Log into ISIS.
  2. Go to the NavBar icon (top right hand corner of screen).
  3. Select the following menu options: Main Menu > ISIS > Research > Research Candidature.
  4. Select the 'Information' tab against your current HDR Program under 'Candidature Details'. Scan across to your 'Extension of Program End Date'.

If your approved application was received after this date, it will be processed as soon as possible.

If your extension is urgent, or your program end date has not been updated, please contact your School/College HDR administrator in the first instance.

Q: Will my program be automatically extended if I have exceeded my Maximum Submission Date/Standard Program Duration and am already on program extension?

A: No, your program will not be automatically extended. Speak to your local HDR Administrator about submitting an additional application for extension. You can use COVID-19 reasons for fast-tracked approval.

Q: Will my program be automatically extended if I have exceeded my Maximum Submission Date/standard program duration and have not applied for a program extension?

A: No, your program will not be automatically extended. Speak to your local HDR Administrator about submitting an application for extension of program. You can use COVID-19 reasons for fast-tracked approval. Please note that as you are past your Maximum Submission Date and not currently on a Program Extension you will be unable to apply through ISIS (Manage My Degree Program Extension eform) and instead will need to complete the manual Application for Extension of Research Program Form PDF available through the Manage My Degree (MMD) eForm Exemptions page.

Q: How do I check if my Program Extension has been processed?

A:

  1. Log into ISIS.
  2. Go to the NavBar icon (top right hand corner of screen).
  3. Select the following menu options: Main Menu > ISIS > Research > Research Candidature.
  4. Select the 'Information' tab against your current HDR Program under 'Candidature Details'. Scan across to your 'Extension of Program End Date'.

COVID-19 Onshore Program Extension Fee Support

Q: I recently have been approved for a Program Extension due to COVID-19 reasons and have paid the Program Extension fees. Can I apply to have these fees refunded?

A: Yes, you can by completing the COVID-19 HDR Onshore Program Extension Fee Support application form which can be found under 'Reference documents' on this webpage.

To be considered you should fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Have an automatic program extension for a period in 2020
  2. Have an approved program extension for a period in 2020

You can also use the form if you have outstanding tuition fees as a result of having an automatic program extension applied.

You will be asked to outline how your program has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, including any supporting documentation, and that you are requesting to have your Program Extension fees refunded. Your application will be considered by the Dean HDR on a case by case basis. The GRO Candidature team will let you know once a decision has been made and if approved will let you know how you can receive your refund.

Q: I was not eligible for the automatic program extension as I am already on extension of program. I have just been approved for another program extension based on being significantly impacted by COVID- 19 and have been charged the program extension tuition fee as I am an international onshore candidate. Can I also apply to have my fees covered?

A: Yes, you are eligible to apply by completing the COVID-19 HDR Onshore Program Extension Fee Support application form which can be found under 'Reference documents' on this webpage.

Automatic six month Scholarship Extension for RTP and URS scholarship holders

Q: Am I eligible for the automatic scholarship extension?

A: If you are on one of the following eligible scholarships and had not yet applied for your six-month extension, ANU will automatically approve scholarship extensions from 3 years to 3.5 years.

  • Research Training program Scholarship (RTP)
  • Research Training program Scholarship (International) (RTP - International)
  • University Research Scholarship (URS)
  • ANU HDR Fee Merit Scholarship

If you were active anytime within the three-year initial scholarship period (fulltime equivalent) between 01/01/2020 to 30/03/2020, your scholarship was extended automatically.  All other eligible scholarship holders should apply using the normal ISIS MMD-HDR eForm.

To check your ISIS account to see your new Scholarship Extension Expiry Date:

  1. Log into ISIS.
  2. Go to the NavBar icon (top right hand corner of screen).
  3. Select the following menu options: Main Menu > ISIS > Research > Scholarship Detail.
  4. Select the 'Information' button next to your AGRTP or URS scholarship, and scan across to the 'Expiry Date' to see your updated scholarship extension date.

If your scholarship has not been extended please contact GRO (gro@anu.edu.au) for advice providing your name and UID.

Q: If I am eligible, when will this Automatic Scholarship Extension be processed?

A: GRO is working closely with Student Business Solutions (SBS), Student Finance and the HR Office to facilitate the various components of the Automatic Scholarship Extensions.

Candidates whose Scholarships were to end in Jan-May 2020 have been prioritised and have had their Scholarships extended in the HR System (where the payments occur) and on ISIS (where you can see your Scholarship extension end date). These candidates will have received an individual email to advise them of this. For all other candidates (Scholarship expiry dates from June 2020 onwards) your Scholarships will be extended in the HR System by the Central HR Office so that you will continue to receive your Stipend payments. These candidates will receive an individual email once this has been processed. The rest of the processing of your extension in SAS, as appears on ISIS, will be completed through a bulk process, likely in June 2020. The dates of this are yet to be confirmed. Once ISIS has been updated you will receive another email advising you that you can now see the extension of your scholarship on ISIS.

Q: Will my existing scholarship extension application be processed?

A: If you already applied for a Scholarship extension your existing scholarship extension application will be processed as normal.

Q: What if my Scholarship expired before 30 March 2020 and I had not already applied for the first six month Scholarship Extension?

A: If you were eligible for an Automatic Scholarship Extension (see above), these were processed and you will have received an email from GRO. Otherwise, please speak to your local HDR Administrator about applying outside of this process.

Q: Am I eligible for an automatic scholarship extension if I don't hold an AGRTP or URS scholarship?

A: No, you are not eligible for an Automatic Scholarship Extension. If you are not on a RTP or URS Scholarship, and your scholarship is funded by other means (grant money, Supervisor, School or College funded), you should apply for an extension of scholarship (up to six months) via the MMD-HDR eForms and should contact your local HDR Administrator for more information if required.

Approval for extensions of these scholarships are at the discretion of the funding body. GRO will process the extension once the approval is obtained.

Q: Am I eligible if I have already had my scholarship extended to 3.5 years?

A: No you are not eligible for this Automatic Scholarship Extension. If your scholarship was active on 1 January 2020, and you have been impacted by events relating to COVID-19 and need additional financial support, you are eligible to apply for a COVID-19 Extension Scholarship. Applications will be assessed and approved by the Dean HDR.

Speak to your local HDR Administrator about applying and completing an application. The extension will be processed once approval has been obtained. Further information can be found on the HDR candidates webpage.

COVID-19 Extension Scholarship

Q: Am I eligible for the COVID-19 Extension Scholarship?

A: The University is making available an additional extension scholarship in recognition of the extreme disruption that COVID-19 is likely to have on some candidates. The Scholarship is available for up to a maximum of six months duration at the RTP base rate. Candidates who as of the 1 January 2020 were active on an ANU managed Scholarship can apply for this additional Scholarship to take Candidates from the 3.5-year mark up to 4-year mark. You will be able to apply for this extension scholarship when you are between 3 and 3.5 years (1.5 - 2 years for MPhil) of your current program (full-time equivalent). You will need to document the disruption and its impact through your annual milestones. The scholarship will be open for applications until 31 December 2021.

For further details on how to apply please visit the COVID-19 Extension Scholarship webpage.

Q: Am I still eligible for the COVID-19 Extension Scholarship if I will be at the end of my 3rd year just prior to the closing date for applications?

A: The COVID-19 Extension Scholarship is available for all HDR candidates to apply for within their 3-3.5yrs scholarship period. You should apply for this new scholarship before your current scholarship expires, if your research has been extremely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel restrictions and campus closure.

The application is open until 31 December 2021 in the first instance, the Dean HDR will review the resources available and demand for further applications in December 2021 to consider if an extension to the deadline will be required.

At this stage HDR student are encouraged to record all impacts to their research in their annual milestones in the event further extensions to program or scholarship are required during their candidature.

Q: Am I still eligible if I'm receiving a College/School funded scholarship?

A: Any HDR student on a Scholarship paid through the ANU e.g. ANU PhD, ANU MPhil, Postgraduate Research Scholarship etc. are eligible to apply (irrespective of where the original funds came from).

Q: How should I apply for the COVID-19 Extension Scholarship?

A: To apply for the COVID-19 Extension Scholarship please visit the COVID-19 Extension Scholarship webpage.

Q: I have filled out the application form, now what?

  1. You will need to discuss your application with your supervisor and request your supervisor to complete the supervisor section and endorse the COVID-19 extension scholarship application form.
  2. You will then need to send the form by email to your School Delegated Authority or Head of School for endorsement. If you are unsure who to send it to please ask your local HDR administrator. Once you have received the form back please then send it to GRO at gro@anu.edu.au with your supporting documentation. If it has not been endorsed, please still send the form to us as the decision maker is the Dean HDR.
  3. GRO will check your application and if there is something missing, they will contact you.
  4. GRO will then register your application and send it to your College Associate Dean HDR for endorsement together with your ANU transcript.
  5. Once it is returned to GRO we will arrange for the Dean HDR to assess your application.

Q: When will I know if my application has been approved and processed?

A: Once the Dean HDR has assessed your application the GRO Candidature team will advise you of the outcome and if approved will send you an offer for the Scholarship. Once you have accepted the offer and provided the necessary details your Scholarship will be processed within the next available pay period.

Q: I want to apply for the COVID-19 Extension Scholarship however I may not have utilised all the current leave provisions within my current scholarship, can I still apply?

A: You should first check your Scholarship Conditions of Award to see what leave provisions you have and then check your records to see if you have any leave provisions left. If you are still unsure you can ask the GRO HDR Candidature team to check your leave balances (hdr.candidature@anu.edu.au).

If you have any relevant leave provisions available, then we encourage you to apply for program leave such as carers or medical leave through ISIS Manage My Degree-HDR eForm. Note that many Scholarships have 60 days of paid medical/carers leave over the life of the Scholarship. We encourage you to take these prior to applying for the COVID-19 Extension Scholarship. Once you have utilised the leave you will then be able to apply for the COVID-19 Extension Scholarship.

External or Offshore Status

Q: I am no longer in Canberra or Australia. How do I apply to be an External Candidate or inform the ANU of my Offshore Status?

A: GRO are developing an HDR Candidate Application form for External Study. Once the form is ready Candidates will receive a communication on how to formally apply to be external or to have offshore status. The form will be available on this website once ready.

Offshore commencement of your PhD/MPhil program will be considered once your visa has been granted. There are a couple of other requirements as well, including that you provide us with a plan for the first six months of your research project. We'll also need to see that you've had regular contact with your Primary Supervisor and that you've opened an Australian bank account. Please contact your Research School/Supervisor to discuss this option.

To apply for Offshore status you will need to complete the External or Offshore Status Application form HDR Candidate Application form for External Study. The form will be available on this website once ready.

Q: I have applied to commence Offshore, have a student visa and have been awarded a stipend scholarship. Will I be able to commence the stipend once approved for external or Offshore commencement and status?

A: HDR Candidates awarded a scholarship which pays a stipend, must provide details of an Australian bank account into which the scholarship can be paid before the Scholarship payments can be setup. Your scholarship payments will then commence at the next available pay period provided your commencement date has past and you have provided all the required documentation to be enrolled.

2020 Conferring of Awards

Q: What is the status of graduation ceremonies this July?

A: Due to the current evolving situation with COVID-19, and the health and wellbeing of our community, the University has made the decision to pause the July 2020 Conferring of Awards Ceremonies.

Approved HDR Students will still have access to Out of Session Conferrals until 29 May 2020. Alternatively you will still be invited to have your degree conferred in absentia in lieu of attending the ceremony in July. Those students who do graduate in absentia this July will have the option to attend a ceremony at a later date. Out of session conferrals will resume after August. For further information please visit the Graduation July 2020 webpage.

Q: Will I be able to use my new title and Award on my CV and in applications without attending a graduation ceremony?

A: Yes, once you have been conferred through an Out of Session Conferral or in absentia in lieu of attending a ceremony in July, you will be able to utilise your new title and Award. Digital copies of your Testamur, academic transcript and Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement will be made available after 31 July 2020 via My eQuals. You will receive an email notification to your ANU email account when they have been uploaded. Processing will be completed by COB Wednesday 5 August 2020. Physical testamurs will be produced and posted when it is safe and appropriate to access campus. For further details and the latest information on Graduations please see the Graduation Frequently asked questions webpage.