Meeting expectations

My responsibilities and entitlements

Your responsibilities are as follows:

  • Be self-directed in your learning and research. The Postgraduate Essentials (PGE) online will equip you with strategies to help you make a successful start to your research.
  • Make good progress. Agree on a work plan with your supervisors and stick to it. You should meet deadlines and keep to your time commitments. Remember, if you are full-time you should spend on average 40 hours per week on your studies, and 20 hours per week if you are part-time.
  • Be proactive and discuss any issues – good or bad – with your supervisors as soon as they arise. Resolve problems early.
  • Conduct your research ethically and responsibly.
  • Discuss and agree with your supervisors issues such as intellectual property and authorship for your project.
  • Understand the codes of conduct expected of staff and students. For more information read the Student Charter.
  • Look after yourself! Manage your health and wellbeing. A research degree is a big undertaking, so make sure you look after your physical and mental health. There are many support services available to you, for instance, the University's Counselling and Psychological Services and the online program The Desk.
  • Stay informed. Important information is communicated to you via your University email account and my.unimelb. Make sure your contact details are kept up to date and check your email regularly – at least once per week.
  • When seeking feedback from your supervisors, make sure you provide any written work in time to allow them to review it before your meeting.

For more information on University policies related to graduate research visit the Melbourne Policy Library.


What can I expect the University to provide?

  • Supervisors who are knowledgeable, well-trained and registered to the standards expected by the University
  • Access to necessary resources and facilities
  • Access to skills training and professional development opportunities.

What can I expect to get out of my course?

With a strong focus on developing academic leadership and increasing independence, we encourage you to be creative and innovative in your research, and to develop a wide range of advanced and transferable skills. This is a responsibility shared between you, your supervisors and other University staff.

Doctoral graduates

The University expects its doctoral graduates to have the following attributes:

  • An advanced ability to initiate research and to formulate viable research questions
  • A demonstrated capacity to design, conduct and report sustained and original research
  • The capacity to contextualise research within an international corpus of specialist knowledge
  • An advanced ability to evaluate and synthesize research-based and scholarly literature
  • An advanced understanding of key disciplinary and multi-disciplinary norms and perspectives relevant to the field
  • Highly developed problem-solving abilities and flexibility of approach
  • The ability to analyse critically within and across a changing disciplinary environment
  • The capacity to disseminate the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication to a variety of audiences
  • A capacity to cooperate with and respect the contributions of fellow researchers and scholars
  • A profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of research and scholarship
  • An advanced facility in the management of information, including the application of computer systems and software where appropriate to the candidate's field of study
  • An understanding of the relevance and value of their research to national and international communities of scholars and collaborators
  • An awareness where appropriate of issues related to intellectual property management and the commercialisation of innovation
  • An ability to formulate applications to relevant agencies, such as funding bodies and ethics committees.

Expectations for Jointly Awarded PhDs

If selected for admission to a jointly awarded PhD:

  • you must meet the expectations of both institutions
  • you will be enrolled concurrently at the two universities for the entire period of your PhD
  • you must spend at least one-third of your candidature (one year) in each university
  • you will pay tuition fees at one institution only, normally the institution that you have nominated as the home institution
  • if successful, you will be awarded a single doctoral degree jointly awarded by the two institutions. Each testamur will state that the degree is jointly awarded and include the name of the partner institution.

Your enrolment is governed by the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the University of Melbourne and the partner institution. This Agreement must be completed by you, the two institutions, and your supervisors and must be finalised within your first year of candidature. It sets out the terms and conditions for payment of fees, your roles and responsibilities, enrolment and milestones, your supervision, thesis requirements and the procedures for your examination and graduation arrangements. You may also have completed an Agreement required by the partner institution.


Next: Working with my supervisors