Graduate Research End-User Engagement Statement

Higher Education Student Data Collection

From 2018, the Department of Education and Training requires all universities to report on graduate researchers’ engagement outside of the university sector through 'Higher Education Student Data Collection' to improve monitoring of the research training system.  The University of Melbourne is obliged to report to the government on all graduate researchers’ engagement with research end-users. Collecting of this data is also a great opportunity for the University to identify and support external engagement for graduate researchers.

In order to collect the data required for government reporting, it is now mandatory for graduate researchers at the University to regularly self-report on their own engagement with research end-users through the Graduate Research End-user Engagement Statement. All graduate researchers who are currently enrolled will be required to complete this survey at least once each year and you will be prompted to do so when you re-enrol online.

What is a 'research end-user'*?

Research end user is defined as an individual, community or organisation external to academia that will directly use or directly benefit from the output, outcome or results of the research.

Examples of end users include businesses, governments, non-governmental organisations, communities and community organisations.

Specific exclusions of research end user are:

  • Other higher education providers
  • Organisations that are affiliates, controlled entities or subsidiaries (such as Medical Research Institutes) of a higher education provider
  • Equivalents (international or domestic) of the above exclusions

What types of engagement are included in the report to the government?

The Department of Education and Training requires universities to report on the following types of engagement activities:

Research Internship

Research internship is defined as a temporary position with a research end user where a student has undertaken research and development (R&D) related to their graduate research. A research internship must be for a period of at least 60 days, can be either paid or unpaid, and can form part of the enrolment or be undertaken during a graduate research period of suspension.

Jointly supervised by a research end–user

Jointly supervised by a research end–user is defined as a graduate researcher that has at least two supervisors, with at least one supervisor from a research end‑user organisation. The supervision arrangements must be endorsed by the University and the research end‑user supervisor must be actively engaged in the student's graduate research.

Jointly funded or fully funded by a research end–user

Jointly funded or fully funded by a research end–user is where a research end user contributes financially to the cost of a graduate researcher’s course of study or to other costs borne by the student during their study (such as a stipend for general living costs or travel costs). The arrangement must be awarded specifically in relation to a graduate researcher rather than a general University research project that a student may be involved with.

Formal training on end user engagement

Formal training on end user engagement is defined as any formal training recognized by the University that focusses on preparing a student for work with a research end user. This includes intellectual property, management/leadership, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and research commercialisation. Training can be administered by a research end user organisation or by the University.

Other commercialisation and engagement activities

Other commercialisation and engagement activities is defined as an arrangement with a research end user that enables experiential learning related to the student's graduate research studies. This includes practicums or performances, R&D consultancy work, R&D commercialisation work, entrepreneurship, community engagement/outreach, and research extension work either with or for a research end user.

These activities can be paid or unpaid, and no minimum amount of learning days applies. The activities exclude research internships unless they are shorter than 30 days and exclude joint funding arrangements.


About Data Collection

The University of Melbourne collects personal information in accordance with the University’s Privacy Policy.
Please note that personal, sensitive or health-related information collected may be viewed by administrative staff involved in the management of your candidature.

If you have any queries related to your candidature or collection of this data, please contact your Graduate Research Administrator and their contact details can be found at:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do I need to complete this research end-user Engagement Statement?

    From 2018, the Department of Education and Training introduced three new Higher Degree by Research (HDR) indicators to be collected under the Higher Education Student Data Collection. One of the indicators captures graduate researcher’s engagement with research end-user during their course. It is mandatory for The University of Melbourne to report on to the Government therefore it is mandatory for graduate researchers to provide the information to the university.

    Please note this is not an assessment by either the government or the University of individuals’ activity.

  • Why is the Australian Government collecting this information?

    The Australian Government has a wider plan to improve student data collection therefore the new Higher Degree by Research (HDR) indicators, including the research end-user engagement indicators were introduced. The improved data will be used to improve monitoring of the research training system, to inform national research training funding policy and to provide a robust national data set for universities to improve their research training programs. The Government is very keen to foster connections between university research and industry/research end-users. Collection of this data is the first step in understanding the current level of engagement.

  • Who has to complete this?

    All graduate researchers who are enrolled at any point in time for the year. This includes graduate researchers who are on leave of absence.

  • Do I have to complete the statement even if I don’t have any research end-user engagement during my program or in this reporting period?

    Yes, you will still need to complete the form and confirm that you have not undertaken any activities. This will only take you a couple of minutes to complete and submit.

  • Who will have access to the information submitted and where will it be stored?

    The information you provide will be stored within the UoM student administration system and will be accessible to university staff members with appropriate access and utilised for reporting and statistical purposes in accordance with the University’s Privacy Policy and the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and Health Records Act 2001 (Vic). Information will also be reported to the Australian Government, Department of Education and Training (DET), through mandatory student reporting on research end-user indicator codes.

  • When do I have to do this and where can I access the form?

    You can access the form through the email link that will be sent to you from our system every year when you are required to re-enrol. You should update it whenever your information changes or at least once a year with re-enrolment to confirm the details haven’t changed. You can also access the form through the graduate research tab on your student portal.

  • What has to be completed by graduate researchers?

    An online form with a few questions relating to your engagement with research end-users, it will only take you about 5 – 10 minutes to complete.

  • What information do I need to provide?

    You will need to provide your experience or activity which indicates a type of engagement with research end-user. Some examples are:

    • The dates and details of the organisation where you have done a paid or unpaid research internship
    • The training you have completed including the title, the dates and the trainer etc.
  • What information should I have ready before I start to complete the form?

    We suggest you prepare all information listed below before completing the form:

    • Research internship (dates, name of organisation etc.)
    • External supervisor (dates they started and where they are based etc.)
    • Details of the external organisation who provides joint or full funding to your research
    • Details of any formal training you had on industry engagement
    • Other commercialisation and engagement activities
  • What if I don't know an answer to one or more of the questions in the form?

    You will be able to update your responses before and after you submit it.

  • What if I have already reported the engagement activity in previous research end-user engagement data collection?

    It’s OK if you have already reported this, you should report the same information again. Your previous answers will populate automatically on the form.

  • Are supervisors required to participate in the end-user data collection process?

    No, currently the data collection is targeted at graduate researchers. However, you can consult your supervisors if you are unsure of the answers to some questions.

  • Who should I contact in case I need some help?

    If you require further assistance to complete this form after reading the information available on this page, you can contact your department or faculty graduate research administrator.