COVID-19 advice for graduate researchers

Last updated: Thursday 11 May 2023

Important reminders

The University's COVIDSafe Plan details our approach to managing COVID-19 risks in 2023. As they are based on public health recommendations rather than mandatory requirements, we seek your cooperation in following this guidance to keep our community healthy and minimise the impacts of illness on campus

For further updates and advice about COVID-19 for graduate researchers, please see the FAQs below.

Manage your candidature

  • Taking leave from my candidature

    If you are unwell with, or caring for others, with COVID-19 you can access entitlements and support, such as personal leave or sick leave. Visit the Taking leave page’ on the GR Hub for further information.

    The special provision for COVID-19 leave introduced during the emergency phase of the pandemic is no longer available from 1 February 2023.

    You can continue to access the University's health services while on leave.

    If you are enrolled full time but are only able to work at a part time rate (50%), you should consider changing to part-time enrolment for this time .

  • What if I need an extension to candidature because of COVID-19?

    The President of Academic Board has approved a temporary increase of six months to the maximum course duration (that is, maximum thesis submission deadline) of graduate research degrees as follows:

    Doctoral candidates

    • Maximum course duration increases to 4.5 years
    • Available to candidates who commenced their course prior to 1 March 2020
    • Candidates must not have reached the 4-year milestone by 1 March 2020
    • You must record COVID-19 disruptions to candidature at each progress review
    • If you need to apply for a COVID-19 stipend extension when your scholarship expires, we recommend that you hold your 3.5 year review 6 weeks early. This will allow your candidature and stipend extension requests to be considered at the same time and avoid a gap in stipend payments.

    Masters candidates

    • Maximum course duration increases to 2.5 years
    • Available to candidates who have commenced their course prior to 1 March 2020
    • Candidates must not have reached the 2-year milestone by 1 March 2020
    • You must record COVID-19 disruptions to candidature at each progress review

    Further extensions to candidature are available where progress is delayed due to circumstances beyond your control.

    You and your supervisors should discuss and record any COVID-related impacts to your candidature and update it periodically. We encourage you to document this through a Candidature Management form. You can refer to those documents used in progress review meetings and progress review forms have been updated, so that time lost to COVID-19 is recorded at each milestone.

    If you still need time beyond your maximum course duration, you will need to seek permission to submit. Previously completed candidature management and progress review forms can be used to support your application.


  • Will the University be providing scholarship extensions?

    We are providing stipend extensions for doctoral candidates whose research progress has been directly impacted by COVID-19 disruptions of:

    • Up to 16 weeks if you have lost significant productivity due to COVID-19.
    • Up to 26 weeks for those of you whose project has been profoundly affected by COVID-19 to the extent that a major restructure or re-conception of the project is required to complete your research degree.

    This stipend extension scheme will be provided at the University standard scholarship rate and will be available to doctoral candidates until they reach 4 years of candidature. This is the maximum support available to doctoral candidates, inclusive of any COVID-19 paid leave received. For example, if you have lost significant productivity due to COVID-19 and have already taken 4 weeks paid COVID-19 leave, then you would be eligible for up to 12 weeks stipend extension, depending on your stipend expiry date.

    As Masters candidates on stipend receive this for the standard University maximum course duration of 2 years, stipend extensions will not be available via this scheme.

    An application will be required, and a University committee will oversee the process to ensure equity across faculties. Applications will need to set out a clear case of significant disruption.

    The University has extended its stipend extension scheme into 2023.

    We are continuing to stagger application dates, to ensure that the most urgent cases are considered first.

    Visit our COVID-19 Stipend Extension page for application opening dates and details on how to apply.