All staff, students, honorary appointees and visitors are expected to conduct research at the University of Melbourne ethically and responsibly.
- The University's Code of Conduct for Research, incorporated within the Research Integrity and Misconduct Policy, prescribes standards expected of all persons engaged in research at the University.
- The principles and responsibilities that all researchers must adhere to are set out in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct for Research, 2018.
- The University’s Research website has information about ethics and integrity.
All graduate researchers (PhD’s and masters by research, excluding honours and masters by coursework) must successfully complete the University’s Research Integrity Online Training (RIOT) to gain skills in the responsible conduct of research.
When there is concern that a researcher, including a graduate researcher, may have breached the Code, a complaint may be made under the University’s Research Integrity and Misconduct Policy. While the University aims to take an educative approach for mistakes and unintentional breaches of the Policy and the Code, the consequences of being found to have intentionally breached the Policy and the Code can be severe.
View the University's Statement on research integrity and digital assistance tools.
For advice on using digital assistance tools in your research, please refer to our Graduate Researchers and Digital Assistance Tools page.
Prior to enrolment, you should discuss any conditions that may apply to the Intellectual Property (IP) in your research project with your supervisor.
Graduate researchers who receive an offer dated on or after 1 October 2023
IP arrangements related to your research project will be documented in your Letter of Offer.
Graduate researchers who receive a candidature offer dated on or after 1 October 2023 will be required to complete a Prospective IP Deed of Assignment prior to commencing their research in certain circumstances.
As per the University Statute and the Intellectual Property Policy, if you are undertaking research that is the subject to a ‘contracted agreement’, the University will own any IP created. If your research is subject to a contracted agreement, you will need to confirm the University’s ownership of IP.
You will also need to assign your IP to the University, as a condition of participating in collaborative research activities unless your project:,
- is undertaken at a host organisation, such as a medical research institute and they require candidates to assign their IP directly to that host organisation; or
- explicitly concerns Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property sourced from Indigenous community mentors and partners.
If you are required to complete a Prospective IP Deed of Assignment, you can find a preview copy here. You will be able to complete the electronic deed during your enrolment.
Graduate researchers enrolled prior to 1 October 2023
If you accepted an offer dated prior to 1 October 2023, you will not be required to complete a Prospective IP Assignment Deed.
However, you may choose to assign IP you create during your candidature to the University and benefit from the University’s end-to-end program of expertise and support to translate your research.
You may wish to seek independent legal advice in relation to the IP arrangements that apply to your enrolment.
If the University commercialises or benefits from the commercialisation of the IP, you will share any net proceeds of commercialisation (along with any other University creators of that IP).
Where to find more information
If you have questions about IP related to your research project, speak with your supervisor in the first instance.
Read these quick reference guides for additional information and case studies on the IP issues to consider throughout your candidature.
Authorship is another topic you should discuss and agree with your supervisors as early as possible in candidature. For an explanation of authorship and publication practices, and The University of Melbourne's Authorship Policy Framework, see the Research Ethics and Integrity's webpage on Authorship, and visit the Library's Publishing and Profiles webpage.
RIOT: Research Integrity Online Training
All staff, students, honorary appointees and visitors are required to conduct research at the University of Melbourne ethically and responsibly. The Research Integrity Online Training (RIOT) is the University’s online community for research integrity training and resources.
The purpose of RIOT is to help you develop responsible research practices during your research training. The online training modules cover principles of research integrity and are tailored to discipline-specific research practices.
Topics covered include authorship, data management, research publication and communication, research ethics, and how to respond to research misconduct.
It is compulsory for you to complete RIOT before your confirmation meeting.
At the end of the training, you will need to complete the RIOT quiz and get at least 80% correct answers to successfully complete RIOT.
RIOT is available as a self-enrol community to all graduate researchers on the University’s Learning Management System (LMS).
You should enrol in RIOT when you start your candidature, and complete the training at your own pace before confirmation. You are also encouraged to discuss topics covered by RIOT with your supervisors and see Research Ethics and Integrity for more information.
Before you contemplate publication of your thesis either online or in print, it is important that you understand both your rights and obligations under copyright.
Some publishers require that you sign an author or publishing agreement. Before signing any agreement, you should make sure that you fully understand the terms and your rights under the agreement. If your thesis includes copyright material created by other people, you must ensure that you have the right to publish this material – discuss this carefully with all persons involved before signing.
While the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act allow you to reproduce a limited amount of third party copyright works in your thesis for the purpose of study and research, you cannot rely upon these provisions when you publish the work to the world. If you intend to publish your work, you will generally need to seek permission from the copyright owner as there are only limited provisions in the Copyright Act that allow material to be published without permission.
Research data management
As a graduate researcher you must appropriately record and store your research data. Learn about effective and ethical data research and records, University research policy and tools to manage your research data at Doing Data Better @ Melbourne.
All projects requiring the use of human participants, animals, genetically modified organisms or hazardous biological agents must be approved by the appropriate University committee before the work begins. Approval will not be granted retrospectively.
Other regulatory requirements
If your research brings you into contact with children, patients, vulnerable groups or sensitive information, you may need to complete a Police Check or Working with Children Check. Talk to your supervisors or your graduate school to determine whether you need to apply or if you have any questions or concerns about this process.
You may also need to complete specific Environment, Health and Safety training, depending on your project requirements. Visit the Safety website for more information, and visit risk management and assessment page for specific procedures and forms. Also see the University's health and safety policies.
Some graduate researchers are required to complete the Foreign Interest Disclosure eLearn and a Foreign Interest Disclosure Form. If you are part of this cohort you will be sent an email with further details soon after commencing your degree, and then on an annual basis during your time at the University. Review the Foreign Interest Disclosure page for more details.
The primary objective of the insurance program is to cover the University's business activities. This includes cover for you while you are on University approved course activities, business, teaching or research activities including any time spent travelling.
You are covered while enrolled up to submission of your thesis. For information on the coverage provided, please see the University of Melbourne insurance webpage.
If you have a general enquiry or need to make a claim, contact the University's Insurance office.
Please note: You are only automatically covered for travel insurance during a period of approved study away. For information about travel insurance, see the Study Away webpage.