Candidate Action and Support Plan

We want all our Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) candidates to get the support they need, when they need it, to successfully complete their research program.

Action and support is available for all HDR candidates at RMIT. 

The action and support you receive is tailored to you and your situation. It may include more frequent meetings with your supervisory team, referral to academic or wellbeing support services or making variations to your candidature. 

You may self-identify that you need additional support. Alternatively, your supervisory team or your HDR Delegated Authority (HDR DA) might nominate you for action and support. Your supervisory team and HDR DA will work with you to produce a Candidate Action and Support Plan (CASP). 

A CASP is designed to help you get back on track to completing your research. 

Your supervisory team or HDR DA may nominate you for action and support if you: 

  • are facing research delays 
  • need extra support to complete a milestone 
  • have circumstances in your research or personal life that could negatively affect your research. 

See clauses 17 – 20 of the HDR Progress Management and Support Procedure for specific situations requiring action and support. 

You’ll be invited to attend an action and support meeting to discuss your situation and identify the support that will benefit you the most. This may include: 

  • School-based support, such as more frequent supervisory meetings, increasing the hours you spend on your research or regular meetings with the HDR DA. 
  • Making variations to your candidature, such as: 
  • temporarily or permanently changing to part-time load
  • taking a leave of absence
  • reviewing your supervisory arrangements
  • applying for an extension to your candidature (if you are close to your submission date). 
  • Referrals to RMIT support services, such as wellbeing services or academic support services. 

This support will be documented in a Candidate Action and Support Plan (CASP). During the meeting your Supervisory team and HDR DA will work with you to complete a CASP form and action plan. Together they form the CASP, specifying the tasks for you and your supervisory team and the dates for their completion. 

The CASP will be in place for up to 3 months for full-time candidates or 6 months for part-time candidates. 

Read the instructions for completing your CASP form and action plan before your meeting. 

You can seek support and advice from RMIT University Student Union (RUSU) Student Rights service and any other relevant support services before the meeting. You can also have a support person at the meeting. 

If you can’t attend your action and support meeting at the scheduled time, tell your HDR DA as soon as possible. They can reschedule the meeting to a more suitable time. They can also hold the meeting online (such as Teams) if you aren't able to attend in person. 

You don’t have to attend your action and support meeting or contribute to your CASP. However, this process is designed to help you and address the issues you’re facing. If you don’t attend, your supervisory team and HDR DA will still hold the meeting and will develop your CASP without your input. Regardless, you’re expected to accept the recommendations and complete the tasks assigned to you in the action plan. 

The end date of your action and support period is listed on your CASP. It must be within 3 months of the start of your CASP for full-time candidates or 6 months for part-time candidates. 

At the end of your CASP, your HDR DA will review your progress on the tasks in your action plan. They’ll decide if:  

  • You are making satisfactory progress, and no longer need action and support.
  • You need an additional period of action and support. Your supervisors and HDR DA will hold a new action and support meeting with you and create a new CASP.
  • You have not made satisfactory progress. Your HDR DA will either require a second, consecutive CASP or refer the matter to your College for review. See the section on What are the College review and RCPC processes?


College review 

During a College review your College will look at all documentation related to your candidature and progress. This includes your milestone documentation, CASPs and supervisory meeting minutes. They’ll decide if you’ve been given the support you needed. In some circumstances, the College may ask you to attend a confidential meeting as a part of this review process. 

If your College decides you haven’t been provided with appropriate support, they’ll recommend a further period of action and support. 

If your College decides you’ve been provided with appropriate support, they’ll recommend you to attend a Research Candidate Progress Committee (RCPC) meeting to discuss your progress further. 

Research Candidate Progress Committee (RCPC) 

If you are referred to RCPC, your College will invite you to attend a RCPC meeting to discuss your progress. 

These meetings are convened by your College. The committee includes a Chair (from your College), your HDR DA and an independent academic (a senior academic from another school in your College – usually another HDR DA). Your College will also invite others to attend the RCPC meeting (including your supervisors and sometimes the School of Graduate Research). However, they don’t form part of the committee. 

We encourage you to bring a support person with you to your RCPC meeting. 

To prepare for the meeting: 

The RCPC will make a recommendation to the Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research Training and Development (ADVC RT&D) within 5 working days of your meeting. The possible recommendations are: 

  • To provide an additional period of action and support 
  • To terminate candidature and cancel enrolment 

Need help? 

Submit an enquiry to the School of Graduate Research

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.