Action and Support
Action and support is available to all candidates at RMIT. You may self-identify that you need some additional support during your candidature. Your supervisory team or HDR Delegated Authority, or HDR DA (the academic who oversees HDR in your school), may also nominate you for action and support. This might occur if you are facing delays with your research, need extra support to successfully complete your next milestone or if you have circumstances in your research (or your life) that might impact on your research. Specific situations that indicate that action and support is required are set out in section 1.3 of the HDR action and support procedure.
The action and support that 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 will be invited to attend an action and support meeting to discuss your situation and to identify the support that will benefit you the most. This might include:
- school-based support, such as more frequent supervisory meetings, increasing the hours that you spend on your research or meeting with the HDR DA regularly;
- making variations to your candidature, such as changing to part-time load (for a set period or permanently), taking leave of absence, applying for an extension or reviewing your supervisory arrangements;
- referrals to RMIT support services, such as wellbeing services or academic support services.
This support will be documented on a Candidate Action and Support Plan (CASP). Your CASP will also include an action plan that outlines the tasks that you and your supervisory team need to undertake to get back on track. These tasks need to be completed within the timeframe of your CASP (up to 3 months).
You can have a support person at the meeting and you can also seek support and advice from RMIT University Student Union (RUSU) Student Rights service and/or any other relevant support services before the meeting.
If you are not able to attend your action and support meeting at the scheduled time, you should let your HDR DA know as early as possible so that the meeting can be rescheduled. It is also possible to hold the meeting via video conferencing (e.g. Skype, Google Hangouts or a similar online service) if you are not able to attend in person.
Note that while you are not required to attend an action and support meeting or to contribute to the development of your CASP, this process is designed to support you and to identify and address the issues that you are facing. If you do not attend, the meeting will still be held and your CASP will be created without your input. You will still be expected to take the recommendations on board and to complete the tasks assigned to you in the action plan.
At the end of your CASP, your HDR DA will review your progress against the tasks on your action plan. The date that this is due is listed on your CASP and must be within 3 months of the start of your CASP.
Your HDR DA may determine that you have:
- met the requirements of your CASP and no longer need action and support;
- need an additional period of action and support (your CASP will be reviewed and new tasks added to your action plan);
- not met the requirements of your CASP and therefore need to have your progress reviewed by your College.
If you don’t meet the requirements of your CASP by the end of your CASP period, you will be referred to your College for review.
If you are referred to a College review, your College will look at all documentation related to your candidature and progress, including your milestone documentation, CASPs and supervisory meeting minutes, to determine whether you have been provided with the support that you need. You may be asked to attend a confidential meeting as a part of this review process (this is not a requirement for the College review, so you may not be contacted during the review).
If your College determines that you have not been provided with appropriate support, they will recommend a further period of action and support.
If the College determines that you have been provided with support, they will recommend that you attend a Research Candidate Progress Committee (RCPC) to discuss your progress further.
Research Candidate Progress Committee (RCPC)
If you are referred to an RCPC, you will be invited to attend a meeting to discuss your progress. These meetings are convened by your College and include a Chair (from the College), your HDR DA and an independent academic (this is a senior academic from another school in your College – usually another HDR DA). Other people will be invited to attend an RCPC meeting (including your supervisors and sometimes the SGR), however only the committee will make a final recommendation to the Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research Training and Development (ADVC RT&D).
You will be asked to make a written submission to the committee. It is strongly recommended that you submit this, as this is your opportunity to tell the committee about your situation, any issues that you have experienced and how you plan to continue your research within the time that you have left. You are also encouraged to bring a support person with you to your RCPC meeting.
The RCPC is required to make a recommendation to the ADVC RT&D within 5 working days of your meeting. The possible recommendations are:
- to provide an additional period of action and support
- to proceed with termination of candidature and cancellation of enrolment
If you have been invited to an RCPC meeting, it is recommended that you seek support and advice from the RUSU Student Rights service and/or any other relevant support services before the meeting. You can also contact the SGR candidature team for advice about the HDR policy or the HDR action and support procedure.