Research postgrad online orientation
First things first
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Personalise your student calendar by subscribing to our postgraduate calendar feeds - you can also add your timetable and other useful info - see how in our guide to GoogleApps calendars.
Now you've done that, have a read through this page to find out all you need to know about being a postgrad at Monash University! We'll cover both the facilities and services available to you, and give you more information about the research journey.
Facilities and services
Before you even set foot on campus, you will need to work out how you're going to get here. If you plan to drive, you will need to purchase a parking permit to park on any of the campuses during the semesters (and yes, you will get fined if you don't have one). If your research commitments entail attending more than one campus, you can apply for a cross-campus parking permit.
Let’s start with the basics, that is, a place to work. Hopefully you have been accommodated in your department. However if not, (or if you are a Distance Education postgraduate and visiting a campus), you’ll need to know about the central postgraduate study spaces available on your campus.
Software, email accounts & IT support
It’s important to make sure you’re connected to the Monash IT network, so you’ll need to get your username and passwords set up. Once you have your Monash account, you can log in to the university-wide intranet portal, called my.monash.
If you need any help setting up your computer in your new study space, or having internet access and printer connected, you can contact eSolutions. Access to a range of software is provided free of charge or at reduced price to students by the University.
While you are likely to be provided with a staff-like email account (firstname.lastname@example.org), it is important to check your student email account regularly, as this is the way in which the uni will communicate with you about administrative matters.
Alternatively, you can set up mail forwarding from your student account to your staff-like account.
If you haven’t been in a library for a while, you’ll definitely need some help familiarising yourself with the search systems, resources and library services available to research postgraduates today.
The library runs programs and drop-in sessions or you can make an appointment with your subject librarian, who can help you to find and use discipline-specific information. Research postgraduates have unlimited borrowing rights, and can make use of the document delivery service which can locate and deliver material that is only available from external libraries. You can also obtain a CAVAL card, which allows you to borrow from other university libraries.
International student orientation
Student advisers from Campus Community Division run compulsory orientation sessions for newly arriving International research students. The International Student Essential Information sessions cover topics such as accommodation and living in Melbourne, Australian culture, health cover, tax matters and more. Click here for details.
Seminars are run on all five Victorian campuses and at off-campus locations - you are welcome to attend any seminar on any campus. If you are on one of the smaller campuses you should know about the free shuttle bus that runs between the metropolitan campuses.
Social events and staying informed
After all that intellectual stimulation you’ll need to debrief and share experiences with other postgraduates at the MPA social events such as free lunches and monthly social nights. You can also connect with fellow postgrads through our page and group on Facebook to see what the MPA is up to.
The research journey
It’s hard enough to live on a scholarship income but it’s even harder to live without one at all. If you’ve missed out on a scholarship you can always apply in the next round.
If your research involves using biohazards or human or animal participants, you will need to seek ethics approval before you start connecting electrodes to brains or even conducting surveys or interviews.
Email one of the statistical consultants, who can ensure that the statistical analysis you have in mind is a good fit with your planned research.
Learning skills help
Aaah supervision! What can we say? It’s the making or breaking of a PhD. At Monash there is a Code of Conduct that sets out what you can expect from your supervisor and school, and what they will expect from you.
You need to make sure you keep your supervisor relationship healthy and happy. Whatever you do, don’t let the situation deteriorate without acting. Things can sometimes look bad, but there’s almost always a solution. If you do find yourself in need of some confidential advice, make an appointment with one of the MPA Advocates.
Just a brief word about intellectual property. If your research requires you to sign a deed of assignment or any other document that affects or restricts the ownership or use of your work, you should seek advice from the MPA Senior Advocate before signing.
Don’t forget to apply for a travel grant if you’re planning to present at a conference or undertake fieldwork. Every little bit helps.
Confirmation of candidature
All first year PhD candidates need to work towards the formal confirmation of candidature that will take place around the nine month/one year mark. Talk to your supervisor about what this involves so that you are properly prepared when the big day arrives.
Once over the confirmation of candidature hurdle, there will be a mid-candidature review to ensure you are staying on track, and a pre-submission seminar held a few months prior to the submission of your thesis. Both the mid-candidature review and the pre-submission seminar are now formal hurdles and must be satisfied in order to progress.
All doctoral candidates are required to re-enrol annually at the University. To assist candidates in meeting this requirement, the University sends information and instructions about online re-enrolment procedures, including the closing date for re-enrolment, to candidates via their Monash University student email accounts towards the end of each year.
We know you’ve only just started but if you’re producing quality results, then your supervisor might get you working on a paper for publication. This will usually be a joint publication with your supervisor and possibly other staff and postgraduates. Have a chat with your supervisor at the beginning of the process to find out how the authorship will work. It’s good for everyone to have an agreed position on this from the outset.
Graduate Research Services (GRS) is the administrative arm that sits over all research training and deals with enrolments, scholarships and candidature-related processes like intermissions, extensions and examinations. Contact the GRS office staff if you have any questions about how it all works.
Advice & advocacy
Useful websites - quick links
Research postgraduate page, MPA website
MPA international postgrad page
Research postgraduates - online support
The Learning Support unit offers online guide for higher degree by research postgraduates.
Getting involved with MPA committee