Policy

Higher Degree by Research Leave and Interruption to Candidature - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This policy outlines the eligibility and entitlements related to leave and interruptions for Higher Degree by Research candidates.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Enrolling AOU - an academic organisational unit that directly enrols HDR candidates

HDR - Higher Degree by Research

MPhil - Master of Philosophy

PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Child - child of a candidate under the age of one year, except in relation to adoption of a child where ‘child’ means under the age of 5 years as at the date of, or the anticipated date of placement with the candidate for adoption.

Partner - a candidate’s partner or spouse in marriage or a person of the opposite or same sex to the candidate who lives with the candidate in a marriage-like relationship, although not legally married to the candidate.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all HDR students in all enrolling AOUs.

4. Policy Statement

Subject to the terms of this policy and associated procedure, HDR candidates are entitled to apply for leave and interruption to candidature.

Leave and interruption to candidature for international students is subject to the conditions of the student visa and the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act.

Approval of all leave and interruption to candidature is at the discretion of the Dean of the UQ Graduate School.

5. Sick Leave

In the event of illness, all candidates may take up to 10 days of sick leave each year with the approval of their advisory team and the school/institute postgraduate coordinator.

5.1 Paid sick leave – UQ scholarship recipients

Where the scholarship rules permit under the Research Scholarship General Conditions, recipients will be entitled to receive scholarship payments for periods of illness of 10 days or less.

Sick leave may be accrued, but must be taken during the period of the scholarship.

Scholarship recipients may be entitled to an additional 60 days paid sick leave within the duration of the scholarship for periods of sick leave exceeding 10 days.

For periods of sick leave exceeding 10 days that have been taken in a continuous period and approved by the UQ Graduate School, the scholarship duration is increased by the amount of approved sick leave taken. The scholarship duration is not increased for periods of leave that are less than 10 continuous days in length.

5.2 Unpaid sick leave

For candidates who do not hold a scholarship or where a scholarship has expired or been terminated, sick leave for longer than 10 days should be taken as an interruption to candidature as per section 8 ‘Interruption to Candidature’.

6. Parental Leave

6.1 Paid parental leave – UQ scholarship recipients

Where the scholarship rules permit under the Research Scholarship General Conditions, and in alignment with the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2010, HDR candidates who have completed 12 months of their scholarship are entitled to paid parental leave during the scholarship.

If the scholarship recipient is the primary carer of a child, the recipient is entitled to a maximum of 60 working days paid parental leave during the scholarship.

If the scholarship recipient is the partner of the primary carer for a child, the recipient is entitled to a maximum of 5 working days paid parental leave during the scholarship.

Scholarship recipients who have exhausted their paid parental leave allocation are able to apply for an unpaid interruption to candidature for each instance of parental leave as per section 8 ‘Interruption to Candidature’.

6.2 Unpaid parental leave

For candidates who do not hold a scholarship, parental leave should be taken as an interruption to candidature as per section 8 ‘Interruption to Candidature’.

7. Recreation Leave

HDR candidates are entitled to recreation leave throughout their candidature.

Full-time candidates are entitled to a maximum of 20 days per annum. Part-time candidates are entitled to a maximum of 10 days per annum

Where the scholarship rules permit under the Research Scholarship General Conditions, scholarship recipients are entitled to paid recreation leave throughout the duration of their scholarship. No payment will be made for unused recreation leave at the expiration or termination of a scholarship.

Recreation leave will be unpaid for candidates who do not hold a scholarship.

8. Interruption to Candidature

HDR candidates can apply for interruption to candidature for a minimum period of 2 weeks up to a maximum period of 12 months. However, HDR candidates applying for parental leave can apply for a maximum period of 12 months for each instance of parental leave.

Interruptions in the first 3 months and the last 3 months of candidature will only be approved in exceptional circumstances.

Any period of interruption will be reflected in a variation to the end date of candidature.

9. Returning from Leave or Interruption to Candidature

HDR candidates on approved periods of leave or interruption to candidature must report their return date to the UQ Graduate School.

Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan

Procedures

Higher Degree by Research Leave and Interruption to Candidature - Procedures

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Body

1. Purpose and Objectives

This document outlines the processes to be followed by enrolling AOUs and HDR candidates when applying for leave or interruption to candidature.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Child - child of a candidate under the age of one year, except in relation to adoption of a child where ‘child’ means under the age of 5 years as at the date of, or the anticipated date of placement with the candidate for adoption.

Enrolling AOU - an academic organisational unit that directly enrols HDR candidates

HDR - Higher Degree by Research

MPhil - Master of Philosophy

Partner - a candidate’s partner or spouse in marriage or a person of the opposite or same sex to the candidate who lives with the candidate in a marriage-like relationship, although not legally married to the candidate.

PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all HDR students in all enrolling AOUs.

4. Procedures Statement

HDR candidates are entitled to apply for leave and interruption to candidature subject to the eligibility requirements in these procedures and associated policy.

Applications for leave and interruption to candidature must be supported by the candidate’s advisory team and enrolling AOU.

Approval of all leave and interruption to candidature is at the discretion of the Dean of the UQ Graduate School.

5. Sick Leave

5.1 Paid sick leave – UQ scholarship recipients

Sick leave of 10 days or less and within the 10 day per annum allocation must be approved by the candidate’s advisory team and enrolling AOU, but does not need to be reported to, or approved by, the UQ Graduate School. The enrolling AOU must keep a record of approved requests and ensure candidates do not exceed their entitlement.

Where the scholarship rules permit paid sick leave under the Research Scholarship General Conditions, requests outside of the annual entitlement or in excess of 10 days must be submitted to the UQ Graduate School as soon as possible, but not later than 2 weeks from the commencement of the absence. It is the responsibility of the enrolling unit to act on behalf of the candidate where the candidate is unable to do so themselves.

The application must include:

  • a medical certificate specifying the nature of the illness and the period (or approximate period) the recipient will be unable to work on their research.

Scholarship recipients who have exhausted their paid sick leave allocation should apply for unpaid interruption to candidature as per Section 8 Interruption to Candidature.

5.2 Unpaid sick leave

Candidates who do not hold a UQ scholarship should apply for an interruption to candidature as per section 8 of these procedures.

6. Parental Leave

6.1 Paid parental leave – UQ scholarship recipients

Where the scholarship rules permit under the Research Scholarship General Conditions paid parental leave may be granted with the approval of the UQ Graduate School.

Parental leave must commence within 6 weeks prior to the birth or adoption of the child, and no later than the birth or adoption of the child.

Requests for parental leave must be submitted to the UQ Graduate School at least 3 weeks prior to commencement of the leave. The application must include:

  • a medical certificate or an appropriate document containing proof of birth or adoption.

Requests for partner leave must be submitted to the UQ Graduate School at least 3 weeks prior to commencement of leave. The application must include:

  • a medical certificate or an appropriate document that names their partner, states that she is pregnant and provides the anticipated date of birth.

Scholarship recipients who have exhausted their paid parental leave allocation should apply for unpaid interruption to candidature as per Section 8 Interruption to Candidature.

Parental leave will only be approved retrospectively if the birth occurs earlier than the expected due date.

Candidates must notify the UQ Graduate School of their return from leave date as per Section 9 Returning from Leave or Interruption to Candidature.

6.2 Unpaid parental leave

Candidates who do not hold a scholarship should apply for interruption to candidature as per Section 8 Interruption to Candidature.

Candidates must notify the UQ Graduate School of their return from leave date as per Section 9 Returning from Leave or Interruption to Candidature.

7. Recreation Leave

Recreation leave can be accrued with the approval of the advisory team and the enrolling AOU.

Recreation leave is arranged by negotiation with the candidate’s advisory team and enrolling AOU.

Recreation leave is not approved by, or reported to, the Graduate School.

Enrolling AOUs should have processes in place to manage and record recreation leave and return from recreation leave.

8. Interruption to Candidature

Requests to interrupt candidature must be submitted to the Graduate School at least 3 weeks prior to the first day of interruption. Retrospective applications will only be approved in exceptional circumstances. Interruptions related to ill health must be submitted as close to the first day of absence as possible, and no later than 2 weeks from the first day of absence. Interruptions outside of these timeframes will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances.

Interruptions beyond 12 months will only be considered if they relate to ill health, parental leave, significant caring commitments or exceptional circumstances. Approval of interruptions beyond 12 months will be at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate School.

Interruptions requested on medical grounds must be accompanied by a medical certificate.

Interruptions requested for parental leave must be accompanied by a medical certificate or an appropriate document containing proof of birth or adoption.

HDR candidates must inform the UQ Graduate School of their return date as per Section 9 Returning from Leave or Interruption to Candidature.

9. Returning from Leave or Interruption to Candidature

HDR candidates on approved periods of leave or interruption to candidature must report their return date to the UQ Graduate School at least 2 weeks prior to their original return date.

HDR candidates who wish to extend their leave or interruption to candidature must submit an extension request at least 2 weeks prior to their original return date.

Failure to notify the UQ Graduate School within this timeframe may result in withdrawal from the program and the cessation of scholarship payments.

Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan
Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan