1. The University recognises the importance of providing appropriate resources for graduate research candidates to enhance the quality of their training.
2. Prior to either (a) accepting a graduate research candidate or (b) approving a major change of topic and/or methodology during candidature, the Department/School concerned should assess the feasibility of the proposed research project in terms of the resources likely to be required for the successful completion of the project.
3. The acceptance of a graduate research candidate represents the Department’s/School’s commitment to support his/her research project by providing the following resources:
3.1 access to appropriate resources to undertake the candidate’s research project (for example: equipment, materials, facilities, and funding for fieldwork or data collection or other activities considered essential to the successful completion of the project);
3.2 an appropriately equipped working and quiet study/writing space, including secure storage;
3.3 after-hours access to departmental facilities, provided both safety and security requirements are met;
3.4 access to appropriate computing resources;
3.5 access to e-mail and appropriate internet communications;
3.6 access to library facilities including interloans and database searching; and
3.7 access to a telephone. Notes:
(a) The resources referred to in this policy do not include human resources such as supervisory knowledge and skills. These human resources are covered by separate regulations and policies.
(b) The University encourages candidates and their supervisors to apply for funding from other sources to support appropriate aspects of their research projects. Irrespective of the funding source, however, Departments and Schools remain accountable for ensuring that (i) appropriate resources are provided and (ii) students are informed about where and how to access the resources.
(c) Where circumstances beyond the direct control of the student, supervisor and Department/School necessitate an alteration of the research project’s cost structure, the Department/School is responsible for ensuring that the project continues to be appropriately resourced.
Graduate Research School
The Graduate Research School, located in the north end of the Clocktower, oversees graduate research at the University of Otago. The School provides policy advice for doctoral and masters’ degrees, and manages university scholarships and prizes. Although the School provides central administration for PhD processes, Master’s research processes are administered within departments and in the Divisional Offices. However, the School does provide particular support for Master’s research candidates including:
• A Māori Postgraduate Support Advisor, who is available particularly to assist Māori postgraduates with acting as a link to the resources offered by the University; offering workshops, regular research hui and seminars; acting in an advocacy capacity; offering support to individual students; offering advice on scholarships; and providing opportunities for students to meet other Māori postgraduate students and staff at Otago and nationally. See details at: http://www.otago.ac.nz/graduate-research/study/otago030470.html
• A Personal Performance Coach, who provides a free service to help graduate research candidates identify and define specific goals; discover their strengths; explore all their personal and study options; and develop action plans to achieve their goals. See details and book an appointment at: http://www.otago.ac.nz/graduate-research/people/otago513001.html. Note that the Coach also provides a service to distance students and those on campuses other than Dunedin.
• The Dean and the Manager, who are available to provide on-one-one advice for Master’s candidates who face difficulties with supervisors or examination processes (see further information under ‘Resolving problems and disputes’).