Key documents & links

Below you'll find links to relevant documents and information specific to the higher degree research programs at Griffith University. Please note, some Griffith University documents will require your student log-in to enable access.



The QCA HDR Handbook provides a summary of key information regarding HDR policy rules and regulations as documented by the Griffith Graduate School and the Griffith University Higher Degree Research policy. It also documents specifics requirements in relation to QCA HDR practices and protocols.

You can view the handbook by clicking on the link below, or download a copy of the 2019 QCA HDR Handbook via the 8906QCA Visual Arts Research Methods site.

Note: the Handbook will updated prior to commencement of the academic year.

Higher degree research policy

This policy prescribes the requirements for the award of Higher Degree Research (HDR) qualifications. The Doctoral Degree and Masters Degree (Research) are HDR qualifications.

HDR scholarship policy

higher degree research scholarship policy

This policy provides a framework for the administration and allocation of higher degree research (HDR) scholarships for which the University has primary responsibility. The scholarship schemes within the scope of this policy include but are not limited to:

  • The Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend;

  • The Research Training Program (RTP) International Fee Offset Scholarship;

  • The Griffith University Postgraduate Research Scholarship (GUPRS);

  • The Griffith University International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (GUIPRS); and

  • Other Griffith University centrally-funded or Group- or Element-funded scholarships.


The early candidature milestone (ECM) should be completed at the following times for each program at the relevant Full Time Equivalent (FTE).

  • Master of Visual Arts @ 3 months FTE

  • Master of Design Research @ 3 months FTE

  • Doctor of Visual Arts @ 6 months FTE

  • Doctor of Philosophy @ 6 months FTE

An editable PDF template is available using the link below. Alternatively a word.docx version is also available.

Candidates are expected to consult with their Principal supervisor prior submitting the ECM.

Please refer to the HDR handbook and/or the HDR Policy for further information regarding the ECM.


The confirmation of candidature seminar is a critical point in every Higher Degree Research journey. In order to successfully complete this milestone QCA & GFS candidates must complete a written paper - summarising their research to date and present a 30 minute seminar detailing their research outlining relevant methods and associated considerations (ethics, time frames, resources etc).

Each candidate will be offered time to present a 30 minute seminar followed by 30 minute questions and 30 minute panel review, with verbal feedback provided on the same day as the confirmation and written feedback provided in the weeks after.

Confirmation seminars occur as part of the yearly HDR Colloquium series. These are offered four times per year:

(i) February, (ii) May/ June, (iii) August, and (iv) November

Please refer to the calendar of training and events for colloquium schedules as well as the HDR handbook and/or the HDR Policy for further information regarding Confirmation.


The Thesis and Candidature Review Milestone (TCRM) should be completed 6 months prior examination, this equates to the following times for each program at the relevant full time equivalent (FTE).

  • Master of Visual Arts @ 1.5 years FTE

  • Master of Design Research @ 1.5 years FTE

  • Doctor of Visual Arts @ 2.5-3 years FTE

  • Doctor of Philosophy @ 2.5-3 years FTE

For QCA & GFS candidates the TCRM process involves a seminar & discussion with the following people:

  • Supervisory Team

  • Independent examiner *ideally the same as for the confirmation

  • Chair - HDR Convenor

The seminar must detail the path to completion (final six months) outlining the elements completed to date as well as any remaining tasks. For candidates working toward exhibition or creative component - a maximum of 10 images illustrating the works to be examined will need to be included as well as a draft of the exegetical writing. For candidates without this requirement (traditional thesis) and draft of the document to-date is to be submitted and discussed. A full overview of the TCRM process and outcomes can be found here.

The Copyright Guide

Copyright law determines when and how you can copy, publish, communicate or perform works that others have created. Copyright begins once a work has been created and requires no formal registration. These laws apply to HDR candidates. A full explanation of Copyright can be found here.

Defining Authorship

The preparation, submission and publication of a research output is a compulsory component of research training for a Griffith Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidate. Mentoring this process is an important role of HDR supervisors. In Australia and internationally, the production of a research output involving both supervisor, candidate, and sometimes other collaborators and research participants, is a common source of disputes, distress, and complaints within the candidate-supervisor relationship.