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Higher Degree by Research Graduate Attributes Policy
1. Purpose:
1.1.    This Policy details the transferrable skills and attributes the University expects its Higher Degree by Research (HDR) graduates to develop during their course of study.
2. Scope:
  1. This Policy applies to HDR courses and candidates.
  2. This Policy does not apply to undergraduate (including Honours) or postgraduate coursework courses and students.
3. Principles:
  1. This Policy is intended to cater for the diversity of research disciplines at the University and is supported by the Researcher Development Skills Framework (RDSF). 
  2. It is expected that the skills and attributes detailed below will be fostered throughout candidature, supported by an ongoing development program aligned with the RDSF, and monitored through the attainment of milestones and via progress reporting. HDR candidates will develop these skills and attributes in the context of disciplinary knowledge; personal goals and career aspirations; and opportunities.
  3. The University’s HDR courses will provide candidates with the opportunity to develop or build upon the following transferrable skills and graduate attributes.
Disciplinary Knowledge
  1. HDR graduates will:
  • have advanced knowledge, understanding and technical ability in their field of research;
  • have substantial knowledge of research principles and methods relevant to their discipline;
  • be experts and leading scholars and/or practitioners in their discipline; and
  • have ongoing capacity to generate original knowledge and make a significant contribution to research in their discipline.
  1. HDR graduates will be able to:
  • apply existing skills and knowledge to new situations;
  • recognise a problem and develop research questions that can be answered through the systematic implementation of relevant methodological frameworks and research methods;
  • develop inventive solutions, demonstrating creativity, flexibility, resourcefulness and enthusiasm;
  • take intellectual risks;
  • reflect critically and undertake systemic investigation into a complex body of knowledge;
  • analyse and synthesise information from a variety of sources; and
  • make rational conclusions based on evidence derived from the research.
  1. HDR graduates will have:
  • skills to articulate an argument clearly and justify a position using evidence and sound reasoning, and to transfer knowledge to specialist and non-specialist audiences, in oral and written forms;
  • relevant skills for research dissemination including: peer-reviewed publication, media pieces, and social media engagement; and
  • the capacity to engage with stakeholders and influence practice.
Research Management
  1. HDR graduates will:
  • understand research ethics, and their obligation to conduct research responsibly and with integrity;
  • understand intellectual property protocols as they pertain to the conduct and dissemination of research;
  • understand data management and data security principles and practices and select and apply appropriate digital tools to support the conduct and management of research.
  • understand the research planning process, including research project development and implementation, project leadership, dissemination, and potential commercialisation;
  • understand the research funding landscape and have the ability to source and apply for research funding; and
  • have the ability to design, use and evaluate research methods as appropriate to the field/s of investigation.
Engagement and Impact
  1. HDR graduates will have:
  • the skills to develop their profile and promote their research through network building, news media and social media, and community engagement;
  • the ability to think innovatively and identify opportunities for networking, professional connection, commercialisation and user engagement;
  • an understanding of the importance of knowledge transfer, through research dissemination and research-led teaching; and
  • the ability to communicate complex issues and present their research in an engaging way to a variety of audiences, and across multiple platforms.
Personal and professional development
  1. HDR graduates will have the ability to:
  • explain how their transferable research skills apply across work environments, and identify career opportunities within and outside academia;
  • reflect on and identify their goals, skill gaps, and possible obstacles to achievement, and identify opportunities for development;
  • identify and engage with research opportunities;
  • apply time management practices, and planning tools and technologies;
  • work collaboratively and effectively with others, within a range of teams and contexts and with diverse individuals;
  • listen actively, communicate with self-confidence, give and receive constructive feedback, lead by example and show flexibility in overcoming obstacles; and
  • develop strategies for maintaining personal wellbeing, resilience and managing stress.
  1. HDR graduates will be aware of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural issues and content, engage with Indigenous Australians in an ethical and respectful way, and understand broader cultural perspectives, and encompass this in research and teaching where possible.
6. Definitions:
Terms Definitions
Higher Degree by Research course of study  Means a degree of master by research or a degree of doctor by research, see University of Canberra Courses and Awards (Courses of Study) Rules 2013
Higher Degree by Research candidate  Means a student enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research course, see University of Canberra Courses and Awards (Courses of Study) Rules 2013
University  University of Canberra ABN 81 633 873 422 13
Researcher Development Skills Framework A framework that articulates key areas in which researchers need to develop skills during their candidatures and/or careers.
7. Links:
  • Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, at www.nhmrc.gov.au