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HDR Space Management Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all higher degree by research (HDR) candidates enrolled at RMIT have access to on-campus, non-laboratory workspace to facilitate the good progress and completion of their research.

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Section 2 - Overview

(2) The HDR Space Management Policy expands on the space allocation requirements under the HDR Policy. It provides colleges and schools with principles and key responsibilities for allocating workspace and facilities to HDR candidates.

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Section 3 - Status

(3) Divisional policy to the Higher Degrees by Research Policy.

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Section 4 - Scope

(4) The policy applies to all staff responsible for HDR management and supervision and all HDR candidates of the University and its controlled entities (known as the RMIT Group).

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Section 5 - Policy

(5) RMIT recognises the importance of nurturing emerging researchers and encouraging a scholastic community through the provision of fit-for-purpose workspaces and facilities.

(6) HDR workspace allocation is in alignment with the Infrastructure and Asset Security Policy governing workspace allocation for the staff of the University.

(7) The normative allocation by schools of space to HDR candidates is by means of bookable and shared-use space, which both maximises use of space and provides candidates with the capacity to plan their usage according to their work practices.

(8) Where possible HDR candidates should be located within their enrolling School.

(9) Space allocations must include provision of appropriate, secure, lockable storage options for candidates.

(10) The workspace facilities provided for HDR use:

  1. must comply with relevant occupational health and safety regulations and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 (R8)
  2. should allow for after-hours access, noting that not all University buildings have air conditioning outside standard business hours.

(11) The space/accommodation needs of HDR candidates are variable depending on:

  1. mode of enrolment, and periods of leave
  2. discipline of research and/or requirement for fieldwork
  3. specific requirements of the project which may entail the need for specialised space along with the need for space for reading, analysis and writing
  4. stage of candidature such as commencing, mid-candidature and final write-up phase
  5. provision of other resources that may affect space requirements.


(12) Schools are responsible for:

  1. developing and maintaining a publicly available HDR space management plan to support all space allocation decisions within the school
  2. making and reviewing space allocations regularly to accommodate the changing needs of candidates, to address the needs of commencing candidates, and to maximise the use of available space; it is recommended that this occurs at least twice a year.
  3. managing space on a shared-use basis, to be allocated to candidates via advance booking for periods of six months:
    1. some space allocated for HDR use may be non-bookable, but the school’s management plan should allow those candidates who need a regular work space to know in advance when they can use that space
    2. space entitlement should be withdrawn when a candidate is not using an allocated space during periods of approved leave, or absence due to fieldwork
  4. recognising the need for and providing appropriate, secure lockable storage options for candidates. Where possible, this should be within close proximity to the allocated desk space for candidates to be able to complete the agreed program of research and in addition to any non-bookable storage space.

(13) Candidates are responsible for:

  1. following the local process to provide their details and work space needs at least every six months or when circumstances change
  2. respecting fellow candidates’ space allocations and property, while using work space and storage allocated to them.


(14) The ADVC RT&D is responsible for review of this policy and supporting documents.

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Section 6 - Procedures and Resources

(15) Procedures and schedules subject to implementation of this policy are listed in the Associated Information page, along with other related information.