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Getting started

At the beginning of your research journey there are many things you can do to get started. We suggest you start with the following eight steps:

  1. Meet with your supervisors to discuss your research area, the resources that are available to you, the frequency of your meetings and the expectations that you and your supervisors have about your study. The Candidate/Supervisor Panel Agreement will assist you and your supervisor with these discussions.
  2. Login to Student portal to access your student email account (your ECU login ID is provided when you complete your enrolment process). This is the email account that you’ll use for all correspondence with your supervisors and with ECU, and vice versa. It’s essential that you check your student email account regularly.
  3. Obtain your Student ID Card from the Multimedia Resources counter on any campus.
  4. Meet with your school research support staff and find out if you need access to any restricted or after-hours area that will require an ECU Access Card.
  5. Enrol in the online Graduate Research Induction Program (GRIP).
  6. Bookmark the Research Events calendar.
  7. If possible, attend the inductions that are held for new research students by the Graduate Research School and your School.
  8. If possible, attend one of the Getting Started as a Research Student at ECU research training workshops run by the Graduate Research School.

Graduate Research Induction Program

GRIP is an online induction training program for all new ECU research students. It brings together a large amount of essential information to get you started on your research journey.

You can start GRIP at any time, but it’s best to begin as soon as possible. You’ll be required to complete GRIP prior to your confirmation of candidature.

Your research journey

Your research journey is made up of six stages, with each stage involving several processes and steps.  You can find the information on these within the research journey web pages.

  1. Provisional candidature
    From the time that you enrol, to when you receive confirmation of your candidature, you are a provisional candidate. This stage involves selecting your supervisor and discussing potential research topics, reviewing relevant literature, designing your research, preparing your research proposal and submitting your ethics application. Read more in Designing and undertaking your research. During this time you’ll also need to complete the Graduate Research Induction Program (GRIP) and plan how you’re going to manage your candidature. It’s also worthwhile investigating the many support services and resources that are available to assist you with successfully completing your degree.
  2. Confirmation of candidature
    Confirmation of candidature is a major milestone in your research journey. It is expected that you will have completed all elements of your Confirmation of candidature within twelve months of commencing your research degree full-time, or the part-time equivalent, however, if you do not have a coursework component you should aim to complete the requirements for Confirmation of Candidature within six months. There are a number of steps you need to complete for your candidature to be confirmed, including presenting and gaining approval on your research proposal and completing a risk assessment and management plan.
  3. Undertaking your research
    Once your candidature has been confirmed and you’ve received ethics approval you can undertake your research. Processes during this stage often include data collection, data analysis and thesis preparation.
  4. Writing and presenting your research
    You’ll be required to write at all stages of your research journey. Throughout your degree, in addition to your research proposal, it’s likely that you’ll have opportunities to present your research to your peers and colleagues through seminars, conferences and journal publications. It’s also important that you understand the requirements for preparing and presenting your thesis for examination.
  5. Thesis examination
    In consultation with you, your supervisor will find and nominate appropriate examiners to mark your thesis. Your examiners will need to be nominated at least four weeks before you submit your thesis.
  6. Graduate
    Once your thesis has been passed and any amendments have been approved, your record will be sent to the Board of Examiners. After your record has been changed to ‘Course Complete’ you’ll receive information about graduation.

In addition to these stages, you’ll need to manage your candidature during your degree. This involves reporting your progress in conjunction with your supervisors, seeking out and using support services and self-learning resources and sourcing opportunities for additional funding and professional development.

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