Graduate School of
Induction Manual for
Induction Manual for GSITMS
Post-Graduate Research Students
Welcome to the Graduate School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences
This Induction Manual is designed to give you some basic information about GSITMS and
how it works.
The Graduate School of ITMS provides a friendly atmosphere for post-graduates to pursue
their research. While we hope that you get to know all of our staff and other post-graduate
research students, the people that you will probably interact with first are:
Professor Sidney Morris
Professor Morris is the Head of the Graduate School of ITMS. If you need to see him
regarding urgent or important matters, you will need to arrange an appointment through his
Personal Assistant on telephone (03) 5327 9253.
Dr Alex Kruger
Dr Kruger is the Graduate School’s Research Co-ordinator and deals with all matters relating
to research and research policy in the School. His email address is:
Dr Phil Smith
Dr Smith is the Graduate School’s Research and Higher Degrees Co-ordinator. He is the
person you would normally see if you have any questions or problems that need to be
addressed. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Nadine Gass
Nadine looks after all post-graduate research student administrative and co-ordination
matters. Her email is email@example.com and her phone number is (03) 5327 9076.
Profiles of all members of GSITMS staff can be found by following this hyperlink.
You can find details of other postgraduate students at:
Useful Web Addresses
GSITMS is one of eight schools constituting the Higher Education Section of the University of
Ballarat (UB). Our web page giving information about staff, research directions, courses and
other aspects of GSITMS can be found at:
To get information about the services provided to all UB students, please visit:
This site provides information about a wide range of services including counselling services,
learning support, help with finances and many others.
Another site you might find useful is:
Research degrees are administered by the Research and Graduate Studies Office (RAGSO).
The above site will give you information about the Graduate Centre, scholarships amongst
The UB internal website can be found at:
This is a very useful site which enables you to access staff phone numbers, the Library
catalogue, and the latest news from the University. You will normally need to log in to use
All post-graduate students have access to computing, photocopying and printing services
provided by GSITMS.
You will also be provided with a workstation and computing facilities. To access the
Graduate School’s computers, you will require an account with a password. Please keep
your individual password secret.
Research students are allocated $500 per annum by the Graduate School of ITMS at the
commencement of their study. This covers incidental expenses such as printing and
photocopying. However, you can use this money towards travel and conference expenses if
you wish. Your Principal Supervisor will have more information about how these funds can
Many of our Research students come from countries in which English is not the main spoken
language. If you feel you need help with your English, please discuss the matter with your
Principal Supervisor or with the Research & Higher Degrees Co-ordinator.
Permission to Take Equipment Off-Campus
This is a very important topic affecting all students.
No University-owned equipment, INCLUDING LAPTOPS, may be taken off-campus without
permission in writing from the Head of the Graduate School (HOGS).
The request should be handwritten, not e-mailed, to the HOGS and accompanied by a short
explanation of why it should be taken off-campus and any serial numbers provided.
Permission will not be unreasonably withheld. However, the consequences of any staff
member or student having equipment off-campus without permission could be quite serious.
No student is exempted from seeking written permission for any piece of University
If there appears to be exceptional circumstances, then the student should write (not e-
mail) the HOGS with the request and reasons and the support of their Principal
You may wish to attend conferences or other professional activities during your candidature.
To request financial assistance, you will need to fill out a green Professional Development
Support Form (PDSF), available from Ms Elizabeth Matuschka, Administrative Officer –
You are also entitled to annual leave. To request leave, you must fill out the appropriate
All such forms are available from Nadine.
If your research involves experimentation on humans or animals, then you will need to fill out
an ethics application. Your Principal Supervisor will discuss the details of such applications
with you or you can seek advice from the Research Co-ordinator.
The Research and Graduate Studies Office (RAGSO) require you to fill in reports on your
research progress twice each year. The major annual report is due in June, and this will
involve a meeting with the Head of Graduate School and the Research & Higher Degrees
Co-ordinator to discuss your candidature.
The minor report is due in December. These meetings are held so that you can identify and
resolve any problems you may be having with your studies.
These reports will require you to describe your goals for the following six months and a report
on how you are progressing with goals that you have previously set. You should also report
on any problems that you are having with your studies.
UB Research Office Activities
The UB Research Office has classes/activities scheduled during the year (usually on
Wednesdays from 12.30pm to 2.00pm). You are requested to attend these meetings. For
more information please go to:
Confirmation of Candidature
Doctoral students are required to confirm their candidature after one year of full-time study or
eighteen months part time study. A full description of the process and what is required from
you can be found at:
The Graduate School is committed to providing a safe and friendly working environment, in
which everyone is free to pursue their research in a conductive atmosphere. Of course,
problems occasionally occur which need to be remedied.
There are several counselling services provided by the University, which you can make use
of. You can also discuss matters with your Supervisors or other members of the research
staff. Don’t let problems build up – let us know about them.
The University has a very clear and unequivocal policy on bullying. It is not tolerated. The
University requires all staff and students to show tolerance and consideration to others.
People cannot be discriminated against on grounds of religion, race, political persuasion,
gender or sexual orientation. If you feel that you (or someone you know) are being
discriminated against on these or any other grounds, please let somebody know
Confirmation of Candidature
Every doctoral candidate must confirm their candidature approximately twelve months after
they commence studies. Some candidates become very nervous about their confirmation
and this is understandable. However, it is intended to be a positive experience in which you
will obtain constructive feedback for your research.
The decision of whether your candidature will be confirmed (ie. whether you will be allowed
to proceed to full candidature) or not resides with a Confirmation Panel. The Confirmation
Panel consists of six to eight academics (including the Head of Graduate School, your
Principal and Associate Supervisors, an expert in your field and some others).
The Confirmation Panel uses two things to judge your confirmation:
A document that you prepare describing your research.
A presentation (about 25 minutes) in front of the Panel.
Some of the criteria that the Confirmation Panel will use to judge your confirmation might
Whether you can adequately describe the research problem and the research that
you are engaged in.
Whether the problem is of an appropriate size. It must not be too small otherwise your
examiners will not deem it worthy of a doctorate. It must not be too large otherwise
you will not finish it in a reasonable period. Your research questions should be clear
Whether the problem is of sufficient merit. Will your project contribute substantially to
the current store of knowledge in your area?
Whether you have shown clearly how your research relates to the current store of
knowledge. This is normally done by presenting a review of the relevant literature of
your field of research. If done well, the literature review will present a logical
argument of why your research is important. You should also describe how you may
have used the literature to develop your project.
Whether you have clearly set out how you intend to solve the problem. Some
questions you might ask yourself are:
o What sort of conceptual development will you undertake?
o What do you think your contribution will be?
o Can you link your research questions to the research methods?
o How will your work be evaluated?
o How are you going to collect the data?
o How will the data collected support your theories?
o What sort of validity threats are there?
Some Tips and Guidelines:
1. You will not only be judged on the content of your presentation and confirmation but also
on how well you communicate your ideas. One approach recommends that your
presentation be broken up into three sections:
a. The first third of your presentation should be understood by everyone, whether
they are cognisant of your field or not.
b. The second third can be a bit more technical and maybe not understood by
c. The final third can go right into the details of your research and might only be
really well understood by the experts in your field.
2. When giving your presentation, it is extremely important that you understand the terms
that you use. If you do not understand a term do not use it. Be prepared to answer
questions involving any of the terms you do use.
3. Consult your Supervisor and listen very closely to his or her advice. Your Supervisor will
normally have a lot of experience in the presentation of research and will be able to
provide valuable advice on the subject.
In order to help students prepare, Dr Phil Smith requires students to spend time with him in
order to fine-tune their presentations. This should happen two to three weeks before the
A Final Word
The confirmation process is not a rubber stamp – you are expected to produce a high quality
confirmation document and give a high quality presentation. However, it is not intended to
be an impossible hurdle. It is an opportunity to receive valuable feedback that will help you
with your research. Always remember that it is intended to be a POSITIVE experience.
If you do not feel confident with any aspect of the confirmation process, discuss it with your