How will this be better for staff?

The proposal will provide staff in the new Candidate Development Officer roles with clear and consistent expectations and equity of HEW level. They will understand their contribution to the broader team and have direct contact with students and PGCs. Staff will receive training and have access to professional development opportunities, including conferences. Coverage in times of absence or high workload would also be immediately available by trained colleagues. The teams will provide an opportunity for a collegial and supportive working environment for staff with others who also specialised in research training and development.

Who will students go to? How will they access support?

It is proposed that an enquiries team will be resourced to handle general enquiries and make referrals. If the model is approved, students will also have a local Candidate Development Officer who will be visible in their School/Institute to speak with and seek advice for their queries. A referral guide will provide enquiries staff, Candidate Administration Officers and Candidate Development Officers clear information to ensure students receive consistent and accurate referral advice to ensure their enquiry is handles by the staff member who can most swiftly action it for them.

Will there be work that isn’t covered that AOUs will need to cover in another way?

A draft service plan has been developed to seek consultation on all aspects of HDR administration and support that are required and describe who would be responsible for each under the proposed service model. If there are HDR activities not listed that are deemed necessary, you should provide feedback on this. There may be activities currently undertaken by the PGAO that aren’t part of HDR program and student support and, if deemed necessary, will need to be shifted to another staff member.

Why is the cluster structure different to the professional service teams HR and Finance are using? Will this pose any issues?

The proposed arrangements reflect the reality that the ‘business units’ for research and research training are Institutes (or Centres) and Schools. Harnessing these capabilities in a One UQ approach to research and research training will promote collaboration and help address UQ’s Impact agenda. Representation of Faculties and Institutes on the HDR Committee of Academic Board will ensure their continued input into governance and strategy in Research Training while the attendance of the Graduate School Executive at Faculty HDR Committees will ensure that Faculty specific initiatives can be discussed and integrated within the Institutional approach to Research Training. HDR administration includes the management of Academic Programs with professional service support for research students. The transactional requirements between HDR and finance and HR will be facilitated by the Candidate Development Officer dedicated to each enrolling unit who can establish necessary links.

Why is the FTE reduced if it isn’t about saving money?

The proposed HDR service model realigns roles to form one cohesive broader team to support research training across UQ. This means some resourcing changes to ensure every student receives consistent support.

Why is there an increase in senior roles centrally/Deputy Directors?

These two senior roles are proposed to provide leadership and oversight to teams and team leaders and also ensure students, advisors and PGCs all have access to high quality support and expertise. These roles would also provide high level advisory support to PGCs and Heads of Units as needed and be responsible for ensuring the training and development of staff and monitoring and designing business process improvement.

Why are the current Graduate School roles not being disestablished?

The Graduate School roles are currently structured at consistent HEW level and the position descriptions are consistent. These would be broadened in the proposed model to include a wider range of procedural tasks for staff to undertake but are not fundamentally different. The staff in the Admissions, Candidature and Thesis Examinations teams will be moved into two teams, still located centrally, to provide better connections to the cluster teams.

The PGAO role is currently more varied, at different HEW levels, with a wider range of tasks and expectations. These staff would also be part of teams under the new model, connected to the Graduate School.  These roles therefore need to be disestablished to create the new role, with a new position description.