COVID-19 measures for graduate researchers

GSA Representation Team
representation@gsa.unimelb.edu.au

3 April 2020

The University has announced Covid-19–related paid leave measures for graduate researchers. Graduate researchers can apply for up to 60 working days (12 weeks) of leave for circumstances directly related to Covid-19. Graduate researchers taking Covid-19 leave who do not receive a stipend can apply for funding through the Emergency Support Fund, with details on how to apply to be announced in the next few days.

Graduate researchers who are close to completion (up to three months prior to their three-year milestone) will have automatic extensions of 6 months – this will also extend out scholarship length where applicable. These measures also apply to part-time students with duration extended accordingly. See the details here.

These policies will be a great help to many graduate researchers, and GSA is pleased that our advocacy and insistence on providing better support for graduate researchers was able to influence these positive outcomes.

However, graduate researchers may have other needs which are not accommodated by this announcement. We have heard from graduate researchers at different stages of candidature who require extensions due to research disruptions, increased caring responsibilities, and the mental health impact of isolation and stress. If this applies to you, or there is another issue not covered here, please let us know via our online feedback form: Tell us how COVID-19 is affecting you

We are committed to representing your needs to the University and will use your input to make further recommendations.


Related: COVID-19 advocacy strategy


Graduate Student Association

One Comment

Catherine Ryan

Thanks so much for your work on this GSA. I echo the calls for candidature extensions irrespective of what stage we are at. While I’m lucky to be on a scholarship, the extra care load with a primary school age child at home, and elderly parents interstate requiring way more support, is really impacting my study. Not just in terms of the time these responsibilities take, but because they are both complex logistic and emotional tasks. I am exhausted by this and my thinking is forced to be way more fragmented and multi-focussed, making it difficult to work effectively in the reduced time I have available.

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