Support Structures for Candidates

Faculties provide academic and infrastructure support for research higher degree candidates. Schools, Postgraduate Coordinators (PGCs) and Associate Deans (Research and Research Training) support candidates within this broader framework.



The School has a primary role in providing a training environment and culture that promotes high-quality postgraduate research.

  • The School ensures that candidature is a rewarding experience for both candidates and supervisors by:

  • Providing appropriate space and resources to carry out approved Higher Degree Research projects

  • Ensuring ongoing appropriate supervision

  • Encouraging participation of all researchers in the School’s research culture

  • Helping candidates effectively utilise the School infrastructure

  • Ensuring that all candidates complete a Review of Progress, and that PhD candidates are confirmed within their first year of study

  • Formulating and implementing procedures relating to intellectual property, safety, and ethics issues appropriate for the disciplines of the School and consistent with UNSW policy


Postgraduate Coordinators

Each School has one or more Postgraduate Coordinators (PGC), who are the central point of contact for research higher degree candidates. PGCs are available to discuss any concerns that research candidates may have about their research, their supervisor(s) or academic decisions. The PGC monitors progress and advises candidates of important milestones, including Research Progress Reviews and Confirmation of Candidature. The PGC also works with the Head of School to make recommendations to the Faculty HDC or the Dean of Graduate Research regarding supervisory arrangements and changes to candidature.


Associate Dean (Research Training) and Associate Dean (Research)

All Faculties have an Associate Dean (Research Training) or a Director of Postgraduate Research who provide advice to the Dean regarding research candidates within the faculty. They monitor and manage support, space and resources for candidates, and act as a liaison person with research candidates on behalf of the Dean.

All Faculties also have an Associate Dean (Research) or equivalent, who is responsible for oversight of the Faculty’s research profile, and who works with the Heads of School within the Faculty to ensure effective and high quality supervision of research candidates. The Associate Dean (Research) also acts as a Research Integrity Advisor within the Faculty, providing confidential advice to staff, research trainees and research students with regards to the UNSW Research Code of Conduct and related policies and procedures.

Any candidate who needs advice from someone external to their School about academic recommendations that have been made about their candidature, or about Faculty procedures, should make an appointment to see the Associate Dean (Research Training) or Director of Postgraduate Research.

Graduate Research School

The Graduate Research School (GRS) Graduate Research School (GRS) provides support for all higher degree research (HDR) candidates and their supervisors.

GRS has dedicated candidature management officers for each Faculty who can help and guide you through candidature processes, including:

  • Continuing and overtime enrolment

  • Leave requests

  • Variations to candidature

  • Change to supervisor

  • Confidential advice


Additional Support Services

In addition to the support provided by your Faculty and the Graduate Research School, there are a number of UNSW services that can provide you with advice and support throughout your candidature, including:

  • Arc at UNSW

  • Health and Disability Services

  • Careers, Employment and Entrepreneurship 

  • UNSW Student Accommodation

  • Nura Gili

For more information on these services, please visit Advice