7. Research Requirements

For students commencing the Monash Doctoral Program (PhD) from 1 January, 2015, the maximum thesis length is 80,000 words. The thesis may be in the form of a traditional monograph or as a thesis by publication.

7.1 Timelines and Research Requirements

6 months
12 months
18 months
  • Ethics approval received
  • Data collection commenced
24 months
36 months
42 months
  • Thesis completed and submitted

See also Section 8. Milestones

7.2 Scope of the research

Research projects should be scoped for 3 years.

Research completed for the PhD (Clinical Psychology) and PhD (Clinical Neuropsychology) must have “direct relevance to the field of clinical psychology” or field of clinical neuropsychology respectively. This is a requirement of the APS College course approval guidelines. Whether research meets this guideline is sometimes a matter of judgement and students who are considering completing research in domains that may contravene this guideline are encouraged to talk to the PhD (Clinical) or PhD (Clinical Neuropsychology) Course Convenor about the suitability of their proposed area. If the primary supervisor is not a member of the School of Psychological Sciences it is strongly recommended that consideration be given to approaching a member of the School to act as an associate supervisor.

7.3 Research Design and Statistical Support

Monash offers statistical support for HDR students. You can find out more or request a consultation by visiting the Monash Statistical Consulting Service webpage.

7.4 Ethics Clearance

All projects must receive ethics clearance before you commence collecting data. To apply for ethics clearance, students should visit Monash Research Office webpage and seek advice from their Supervisor. Students are obliged to comply with all of the changes and procedures that are recommended by the ethics committee. Some research requires approval from more than one committee, as for example when a student wishes to collect data from a hospital. Ethics approval can take considerable time and this must be taken into account in planning research.

A submission to the relevant ethics committee(s) must be made in first year, but approval can occur in second year. The panel meeting and ethics application(s) can proceed earlier in the year if this suits students and Supervisors (a situation that sometimes arises when students take on projects embedded in existing research programs).

7.5 Conferences and papers

Students are encouraged to attend conferences and research meetings that pertain to their research project.  Students are encouraged to present their research at university, local, national and international seminars or conferences.  Funding is available to support students presenting platform or poster presentations at national or international conferences. For students in the clinical programs, approval from the Board of Studies is required when the proposed conference travel interrupts coursework or placement.

Students are strongly encouraged to publish some of their findings before submitting their thesis.  This process provides valuable feedback and enhances professional reputation.  Of course, supervisors and associates who significantly contribute to the publication should be designated as co-authors. Submission of a thesis in the form of a series of papers is encouraged and students should discuss this option with their supervisors.

7.6 Research support & travel grants

HDR students, whose main supervisor is within the school, are entitled to the following funding support:

  • $1000 laptop reimbursement – you can claim up to $1000 towards the purchase of a laptop during the first year of candidature subject to the below exemptions. Please see 7.6.1 for instructions on how to claim the funds.
  • $4000 Research Support – if your main supervisor belongs to the School of Psychological Sciences, subject to the below exemptions, you are entitled to apply for research support up to a maximum of $4000 over the duration of your candidature. Note that this includes the School's contribution of $470 towards a successful MGRO Travel Grant, effectively leaving $3530 for research project expenses. To apply please complete the Turner Institute HDR Funding Submission Form, available from hdr.psych@monash.edu.
    • Students are expected to complete a detailed budget of the project expenses for submission at the time of their confirmation.
    • The form is to be completed by the student in collaboration with their supervisor. Once completed it must be signed by the main supervisor and forwarded to hdr.psych@monash.edu. Final approval will be determined by the Turner Institute Graduate Research Manager. An email acknowledging the outcome will be forwarded to the student. The approval process may take up to two weeks.

Note: the cost of binding the thesis is the responsibility of the student.


  • A student who is the recipient of a scholarship which includes an allowance for direct research costs is not eligible to receive additional funding from the School (e.g. NHMRC scholarship, Monash Departmental Scholarships etc.)
  • A student who is enrolled through an IITB-Monash joint PhD is not eligible to receive additional funding from the School.

Travel Grants

The MGRO Travel Grant scheme provides grants of up to $2000 to postgraduate research Masters or Doctoral students over their candidature (up to $1175 from Central funds).

The amount you receive is dependent on your travel destination and you can use the funds for more than one research travel event.

You must apply for Study Away from the MGRO to pursue research overseas for any period of time, or to pursue research inter/intrastate for periods greater than six weeks.

You can apply for Study Away with or without a Travel Grant via the online forms system.

A grant will only be paid if:

  • There is evidence of prior approval by Graduate Education for travel overseas or interstate (if for more than six weeks).
  • The original receipt for the travel ticket is provided. In the case of interstate travel, the travel agent's Original Tax Invoice/Receipt for GST which includes an ABN number is provided.
  • All claims, including the Conference registration fee and cost of presentation materials, must be supported with original tax invoices.

For advice and submission of Travel Grant applications, please contact hdr.psych@monash.edu

If your application is successful, MGRO will inform you and the School Finance Officer (Psych.Finance@monash.edu).

7.6.1 Claiming Funds

To claim your laptop, research support or travel funds, please complete a Reimbursement Form. You and your supervisor must sign the form. Please scan your signed form along with original tax invoices for all expenses being claimed into one PDF document and send to Psych.Finance@monash.edu for Institute/School approval/sign-off.

If you are unable to pay the costs up front, please discuss with you supervisor who can arrange for payment via either Concur or ESS purchase order request.

7.6.2 Participant Reimbursements

Please review and follow the process on the Finance website, Payment of Research Participants.

Your participants may need to complete a Reimbursement Form which you should scan along with a written and signed declaration from the Chief Investigator authorising the submission of the reimbursement form. Please contact hdr.psych@monash.edu for an example if needed.