by Distance Learning

Doctoral Candidates

How the University can support you...

Doctoral candidates are well supported by a both a dedicated team of administrators in Student Administration, and a team of senior advisers in the Graduate Research School.

The University appreciates that distance doctoral candidates are not able to participate as frequently as residential candidates in the various on-campus activities which are available (for example journal clubs, departmental symposia, social functions, student learning centre and graduate research workshops, guest lectures, tutoring, demonstrating, etc.). You are encouraged, however, to visit the appropriate campus (Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, or Dunedin) whenever possible to connect with staff and fellow candidates and participate in professional development workshops. You should also make the most of online resources, including web/videoconferencing and social networks.

As your office is not just down the corridor from your supervisors, keeping in touch with them on a regular basis is really important. Apart from the required formal annual progress reports (six-monthly until confirmation, and annually thereafter), we suggest you consider:

  • updating your supervisors regularly (perhaps weekly) via email regarding your progress and plans
  • having regular (weekly or fortnightly) phone or Skype/Zoom meetings with your supervisors.
  • visiting the campus whenever possible to meet with your supervisors (and others)

You may also like to think about forming a peer-support group of fellow candidates and having regular meetings with each other, perhaps using Skype, Zoom, or phone.

If you have any particular needs, please communicate them to your supervisors in the first instance.

The Graduate Research School website is a valuable source of information for candidates - see 'About us' for services offered. In addition, the PhD Programme information page has many things you’ll need to know – administrative and otherwise – during your doctoral journey. An up-to-date conversation about studying for a doctorate appears on the Graduate Research School Facebook page – a great way to keep in touch with other candidates and University staff. The Graduate Research School also sends out regular newsletters to candidates to advertise events and share helpful information. The Graduate Research School Blackboard site (GRS_PHD) supports candidates at various stages of their doctoral journey, in particular with use of plagiarism checking software, available for use during candidates’ study, and essential prior to thesis submission. Finally, the Distance Student Representative of the Graduate Research Student Liaison Committee (website includes contact details) can help communicate any issues that distance candidates have.

Should you have any administrative or enrolment queries, please don't hesitate to email Student Administration – Doctoral. For scholarship enquiries, you can email Student Administration – Scholarships.

If you have other issues that you would like to discuss, you can contact:

Andrew Lonie
Manager, Graduate Research School

If Andrew isn’t the right person to talk to about your issue, he can direct you to the right place!