Information for Current Students
Research can at times seem like a very lonely and difficult road. If you are having problems with any aspect of your research please get in touch with your supervisor earlier rather than later. Problems tend to grow not go away and supervisors have lots of experience with these issues. If you are having problems with your supervisor, or you have more general questions about the nature of your research please get in touch with the Postgraduate Research Coordinator.
On this page you can find information related to:
- Resources and Facilities
- Annual progress reviews and reports
- Ethics clearance
- Candidature forms
- Departmental seminars
- Funding opportunities
- Travel insurance and notification
- Thesis submission
Resources and Facilities
There are three areas known as Postgraduate Arts Research Centres (PGARCs) available to postgraduate research students, each of which has desks, computers, printers, scanners, kitchen facilities and a lounge area. PGARC (Woolley) is restricted to candidates in the final stages of writing their thesis. It has dedicated workstations (ie each workstation is allocated to a specific candidate) each with a lockable file drawer. The other two centres are in Fisher Library Stack and the Old Teachers’ College Building. Any research student is eligible to apply for access to these two centres, which do not have dedicated desks (ie you take whichever desk is free on the day). Click here for more details or to apply online to get access to these facilities:
Details about other resources and facilities available to Archaeology students can be found here.
Annual progress reviews and reports
All research students, their supervisor and the PG coordinator each year fill in an Annual Progress Report form. The purpose of this report is so that the faculty can be sure that adequate progress is being made. This is where supervisors and candidates can put on record any difficulties that may or may not have been avoidable, including periods of personal illness or misadventure.
Each candidate fills in the first portion of the form, which is then forwarded to the supervisor who comments on the candidate’s progressand forwards the form to the PG coordinator. In the Department of Archaeology, the PG coordinator strikes a review committee that does not include the candidate’s supervisor, to discuss with the candidate the candidate’s progress in light of the comments on the Annual Progress Report form. This meeting is often found by candidates to be a valuable forum for exchange. The PG coordinator then enters on the form a recommendation to the faculty on the progress of the candidate. The form is returned to the candidate to read and to sign in acknowledgement that the comments have been seen. You do not have to agree with the comments made, and space is provided for you to comment on the comments should you wish to do so.
The report is then submitted to the Faculty Office for final endorsement. Recommendations about candidature are made on the annual progress report form such as whether the candidature can be continued, conditions imposed upon continued candidature for a specified time (such as a continuation of a probationary period, revision of progress after a further semester, completion of coursework or change of supervisory arrangements), or in some cases, terminated.
In addition to filling in the progress report, the department also holds reviews, and indeed, is required to do so by the faculty. The department holds panel reviews for all candidates at the end of their second semester of enrolment: this review is done in conjunction with the Annual Review. This process involves each candidate submitting two pieces of work: one an excerpt from the thesis of between 5000 and 8000 words, and the other an overview of the thesis which provides a projection of what will be contained in each chapter of the thesis. The panel that assesses this material usually includes the associate supervisor (but not the supervisor).
The purpose of the review panel is to provide feedback to candidates early in their candidacy. The review assesses the research project, including the resources being made available, the candidate's progress and the supervisory arrangements. Panels also often give comments on the content of the thesis extract, as well as on the thesis overview. The purpose is to both help candidates early on, to gain direction in the writing of their thesis, to locate any difficulties early and provide the resources for overcoming said difficulties, and to get feedback from expert staff members that the candidate may not yet have had the opportunity to talk to in detail. The panel also includes an interview with the candidate in which the panelists discuss their views about the thesis, and in which the candidate has the opportunity to discuss in confidence his or her progress in the absence of the supervisor.
An outcome will be considered by the head of department, if not directly involved. Where difficulties have been identified, the report will include an agreed course of action that may include discontinuation. This review usually coincides with the Annual Progress review conducted at the end of each calendar year, except where students began their candidacy mid-year.
If your thesis involves research on human participants you will need to seek ethics approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). Click here to find out more about whether or not you need ethics clearance.
If you need to apply you can find step by step advice on completing and submitting your application here.
Postgraduates are required to attend at least one of the three departmental seminar series in addition to the biennial Archaeology Display Case. Postgraduate students are required to present their research at one of these fora.
- Archaeology and Heritage (Fridays 12:30-2:00). Click here for current programme
- Classical Archaeology (Tuesdays 3:00-4:30). Click here for current programme
- Near Eastern Archaeology (Mondays 3:15-4:30) Click here for current programme
Funding Opportunities for Research
Below is some funding information for students wanting to conduct research overseas or elsewhere in Australia. Some of the funding opportunities also cover costs to present a paper at a conference.
- The Carlyle Greenwell Research Fund (Archaeology) provides an excellent source of funding for research students in Archaeology.
- The Postgraduate Research Support Scheme (PRSS) is a scheme to support postgraduate research including travel and presentation at conferences.
- The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers the Doctoral Research Travel Grant Scheme.
- Grants in aid
Other options are to look at University of Sydney Grants in Aid
- See also the Dorothy Cameron Fellowship (Women in Prehistoric Societies)
Please see the Archaeology fieldwork safety provision.
Travel Insurance and Notification
If you are travelling to conduct research or present a paper at a conference and your travel is related to your candidature, you need to submit a Travel Notification form if you want your travel to be covered by the University’s travel insurance policy. The form and details can be found here.
Details about what you need to do to prepare for the submission of your thesis can be found on the Notice of Thesis Submission form.