Operating Funds - Guidelines

  1. “Operating Funds” refers to the allocation of financial support for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates for utilisation relevant to the Research Project for the period of candidature.
  2. Operating Funds are only available for Scholarship holders in accordance with their award conditions.

    Scholarships inclusive of Operating Funds are:

    • Competitive scholarships administered by the Research Office, including Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships
    • Australia Award Recipients
    • Scholarships funded by an external third party (for which operating funds have been provided as part of the funding agreement).
  3. This support funding is allocated, available and continual, only if satisfactory progress is maintained.
  4. Operating Funds are only available to be used until candidates are approved to graduate. Within this period any balance at the end of a year may be carried forward into the next year.
  5. Unless stated in the award conditions operating Funds for HDR candidates will be available at the yearly rate determined by the DVC-RE. The current full time equivalent rate is:
    • $6,300pa (high cost HDR course determined by ASCED Classifications)
    • $2,500pa (low cost HDR course determined by ASCED Classifications)
  6. The approval authority for expenditure will be the relevant Head of School and Faculty Administrative staff, or Head of Institute where applicable, as determined under the delegations policy. The funds are to be used as determined by the Supervisory Team in consultation with the candidate, however the Head of School/Head of Institute or nominee is required to authorise expenditure.
  7. It is one of the responsibilities of a Principal Supervisor to be aware of the availability of the Operating Funds and the ways in which it may be used. Notwithstanding this, it is an important part of postgraduate training for a candidate to learn the skills of project budgeting and management, an essential component of which is to be able to plan for the use of the resources available to them. It is essential for the candidate and Supervisory Team to consult on the use of Operating Fund allocations.
  8. The Operating Funds must be spent on costs directly associated with a candidate’s research project.

The process for accessing the funding is as follows:

  • Non-Travel Related Expenses

    For all non-travel expenditure please contact the relevant Faculty Operations Team or Institute Office.

    HDR candidates attached to a Research Institute only should refer queries directly to the Institute Admin Office as opposed to a Faculty Operations Team.

    Note: Orders for equipment must be made via the Faculty Operations Team or Institute.  IT assets (e.g. laptops and iPads) must be purchased via the Charles Sturt University Computer Shop. They cannot be purchased externally and then reimbursed from University funding. IT assets remain the property of Charles Sturt University. They must be returned before or on confirmation of graduation to the Faculty Operations Team/Administrative Officer to the Head of School/Institute. Charles Sturt may seek to be reimbursed for costs of unreturned equipment.

  • Travel Related Expenses

    For all international and domestic travel travel-related expenditure please contact Charles Sturt Travel and Expense using the Travel Booking Form available on the Charles Sturt Travel and Expense website or via email to travel@csu.edu.au

    If you are travelling as part of your Higher Degree by Research project, it is critical that a Charles Sturt Travel and Expense plan be approved prior to your travel. This will allow CSU’s Protections/ insurances to respond (subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies) should there be an adverse event. Further details on this are available in Appendix A.

    Any requests for travel related reimbursements must be made no later than 3 months after travel.

    Note: When contacting Faculty Operations, Institute or Travel, please ensure that:

    • you provide the Operating Fund codes (Fund code, Organisation code and Program code) that has been assigned to you; and
    • Principal Supervisor have recommended approval and the relevant Head of School/Institute has approved the expenditure.
  • Examples of indicative expenditure
    • Conference Registration
    • Chemicals and specific laboratory equipment
    • Costs associated with analytic tests (e.g. like those conducted by the Environmental Analytical Laboratory)
    • Costs associated with conducting experiments (e.g. Glasshouse costs)
    • Travel costs, such as hiring a University car or reimbursement of private car expenses when on fieldwork or interviewing subjects/participants, or travelling to present at a conference
    • A maximum of $250pa towards additional Personal Insurance. In the first instance it is recommended that the CSU Student Personal Accident insurance policy be reviewed. Professional advice should then be sought if required.
    • Employing staff to enter survey/interview/quantitative data
    • An upgrade of computer software required for the project
    • Special photographs
    • Creative works equipment
    • Printing survey forms/questionnaires and postage costs
    • Interlibrary loan expenses
    • Photocopying and stationery
    • Printing and binding of theses
    • Laptop Computers where it is essential to the research

    Unless otherwise stated in the conditions of award funding is allocated to Schools/Institutes by the Graduate Research Team approximately one month after the census date for each session a candidate is entitled to the funds (Session 30 and 60 only). Funding will be allocated to account codes as follows:

    • Australian Award and centrally funded AGRTP Scholarships - Code A532
    • Externally funded scholarships - an R-Fund code (generally managed directly via project)
  • APPENDIX A – CSU HDR Candidate Travel Information

    Charles Sturt Students-HDR Candidates: Domestic Travel

    All Charles Sturt business related travel should be approved according to Charles Sturt's Travel Policy.

    Provided the domestic travel by the student has been approved by Charles Sturt then University Protections/ insurances will respond subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies. Covers are as per the Domestic Insurance Letter.

    The Student Personal Accident Insurance policy is necessarily generic in nature and provides safety net cover only. It does not take into account the personal and/or financial circumstances of each individual student. For this reason is recommended that each student (including HDR Students) seek professional advice to ensure that they have adequate covers (including but not limited to personal accident & injury, income protection, trauma cover etc.) in place taking into account their individual circumstances. A copy of the policy can be provided upon request.

    It is strongly recommended and University policy that at all times when a vehicle is required for University related business (including HDR student research activities) that Charles Sturt vehicles are used. Any use of private vehicles must be approved under a Travel Plan and all required documentation completed (including a Private Vehicle Declaration Form) refer to the Travelling by Car page.

    Charles Sturt Students-HDR Candidates: Overseas Travel

    All Charles Sturt business related travel should be approved according to Charles Sturt's Travel Policy.

    Provided the overseas travel by the student has been approved by Charles Sturt then University Protections/ insurances will respond subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies. Covers are as per the Overseas Insurance Letter.

    Provided the travel has been organised and approved by Charles Sturt and the student travel has been "paid for by Charles Sturt in whole or in part and whether by reimbursement or otherwise" then the Charles Sturt Corporate Passport Travel Insurance will respond subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy.

    If a HDR student pays for and arranges their own overseas travel (and then is reimbursed or plans to seek reimbursement at a later date from Charles Sturt) then in order to remove doubt it is strongly recommended that the student obtain prior written confirmation from the University that it will reimburse those travel costs in whole or in part in due course. The Charles Sturt Corporate Travel policy should then respond if required.

    It is strongly recommended that the HDR students consult with CSU Global initially and at all times whilst planning any overseas travel in relation to their course.

    Summary prepared by Charles Sturt Division of Finance, August 2018.