Participant information

Project title: Postgraduate Research Experience Survey 2018 (PRES 2018)

Project team

Person Role Contact
Professor Stephan Riek, Deputy Dean, UQ Graduate School Chief Investigator

The Graduate School is located on Level 6, John Hines Building (62), St Lucia campus. Access Level 6 via the lifts opposite the Computer Science building (69).

Telephone: +61 7 3346 0502

Fax: +61 7 3346 0512

Email: Professor Stephan Riek

Professor Alastair McEwan, PVC Research Training and Dean, UQ Graduate School Co-ordinating Principal Investigator
Mr Sam Ferguson, Business Analyst, UQ Graduate School Associate Investigator
Ms Kate Swanson, HDR Engagement and Development Manager, UQ Graduate School Associate Investigator

Dear HDR Candidate

This survey asks about your experiences of your postgraduate research programme at the University of Queensland (UQ). Your responses will be combined with those of others to help inform The University of Queensland about the experience of postgraduate researchers, helping to improve future support. The results will also used to help advise policy and improve the postgraduate research experience across the sector.

How to participate

  1. Please read the participant information sheet carefully. If you have further questions you can contact the research team.
  2. Read the data protection statement and consent to the data being used in the way described (if you do not consent then please close your browser window to exit the survey).
    • To consent you will need to tick the box provided stating that you have read and understand the data protection statement and consent to your responses being used as described.
  3. Proceed to the Survey by clicking 'continue'; you will be directed to the first section of the survey
    • Notes for completion
      • If a question does not apply to you, or you cannot offer any opinion on it, then please leave blank or mark “Not applicable”. The questionnaire should take around fifteen minutes to complete. When you arrive at the final 'thank you' page, you will know that your responses have been recorded on our database.
      • Where “programme” is used in the questionnaire, this refers to your whole programme of study at UQ, for example PhD, Doctor of Biotechnology, etc.
      • After each section you will be asked for any further comments on the issues covered, to enable staff to gain a better understanding of what has gone well and what has worked less well. Please do not identify yourself or other individuals (including staff) in your comments. If you have a complaint or need support with any of the issues raised within the survey, please contact Prof Stephan Riek

Data Protection and confidentiality

By participating in this survey you consent to your responses being used for research purposes. The following outlines how we will be protecting and using your data.

All data collected in this survey will be held securely. All participating institutions have agreed not to identify any individuals when reporting their results both internally and externally, and to use their best efforts to ensure that no individuals can be identified by implication. The full PRES dataset will be available to the Higher Education Academy and selected third parties in order to conduct national level research and analysis.

Some information held by UQ, for example age, is attached to your response so that you do not have to provide it again. This data helps UQ better meet the needs of postgraduates like you.

The purpose of the survey is to identify themes rather than individual issues. Hence, the dataset will only have codes that allow for re-identification of data if required. However, if it is required that the data be re-linked to an individual's record that will not be carried out by staff who have a supervisory role in relation to the students who have completed the survey, and will stay confidential to those carrying out the survey. Where students accidently or purposefully identify themselves or others in comments those comments will be cleaned before dissemination or publication.

Potential Risks

Every care is taken to protect your privacy. While every care will be taken to clean comments provided as part of the survey, some dissemination of outcomes maybe be identifiable to individual participants in relation to comments, as students may refer to a particular incident that will identify them. All effort will be made to ensure that data that has individual or unusually unique or distinctive characteristics is removed and not included in the dissemination of outcomes. When responding with comments please do not identify yourself or other individuals (including staff).

Results will not be made available in a manner which identifies individuals. For example, care will be taken with demographic breakdowns, particularly at discipline level, where an individual student’s responses might be revealed. Results will only be presented (whether internally or externally) where there are sufficient responses to preserve anonymity, with 5 responses being the minimum required for any subgroup which is being reported on.

If you have a complaint or need support with any of the issues raised within the survey, please contact Prof Stephan Riek UQ Graduate School.

Potential Benefits

Outcomes of the survey will inform discussion on best practice, and areas of concern around the postgraduate research experience at UQ. The responses will be used to inform help shape future improvements and future support for the program.


Should any of the questions in the survey raise concerns for you about your program or support available to you please know you can contact with the UQ Graduate School for program support, or Student Services for welfare support. 

Should you encounter technical difficulties, or wish to speak to the research team, please contact Prof Stephan Riek, UQ Graduate School.

Withdrawing from the study

Participation in this study is completely voluntary, and you may choose to withdraw at any time. You can choose not to continue with the survey by closing your browser window before completing the survey. Responses will only be recorded once you arrive at the final 'thank you' page.

Access to results and debriefing

Participants, and the broader institution will be provided with a high level summary of results presented in a report. The report will be available on the UQ website and information sent to HDR Candidates through the regular HDR candidate newsletter. It is expected that the October 2018 HDR Candidate newsletter will provide an update on results.

University of Queensland Ethics Statement

This study adheres to the Guidelines of the ethical review process of The University of Queensland and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. Whilst you are free to discuss your participation in this study with project staff (contactable on Telephone: +61 7 3346 0502 or Email: Prof Stephan Riek, if you would like to speak to an officer of The University not involved in the study, you may contact the Ethics Coordinator on 3365 3924.