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Academic Development and Outside Studies Program Information Guidelines for Applicants and Supervisors

Enquiries relating to this guide should be directed to Sonia Swanepoel, Senior HR Officer, Learning and Development

This document is intended to serve as a guide only and has been compiled to assist staff in the preparation of applications for Academic Development and Outside Studies Program (the Program). It is very important that applicants have a clear understanding of the current regulations contained in the Program Procedure.

1. Overview

All applicants should read the Program Procedure and pursuant Schedule and familiarise themselves with the document. This guide will provide additional advice for applicants but is not designed to replace the requirements outlined in the Program Procedure and pursuant Schedule.

Key points to note are:

  • All employees planning on making an application should note the eligibility conditions.
  • Applications for the Program to be taken in Semester 1, Semester 2 or Semester 3 will be called once yearly
  • Applications are required in advance and are to be submitted on the advertised due date in the year preceding the anticipated period of the Program.
  • Applications for the Program will be made on the Program Application Form and must be received in accordance with the published time line. The applicant is responsible for providing all information requested on the application form in accordance with the procedure along with any additional information requested by Human Resources.

This guideline document is split into two categories: 1) applicant responsibilities and 2) supervisor responsibilities.

2. Applicant’s Responsibility

In anticipation of preparing the application, applicants should discuss their intent with their supervisor at the earliest possible time. Please note, it is a requirement that the supervisor provides a recommendation to the Program Assessment Committee on acceptance or otherwise (see Section 3 for further detail).

Employees should ensure that their application for the Program demonstrates the following:

  • The planned specific outcomes of the Program will enhance the contributions of the applicant in one or more of the following:
    • teaching performance and leadership;
    • academic leadership;
    • research and scholarship (or other professional creative activity); and
    • professional leadership.
  • The planned program is relevant to the objectives of the University, Division, Faculty and/or discipline and to the research, teaching, scholarly activity and professional experience of the applicant.
  • The applicant has a demonstrated record of performance commensurate with the position description for their level of appointment with regard to teaching, research and scholarship (or other professional creative activities)
  • Any applicant who has already completed periods of the Program has demonstrable outcomes of previous Programs.
  • Any applicant seeking their first Program show considerable promise in terms of the position description for their appointment.
  • The estimated budgets are reasonable, do not exceed the maximum Program financial assistance limit and availability of any additional funds, and are allocated effectively and equitably.
  • The proposed program justifies the period requested and the proposed timelines are reasonable to achieve the identified outcomes.
  • The proposed outcomes are clearly demonstrable and quantifiable.
  • The application meets University Program Procedure and Divisional considerations, including the availability of budgeted funds.
  • The following information is provided to assist applicants in completing the required sections in the form.

2.1 ADOSP Application Form – Section 2 “Requested absence from normal duties”

After a discussion with the supervisor, applicants must indicate the period in which they are seeking approval. The maximum period of the Program will be six (6) months and the minimum period two (2) months. The Program taken in Semester 3 will be limited to a maximum of four (4) months. In selecting the Program duration dates, consideration needs to be given to applicable employment activities and how the applicant’s responsibilities will be covered during the proposed time.

The Program generates its own annual leave at the same rate as other service. However, the annual leave accrued during the Program must be taken by the employee during the period of the Program, except where it would cause substantial hardship, and where prior approval to defer the leave has been approved by a relevant delegate.

Other types of leave may be taken immediately before or following the Program, however this leave is in addition to that indicated above and will be deducted from leave entitlements. This additional leave must be identified in the application for the Program and must receive prior approval by a relevant delegate. Credit for the Program not extinguished by the currently awarded Program will normally accrue as credit to a future Program.

Important note: Should an application form be submitted to Human Resources with program dates which exceed the maximum allowable period the application form will be amended in consultation with the applicant and supervisor.

2.2 ADOSP Application Form – Section 3 “Category of ADOSP Application”

Employees seeking to undertake The Program must apply under the following program categories:

  • Early Career Academic (restricted category)
  • Research Output
  • Teaching and Learning
  • PhD (or Doctoral) Completion (restricted category)
  • Academic Career Revitalisation (restricted category)

The Program Procedure defines each program category.

However, in detailing the above applicants should also consider the following items for discussion under each particular area of the Program form.

2.3 ADOSP Application Form – Section 4 “Objectives and Proposed Measurable Outcomes of ADOSP”

Applicants are expected to coherently detail the objectives and proposed measurable outcomes of the Program and address each criterion in the expandable boxes. Applicants must address the following relating to the chosen category of the Program (note, in blended category applications, it is important to relate the objectives and outcomes to each specific category applied for):

  • the purpose/s and objectives of the Program
  • the direct and/or indirect benefit to the University from granting the Program
  • the benefits to the applicant's teaching and/or research after return from the Program (detail the leveraging activities moving forward)
  • what publications it is envisaged will emerge from the proposed Program and what will the impact of these publications be (please outline focus or titles of papers, and proposed outlets eg, journals, conferences, exhibitions, performances or equivalent)
  • how will the objectives of the Program contribute to and align with the University’s strategic objectives
  • how will the applicant's teaching arrangements, research student supervision and administrative and committee responsibilities be managed during the proposed period of the Program (this should be discussed and negotiated in consultation with the Head of Department/School).

Further, for applications made under the PhD (or Doctoral) Completion Category, applicants are also required to address the following in section 4 of the Program Form:

  • At what stage are current PhD (or Doctoral) activities at in terms of progress prior to undertaking the proposed period of leave (noting that the requirement would be that applicants utilise the period of the Program for substantial write-up leading to submission of the thesis for examination at the end of the approved Program. Confirmation of Candidature and satisfactorily progress of the thesis is a requirement for the PhD (or Doctoral) Completion Category of the Program
  • What specifically will be undertaken whilst on the proposed program to contribute to the completion of the PhD (or Doctoral). A fortnightly plan of activities for the duration of the Program is expected to be completed in section 6 of the form, signed off by the PhD supervisor
  • Provision of specific details of what the expected deliverables are following the completion of the PhD (or Doctoral) (e.g. number of peer reviewed publications, conferences, performance or equivalent)
  • Detail what the leveraging activities moving forward will be as a result of PhD (or Doctoral) completion, specifically connecting them to the strategic initiatives of the University and representing the impact of the activities for the future

Important note: Applicants applying under the PhD (or Doctoral) Completion Category must attach a ‘letter of progress’ from the PhD Supervisor (normally the Principal Supervisor) detailing expected outcomes of undertaking the Program and commitment to submission of the thesis for examination at the end of the approved Program. This letter should be attached and the PhD Supervisor must sign the document under section 10 of the form.

2.4 ADOSP Application Form – Section 5 “Nature and Location of Proposed Program”

Proposed programs must be undertaken either within Australia or overseas. Applicants seeking to undertake the Program are required to demonstrate the appropriateness of the Program. Utilising the expandable boxes in the form, applicants are required to address each point as follows:

  • The nature of the planned activities
  • Why each location has been chosen as an environment well suited to pursue the Program
  • Who the applicant intends to work with and any teaching, research or consultancy obligations which will be involved
  • For any conference attendances, why has it been chosen, and the relevance to the Program

If an applicant has been invited to attend a conference or teach at an outside university, the applicant must attach a ‘letter of invitation’ to support the application. Further, the application form in this section must detail how the conference attendance connects clearly with the Program objectives and how the attendance will provide benefit to the University upon the return to service. Conference attendance applications must be supported by a copy of the official conference registration form detailing the cost of the registration.

Travel to high-risk countries (ratings of Reconsider Your Need to Travel and Do Not Travel warnings) requires the approval of the Vice-Chancellor. If travel is required to a country where travel is subject to either of these official warnings, a travel risk assessment must be completed and attached to the Program application.  The Vice-Chancellor may, where the safety of Travellers is at risk, impose a complete ban to certain countries or regions and may require Travellers already in these regions to return home.

2.5 ADOSP Application Form – Section 6 “Program Plan and Timelines”

Applicants must provide a detailed comprehensive program plan in section 6 of the Program form. This section must address the activities to be completed whilst on the Program and the destinations that the activities will be undertaken. Human Resources are aware that at the time of lodging the application, the detail may be provisional but applicants should endeavour to complete the table as closely as possible.

Please note, for applicants applying under the PhD (or Doctoral) Completion Category, applicants must also provide a fortnightly plan for the proposed program and have this plan approved in writing by the PhD Supervisor (normally the Principal Supervisor) before submitting the application to the supervisor. Approval from the PhD Supervisor can be contained in the ‘letter of progress’ and/or in section 10 of the application form.

2.6 ADOSP Application Form – Section 7 “Performance of applicant”

If applicable, an applicant who has undertaken a previous Program must address section 7.1 ‘Past Performance’.

Applicants are expected to provide credible evidence of scholarship work or research carried out and the benefits gained in, and outcomes delivered from, any previous rounds of the Program. Applicants are to address each expandable box.

All applicants, regardless of application category, are required to address section 7.2 ‘Capability to Perform’.

All applicants are expected to provide credible evidence of scholarly work, research or development activities carried out to date which demonstrates the capability to perform, and are relevant to the current purpose of this Program application, including their connection with University strategic directions. Applicants are to address each expandable box.

This section is included in the application form, for applicants to help strengthen their overall application for their proposed program. This is an opportunity for applicants to present their current work activities and to detail how undertaking the Program will benefit not only the applicant themselves but the wider University, particularly the achievement of strategic initiatives of the University.


2.7 ADOSP Application Form – Section 8 “Financial Assistance”

In addition to salary, the University will provide a contribution towards an employee’s Program, but such financial assistance is not expected or intended to cover all the costs incurred. Financial assistance towards the Program will be paid as a taxable allowance through the University’s payroll system.

Financial assistance will be provided to a maximum of $4000 per employee. Additionally, for an employee travelling away from their home with a dependent partner and/or children, a further amount of $100 per week for an accompanying dependent partner and $50 per week for each accompanying dependent child (for the actual period of absence from home up to a maximum of 16 weeks) is available, capped at a maximum of $2400 per Program. With appropriate approval, applicants may also access additional internal and external University funds.

Applicants applying for the Program will be required to submit a budget estimating the expected expenditure to be incurred during the period of the Program along with justification for the scale of expenditure.

Important notes:

  • Travel whilst on the Program should not be booked via Locomote and all travel arrangements and quotations are to be made directly by the applicant
  • Should an application form be submitted to Human Resources with exceeding financial assistance over the limit, the application form will be amended in consultation with the employee and supervisor

2.8 ADOSP Application Form – Section 9 “Undertaking”

All applicants must sign the undertaking section in the application form. Should an application form be submitted to Human Resources without a signed undertaking, the application form will be returned to the applicant to complete.

3. Supervisor’s Responsibility

The supervisor is responsible for the completion of the following sections in the form.

3.1 ADOSP Application Form – Section 10 “Academic Justification”

Applications must contain a clear statement by the supervisor (line manager) following consultation with the employee regarding the effect on the organisational unit’s activities and how teaching arrangements, research student supervision and administrative and committee responsibilities will be managed during the proposed period of the Program.

The supervisor’s recommendation will offer a justification as to the relevance and achievability of the Program’s anticipated outcomes as well as the benefits for the University and must also indicate the staffing and associated financial salary arrangements to cover the applicant’s teaching and other commitments. Supervisors are expected to answer all criteria detailed in the expandable boxes in section 10 of the Program form, including details of direct and indirect (ie salary) financial impacts of the period of the Program.

Further, if the application is being made under the PhD (or Doctoral) Completion Category, the PhD Supervisor (normally the Principal Supervisor) must sign the document in section 10.3 of the application form. By signing the document it is assumed that that the PhD Supervisor supports the fortnightly plan and associated outcomes. Please note, should the PhD Supervisor be off-campus, the ‘letter of progress’ will suffice.

3.2 ADOSP Application Form – Section 11 “Recommendation by Supervisor”

After taking into consideration the above, the supervisor is required to provide their recommendation, be that ‘yes’ or ‘no’, in section 11 of the application form. Please note, if the supervisor selects ‘no’, it is expected that the comments section will provide further details. A supervisor’s 'no' does not automatically eliminate an application from consideration.

All applications, regardless of recommendation status (ie supported or not) are required to be submitted to the Executive Dean for assessment. This is the responsibility of the supervisor. The Executive Dean will forward the applications to Human Resources for eligibility checking and applications will then be forwarded to the Program Assessment Committee for assessment and final decision.

4. Application Assessment Process

Following the submission of the recommendation from the supervisor, the specific detail regarding criteria and approval outcomes can be found in the Program Procedure and pursuant Schedule. 

Applications will be assessed by the Program Assessment Committee in accordance with its Terms of Reference.

5. Notification Process

At the end of the assessment process, the applicant and the supervisor will be notified of the final outcome in writing from the Executive Director, Human Resources. It should be noted that there are a range of initial outcomes possible; as well as approval or non-approval, an applicant may be asked to re-submit an application modified with responses to specific feedback.