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Declaration of external interests

All HDR students are required to complete a declaration of external interests so that any actual, potential, or perceived external interests can be identified and avoided or managed appropriately.

How to complete

Every currently enrolled HDR student is required to complete an online declaration form. The University will initiate the mandatory declaration process around April - May each year.

What is an external interest?

By ‘external’, we mean outside the HDR student candidature. This could be activities or people within the University or elsewhere.

In academic research, the term ‘conflict of interest’ refers primarily to situations in which financial, non-financial or personal considerations may compromise, or may have the appearance of compromising, a researcher’s professional judgment in conducting or reporting research. The bias can affect the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, involvement of other researchers, procurement of materials, sharing of results, development of the protocol and the use of statistical methods. Some examples are:

  • if the researcher has an interest in, or is involved in, an external entity which funds any of the activities or provides materials, facilities, equipment, or conference expenses, or has a direct interest in the subject matter of the research, this may be viewed as a conflict of interests
  • in the peer review and publication process, a conflict of interests may arise where an author, reviewer or editor allows personal conviction, financial or non-financial interests, or personal relationships to influence the research
  • the supervision of research students presents an environment for potential conflict of interests because of the power relationship between supervisor and student and the extent to which the student may be dependent on the supervisor’s support for the completion of their work.

What happens next

Once submitted, the form is forwarded to the lead supervisor for assessment and the development of a management plan where a conflict is identified.

It will also be provided to the Associate Dean (Research Education) and Postgraduate Coordinator where this is required. The Dean and/or Head of School may also be contacted in the assessment of the declaration and/or development of the management plan where this is needed.

A copy of your declaration and any management plan will be provided to the General Counsel for inclusion in the University's conflicts of interests register where required.

Each year, your previously approved declared items will be carried through to the next round of declaration. You can modify or delete previously approved items or extend the approved items.

Declaration form for staff

The Declaration of External Interests system for HDR students is designed for HDR students to declare their external interests in the context of their role as a research student. The University has a separate system for staff and affiliates to declare external interests, as well as gifts and outside earnings for ongoing staff members.

Information for staff can be found on the Staff Intranet.

Last updated: 16 June 2021

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