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Request leave from your research

Requesting leave allows you to take a break from your research. There are several types of leave that you can request, depending on your circumstances and the period of leave you wish to take.

If your leave will be for one full research period or longer, you will need to request a suspension.

Leave of absence

If you want to take leave for less than a full research period, for personal reasons or illness, you should submit a leave of absence request.

This type of leave does not change your latest submission dates, and your enrolment continues during your time away. A leave of absence may explain any difficulties with your progress or provide background information for a later extension of candidature.

Paid leave (maternity/sick leave)

If you are receiving a Research Training Program or a similar scholarship and have completed 12 full-time months of your award, you may be entitled to a maximum of 12 weeks paid maternity leave or sick leave.

You should lodge a request four weeks before you want to commence the period of leave (if possible), and submit a medical certificate with the signed form.

Counting time away

You may complete part of your work off campus within Australia or overseas. This may include conducting fieldwork, data collection or other research away from the campus. Your enrolment continues during this time away.

Your request for counting time away will need to be supported by your supervisor and postgraduate coordinator. Suitable arrangements will need to be made for your continued supervision and access to adequate facilities while away from campus.

You can also request counting time away if you're undertaking an internship as part of your research degree. Your request will need to include information about the host organisation, proposed dates and how it will help the completion of your research degree.

The equivalent of at least two semesters of candidature for a doctorate or one semester for a master’s by research needs to be completed within the University for your degree to be conferred. This may be completed at any time during candidature, either continuously or over several non-consecutive periods.


Submit your request through Sydney Student. Go to ‘My studies’, ‘Course details’, then ‘Suspend your studies or apply to take leave’.

Once your request has been assessed, we will notify you of the outcome.

If you have a scholarship or are receiving any financial assistance from the University, taking leave may impact on your payments. You should contact the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre for advice before submitting your request.

You will only be able to take leave from your research under certain circumstances. You should first speak to your supervisor and contact the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre for advice.

Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre

  • HDRAC is closed for in-person enquiries

    Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building, Darlington Campus


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Last updated: 19 January 2021

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