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Research end-user reporting

Understand what constitutes an end-user engagement and how to report them

The Australian Government has introduced new reporting requirements that mean we require all HDR Students to report on their engagement with non-academic institutions outside the University (research end-users). This information also allows us to better understand the type of engagement our higher degree researchers have outside the academic field.

As a result of these changes, throughout your research you will need to record the engagements you have with end-users in Sydney Student. We’ll send you an email each research period to remind you to update your record. You will only need to update your record if you have had new end-user engagements since you last reported.

What is a research end-user?

A research end-user is defined as an individual, community, or organisation external to academia that will directly use or directly benefit from the output, outcome or results of your research. Examples of end-users include:

  • businesses
  • government bodies
  • non-governmental organisations
  • communities and community organisations.

The following are not considered research end users:

  • Other universities or higher education providers
  • Organisations that are affiliates, controlled entities or subsidiaries of a higher education provider (for example, research institutes).

Types of engagements

Research internship

Research internship is defined as a temporary paid or unpaid position with a government, business, community or organisation outside of academia where you have undertaken research and development (R&D) related to your higher degree by research. Research internships of 30 days or more are already collected by the University. You are required to report on internships of less than 30 days. This can be either paid or unpaid, and can form part of your enrolment or be undertaken during a period of suspension. Research visits to other universities or institutes are not considered research Internships.


  • Working in NSW Government Department of Health on a project
  • Working in the research centre of a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

Jointly funded or fully funded by a research end user

Jointly funded or fully funded by a research end–user is where a research end‑user contributes financially to the cost of your course or to other costs incurred during your study (such as a stipend for general living costs). The arrangement needs to be awarded specifically in relation to you as a HDR student, rather than a general higher education provider (HEP) research project that you may be involved with.


  • If you receive a top-up scholarship from a government organisation that is invested in the research outcomes of the project. For example, a philanthropist that funds a student to improve water quality, with the intention of investing in the solution.
  • If you received fundings or sponsorship from an NGO to attend a conference or a training session.

Formal training on end-user engagement

Formal training on end‑user engagement is defined as any formal training recognised by the HEP that focusses on preparing you for work with a research end‑user. This includes intellectual property, management/leadership, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and research commercialisation. Training can be administered by a research end‑user organisation or by the HEP.


  • Completed an external training course or workshop on management or leadership and reported this in your progress milestones
  • Attended a seminar or training series facilitated by the Faculty or the School on intellectual property and entrepreneurship.

Other commercialisation and engagement activities

Other commercialisation and engagement activities is defined as an arrangement with a research end‑user that enables experiential learning related to your higher degree research. This includes practicums or performances, R&D consultancy work, R&D commercialisation work, entrepreneurship, community engagement/outreach, and research extension work either with or for a research end‑user.


  • A research publication or book released through collaboration with a research end user.

What we need from you

We need you to report:

  • formal training on end-user engagement
  • other commercialisation and engagement activities
  • research internship engagements under 30 days.

What we already collect

We already collect information on:

  • jointly supervised by a research end-user engagements
  • research internship engagements over 30 days
  • funding by end-user engagements.

This means you do not have to report on these. You also don't have to report on engagements with other higher education providers, affiliate organisations of higher education providers and equivalent organisations.

How to report

You can update your research end-user engagements through Sydney Student (got to ‘My studies’, ‘Research details’ then ‘Update research end-user engagements’).

You can contact for any questions about what constitutes research end user reporting.

Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre


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Last updated: 01 December 2023

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