Kia ora Graduate Research Students,
We hope this update finds you well and working through this ongoing challenge with a sense of optimism and determination. Here at the Graduate Research School (in collaboration with your supervisors and the entire AUT community), we are continuing to explore ways we can support and provide you with the flexibility and guidance that shows we care and are here to help you. This Update #7 provides additional information with regard to the COVID-19 Alert Level 3, and preparation for the transition to Alert Level 2 which is anticipated to be enacted sometime in the next few weeks. If there are questions or concerns you have please get in touch via email@example.com or via our various online ‘drop-in sessions’ outlined under the ‘Stay Connected’ sub-heading below.
New Zealand COVID-19 Alert Levels
New Zealand’s COVID-19 Alert Level is now at Level 3. Under Level 3 it is expected that graduate research students and AUT staff continue to work from home/remotely whenever possible.
You can find the latest information on COVID-19 from New Zealand’s COVID-19 information website and via AUT’s COVID-19 update page (and doctoral candidates can also access the AUTi COVID-19 intranet page).
What Will Happen under Alert Level 2
The NZ government will make a decision on Monday 11 May as to whether the country remains in Alert Level 3 or moves to Alert Level 2. AUT will continue to deliver semester 1 classes remotely for remainder of this semester and will review the position for access to campus facilities once it has received more detailed guidance from the Ministry of Education and Tertiary Education Commission for Alert Level 2.
The Graduate Research School is continuing to offer a number of “Stay Connected” opportunities. These will be offered via Zoom and are as follows:
Coffee with Annalise: If you have any questions related to research support, or you just want company to chat about your day over coffee, drop in for a chat with GRS staff member Annalise Davidson. The online drop-in sessions are scheduled on:
- Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30am-11:00am (group sessions: access through Zoom)*
- Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30pm-3:00pm (one-on-one sessions: access through Zoom)*
*Sessions may change subject to demand
Korero with the Dean: Prof Mark Orams, Dean of the Graduate Research School will be offering online “drop-ins” for graduate research students and supervisors for Q&As. The next scheduled session is scheduled for 10-11am Tuesday 5 May. Click here to gain access through Zoom.
Shut Up and Write (SUAW) Zoom Sessions
Writing from home can seem daunting and hard to make good progress. Fortunately, AUT’s SUAW sessions are now available via Zoom. You do not need to attend for the full duration of the session, but it is handy if you do so, as it gives us a chance to chat to one another and provide support as needed (please note; sessions may change subject to demand). The online drop-in sessions are scheduled on Mondays 9:30 – 11:45am. Access through Zoom.
Health and Wellbeing
Emiliana Faapoi, Postgraduate Student Support Advisor with the Graduate Research School, is offering one-to-one sessions for graduate research students who are feeling anxious and isolated during this challenging time. Please contact Emiliana to make an appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To book an appointment with Student Counselling and Mental Health please phone (09) 921 9292 or email email@example.com.
The next Wellness Toolkit session focuses on “Building resilience – Self-care and self-compassion” and is on Wednesday 13 May, 3pm – 4.30pm via Microsoft Teams.
How to book a space at Tech Central for Students who do not have Internet or Computers at Home
In Covid-19 Update #6, we announced that students could book a space to use a computer in Tech Central on campus (South, City and North campuses) using MyPC booking. This process has been changed. All bookings now need to be made using the AUT app on your smart phone. The most recent version of the AUT app is essential to book space at Tech Central and can be downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play. If you don’t have a smart phone, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a booking in the AUT app, select My AUT from the main menu, followed by Bookings. You will get a confirmation email which includes a link to cancel or change your booking. You will be given the option to add your booking to your Office 365 calendar. When you arrive on campus you will be required to check in and check out of each area by scanning a QR code using the AUT app on your smart phone. All staff and students intending to access AUT facilities must load the AUT app on their smartphone. A manual sign-in process will be undertaken for those without a suitable device. In order to maintain physical distancing and provide for future contact tracing, no one will be allowed access without a booking.
Accessing AUT Software and IT Help from Home
AUT has created an opportunity for you to remotely access AUT computers from home. This may be useful for you if you wish to access specialised data/software that is stored on the AUT computing system. You can find out more information on this via this video tutorial. If the specialist software is unavailable to access, the GRS may be able to request that additional machines be made available with the software you need as part of this service (e.g. SPSS, NVIVO). Student ICT support is provided by freephone: 0800 288 428.
Data Collection for Research Activities During Alert Level 3
Currently, all existing AUTEC approvals for research that brings researchers into close proximity to human participants is suspended. However, under the proposed government guidelines for Alert Level 2, interaction with people with physical distancing of one metre may be permitted. AUTEC is currently considering what research will be permitted to resume under an Alert Level 2 scenario. Details on this will be released prior to a transition to Level 2. Graduate research students and their supervisors who wish to change their current AUTEC approved research can complete an EA2 to amend the ethics approval. The form is available to download from here.
Recording Disruptions to Your Research via Your Regular Progress Reports (PGR8)
All graduate research students undertaking a thesis at doctoral or master’s level are required, with their supervisors, to complete and submit PGR8 Progress Reports each six months. We have added a specific question into the PGR8 form which asks you to reflect on the disruption that may have been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please consider this carefully and record this on your PGR8 when it is next due. This may be helpful for you in the future if you need to apply for an extension or leave of absence.
Online Resources and Learning Opportunities
Best wishes to you and your whanau from all of us at the AUT Graduate Research School.
Noho ora mai rā