COVID-19 Info for Research Students: Update #11

Kia ora Graduate Research Students,

Thank you for the positive feedback we have received regarding these regular updates. We recognise that it is often difficult as a graduate research student to find out answers to questions that are relevant to you. These updates are an attempt to support you and it is nice to know that they are being helpful.

Through our online drop-in sessions, emails and other communications we have learned how difficult this period has been for many of you. We have also been impressed by how you have adapted, persevered and found a way through these challenges. Achieving a graduate research degree, whether at masters or doctoral level is difficult. This has been made even more so due to COVID-19. For each of you, successful completion will represent a significant achievement because you will be part of a very special cohort of graduate students: Those who achieved their masterate or doctorate during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep your eye on the prize. You will get there, even if the disruption for you has been significant. As always, please let us know what we can do to help you via

Change to Alert Level 1 Imminent

The NZ government will be announcing if we will move to Alert Level 1 on Monday 8 June. The transition to Alert Level 1 will not make a substantive difference to AUT decisions that have already been made. Specifically, that Semester 1 will be completed primarily using remote learning (online). Semester 2 (beginning 20 July) is when campuses will re-open for face-to-face teaching and normal university services and access to all campus facilities will resume.

Access to Campus Facilities During Alert Level 2

Graduate research students and AUT staff are asked to continue to work remotely if at all possible.

If access to a campus facility is crucial for your work you can apply for permission to access a campus building/facility via the following process: 

  1. Request access via your Primary Supervisor. You will need to demonstrate the reasons why returning to a campus building/facility is essential for your work as a graduate research student. 
  2. Your Primary Supervisor, if they support your request, will need to seek approval from their relevant Head of School (or line manager). The ultimate authority to approve requests sits with the relevant Faculty Dean. Your School/Faculty must also have a COVID plan that covers the individual workspace you wish to access.  
  3. If your request to access a campus building/facility is approved, you then need to fill out the AUT On-site Access Request Form. Please note: If you are unable to access the form using your student login, your primary supervisor will need to complete the form on your behalf.
  4. The AUT Estates/Security department will then contact you with instructions on how to arrange your visit(s) to campus. 
  5. Before coming on campus download the AUT mobile app and “tag in-and-out” of all spaces on campus, by scanning the QR code at key access points. You can download the AUT app from the App Store or Google Play onto your smartphone. 

Protocols for social distancing (minimum of one metre from others), hygiene (e.g. frequent hand washing; coughing/sneezing into your elbow; no sharing of equipment/work stations without appropriate cleaning) must be strictly followed when on campus (or elsewhere).

Start Your Day With Karakia and Learn Waiata on Wednesdays

AUT Assistant Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr Valance Smith is leading a karakia (blessing/prayer) to begin each week-day for our AUT whanau (family). If you wish to join in with this kaupapa (customary practice) please link in via Zoom (use the password: autaia) at 9am each week-day. In addition, starting this week is “Wai Whai” – online waiata (songs). Learn about Māori culture through waiata. Led by the Office of Māori Advancement every Wednesday from 11:30am-12pm. Link in via Zoom (password: autaia).

Virtual 3MT competition

Enter the 2020 AUT Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition.

This year’s competition is being held online, and applications are now open.

  • Master’s competition entries close Friday 26 June
  • Doctoral competition entries close Friday 17 July

Read more information and enter

New Doctoral Students Welcome and Induction

An online induction for new doctoral students will be held in late June. This induction will guide new doctoral students on what to expect in their doctoral journey, how to access support services, and how to thrive in their research and writing. Eligible students will receive an email inviting them to register in the coming weeks.

Staying Connected

The Graduate Research School is continuing to offer a number of opportunities to stay connected. These are 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, organise a time to chat with GRS staff member Annalise Davidson. Email to book your chat and/or ask your questions.

Korero with the Dean: Prof Mark Orams, Dean of the Graduate Research School, is offering online “drop-ins” for graduate research students and supervisors for Q&As. The next scheduled session is 2.00pm – 3.00pm Wednesday 10 June. Click here to gain access through Zoom.

Shut Up and Write (SUAW) Zoom Sessions

To write up your research you need to write often, and you need to write well, but for most of us this is not easy. Join us – a small group of staff and postgraduate student writers from around AUT – so we can tackle the challenge of research writing in a supportive but rigorous community of writers. Together we can better enable each other to enhance the quantity and the quality of our writing.

SUAW sessions are now available via Zoom. The online drop-in sessions are scheduled on Mondays 9:30 – 11:45am. Access through Zoom.

Continued development of Student Hub Online (Student Digital Workspace) and Thesislink.

The Graduate Research School is continuing to develop and offer online resources for graduate research students and their supervisors on the Student Hub Online and here onThesislink. Check it out, there’s a lot of really good material here.

Still Have Questions?

Find out how COVID-19 is affecting the 2020 academic year and what we’re doing to continue to help. This page answers some frequently asked questions about teaching and learning for 2020. Still need help? Contact us via

Noho ora mai rā,

The Graduate Research School team

About Graduate Research School (Auckland University of Technology)

The Auckland University of Technology Graduate Research School offers support and resources to all postgraduate students at AUT. Come and visit us on the 5th floor of the WU building.

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