COVID-19 Info for Research Students: Update #12

Kia ora Graduate Research Students,

We are emerging from a very challenging period where all of you will have experienced disruption to your lives and your research in one way or another. It is appropriate that we all reflect on this time and acknowledge those difficulties and how we have had to find a way through. At the Graduate Research School we have heard many of your stories and we very much admire your resilience, flexibility and determination to adapt and continue on. Thank you and congratulations.

The effects of COVID-19 are still being experienced and, as a consequence, we will continue to provide these updates every second week. As always, if you have any concerns, questions or things we can help you with please get in touch via

Changes in the Graduate Research School

Our Dean, Professor Mark Orams has taken up the role of Acting Dean of the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences. Associate Professor Nigel Harris has been appointed as Acting Dean of the Graduate Research School. This change will not affect what we do as a GRS to support you. Mark will work with Nigel and Associate Professor Jennie Billot in the academic leadership of the GRS and “Team GRS” will continue to work with you and your supervisors to provide you with support and advice through your graduate research candidature.

Campuses reopening

The return to AUT campuses has begun! Most AUT staff will be back on campus by Monday June 22. However, coursework teaching and learning will remain online for the remaining two weeks of Semester 1 (aside from research and practical requirements which have resumed on-campus). On-campus coursework teaching and learning will resume for everyone in Semester 2 (commencing July 20). 

Campus access for Graduate Research Students

We are pleased to announce that the AUT Postgraduate Study rooms have also reopened. These include:

  • City (WU415-416) located on level 4 of WU Building
  • North (AL210) located inside the Library
  • South (MA206) located inside Tech Central/Library

Please note that under Level 1 these rooms will only be open from 6:00am until 10:00pm. These hours are to be reviewed within the next few weeks.

Students who had approved access to the above facilities prior to the lockdown, should have had their swipe-cards automatically reactivated as of Monday 15 June.  If you have any issues with accessing the above facilities, please email Annalise Davidson (Graduate Research School) at

All other laboratories, work spaces and on-campus facilities used by graduate research students should now be available for you to re-enter and resume using. If you are having problems with this please contact your primary supervisor and alert them to this issue so they can follow up with the relevant Head of School and Faculty Dean.

COVID-19 control measures 

Under the current Alert Level 1, the main control measures are border restrictions and managed isolation or quarantine. There is still a global pandemic. We must all remain vigilant and be ready to respond quickly. Please continue with your good hygiene practices, keeping track of where you go and who you meet. AUT may be closed again if there is a suspected or confirmed case on campus. 

General guidelines:

  • Stay at home if you are sick
  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Maintain good cough/sneeze etiquette
  • Carry your photo ID at all times
  • Use the government NZ COVID Tracer app

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition – by video submission for 2020

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ). Competitors have three minutes to present their thesis and its significance in an inspiring and captivating way. For this year’s competition, entrants will give their research presentation by video submission rather than presenting onstage. This allows the competition to remain consistent for entrants all over the world. Applications for the 2020 AUT Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition are now open. You can access information on the AUT 3MT, including rules, judging criteria here on the Student Hub Online. Further information about the 3MT Competition is also available on the UQ website.

Winter Graduation: 26 and 27 August 2020

With no restrictions on social distancing under Alert Level 1, AUT is excited to announce that the 2020 Winter Graduation ceremonies will take place in person on 26 and 27 August at the Aotea Centre, Auckland Central. Since Monday 15 June, AUT have been contacting students who have been identified as possibly eligible to graduate to give them further information about arrangements, including the dates and venue for awarding their qualification and celebrating their achievements. For more information about Graduation – go to this page.

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.

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 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 (formerly 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 Thesislink. Check it out, there’s a lot of really good material here.

Still have questions?

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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