Resources and information for current HDR students

Completing a PhD or MPhil is a challenging and rewarding endeavour. The staff here at The TC Beirne School of Law are available to help you take advantage of the opportunities available as an HDR student and to support you in your journey to make new discoveries. 

There are a range of helpful resources below specific to completing Higher Degree by Research in Law. These are in addition to the range of resources offered by the UQ Graduate School

Overseas opportunity

The School of Law has developed a number of multifaceted partnerships with prestigious law schools overseas.

UQ students have the opportunity to undertake study towards their PhD at Washington University in St Louis, MO, USA, for a six month period during their candidature. Students will be provided with a desk, access to the library and research resources, and linked with a suitable supervisor. For further information please contact the Higher Degrees by Research Coordinator.


Students enrolled in a PhD will be required to complete three milestones during their candidature.

The requirements for each milestone are set out in the Higher Degree by Research Candidature Progression and Development document (PDF, 221.4 KB).

Candidates considering presenting a poster as part of Milestone 3, may be interested in viewing the following examples:

There is also some general information on milestones available from the UQ Graduate School.

HDR Research Ethics Applications

Students conducting research involving human subjects must obtain UQ research ethics approval before commencing that aspect of the research. This covers any HDR project involving either structured or formal interviews, or collecting data that includes personal information (whether the data is collected directly from participants, or is mined from non-public archives or organisational records).

From 2017, UQ is moving to a Faculty level process for approving ‘low risk’ research.  The application process will become a purely online one. The BEL Faculty, which encompasses Law, is instigating a pilot committee from early 2017. It is anticipated the committee will meet monthly to assess applications. Contact the BEL Faculty office for further detail. There is to be a part-time administrator supporting that committee. In 2017, the law school representatives on that committee will include Dr Francesca Bartlett.

Students and their advisers should also consult the UQ Research Ethics website, for relevant policies and guidelines. Projects that are clearly NOT ‘low risk’ or which are assessed as not low risk, will require approval from a university level Human Research Ethics Committee.

Note that the definition of ‘low risk’ is research whose only foreseeable risk is of discomfort.  This is set by the NHMRC in its ‘National Statement on the Conduct of Human Research’. Under these guidelines, if the research focuses on certain vulnerable groups (children, Indigenous persons) the research is automatically not low risk. 

Please also note that background and preparatory work – eg contacting experts in a field – does not require ethical clearance.  Rather it just requires you to observe normal academic ethics such as getting consent to quote from other’s ideas.

Awards and scholarships

Owen Fletcher Postgraduate Research Publication Award

The Law School offers the Owen Fletcher Postgraduate Research Publication Award for HDR students. Details of the Award will be made available to all HDR students when applications are called for each year around June.

Research assistance funds

PhD candidates can apply for a maximum of $4,000 from the Research Assistance Funds; MPhil candidates can apply for a maximum of $2,000.

Teaching opportunities

Please discuss with your supervisor and advise the Deputy Dean (Academic) if you are interested in casual teaching and tutoring.

Research Assistant (RA) Register

Resources and tools for candidates

The Graduate school has a range of tools to help you succeed in your HDR candidature.

View HDR tools