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Research Conference Attendance (Academic Staff) procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 6 July 2022.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Procedure outlines the application and approval process for academic staff seeking to attend research conferences.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to continuing and fixed-term Academic staff. It does not apply to sessional academic staff or the Executive.

(4) This Procedure does not apply to absences from the University such as fieldwork, study tours, conducting research and/or collaborating with academics at other locations.

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) This Procedure is pursuant to the Employment of Staff policy.

(6) Attendance at research conferences provides professional development and networking opportunities for academic staff to present their work and exchange information and ideas with others.

(7) Leaders should discuss with staff their plans to apply to attend relevant research conferences as part of their Deakin Achieve discussions. (Refer to the DeakinAchieve - Performance and Development Program procedure).

(8) Research conferences are one professional development opportunity available to Academic staff. (Refer Professional Development (Academic Staff) procedure).

(9) Academic staff seeking to pursue extended research or scholarly activity outside the University should utilise the Academic Study Program procedure.

(10) Academic staff who are required to be absent from the University to undertake other academic activities such as fieldwork, study tours, conducting research and/or collaborating with Academic staff at other locations, should discuss this with their leader and apply for "Conference Leave" via DeakinPeople by selecting "Other Academic Activity" as the reason for the absence.

Eligibility to attend a research conference

(11) Academic staff are eligible to apply to attend a research conference where they hold a continuing or fixed-term academic appointment and where:

  1. they are invited to present a paper at the conference; or
  2. they have contributed significantly to a paper being presented at the conference; or
  3. they have significant involvement in organising the conference; or
  4. their attendance will demonstrably and significantly contribute to the research priorities of their Faculty or Institute or
  5. their attendance will demonstrably and significantly contribute to their own professional development.

(12) Staff who are returning from a period of parental leave, and who have approved return to work leave, are encouraged to discuss with their leader their interest and the benefit in them attending a research conference as part of their return to work leave plans.

Application and approval requirements for research conference attendance

(13) Each Faculty or Institute is responsible for their budget and:

  1. determining the specific requirements about how staff are to apply for research conference attendance and the information staff are required to provide to the Faculty or Institute in their application; and
  2. who has the authority to approve research conference attendance and any available funding; and
  3. advising staff about the requirements for financial reporting and compliance with the Travel procedure and the FBT Travel Benefits Guide.

(14) A Faculty or Institute may approve research conference attendance by an academic staff member up to 10 working days per annum (inclusive of travel time). Additional research conference attendance can be requested by the staff member and may be approved by a member of the Executive.

(15) A Faculty or Institute must not approve attendance at any research conference if the academic staff member has an excessive recreational leave balance (greater than 20 days) or long service leave balance (greater than 75 days) as defined in clauses 49.3 and 53.5 of the Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2023. In exceptional circumstances, the Vice-Chancellor or nominee may approve attendance at a research conference where there is excessive leave balances. Any such approval will be done in consultation with the staff member's supervisor and is conditional upon the staff member taking all excessive leave as directed by the Vice-Chancellor or nominee. Any such request must be sent in the first instance to the Chief People and Culture Officer ( for provision to the Vice-Chancellor or nominee.

(16) Where research conference attendance, including all travel costs and requirements in accordance with the Travel procedure, has been approved by the Faculty or Institute, the academic staff member must have their attendance approved in DeakinPeople by their Head of Organisational Unit. This must be recorded in DeakinPeople prior to attending the research conference using the absence name "Conference Leave" and selecting the leave reason as "Research Conference Attendance".

(17) Detailed and accurate pre-approval itineraries (with all supporting documents) must be attached to applications and post conference travel diaries must closely reconcile with pre-conference itineraries.

(18) Provided their research conference attendance is booked in DeakinPeople the academic staff member will be paid their normal salary for each of the days of approved research conference attendance (including approved travel days).

Attendance at the research conference

(19) During their attendance at the research conference, including travel to and from the conference, academic staff members must comply with and behave in accordance with all University policies and procedures including the University's Code of Conduct.

(20) As part of the approval process, each Faculty or Institute will determine the type and timing of any report or presentation to be made to the Faculty or Institute when the academic staff member returns from the research conference.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(21) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. research conference: a formal meeting in which people gather in order to exchange ideas related to a particular research topic, usually over several days.