PReSS Account Policy and Procedures


Doctoral candidates who are eligible to receive Postgraduate Research Student Support (PReSS account) funding and University staff members who administer and/or approve the use of PReSS accounts


This document outlines the policy and procedures to be followed in relation to the use of PReSS accounts at the University. It is supported by comprehensive PReSS Account Guidelines


  1. A candidate must be enrolled in the University and have paid fees in order to access PReSS funding
  2. Candidates will not receive funding for any period of time during which they are suspended
  3. The Dean of Graduate Studies will oversee the use of the funds and will liaise with the School of Graduate Studies regarding their administration
  4. The academic unit is responsible for any overspend of PReSS accounts by their candidates
  5. The Board of Graduate Studies may approve a different funding band in exceptional circumstances
  6. Only direct research costs that are not specifically covered by other research grants can be covered by PReSS accounts

Related procedures


  • General
  • Levels of funding
  • Reimbursement
  • Exclusions
  • Conferences and travel
  • Business cards
  • Childcare
  • Theses and dissertations
  • Departmental specifications
  • Reports


7. A PReSS account will be established in the School of Graduate Studies for each doctoral candidate within one month of first enrolment

8. Funding will be for 12 months from the candidate’s start date and will be credited on the anniversary of the start date, for up to four years (or equivalent), once the School of Graduate Studies has approved the candidate’s provisional report or annual report, or until thesis submission, whichever occurs first

9. Funds will be carried over year-by-year

10. Funding will only be provided for the first four years of equivalent full-time study (or three years for programmes with a three year duration)

11. Accounts must not go into deficit - Academic Units will be responsible for any overspend

12. Sign-off on expenditure from the account will be by the supervisor(s) and candidate jointly and, in some instances, requires approval from the Dean of Graduate Studies

13. The academic unit will undertake monitoring of the process in accordance with usual research practice

14. Purchase of minor pieces of equipment essential and specific to the research that are not covered by departmental funds or research grants may be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies

Note: any such equipment remains the property of the University

15. After submitting the thesis for examination, approved expenditure from the PReSS account is restricted to:

  • the cost of third party editing
  • the cost of printing and binding the final hard-bound copies of the thesis
  • the cost of childcare where warranted by conference attendance or the scale of revisions required by the Board of Graduate Studies
  • the costs associated with conference presentations that take place between first submission and oral examination

Note: conference presentations need to be planned prior to first submission, and primary expenditure (e.g. air travel costs) should have occurred prior to first submission

16. Accounts will close one month after the final submission of the hard-bound thesis; by this time all claims for reimbursement must have been completed

Levels of funding

17. The quantum of research postgraduate support funding for doctoral candidates is dependent on the doctoral subject area (see PReSS Account Guidelines)

18. The maximum level of PReSS funding available at any time will be determined by the Board of Graduate Studies

19. Funding bands will be approved at the time of doctoral registration


20. Expenses already incurred may, with the agreement of the supervisor(s), be reimbursed

21. All claims for reimbursement must be accompanied by the official GST receipt

22. Expenditure incurred after the final submission date will not be reimbursed


23. The following costs will not be covered by PReSS accounts:

  • books, CDs, DVDs and journal subscriptions
  • University tuition fees
  • publishing subventions
  • space
  • supervision
  • travel to meet with supervisors when the candidate is out of town
  • general office running costs
  • computer and printer access
  • depreciation

Conferences and travel

24. Conference costs, excluding travel related to field trips, is limited to a maximum of $4800 over the four year period, or until the first submission, regardless of funding band

Business cards

25. As part of a request for research-related travel or other approved research funding, PReSS account funding may be used to pay for official University of Auckland business cards

26. Business cards must be ordered from the University’s preferred supplier, must state that the student is a doctoral candidate, and are only available to candidates who have been confirmed in the doctoral programme


27. No more than six months before the planned submission date, the Dean of Graduate Studies may give approval for the use of PReSS account funding to cover childcare fees incurred through a GST-registered service, provided that:

  • there is satisfactory evidence that such a use of PReSS account funds would enable timely completion of the degree (applications must include a timeline for completion of the thesis endorsed by the supervisor and Academic Head)

Theses and dissertations

28. An amount of up to $500 may be spent on printing and binding of the thesis

29. During the final stages of the degree, the Dean of Graduate Studies may, in exceptional circumstances, give approval for the use of PReSS account funding to cover third party editing by an approved provider up to a maximum of $750, provided that:

  • there is strict adherence to the University document Third Party Editing and Proofreading of Theses and Dissertations Guidelines
  • there is a supporting statement from the supervisor which outlines why the proofreading/editing is necessary and that it has supervisory support
  • there is satisfactory evidence that this use of PReSS account funds would facilitate timely completion of the degree

Departmental specifications

30. Departments may establish specifications for management of PReSS account monies, other than the $4800 permitted over the four year period for conference travel

31. These specifications may include provision for a fixed charge against PReSS accounts to cover consumables

32. Departmental specifications may be subject to review by the Board of Graduate Studies


33. Candidates are required to submit their Provisional or Annual Report each year, which:

  • must be approved as satisfactory before funds will be credited to their PReSS account. Failure to lodge such a report, or lodging a report that fails to be approved, will result in a freeze on PReSS funding availability
  • must include an indicative budget each year. The budget must indicate planned expenditure for the balance of the research and be developed in consultation with the supervisor who is responsible for signing it off



The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic unit may refer to a faculty, school, department or institute. The academic unit responsible for administering an individual candidate’s PReSS Account is recorded next to department/school on the candidate’s registration summary

Doctoral candidates are students who are enrolled in a doctoral degree at the University

PReSS accounts are Postgraduate Research Student Support (PReSS) accounts provided by the University to assist doctoral candidates with direct research costs for up to four years of equivalent full-time study

Subject area is the official subject area in which the candidate is enrolled and is recorded next to Subject on the candidate’s registration summary

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Document management and control

Content manager: School of Graduate Studies

Owner: Dean of Graduate Studies

Approved by: Board of Graduate Studies

Date approved: 23 February 2017           

Review Date: 23 February 2020