Graduate Student Groups

With over 25,000 graduate students across four campuses and numerous off-campus sites, we know that we can’t reach everyone! That’s why the MGA offers a series of grants to graduate students who want to organise group events and activities that foster learning and community-building within and across programs. This is known as the MGA Graduate Student Group Grant Scheme.

Start a graduate student group!

Got an event or activity that you think other graduate students might want to get involved in? Talk to the MGA about it!

We can help you get your idea off the ground. Proposed activities and events can be:

  • Academic
  • Business & enterprise
  • Creative, media & performance
  • Faith & spirituality
  • International & cultural
  • Physical activity, sports & games
  • Campaigning & social justice
  • Professional development
  • Representation & inclusion
  • Special interest
  • Sustainability & the environment
  • Welfare & wellbeing

Any Monash University graduate student can set up a Grad Group. To talk through the benefits of being a grad group, find out what funding opportunities there are and discuss the affiliation process, feel free to book in with the Grad Groups team via email mga-gradgroups@monash.edu to get started.

MGA Graduate Group Funding Streams

The Seminar Organiser Funding is designed to help graduate students who want to organise a small event to bring together students from their area to enhance their academic studies. The MGA will fund up to $300 towards your seminar, which you can put towards catering for your event, or even perhaps a gift to a prominent speaker.

More information:

  • The MGA will work out the funding based on a per-capita calculation on expected attendance, to a maximum of $300 per application.
  • The MGA will fund one application per department per semester – $600 per year.
  • To fund events, the MGA will make a donation of the funding amount to your department. As such, we require a staff member to verify details of your application.

LINK: Organiser funding procedure

Requirements:

The Conference Organiser Funding is designed to help Monash graduate students who want to organise a conference in their discipline to bring together peers to share their work. The MGA will fund up to $4,000 towards your conference, which you can put towards things such as catering, organising presenter prizes or booking a venue.

More information:

  • The MGA will work out the funding based on a per-capita and duration of conference calculation on expected attendance, to a maximum of $4,000 per application.
  • The MGA will fund one application per department per year.
  • To fund events, the MGA will make a donation of the funding amount to your department. As such, we require a staff member to verify details of your application.

LINK: Organiser funding procedure

Requirements:

The Departmental Group Funding is designed to support social activities run by Monash graduate students, for Monash graduate students, within their department. Funding of up to $5,000 per annum is available to Groups, dependant on the group size and planned activities.

More information:

The Departmental Group funding grant requires graduate students to sign an agreement to spend the funding only on events which fall within the Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF) regulations, within the year in which it is allocated. Funding will be provided as a lump sum donation to a departmental cost code, unless other arrangements are made.

LINK: Group funding procedure

Requirements:

The MGA’s Special Interest group funding is designed for graduate students with similar interests to come together and organise events. Funding is available to Monash graduate students upon application for both one-off events and ongoing group activities.

More information:

Special Interest Group funding has a similar funding procedure to the Departmental Group funding. However, the initial group contact and consult can occur at any time during the year, and is not restricted to the funding round application dates. The initial consult and funding for the first event will be a trial of the viability of the Group, or will result in a referral to an appropriate staff or committee member to help you plan your idea. Group funding allocation is at the discretion of the MGA, and is not guaranteed on submission of an application form.

LINK: Group funding procedure

Requirements:

Find a Current Graduate Group

If you would like to find a graduate student group that suits your needs, look through this list of current groups. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. If you don’t see a group that fits your profile, or would like to start one, please email us at mga-gradgroups@monash.edu.

Groups by Faculty

Alliance for Praxis Research (APR)

The Alliance for Praxis Research (APR) is a collective formed by HDRs from Monash University and RMIT University with backgrounds in anthropology, heritage, design, urban planning, environmental studies, among others. The alliance between disciplines, institutions and practices creates spaces and encounters for social change and expansion of knowledge.

One of our intentions is to nurture transdisciplinary collaborations across faculties, research programs and labs, as academics are often confronted with the challenges to break through disciplinary and institutional silos. That is significant for students and early careers, particularly when coming from overseas, who are not familiar with universities’ organisation of research centres and local networks of scholars – especially in Melbourne, where several leading universities are located but improvements on their interconnections are still much needed.

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Monash Sustainable Tourism Association (MSTA)

Our organisation was founded by Postgraduate Tourism Researchers at Monash University with the aim of supporting and promoting sustainable tourism. MSTA aims to socially engage members by creating opportunities to engage with fellow students, while simultaneously offering professional engagement opportunities through networking, guest speaker sessions, providing industry insights, and discussing current affairs in the field.

Monash Education Research Community (MERC)

MERC is a peer support community for research students in the Faculty of Education. It has been supporting academic and social needs of research students since 1992.

Merc is based in three Monash campuses: Peninsula, Caulfield, and Clayton.

Civil Engineering Postgraduate Committee (CivilEng PostGrads)

The graduate student committee for the School of Civil Engineering organises a range of regular social and academic activities for graduate students within the school including seminars, sport events, movie nights, cultural days and an annual conference. In addition, they are able to raise graduate student issues with the Civil Engineering school.

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Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Postgraduate Society (MaPS)

MaPS are the Material Science and Engineering Department’s student representatives, dedicated to bringing together students in fun social events and bringing forward student’s issues to the department.

Postgraduate Law Students’ Society

The LSS Postgraduate Portfolio was established in 2010 to ensure that the needs and interests of Monash University JD students are represented, considered and where possible, accommodated for by the LSS.

Monash Data Science Society (MDSS)

Since 2016, we have been the go to postgraduate association for companies to get connected with the students of the Masters of Data Science course at Monash. With our 320 members and counting, we partner with different departments within Monash to support our post-grad students within their studies and career.

MDSS is taking a fresh approach to creating future leaders of data science. As the central hub for Monash data science students, we aim to connect industry, students and faculty.

Central Clinical School Graduate Research Student Committee

The CCS Graduate Research Student Committee (CGRSC) is a student-run committee that represents the voices and research of all CCS graduate research students.

The main objective of CGRSC is to serve as the primary liaison and advocate to the graduate research executive committee of the school and FGRC regarding CCS graduate students’ concerns and activities.

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School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Necessary Outlets for Tertiary Research Doctoral Students (NOTDRS) are a graduate student group founded to encourage social interaction throughout the many laboratories in the School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

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Monash University Microbiology Postgrad Society (MUMPS)

MUMPS runs social events for postgraduate students in the Microbiology Department, providing students with opportunities to meet, network and have a break from the stresses of Academia. In addition, they also provide support and mentoring to all honours and PhD students within the Biomedicine Discovery Institute. The society has a formal committee structure and runs elections once a year and frequently collaborates with other departmental postgraduate student groups within the BDI.

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Hudson Institute Student Society (HISS)

Hudson Institute Student Society (HISS) represents all research students at Hudson Institute of Medical Research and the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (Monash University).

HISS helps students working in research groups across our precinct come together to share ideas, network and support each other academically and socially. HISS facilitates stronger relationships by organising regular social events, competitions and conferences including:

  • Student retreat
  • 3MT competition
  • MHTP Research Week Symposium
  • Xmas in July
  • Dumplings night
  • Escape room
  • Trivia night
  • Movie night

If you’re an Honours, Masters or PhD student and want to be part of our community, send us a message and join the crew.

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SSWAM

The Student Social Work Association of Monash (SSWAM) is a Monash Graduate Association (MGA) group run by and for social work students.

SSWAM aims to provide rounded support for social work students through a variety of activities, including workshops, guest speeches, placement support groups, volunteering opportunities and social events. We also liaise with the social work department to improve students’ studying experience.

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School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Doctoral Student Representative Committee (SPHPM-DSRC)

The School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine’s Doctoral Student Representative Committee (SPHPM-DSRC) is a representative body for all students enrolled in a doctoral program within SPHPM. The SPHPM-DSRC exists to connect and support students at all stages of their degree, with an aim to support and protect the welfare of students, provide guidance in navigating the administrative processes of higher education, and facilitate opportunities to promote social connectedness between students.

Parkville Postgraduate Association (PPA)

The Parkville Postgraduate Association (PPA) is the representative body for graduate students at Monash University’s Parkville campus. They play a diverse and multi-faceted role in all aspects of academic, cultural and social student life. As well as organising a multitude of social events, they provide a means of representation for graduate students on the Parkville campus.

Chemistry Honours and Miscellaneous Postgraduate Students (CHAMPS)

CHAMPS is a club run by Chemistry graduate students for the students and staff of the School of Chemistry at Monash University.

Our primary role is to run social and academic related events which:

  • support the needs of Honours and graduate student in the school.
  • give us all a chance to hang out outside of the labs!
  • give us a chance to engage with staff and student from other groups.
  • give 3rd year students a chance to meet some grad student and scope out prospective research projects.

In addition, CHAMPS is the connection between the student body and the School of Chemistry, so let us know if we can help with anything academic or otherwise.

We always have an open ear, send us an email or come find us in out common room in G51 (Just across from the science store).

Grad Group Resources

Check out our resources below for all the forms, assessments, sheets and templates you will need to run seminars, conferences, events and activities with your grad group. Please note that these resources are a work in progress; we will continue to upload and update the resources as we go. Please email us if you have any questions: mga-gradgroups@monash.edu

The following Finance Forms are available upon request. Please email the MGA Graduate Groups Coordinator at mga-gradgroups@monash.edu.

  • Reimbursement Form 
  • Invoice Request Form 
  • Sponsorship Agreement 
  • Squarespace Terminal use agreement 
  • Debit Card handling procedure 
  • Debit Card Terms and condition
  • SARAH Cheat Sheet 2023 (coming soon)
  • Common Hazards (coming soon)
  • Alcohol Management and Safety Checklist (coming soon)

Available upon request.

Grad Group FAQ

Events

Where on Campus can I hold an event?

Graduate Groups are able to hold an event anywhere on campus that you can get a booking!

Many Spaces within Monash are free to book here.

Student Enquiry form for a booking can be found here.

The MGA also has a number of spaces available for Groups to use. Our graduate spaces are available to book through the Google Calendar should you wish to use the seminar rooms. These are only suitable for smaller meetings, with rooms varying in capacity.. If you have never booked an MGA Meeting room, please follow the instructions here.

If you are looking to utilise any MGA Graduate Lounge spaces and our other facilities, please contact the MGA at mga-gradgroups@monash.edu.

Most cafes on campus will do catering at various price points. You can also look into external catering should you wish. External caterers who simply drop of their food will not need to complete any additional requirements. However, if you need the external caterers to provide wait staff, they will need to complete contractor inductions with Monash Building and Properties. Please reach out to the MGA Graduate Groups team for further information.

 

Please keep in mind for larger events to cater for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and halal options. Alternatively, for small scale events, you can simply buy your own food and non-alcoholic drinks. Please keep in mind Food Handling safety. The City of Melbourne provides a free certificate which you can obtain here.

Please note that you will not be able to provide alcohol unless you are at a licensed venue or buying through a licensed personnel who will be serving alcohol to you. If you are serving alcohol please keep in mind Monash’s alcohol risk management procedure: “in addition to serving food with drinks, having non-alcoholic drink options and RSA trained staff, the procedure requires that event organisers ensure that no more than four (4) standard drinks of alcohol are available per person per day over the course of an event.

Monash University has made it a requirement for groups to have submitted an Event Risk Management Plan through their Safety and Risk Assessment Hub (S.A.R.A.H.) before holding an event.

This is a pretty extensive process so we’ve created a SARAH Cheat Sheet for you to follow under Grad Group Resources. Make sure to submit one two weeks before your event just in case you need to resubmit.

The easiest way to promote an event is through your social media or by emailing your members. If you have a social media platform, that is also a great way to promote your event. Please keep in mind the Monash Media and Social Media Procedure for any publication however.

Canva is a great tool to be able to create promotional templates. Accounts are free to make, and if you wish to add the MGA logo to your promotional materials, just let us know!

We can set up a Trybooking link for you to sell tickets online. In order to do that, email the MGA Graduate Groups team with the following details:

  • Event Title
  • Location
  • Event Date
  • Start and End Times
  • Event Description
  • Ticket Tiers and Prices
  • Ticket Numbers (eg. 50 general admission, 50 members tickets)
  • Ticket Sale Dates
  • Whether you’d like to absorb the Trybooking fee or pass that on to students
  • Any discount code you’d like to use

Groups can borrow a variety of items including, but not limited to:

  • PA system;
  • Microphones;
  • board games;
  • picnic mats; and
  • EFTPOS Machine etc.

If you would like to borrow one of these, make sure to fill out the Equipment Hire Google Form found here and submit it in to the MGA Graduate Groups team well in advance to ensure you have the booking.

Day trips and overnight trips may be limited if they are considered off-campus. Note that events taking place at MMC and AMREP are considered on-campus events for the purpose of compliance with policies.

Please contact your MGA Graduate Groups team for further information.

From time to time, the MGA donates merchandise items for student-led events, seminars and conferences.

Due to the high level of demand, the MGA can’t accommodate all requests, but if you put in your request at least 6 weeks in advance, we will endeavour to cater to your event. Donations are limited to one per graduate student group per year.

Sounds like something you need for your next event? Discuss your event details with mga-gradgroups@monash.edu and fill out the Merchandise Request Form.

Finance

Unfortunately, as an MGA group, you are unable to ask members to pay for membership. However, you can ask people to chip in the cost for events.

Alternatively, sometimes faculties are willing to chip in money to assist with the running of events.

Finally, you can make money by gaining sponsorship from organisations. Access to students is desirable for organisations and you can take advantage of this by offering access to your members for money. However, there are strict rules as to what organisations you can accept sponsorship from. The easy rule to remember is that the organisation cannot provide services that Monash University offers. However, if you are unsure, please get in touch with the MGA Graduate Groups team.

As long as the sponsorship is in line with MGA’s Sponsorship Agreement, you need to supply the Sponsorship Agreement and an Invoice Request Form to the MGA Graduate Groups team for vetting. We will then email you an invoice to pass on to your sponsor.

If you are seeking a reimbursement from the MGA, there are two things necessary to reimburse a member:

  • A digital or physical tax invoice that has a printed ABN on it. Be careful not to submit EFTPOS receipts or order details as they won’t be accepted; and
  • A Reimbursement Form with all sections filled out.

Submit both of these to the MGA Graduate Groups Officer before 10am on Wednesdays to have the payment processed in the same week.

If seeking a reimbursement of MGA money from the Faculty, please speak to your corresponding faculty staff member.

A tax invoice is a legal document issued by a seller to the buyer of their goods or service, showing payable tax. Usually the document will include the product and description, invoice date, invoice number, tax amount and services rendered.

For the MGA, the most important thing to note is it must include enough information to clearly show:

  1. Document is intended to be a tax invoice
  2. Seller’s identity
  3. Seller’s Australian business number (ABN)
  4. Date the invoice was issued
  5. Brief description of the items sold, including the quantity (if applicable) and the price
  6. GST amount (if any) payable – this can be shown separately or, if the GST amount is exactly one-eleventh of the total price, as a statement which says ‘Total price includes GST’
  7. Extent to which each sale on the invoice is a taxable sale

If you are unsure, please feel free to email mga-gradgroups@monash.edu.

If you need MGA to pay an invoice on your behalf, please speak to the MGA Graduate Groups team.

Your Finance Officer should be keeping track of all incoming and outcoming expenditure throughout the year, however if you need updates on Money in the Bank or Sponsorships, please speak to the MGA Graduate Groups team.

Management

Meetings are a key tool for managing your Grad Group, keeping everyone on the same page and ensuring your Group keeps on track with its goals and aims. There’s really no other way to put this: for your Group to succeed, you’re going to need meetings. Meetings can take many levels of formality and it’s important to follow the requirements of your Group.

For some of you, this may be the first time you’ve managed formal meetings, so we have put together a guidance with commonly-used terms and the basic things you need to know about planning and running your meetings in Group Resources and Forms.

An Annual General Meeting (usually referred to as an ‘AGM’) is a meeting that takes place, as the name suggests, annually. It is traditionally a meeting for your whole Grad Group to meet – the committee, members and any stakeholders – to discuss your Group’s activities of the past year and make plans for the future. An AGM is a key tool for your Grad Group’s transparency, communication and sustainability.

It’s an important meeting to keep your Grad Group on track and usually includes:

  • updates from the outgoing Executive Committee;
  • a breakdown of your Group’s finances;
  • plans for the future;
  • celebration of successes to-date;
  • discussion of challenges to-date;
  • the election of your new Executive Committee.

It’s also an opportunity to discuss or vote on any big motions that the whole membership might vote on.

During a group meeting, you will make several decisions that will dictate the operation of your group. Whenever you aim to finalise a decision, this is called a motion. One member of the executive committee must call a motion and another member must second the motion for it to be finalised. Make sure that neither member has any conflict of interest with the matter being motioned, otherwise the motion is invalid!

During a meeting, a member of your team should be taking notes of every discussion and motion that’s moved. After the meeting, they should collate all the information into a set of minutes. Minutes are essentially evidence that the executives of a group have moved motions and settled on a plan that they will action moving forward.

When writing out minutes, you can use the MGA Meeting Minute Template as a starting point, which can be found in Group Resources, under Sample Documents. Make sure to include all the attendees and all the motions from a meeting. Once they have been written up, they should be distributed to all executive members.

To have reached quorum in a meeting means you have reached the minimum attendance to commence your meeting. Quorum is defined as 50% +1 of your group executive members. Therefore, if you have 6 executive members, you must have 4 group executives at the meeting for the meeting to be valid. Otherwise, meeting minutes can be contested should quorum not be reached.

SPHPM International Students Group on a Philip Island trip where they visited a farm, a chocolate factory and saw the penguins.

Are you looking for goodie bags or door prizes for your event, seminar or conference?

From time to time, the MGA donates merchandise items for student-led events, seminars and conferences. Due to the high level of demand, the MGA can’t accommodate all requests, but if you put in your request at least 6 weeks in advance, we will endeavour to cater to your event. Donations are limited to one per graduate student group per year.

Sounds like something you need for your next event? Discuss your event details with mga-gradgroups@monash.edu

Monash Robotics Team conducting a mindfulness morning tea with a smart robot.

Graduate Groups Regulations

The objective of the Regulations is to provide support for Monash University graduate students who wish to form or belong to a group of students with similar interests. These Regulations are intended to formalise the relationship between an unaffiliated group of graduate students and the MGA, so that the MGA can offer support as well as governance to all MGA Graduate Groups.

Read the Graduate Groups Regulations here.

Lunchtime poster showcase during the 2022 Postgraduate Engineering Conference. Students were able to submit their posters for peer and staff review. This particular event saw over 200 attendees from staff, students and industry.