QUEST help & frequently asked questions

User guides and frequently asked questions about using QUEST.

QUEST user guides

General QUEST queries

Trouble logging in to Quest

Most VU staff and students have access to Quest by default. Log in using your regular staff or student ID (e.g. e1234567 or s7654321) and password.

If you are having trouble logging in, please try the following:

  1. Ensure you are including the letter (e or s) in front of your ID.
  2. Change your password in the MYVU Portal as this will force a new password into Quest.
    • Passwords expire every 60 days. If you have not used MYVU Portal or other login services recently, your password may have expired. Call the ITS Service Desk on 9919 2777 and ask them to reset your password. This will force a new password in Quest.
  3. Notify the Quest team by using the Request for Access form.

Access Quest from home or overseas

Quest is available from any browser and in any location. You do not need to be connected to the VU network.

Make sure you are using the correct link: http://quest.vu.edu.au/ and that your browser is up to date.

Technical problems - browser issues, response times, etc.

Some issues may occur depending on your browser compatibility. Although Quest is compatible with most browsers, some problems may occur with older versions (especially IE8 and IE10).

Download the most up to date version of your browser (we recommend Chrome and Firefox):

eForm queries

Losing answers, attachments or information

Some sections of the eForm (e.g. adding investigators and entering a new comment) require you to save as you go using the green tick. If you do not click the green tick before moving to the next page, you will lose the changes you have made to that section.

Spellcheck for answers in Quest

Within Quest, spellchecking is a function of your browser, rather than the Quest program. Spellcheck currently works in Chrome and Firefox but not Explorer or Safari.

Print or save a copy of the full eForm

You can use the report icon at any stage to generate a printer friendly version of the form. Select HTML to print to screen. To save as a .pdf file to your computer select PDF then save a copy from the pop up screen (how to do this will depend on the PDF Reader you have installed).

Creating a printer friendly version of the application form requires the use of pop-ups. Make sure pop-ups are enabled in your browser (changing this setting will be different for all browsers).

The "No access to application forms" message

While an online form is with the office or administrator for review, you will lose access to enter the eForm. You can check the status of the eForm from the My Applications or My Progress Reviews page.

Ethics applications

Unable to find personnel to add to ethics application

Most students and some external personnel already exist in the Quest database. If you cannot find someone in the system to add to your application, please use the Request to Add Personnel to Research Database form.

Sharing the online application with an external collaborator

Only VU staff and students have access to log in to Quest. To share your online application externally, you can save or print a copy of it by clicking the report icon. Then you may email the saved document.

Obtaining approval from a Head of School

Approval from the Head of School (or equivalent) for submission of ethics applications is no longer required.

Submitting an ethics application to a supervisor

Using Quest, it is not necessary to 'submit' your online ethics application to your supervisor. Once you have listed them in the Investigator Details page using their correct personnel record, your supervisor will be able to view and edit the application in Quest.

Can't see link to submit the application

It is the responsibility of the Primary Chief Investigator to submit an ethics application. Only the personnel marked as Chief Investigator will be able to see the Action tab. This tab contains the options to submit and delete your application.

Withdrawing an application after submission

To withdraw your application you must contact the Secretary for the Human Research Ethics Committee.

Amendments, comments, flags and action notes

There may be stages throughout the application process in which the Ethics Secretary will instruct you to amend your application form. These amendments will be communicated to you via 'Comments' within the eForm.

A General Comment will appear as a blue flag. General comments are used to make notes or observations about the application. You do not need to respond directly to a general comment, but the comment may help inform you as to how to improve your application overall.

An Action Comment will appear first as a red flag. The red flag indicates that you are required to amend questions in your application in order to proceed with the ethics process.

View all comments: To generate a list of all comments created within your application, click the report icon. Select Comments Report from the Document drop-down field and click OK.

Create a comment: To create a comment, open the relevant page then click the Page Comments icon and click New Comment. Remember to click the green tick at the bottom of the table to save.

Unable to resubmit application after making required amendments

In order to resubmit your application, ensure you have completed the following steps:

  1. generate a comments report
  2. view individual page comments
  3. make all changes to the form answers
  4. enter your response in a new comment
  5. mark all action comments as responded

The system will not allow you to resubmit unless you have marked all Action Comments (red flags) as responded. For more detail about this process, refer to the Ethics Quick Start Guide.

Progress reports

Read detailed information regarding Progress Reports and managing your candidature.

For general progress reporting or candidature queries, or help interpreting or answering questions, please contact the Graduate Research Centre.

Submission process for online Progress Reports

There are three steps in the Progress Reports submission process. These are described in further detail in the Guide for Candidates.

  • Stage One: "With Candidate – Writing Draft"
    • Create the Progress Report in Quest
    • Complete all pages in "Section 1.a. - Candidate General Information" and "Section 1.b. - Candidate Report"
    • Submit the Progress Report to the principal supervisor
  • Stage Two: "With Supervisor – Writing Draft"
    • Review the candidate's report
    • Complete all pages in "Section 2 - Supervisor Report"
    • Submit the Progress Report back to the candidate
  • Stage Three: "With Candidate - Reviewing Supervisor Report"
    • Review supervisor's report
    • Complete page in "Section 3 - Candidate Review"
    • Submit the Progress Report to the GRC for review and assessment

The Graduate Research Centre will facilitate the review and assessment of the Progress Report. If the College Support Officer requires further information, the Progress Report may be returned to the candidate or supervisor for revisions.

Confidential information, issues or concerns

Information provided in the Progress Reports should not be considered confidential. If you wish to discuss information or concerns of a confidential nature, please contact your College Support Officer directly.

The system details page

All data regarding candidature is recorded in the Quest database. Some of this information is displayed in the System Details page of Section 1 – Candidate General Information.

If you feel that the information displayed on this page is incorrect, please inform the Graduate Research Centre by answering Question 1.1. at the end of the page and providing the correct information in the textbox shown.

Important: If the principal supervisor or "Supervisor responsible for this Progress Report" is incorrect, notify the Graduate Research Centre immediately (email gradresearch@vu.edu.au) to have this information updated before continuing with your Progress Report.

Using the Progress Plan

The Progress Plan contains a record of all activities and milestones applicable to candidature. The information provided in the Progress Plan will remain on subsequent Progress Reports for the candidate to view, update or report against.

Detailed instructions on using the Progress Plan are provided within the eForm as well as in the Guide for Candidates.

Content of all sections of the Progress Report

The Progress Report eForm comprises four sections, each with several pages. These pages contain questions relating to your progress over the last reporting period. The responsibility for each section is outlined above in Submission process for online Progress Reports.

View an example of the Progress Report with all sections shown. Please note that the questions asked in the actual form may change depending on the answers you provide. As such, this preview is only indicative.

If you need help interpreting or answering questions in the Progress Report, please contact the Graduate Research Centre.

Associate supervisors' role in reporting on progress

It is the responsibility of the principal supervisor to complete and submit the Progress Report in Quest. All associate supervisors have permission to log in to Quest during the submission process and view the active sections of the eForm.

It is normally expected that the principal supervisor will have discussed and agreed the content of the Progress Report with the associate supervisor(s) prior to submission.

If an associate supervisor wishes to provide advice or observations on the information provided in the Progress Report, they may use the Comments function. See Comments and blue flags (below) for more information.

Access for external supervisors

Only VU staff and students have access to log in to Quest. To share your Progress Report with an external supervisor, please use the Email Progress Report link in the Action tab. Instructions on how to do this are provided in the Guide for Candidates.

Withdrawn and non-active supervisors

Historical information for supervision is recorded in the Quest database. This information is displayed in the System Details page of Section 1 – Candidate General Information.

Withdrawn and non-active supervisors will not be involved in the Progress Reports submission process and will not have access to view or edit the Progress Report record.

Comments and blue flags

There may be instances throughout the review process when the College Support Officer (CSO) requires more information regarding a candidate's progress. These requests will be communicated via 'Comments' within the eForm. Comments can either relate to the eForm as a whole (Application Comments) or to a specific page or question (Page Comments).

Note: Unlike Ethics Applications which use 'Action Comments', Progress Reports will only contain 'General Comments'. These are denoted by blue flags.

If a comment has been created by the CSO, a blue flag will appear next to the applicable page title in the form navigation menu or against the candidate's name in the top-left of the eForm. The flag will also appear against each section title where a comment exists on a page within that section.

Note: Although the candidate or any supervisor may leave comments on any page throughout the submission process, these will not create a blue flag. Only comments created by a member of the GRC will result in a blue flag.

View all comments
To generate a list of all comments created within your Progress Report, click the report icon. Select Comments Report from the Document drop-down field and click OK.

Create a comment
To create a comment, open the relevant page then click the Page Comments icon and click New Comment. Remember to click the green tick at the bottom of the table to save.

More detailed information about comments and responding to comments provided by the CSO is available in the Guide for Candidates.

Using comments to communicate between candidate and supervisors

The Progress Report may only ever be edited by one user at a time. If, for example, an associate supervisor wishes to provide advice or observations on the information provided in the Progress Report, they may use the Comments function at any stage of the submission process. See Comments and blue flags for more information.

Contact us

For all technical enquiries and help, please contact the Quest Service Desk.

Quest Service Desk
+61 3 9919 4278 | quest.servicedesk@vu.edu.au