HDR Candidature Management

Document Currently Under Review

Current Status: In Collaboration - Stakeholder Consultation 15 August 2017

HDR Candidature Management Policy

Policy Code: RS1935

Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to outline the expectations and responsibilities of University and Higher Degree by Research candidates during the period of candidature. The policy stipulates the compulsory milestones of candidature and provides guidance regarding candidature matters, including the management of leave and candidate grievances.

Scope

This Policy applies to all parties involved in the management of Higher Degree by Research candidature including:

  • Higher Degree by Research candidates;
  • Persons with supervisory responsibilities for Higher Degree by Research candidates;
  • Persons with administrative responsibilities for Higher Degree by Research candidates;
  • University Faculties;
  • Research Services;
  • Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation).

Definitions

Term Definition
APR - Annual Progress Report A compulsory and formal annual review of the progress of candidature.
Associate Supervisor A person who provides support to the student and to the Principal Supervisor.
At Risk A candidate who is not making satisfactory progress in their candidature.
Candidate A student enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research program.
Co Supervisor A person who provides support to the candidate and to the Principal Supervisor but is external to the University and is not an employee of the University.
Confirmation Panel The Panel appointed to assess a candidate for confirmation.
Confirmed Candidate A candidate enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research program who has completed and passed a Confirmation of Candidature.
Conversion A change in candidature from a Masters Degree (Research)  to a Doctoral Degree, or vice versa.
HDR Higher Degree by Research
Milestones Specific requirements candidature that must be met for a candidate to progress, such as confirmation of candidature.
Principal Supervisor A person who has prime responsibility for guiding the progress of a designated research higher degree candidate.
Probationary Candidate A candidate enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research program who has not yet completed Confirmation of Candidature.
Provisional Principal Supervisor A person who, under the direction of an appropriate Faculty-appointed mentor, has responsibility for guiding the progress of a designated higher degree by research candidate.
Research Integrity Concept that research must be conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards in a research environment underpinned by a culture of integrity (Australian Research Council). 
RHDSC - Research Higher Degrees Sub-Committee The RHDSC, a Sub-committee of Research Committee, handles all operational matters requiring Committee approval that relate to HDR students. 
Show Cause The process where a candidate is required to make a case as to why their candidature should not be terminated, such as repeated instances of insufficient progress.
Supervisory Panel A panel consisting of at least two members (including the Principal Supervisor and at least one associate supervisor) which oversees the planning and execution of the project and preparation and submission of the thesis.

Policy Statement

Actions

Higher degree by Research Graduate Attributes

It is the objective of Federation University to have graduates with knowledge, skills and competence that enable them to stand out as critical, creative and enquiring learners who are capable, flexible and work-ready, and responsible, ethical and engaged citizens.  These qualities are known as graduate attributes (see “Statement of Graduate Attributes: The FedUni setting” Policy).

The Federation University HDR Graduate Attributes (listed below) are to be read in conjunction with the statement of Federation University Student Attributes. All Federation University HDR graduates are expected to demonstrate these attributes.  Each attribute is aligned with the underpinning capabilities/competencies that research graduates are expected to develop through their research training. In addition, opportunities for the development of the various attributes are identified, together with appropriate evidence of their achievement.

Attributes Capabilities/
Competencies
Opportunities Evidence
1. Ability to make contributions to knowledge
  • Capacity to establish research questions of significance
  • Ability to produce outcomes of publishable quality
  • Detailed knowledge and understanding of the discipline(s) underpinning the research topic
  • Supervisory process
  • Graduate Centre Program
  • Successful completion of thesis/exegesis
  • Publication or
  • Exhibition of work
2. Ability to undertake independent research
  • Capacity to conceptualise and articulate research objectives
  • Appreciation of, and understanding of the choice of appropriate research methodologies
  • Ability to analyse critically
  • Supervisory process
  • Graduate Centre Program
  • Confirmation of candidature process
  • Participation in Faculty research activities and seminars
  • Confirmation of candidature presentation
  • Successful completion of thesis/exegesis

3. Ability to effectively communicate/ report research findings to a range of different audiences

 

  • Knowing how particular research findings relate to wider fields of knowledge
  • Ability to present results clearly and logically
  • Capacity to develop coherent and well structured arguments
  • Ability to write at a standard acceptable for publication
  • Ability to articulate research outcomes orally
  • FedUni Research Conference
  • Graduate Centre Program
  • Confirmation of Candidature
  • Participation in Faculty research activities
  • Confirmation of candidature presentation
  • Successful completion of thesis/ exegesis
  • Presentation and publication of work
4. Intellectual and professional integrity
  • Adherence to, and respect for, ethical approval processes
  • Adequate and accurate acknowledgement of the work of others
  • Code of Good Practice: Research Supervision
  • Joint NHMRC/AV-CC Statement and Guidelines on Research Practice
  • Graduate Centre Program
  • Gaining of ethics approval as appropriate
  • Successful completion of thesis
5. A range of generic skills applicable to future research and employment
  • Ability to listen to, and evaluate critically, the advice/views/criticisms of others
  • Capacity to undertake independent work
  • Effective time management
  • Information literacy
  • Data collection and analysis skills
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Analytical skills
  • Ability to think clearly and critically
  • Advanced writing skills
  • Project management capacities
  • Graduate Centre Program
  • Supervisory relationship
  • Confirmation of candidature
  • Twice-yearly progress reports
  • Confirmation of candidature presentation
  • Successful completion of thesis
6. Appreciation of the importance of both ‘learning for life’, and engaging with the community
  • Capacity to develop a formal research program
  • Understanding of how to make the transition to a professional researcher
  • Knowledge and understanding of post-doctoral opportunities
  • Ability to write credible applications for research grants/ competitive tenders
  • Appreciation of the contribution  of research locally, nationally and internationally
  • Readiness to promote a spirit of enquiry among professional colleagues and communities
  • Ability to draw upon one’s own research and the research of others in order to solve problems and inform practice
  • Graduate Centre Program
  • Engagement with University Research Centres
  • Collaborative research programs
  • Professional work environments
  • Successful completion of thesis
  • Engagement with industry/professional partners

Responsibilities for Provision of Higher Degrees by Research

Research training at Federation University involves the active participation of both staff and Higher Degree by Research candidates. The responsibility to ensure that research training is conducted in the most efficient and effective manner is shared by all parties; the University, the Faculties, supervisors and candidates all have obligations to each other.

Responsibilities of the University

The University has the responsibility to establish a policy framework within which research training can operate. The University is responsible for having in place policies and procedures relating to:

  • Clearly specified entry standards which apply with due regard to discipline, and which are set to ensure that enrolling candidates are likely to have the capacity to succeed given adequate commitment;
  • Access to physical facilities and resources (including library resources) which, while possibly varying between different parts of the university, should be made clear to student at the outset;
  • Ethics approval procedures concerning matters such as informed consent, deception and debriefing;
  • The status of intellectual property arising from the work of candidates as part of their studies;
  • Minimum progress reporting requirements;
  • Procedures by which either the candidate or the supervisor may make representations as appropriate should significant difficulties arise (grievance procedures, appeals);
  • Explicit procedures relating to all aspects of the examination process, including clear guidelines outlining the University's expectations for the particular degree;
  • In the case of candidates whose research is conducted in collaboration with other entities such as industrial partners, any specific variations in the status of intellectual property or other rules relating to the candidacy.

The University also has a responsibility to ensure the provision of appropriate research training and professional development opportunities to Higher Degree by Research candidates.

Responsibilities of the Faculties

Faculties should ensure:

  • The candidate meets the Faculty’s requirements to undertake the research project;
  • The proposed research project is appropriate for the degree;
  • The Faculty is the appropriate location for the research to be undertaken, and has the space, facilities and resources the work may need;
  • High quality supervision can be provided and maintained throughout the research period;
  • Appropriate opportunities are provided for candidates to develop their skills in presenting their work as well as facilitating their integration into a cohesive research group;
  • Appropriate opportunities are provided for candidates to interact with and develop profitable intellectual relationships with one another;
  • All new candidates are provided with a statement which sets out the procedures by which candidates may make representations to the Executive Dean or nominee if they believe that their work is not proceeding satisfactorily for reasons outside their control;
  • Appropriate practice is established for dealing with unresolved conflicts between supervisor(s) and candidates, in line with University policy;
  • Each candidate has written guidelines concerning ethical and safety procedures appropriate to the discipline.

Responsibilities of supervisors

Supervisors have responsibilities which include:

  • Providing appropriate academic support throughout candidature to enable the candidate to achieve the highest standard of research of which s/he is capable;
  • Suggesting ways that the candidate can make the most effective use of their time. This should involve discussing the nature of research with the candidate  and the standard expected for the particular degree, the choice of the research topic, the planning of the research program, and the availability of library resources in the field and bibliographical and technical assistance;
  • Maintaining close and regular contact with the candidate and establishing at the beginning the basis on which contact will be made. This will facilitate the supervisor's role in advising the candidate on the pace of progress, and ensuring that a reasonable timetable is set to permit the degree to be completed in the appropriate time;
  • Requiring work from the candidate on a pre-arranged and agreed schedule so that their progress can be assessed at regular intervals;
  • Careful monitoring of the performance of the candidate relative to the standard required for the degree, and ensuring that inadequate progress or work below the standard generally expected is brought to the candidate's attention. The supervisor should help with developing solutions to problems as they are identified;
  • Using the progress reporting procedures established by the University as the minimum means by which any difficulties and problems discussed with the candidate during candidature are recorded along with the action taken or advice given. If the problem is not resolved, the Executive Dean or nominee, in the first instance, should be involved; the Executive Dean or nominee and  Research Services should be notified in writing of continuing problems between reporting periods;
  • Commenting on the content and the drafts of the work and, at the time of submission, certifying that the thesis is properly presented, conforms to the University’s regulations and is therefore, prima facie, worthy of examination;
  • Advising Research Services of the names and credentials of suitable examiners;
  • Fulfilling other University-specific obligations regarding supervision;
  • Providing career advice and assistance as appropriate.

Responsibilities of the candidate

The responsibilities of the candidate include:

  • Diligently and intelligently proceeding with the research as agreed between the candidate and the supervisor;
  • Becoming familiar with, and abiding by, the University's regulations governing the degree;
  • Discussing with the supervisor the type of help considered most useful, and keeping to an agreed schedule of meetings which will ensure regular contact;
  • Taking the initiative in raising problems or difficulties and sharing responsibility for seeking solutions. If the problem is not resolved, candidates may seek advice from the Executive Dean or nominee, in the first instance.
  • Maintaining the progress of the work in accordance with the stages agreed with the supervisor, including in particular the presentation of any required written material in sufficient time to allow for comments and discussions before proceeding to the next stage;
  • Discussing the progress towards, and impediments to, maintaining the agreed timetable with the supervisor at regular intervals;
  • Providing a formal progress report to the University, at periods specified by the University;
  • Adopting at all times safe working practices relevant to the field of research and adhering to the ethical practices appropriate to the discipline and the University;
  • Accepting the responsibility for producing the final copies of the thesis and its content, and ensuring that it is in accord with the relevant requirements, including the standard of presentation.

Minimum resources and Support for Higher Degree by Research Candidates

The enrolment of a Higher Degree by Research candidate implies that the Faculty responsible for principal supervision will provide sufficient resources and support to allow the candidate to complete their agreed research program at the required standard and within the prescribed time.  In instances where the candidate believes the provision of resources for their research project is not reasonable they should address their concerns to the Executive Dean or nominee. The support provided by the Faculty will be supplemented by the provision of University services including the Library, Information Technology Services, and Research Services.

On-campus students

The following (minimum level) of resources/services will be provided by Faculties for all higher degree by research candidates who are undertaking their program on-campus. Additional resources/services provided candidates will be negotiated between the candidate and the Executive Dean or nominee. Part-time candidates may be required to share resources, where appropriate. Higher Degree by Research candidates undertaking their research on-campus should be provided with:

a. Adequate Physical Facilities / Resources (which comply with the Federation University's Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) policies)

Candidates should be provided with:

  • a desk  and chair located in a secure space dedicated to higher degree by research  candidates (this might be shared space), where possible, in reasonable proximity to the Faculty providing principal supervision;
  • secure storage;
  • access to computer (hardware/software) facilities appropriate to the research needs of the candidate;
  • reasonable amounts of stationery, photocopying, telephone, fax and postal services;
  • reasonable after-hours access to facilities; and
  • any other resources identified as essential to a particular candidate’s research program (e.g. scientific and technical equipment, laboratory or studio facilities).
b. Financial Support

An adequate level of financial support to undertake the approved project, as approved by the Executive Dean, shall be provided to meet relevant research costs.  This support should contribute to the costs associated with:

  • photocopying
  • computing, including internet costs
  • inter-library loans
  • telephone and fax
  • required computing software
  • field work, laboratory or studio requirements
  • consumables
  • postage
  • production of the thesis/portfolio (at least the number of copies of the thesis/portfolio as specified in  Regulation 5.1); and
  • approved conference participation and peer-reviewed publications.
c. Research Environment & Culture

The Faculty should ensure that candidates are:

  • included in Faculty-based research seminars/conferences;
  • encouraged to network and interact with Faculty staff and any scholarly visitors; and
  • provided with opportunities for social interaction (e.g. access to Faculty staff room) with staff and other research candidates.
d. Orientation

The Faculty should ensure that commencing candidates are:

  • introduced to Faculty staff and other postgraduate candidates;
  • introduced to relevant Library staff;
  • given a tour of Faculty and other relevant research facilities;
  • informed about postgraduate associations ;
  • made aware of ethical considerations and safety procedures relevant to their research;
  • provided with information on procedures for the resolution of any conflict or dissatisfaction with other matters which are impeding their progress and are outside their control;
  • directed to the Graduate Centre Program Website; and
  • informed about the Orientation Program conducted by Research Services.

Students not located continuously on-campus

In instances where candidates are not continuously located on-campus it is important that they have access to an appropriate research environment. When candidates are justifiably approved for off-campus candidature, there should be arrangements in place that:

  • ensure that the candidate will not be at a disadvantage compared to being on-campus with respect to resources necessary for their research;
  • provide for appropriate supervision;
  • specify the means and frequency of meaningful (interactive) communication between the candidate and Principal Supervisor;
  • indicate how, if applicable, the Confirmation of Candidature process will be conducted (the normal expectation is that candidates will undertake their Confirmation of Candidature on-campus);
  • ensure the candidate has access to resources/facilities appropriate for the research program;
  • ensure the candidate will have email/internet access to the Federation University and will receive at least the same level of financial support as they would if they were on-campus; and
  • are agreed to by the Executive Dean or nominee, after the candidates and the Principal Supervisor have agreed.

Induction

In the early stages of candidature, an induction program will be conducted by Research Services and by the Faculty. This will include a guide to the nature of research in the candidate’s field and a description of the facilities available at the University. All candidates are required to attend the Research Services, Faculty and any other inductions (such as OHS).

Milestones

There are several milestones associated with HDR candidature at Federation University.  These milestones include:

  1. Annual and interim progress reports (6 monthly intervals),
  2. Confirmation,
  3. Research-based milestones which may be set at various times following discussion with the candidate’s supervisor.

These milestones are designed to ensure the candidate is on track and making satisfactory progress towards successfully completing their HDR program in a timely manner.

Probationary Candidature and Confirmation

Initial admission to Higher Degree by Research candidature is on a provisional basis, and an application for confirmed candidature must be made as follows, unless otherwise approved by Academic Board:

  • Doctoral candidates: within 12 months of commencing full-time probationary candidature or within 24 months of commencing part-time probationary candidature.
  • Masters candidates: within 6 months of commencing full-time probationary candidature or within 12 months of commencing part-time probationary candidature

In order for candidature to be confirmed, the Candidate must complete such processes as determined by the Academic Board to demonstrate that a viable PhD research program has been developed, satisfactory progress has been made, and the degree requirements can be completed within the period allowed.  Details of the Confirmation requirements and process are provided in the Higher Degree by Research Candidature Management Procedure.

Objectives and requirements

The purpose of the confirmation process is to provide:

  • A formal mechanism for the provision to the candidate of sound advice on the viability of the proposed research project early in the period of candidature.
  • Evaluation of, and feedback on, the quality of the proposed research project to the candidate.
  • A means of ensuring that the key questions, scope and objectives of the project are clearly articulated, that the study design is in accord with discipline conventions, and that the project is not designed beyond the scope of the resources available to support its execution.
  • A means of ensuring that the candidate is making satisfactory progress and has a high probability of completing the degree requirements within the time period allowed.
  • An early warning mechanism for the detection of difficulties with the proposed research project or that the candidate might be experiencing.
  • A means of applying natural justice in the termination of candidature in the situation where such candidature clearly has a low likelihood of success.

The Role of the Confirmation Panel

The role of the Confirmation Panel is to determine if the candidate ‘has developed a viable PhD research program, made satisfactory progress, and is able to complete degree requirements within the period allowed’ (see Regulation 5.1 Doctor of Philosophy, section 6). The Confirmation Panel will recommend to the Research Higher Degrees Sub-Committee one of the following outcomes:

  • that candidature be “confirmed”;
  • that candidature be “confirmed subject to conditions”;
  • that candidature be “not confirmed”.

In instances when the recommendation is that candidature be “not confirmed”, the Panel will provide a written report outlining the reasons for its decision. If the Panel is of the view that the candidate should be given a further opportunity to apply for confirmation of candidature, its report will include details of what tasks will need to be completed (for example, revisions to the written proposal  and a further oral presentation, or revisions to the written proposal  only) with associated timelines. Only in exceptional circumstances will more than two attempts to gain confirmation of candidature be permitted.  In the case that a candidate is not confirmed the panel will recommend that the candidate be invited to ‘Show Cause’ on why candidature should not be terminated.

Progress Reporting

Annual progress report

Annual progress report

A formal annual review of the progress of candidature is conducted each year, in the form of the Annual Progress Report. Higher Degree by Research candidates are required to maintain satisfactory progress in their program at all times.  The HDR Annual and Interim Progress Reports provide a record of a candidate’s progress. Completion of the Annual HDR Progress Report is compulsory and is a requirement for the continuation of candidature and the renewal of scholarships, both of which are contingent upon satisfactory progress. Candidates on approved Leave from Studies do not complete the Report.  Completion of the Interim HDR Progress Report is compulsory for nominated candidates.

Candidates who have submitted their thesis/exegesis/portfolio for examination will not be required to submit Interim Progress Reports.

The online progress report form includes opportunities to comment on the following:

  • supervision arrangements;
  • progress towards achieving goals over the previous 6 months;
  • expectations about achieving goals over the ensuing 6 months;
  • the nature and frequency of contact with the supervisory panel;
  • the candidate’s level of satisfaction with access to the supervisory panel;
  • challenges affecting progress and candidature;
  • proposed changes in enrolment fraction, supervisory arrangements, or thesis title;
  • confidential matters.

Interim Progress Report

The Principal Supervisor, Associate Supervisor, Executive Dean or nominee, and/or the RHDSC, via the Annual Progress Report process, may require that a candidate complete an Interim Progress Report.  Interim Progress Reports may be mandated by any of the stakeholders to be completed at any stage between the times of the Annual Report process.  The RHDSC will oversee the process to ensure that follow-up actions are undertaken as required.

If the candidate encounters any problems which impede the progress of the research program, they should be discussed with the Principal Supervisor as soon as possible. Personal or health problems, which affect the progress of the program, should also be discussed so that arrangements for 'Leave from Study' can be made if necessary.  If the candidate is reluctant to discuss any sensitive matters with the supervisor, then the options available are to:

  • make a confidential submission through the confidential section of the online progress report; matters raised in this part of the report will be provided to the Faculty Executive Dean only; or,
  • contact the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) (or nominee).

A matter raised via one of these options will remain strictly confidential unless the candidate agrees that it can be taken further.

Annual review outcomes, "At risk" and "Show cause"

On each interim and annual progress report the supervisor and Faculty are asked to assess the candidate’s progress over the previous reporting period.  Progress evaluation outcomes include:

Candidate progress satisfactory The candidate is progressing in such a manner that the supervisor and Faculty are confident that continued progress at the same rate will enable the candidate to successfully complete.
Candidate progress “At Risk” The candidate is not making adequate progress; the supervisor and the Faculty are not confident that, without change, the candidate will successfully complete the HDR.  The factors impacting on the candidate’s progress may be personal, may be related to the candidate-supervisor relationship, or may be beyond the candidate’s control.  An “At Risk” evaluation will trigger action at the Faculty or University level to attempt to determine and address the factors impacting on progress. Candidates deemed ‘At Risk’ will be required to undertake Interim progress reporting.
Show Cause

The candidate’s progress has ceased and the project has stagnated or is seriously flawed to the point where neither the supervisor nor the Faculty believes the candidate can successfully complete the HDR within a reasonable time frame.

“At Risk” evaluations in two consecutive progress reports will normally trigger the Show Cause process.  The Show Cause process may also be triggered by a recommendation from the Faculty at any time during candidature.  Triggers for the Show Cause process , in addition to a lack of progress, also include:

·         failure by the candidate to maintain effective contact with the supervisor,

·         failure by the candidate to complete formal progress reports when requested.

A range of outcomes is possible under the Show Cause process, including termination of candidature.

Candidates in the following categories will be required to complete an Interim Progress Report:

  • being subject to Show Cause proceedings;
  • being formally 'At Risk'; or
  • having consumed the maximum time funded under an RTS or the University-Funded place
  • identified in the Annual Progress Report process as requiring an Interim Progress Report.

Candidates will be required to continue submitting Interim Progress Reports under the following conditions:

  • whilst they remain under Show Cause; or
  • whilst they remain on 'At Risk' status.

Show cause

HDR candidates who have been determined by more than one consecutive Annual or Interim Progress Report process, Confirmation of Candidature panel, or by the Executive Dean or nominee, to be “At Risk” or not making satisfactory progress will be invited to Show Cause as to why their candidature should not be terminated.  The Executive Dean or nominee may become aware of unsatisfactory progress on the part of a HDR candidate via means other than the Progress Report process, including direct approach by a member of the supervisory team. Under such circumstances the Executive Dean or nominee may recommend to the DVC(R&I) or nominee that ‘Show Cause’ commence outside the normal reporting processes. If such a recommendation is made, the DVC(R&I) or nominee will recommend to Research Committee the establishment of a Show Cause Committee (SCC).  The circumstances triggering the Show Cause Procedure are detailed in the Higher Degree by Research Candidature Management Procedure.  The Show Cause Procedure described in the document applies to HDR candidates and, for such candidates, replaces the University’s normal Show Cause procedure.

In addition to being assessed as making “Unsatisfactory Progress”, a candidate may be invited to Show Cause if they fail to maintain adequate and regular contact with their supervisors, the Faculty, or Research Services, or fail to submit written reports on academic progress as and when requested by the principal supervisor, Executive Dean or nominee, or the Academic Board.  Under Regulation 5.1 these are conditions of continued candidature.

The SCC provides a recommendation to the Academic Board via the University’s Research Committee.  If the Academic Board, after considering all the evidence before it, believes the candidate is not making satisfactory progress or is not complying with regulations, it may:

            (a) terminate the Candidate's enrolment for the degree, or

            (b) specify in writing the conditions under which the Candidate's enrolment for the degree may                 continue.

The DVC(RI) then formally advises the candidates of the decision and the process to appeal the decision to terminate candidature.

Student Evaluation of the Postgraduate program Survey (SEPP)

The Student Evaluation of the Postgraduate Program (SEPP) is an evaluation by the candidate  of the HDR program.  All higher degree by research candidates are encouraged to complete the SEPP; responses are anonymous.  Higher degree by research candidates are invited to complete an evaluation annually until they submit their thesis/portfolio for examination.

Leave

Leave from All Studies

When enrolled, a candidate may apply for leave from studies extending for at least one teaching period (6 months) and up to one year.  A first application from a candidate for leave will normally be granted automatically provided the supervisor and Faculty are satisfied that the reasons are appropriate. RHDSC will approve applications for leave.

A second application for leave from studies will be scrutinised more closely but will be accepted on grounds such as: physical or mental ill health, financial hardship, or clear loss of motivation. Candidates granted second periods of leave will be warned that a third application may not succeed unless the grounds for leave are serious.

Applications for leave from studies by candidates whose progress is unsatisfactory will only be considered after a candidature management plan has been developed by the candidate, supervisor and executive

Absentee Leave

HDR candidates are entitled to various forms of absentee leave, including recreation leave, sick leave, carer’s leave, compassionate leave, and parental leave.  Leave entitlements are as follows:

Leave entitlements APA holder Candidate without scholarship or FPRS holder, including international candidates IPRS holder
Recreation leave 20 working days paid recreation leave per year.  May be accrued but leave entitlements are forfeited on the termination or end of the scholarship

20 working days recreation leave per year.  May be accrued but leave entitlements are forfeited on the termination or end of the scholarship

.

20 working days paid recreation leave per year.  May be accrued but may not be taken so as to exceed the maximum duration of the IPRS.

Sick leave

Extended Sick Leave (more than 30 days)*

10 working days sick leave per year.  May be accrued.  Additional paid sick leave up to 12 weeks during the duration of the APA for illness where insufficient leave is available.  Medical certification is required.

Sick leave may be used for students with family caring responsibilities, subject to the University’s normal practice.

15 working day’s sick leave per year which may be accrued. 30 days up front on commencement.  Additional sick leave may be approved in cases of extreme financial hardship. Medical certification is required.

10 working days sick leave per year.  May be accrued but may not be taken so as to exceed the maximum duration of the IPRS.  Additional paid sick leave up to 12 weeks during the duration of the IPRS for illness where insufficient leave is available.  Medical certification is required.

Sick leave may be used for students with family caring responsibilities, subject to the University’s normal practice.

Parental Leave (primary care giver) Maximum of 12 weeks paid maternity leave after completing 12 months of candidature. 1 week of maternity leave for each month if less than 12 months candidature completed.  Maximum of 14 weeks maternity leave after completing 12 months of candidature. A further 26 weeks of unpaid leave may be approved. Maximum of 12 weeks paid maternity leave after completing 12 months of candidature.
Foster care leave Paid leave may be approved subject to the University’s normal practice. 15 working days leave may be approved for foster parent leave if the student is the primary care giver. Paid leave may be approved subject to the University’s normal practice.
Parental leave /partner leave* (including adoption) A student who is a partner of a primary care giver and who has completed 12 months of candidature may be entitled to paid parenting leave subject to the University’s normal practice. A student who is the partner of a woman giving birth may be entitled to 10 working days paid parenting if they are not the primary care giver.  If they are the primary care-giver they may be entitled to an additional 50 weeks of unpaid carer’s leave. A student who is a partner of a woman giving birth and who has completed 12 months of candidature may be entitled to paid parenting leave subject to the University’s normal practice.
Carer’s leave Sick leave entitlements (including additional sick leave) may also be used to cover leave for students with family caring responsibilities, subject to the usual practice of the HEP. 5 working days paid carer’s leave per year.  An additional 5 days may be used from sick leave.  
Compassionate leave   2 days paid compassionate leave per occasion.  
Additional leave   5 days paid additional leave per year for religious, ceremonial or culturally significant reasons, blood donor leave.  
Miscellaneous leave   Paid miscellaneous leave for jury service, Defence Force Reserve service, or voluntary organisation emergency assistance.  
Entitlements Leave entitlements are forfeited if the APA is terminated. Leave entitlements are forfeited if the FPRS is terminated. Leave entitlements are forfeited if the APA is terminated.

*Leave marked with an asterisk pauses candidature.

Enrolment and Lapse of Candidature

It is a requirement that Higher Degree by Research candidates re-enrol in their program each year.  Where a candidate fails to complete the formal requirements of candidature they may be regarded as having abandoned their program and their candidature may be terminated.  A candidate will be regarded as having abandoned their program of study and their candidature will lapse under one or more of the following circumstances:

  • Failure to re-enrol in a given year, with no response to attempts at communication by the University,
  • Taking unapproved leave, with no response to to attempts at communication by the University,
  • Failing to  return from leave without having sought approval for additional leave,
  • Failing to participate in a progress review and responding to reasonable requests to do so.

Following a lapse of candidature, re-instatement is possible under certain circumstances. Applications for reinstatement of candidature must be made in writing to Research Services. The application will be discussed with, and must be approved by, the Faculty.

Extension of Candidature

An application for an extension of candidature will only be approved if a suitable case is made and a detailed timetable for the completion of the program is provided. Requests for changes to the period of candidature should be made in writing to Research Services and must first be supported by the Principal Supervisor and Executive Dean or nominee.  Maximum periods of candidature are described in Regulation 5.1.

Ethics Approval

Research projects and practices must conform to accepted community standards and to the University’s Responsible Conduct of Research Policy. Any research project involving human subjects must be approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee. Any research involving animals must be approved by the Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to obtain any required ethical clearance for each higher degree project, but candidates should be involved in preparing applications for approval. This may involve interaction with the appropriate ethics officer.

Data cannot be collected before formal ethics approval has been granted.  Any data collected before such approval has been granted cannot be presented in the thesis or published under the University’s name.  Ethics project approval codes are generally required to publish data in the refereed literature.

Full-time / Part-time Candidature

Candidates wishing to change to full-time / part-time candidature may apply to the RHDSC in writing on the appropriate form, stating the reasons for the requested change.  Candidates must first obtain the approval of their Principal Supervisor and Executive Dean or nominee. 

Change of thesis title or topic

Candidates wishing to change their thesis title or topic may apply to the RHDSC in writing on the appropriate Form, stating the reasons for the requested change.  Candidates must first obtain the approval of their Principal Supervisor and Executive Dean or nominee.

Transfer from Masters to PhD Candidature

In some circumstances a candidate who has commenced their HDR candidature enrolled in a Masters Degree (Research) may, after consultation with their principal supervisor, decide that they wish to pursue a PhD and to convert from Masters Degree (Research) to Doctoral Degree (Research) candidature.  Such a conversion of candidature is effected via successful completion of the doctoral confirmation of candidature process.  Details are provided in the Higher Degree by Research Candidature Management Procedure

Masters Exit Point

Doctoral Degree (Research) candidates who have made sufficient progress may apply to submit a thesis for examination to graduate with a Masters Degree (Research) in an appropriate discipline with support from the Faculty and University approval.

Concurrent Enrolment

A candidate may enrol in additional coursework, with approval, that will assist in the completion of their program provided:

  • The supervisor has approved the enrolment,
  • Enrolment in coursework will not cause the candidate to exceed the maximum coursework allowable under RTS conditions, that being one-third of the usual course duration.

Intellectual Property

Candidates should be aware of the University’s policy relating to intellectual property prior to undertaking research.  The University’s policy is presented in Statute 8.2 – INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. 

Moral Rights

The University and supervisors have a responsibility to assist candidates in publishing their work during candidature and immediately following submission of the thesis for examination.  To ensure that the candidate’s moral rights are respected, joint authorship of publications should be discussed and negotiated in the early stages of candidature.  Supervisors must respect the ethical guidelines of their discipline and adhere to the Codes of Conduct adopted by the University.

Withdrawal from Studies

Withdrawal is complete cessation of enrolment in the program of study.  A student who withdraws from candidature forfeits their place in the program and must reapply for admission if they wish to resume study in that program at a later date.  Candidates considering withdrawing from their HDR program should first discuss the matter with their Principal Supervisor and the Executive Dean or nominee. Formal withdrawal requires written advice to the University via the Withdrawal from All Studies Form.

Grievances

If candidates experience problems during candidature, they must be addressed without delay so that progress is not unduly impeded. In the first instance, candidates should approach their Principal Supervisor or Executive Dean or nominee. If the matter cannot be resolved satisfactorily using an informal approach, a candidate may wish to employ the University’s student grievance procedure.  If a candidate has been unable to satisfactorily resolve an issue at the Faculty level they may discuss the situation  with Research Services.

Appeals

Should a candidate wish to appeal any decision which they believe adversely impacts on candidature or progress, then the University’s Student Appeal Policy and Procedure provides a framework to do so.

Examinations

Eligibility to Submit for Examination

Eligibility to Submit for Examination

To be eligible to submit a thesis/exegesis/portfolio for examination a candidate must:

  • Be admitted to candidature;
  • Be currently enrolled;
  • Have been enrolled for at least the minimum period required as defined in Regulation 5.1 (1 year full-time or part-time equivalent);
  • Have had their candidature confirmed;
  • Have approval from the Executive Dean or nominee to submit the thesis.

Candidates submitting a thesis/exegesis/portfolio must:

  • Make all required declarations;
  • Prepare the thesis/exegesis/portfolio in accordance with the Higher Degree by Research Examination Procedure;

Not submit for examination work that is :

  • Substantially similar to work previously examined and rejected, unless approved by Academic Board;
  • Substantially similar to a thesis upon which the candidate has qualified in whole or in part for any other qualification obtained at another tertiary institution;
  • Substantially similar to a thesis that is under examination for any other qualification of another tertiary institution, except where the thesis is being submitted jointly to Federation University and another institution for a jointly awarded qualification.

The University is under no obligation to accept a thesis for examination from a candidate who has abandoned their program, is absent without approved leave, or has failed re-enrol.

Nomination of Examiners and Conflict of Interest

After considering recommendations from the supervisor(s), as informed by consultation with the candidate, and the relevant Executive Dean, the Academic Board shall appoint at least two examiners who will be external to the University.

Examiners shall:

i)      Hold a PhD or possess equivalent relevant professional experience for the examination of a Doctoral Degree (Research) or Doctoral Degree (Professional), and at least a Masters degree or possess equivalent relevant professional experience for examination of a Masters Degree (Research),

ii)     Be independent of the conduct of the candidate’s research,

iii)    Have current international standing in the discipline or field of research in which the candidate's research program has been conducted,

iv)   Have respect for the theoretical framework used by the candidate,

v)    Be without bias and real or perceived conflict of interest, and sign a conflict of interest declaration.

Examiners must be external to, and independent of, the University, and one or more of the examiners may be from outside of Australia.  Where possible, at least one examiner should have experience in the examination and/or supervision of higher degree by research theses at the appropriate level.  Where possible, at least one examiner should, within the last 5 years, have been actively associated with a university, institution of higher learning, or a research institution.  A person will be ineligible to serve as an examiner if they:

  • Have a pending appointment with, are currently employed by, or have been employed by the University in any capacity within the last 5 years;
  • Have a pending appointment with, currently hold, or have within the past 5 years held an honorary position with the University;
  • Have had direct involvement with the thesis, through reading drafts,discussing the research or being a member of the confirmation of candidature panel;
  • Have been a collaborator or co-author with the candidate under examination within the last 5 years;
  • Have been a collaborator or co-author with the candidate’s supervisor within the last 5 years;
  • Have a real or perceived conflict of interest with the candidate, the supervisors, or the institution (see below).

Candidates must be given an explicit opportunity to provide feedback on examiners or categories of examiners who are inappropriate to examine the thesis.  Where an examiner fails to return an assessment within 12 weeks of being sent the thesis, the Academic Board may appoint a replacement examiner.  The name of any examiner shall not be disclosed to a candidate prior to or during examination, and will be disclosed to the candidate on completion of examination only with the agreement of the examiner.

Conflict of Interest in Examination

Conflicts of interest in the examination process generally arise from working, personal, legal, business, professional and/or social relationships between the candidate and the examiner, or the supervisor and the examiner.  In considering conflict of interest, distinction must be made between major potential conflicts of interest that would normally preclude the appointment of a potential examiner, and minor potential conflicts of interest that should be declared but which would not normally preclude the appointment of an examiner.  DDOGS guidelines detail specific circumstances that may constitute major and minor conflicts of interest between examiners and:

  • the candidate
  • the supervisor
  • the University
  • the subject matter
  • other examiners.

The supervisor and the candidate should consult Australian Council of Graduate Research Inc. guidelines when considering nominees for examiners.

Format of thesis

On completing the program of advanced study and research, a candidate shall submit a thesis based on work carried out during candidature. A thesis may adopt one of the following formats:

  • Conventional thesis,
  • Thesis incorporating published papers,
  • Practical works and an exegesis.

The thesis must be presented in accord with the requirements outlined below.

  • A conventional thesis may incorporate or include as an appendix any publication resulting from the work completed during candidature whether or not the candidate is the sole author or one of the joint authors.
  • A thesis incorporating published papers is one where papers based upon the candidate’s research form a substantial part of the thesis content rather than, as above, where one or more papers are included as appendices. In this case, the majority of the thesis will be in the form of papers published, accepted for publication, submitted for publication or drafted for submission. Such a thesis will have equivalent intellectual content and rigour, and make the same contribution to knowledge as a conventional thesis. The material presented for a Doctor of Philosophy (Research) incorporating published papers must be presented in a logical sequence to form a coherent whole.
  • A candidate may not present in the thesis any work for which another award has been conferred by the University or any other academic institution, but a Candidate shall not be precluded from incorporating extracts from such work in the thesis provided that the sum of any such extracts does not constitute the major proportion of the thesis and provided also that the source of each such extract is stated explicitly.
  • The thesis shall adhere to the principles of research integrity concerning plagiarism and research ethics as stipulated in the code of research conduct and professional practice specified by the University.
  • The thesis shall identify the extent to which the work of others is being relied upon by providing appropriate acknowledgment, citation, and reference in the text and in the bibliography.
  • The statement of authorship and originality signed and dated by the candidate when the thesis is submitted for examination will include a declaration that no other person's work has been relied upon or used without due acknowledgment in the main text and bibliography of the thesis.  This statement will also acknowledge editorial assistance and copyright provisions and approvals, and include acknowledgement that a plagiarism report has been submitted to the University.
  • In cases where ethics approval was required for any component of the research, a statement must be submitted with the thesis from the Chair of the relevant ethics committee, declaring that all necessary ethics-related processes have been completed.

General requirements

The thesis presented by a Candidate for examination shall conform with the requirements of this section unless otherwise agreed by the Academic Board:

A Doctoral Degree (Research) thesis will normally be:

  • a text of not more than 80,000 words reporting original scholarship and research  carried out by the candidate under supervision, or
  • a major work or collection of works, including but not restricted to visual presentation, literary production or computer software development, carried out by the candidate under supervision and accompanied by an exegesis or scholarly commentary of between 20,000 and 40,000 words.

A Doctoral Degree (Professional) thesis will normally be:

  • a text of not more than 45,000 words reporting original scholarship and research  carried out by the candidate under supervision, or
  • a major work or collection of works, including but not restricted to visual presentation, literary production or computer software development, carried out by the candidate under supervision and accompanied by an exegesis or scholarly commentary of between 10,000 and 20,000 words.

A Masters Degree (Research) will normally be:

  • a text of not more than 40,000 words reporting original scholarship and research  carried out by the candidate under supervision, or
  • a major work or collection of works, including but not restricted to visual presentation, literary production or computer software development, carried out by the candidate under supervision and accompanied by an exegesis or scholarly commentary of between 10,000 and 20,000 words.

If a thesis or exegesis exceeds the respective upper word limit it may not be acceptable for submission and the candidate may be asked to reduce the word count.  If an over-length thesis is formally approved for submission and examination, examiners must be informed of the length of the thesis when being invited to act as examiners.

Candidates for higher degrees shall present for examination one electronic copy of their thesis.. If the thesis includes a major work or collection of works, the major work or collection of works shall be presented in a format suitable for examination. A thesis may be rejected as unfit for examination if it does not conform to the requirements set out in this section.

Presentation of a Thesis Incorporating Published Papers

A thesis incorporating publications is a thesis where papers based upon the candidate's research (Masters by Research or PhD) form a substantial part of the thesis content, rather than where one or more papers are included as appendices to the thesis.  All publications incorporated into the thesis must be based on the candidate's own research. In jointly authored papers, the candidate should normally be the senior/first author and the contribution of the candidate must be clearly indicated.  Depending upon paper length and substance, the normal requirements will be 4-6 papers for a PhD, and 2-3 papers for a Masters degree. Up to 66% of the papers selected for inclusion in the thesis may be drawn from papers published prior to candidature. Where a candidate has had an ongoing relationship with the University and work has been published during the period of that relationship, then 100% of papers selected for inclusion in the thesis may be drawn from papers published prior to candidature.

Papers selected for a PhD or Masters degree thesis should be peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, or refereed conference papers. Candidates submitting papers for publication during their candidature are encouraged to select journals which are rigorously peer-reviewed and are highly suitable to their research area. The standard of journals should be considered and high-quality journals are recommended.

Peer-reviewed papers included in the thesis will normally have been either published or accepted for publication (evidence of publication or acceptance should be included as an appendix to the thesis).  However, some chapters of the thesis might be presented in the form of papers prepared for publication but not yet submitted. The status of these chapters must be clearly indicated.

The standard and content of a thesis incorporating publications should be equivalent to that normally required for a Masters Degree (Research) or Doctoral Degree (Research) by conventional thesis. Where several published papers are included, they should be sequential in their presentation of research findings and conform with the requirements for the thesis as outlined in the Higher Degree by Research Examination Procedure.

 

Thesis structure, instructions to examiners, and the role of the supervisor are detailed in the Higher Degree by Research Examination Procedure.

Copyright issues for a thesis incorporating published papers

Candidates for Masters Degree (Research) or Doctoral Degree (Research) incorporating published papers need to be aware of the publication policies of commercial academic publishers to whom they intend to submit articles for publication, and how these policies may affect the completion and submission of their thesis.

Most academic publishers require authors to transfer copyright to the publisher which will restrict the ability of the author or Federation University to make a copy of the article available online, including as part of a higher degree by research thesis incorporating published papers.  In some cases publishers will allow the author to place a pre-print version (that is a final version of the paper in Word format – before it has been typeset for inclusion in the journal) onto an online repository.  Therefore, it is very important that candidates retain full, complete copies of the final versions of all articles, as in some cases these can be included in the online version of their thesis.

If a publisher does not allow any version of the article to be made available online, it may only be possible for the University to include URL links to the articles that form part of the thesis.  Access to these articles may then only be available via a subscription to the journal, so the full thesis would not be readily available to all users.

With this in mind, candidates for PhD by publication should scrutinise publishers’ policies and be sure that they will allow for appropriate access to material that will be included in their thesis before entering into an agreement with an academic publisher.  They should also consider asking publishers for permission to include their article in an online version of the thesis, and retain copies of all agreements.  Candidates can seek assistance in this task by contacting the University Library. Library staff are able to advise on obtaining the necessary copyright approvals.

Editing of a Thesis

It is expected that the academic supervisors of  higher degree by research candidates will provide their candidates with editorial advice relating to matters of substance and structure; language (including matters of clarity, voice and tone, grammar, spelling and punctuation, specialised and foreign material); and use of illustrations and tables. They may also assist with copyediting and proofreading.

Candidates may use a professional editor in preparing their thesis for submission, but they should discuss this with the principal supervisor before doing so.  Professional editorial intervention should be restricted to copyediting and proofreading. In relation to matters of substance and structure, the professional editor may draw attention to problems, but should not provide solutions.

The Institute of Professional Editors’ 'Guidelines for editing research theses’ outline the extent and nature of editorial services that professional editors can provide when editing higher degree by research candidates’ theses and dissertations. Academic supervisors and higher degree by research candidates also need to be clear about the editor’s role as well as their own roles and responsibilities in preparing the thesis.  Academic supervisors of candidates need to be clear about the role of the professional editor in relation to their own editorial role.  Candidates need to be clear about the scope and limits of services they might expect from a professional editor.

Use of a professional editor will normally involve a fee and payment for this must be negotiated with the supervisor and Faculty. 

Submission of the Thesis

A candidate shall notify the University of their intention to submit the thesis for examination using the appropriate proforma.  This form must be submitted to Research Services 30 working days prior to the submission of the thesis/portfolio, and must include the title of the thesis and an electronic and hard copy of the abstract (300 word limit) on the template in the form.  This form must be signed by the candidate, the principal supervisor and the Executive Dean or nominee.

Doctoral Degree (Professional) candidates must also provide a certified copy of the results for the Advanced Study Units and Research Projects completed in the course of their enrolment. The portfolio will not be sent out for examination without confirmation of these results.

Examination of thesis

Examiners are required to assess the thesis in terms of whether the candidate has made a  significant and original contribution to knowledge, has demonstrated an understanding of the relationship of the investigations undertaken to a wider field of knowledge, and has demonstrated substantial knowledge of research principles and  methods applicable to the field of learning. In addition to providing the Academic Board with written comments bearing on these criteria, the examiners, acting independently, will recommend to the Academic Board that:

i)      the thesis should be classified as PASSED without further examination; or

ii)     the thesis should be classified as PASSED, subject to the corrections outlined in reports from examiners being made to the satisfaction of the Academic Board; or

iii)    the candidate should be required to pass a written and/or oral examination in subject matter directly related to the thesis before the thesis is classified as PASSED; or

iv)   the thesis should be classified as DEFERRED and the candidate should be permitted to submit the thesis for examination in a revised form; or

v)    the thesis should be classified as FAILED.

An overall grade will be awarded by the Academic Board on consideration of the individual recommendations of the examiners by Research Services (see “Consideration of Examiners’ Reports” below).  If the recommendations received from examiners markedly differ, the Academic Board may take such action as it thinks fit, such as the appointment of an additional examiner to supply an examination report.

The Academic Board may require that the candidate be examined orally on the substance of the thesis. Such oral examination shall be conducted under arrangements made by the Academic Board in consultation with the examiners, the principal supervisor, and the Executive Dean of Faculty. The candidate shall be advised in advance of the persons to be present at the examination and of the general arrangements for the conduct of the examination.

In the case of a candidate who accepts an invitation to submit a revised thesis for re-examination, the candidate shall be provided with guidelines for revision of the thesis based on the reports of the examiners. Only in exceptional cases will more than a single attempt at revision of the thesis be permitted.  Where a thesis is to be corrected or revised and submitted for re-examination, the candidate must complete the requirement within a time limit specified by the Academic Board.  Where a thesis is to be revised and submitted for re-examination, the examiners will normally be those who evaluated the thesis on initial submission (see “Nomination of examiners” above).

Examination Guidelines

Detailed guidelines for the examination of higher degrees by research are provided in the Higher Degree by Research Examination Procedure.

Consideration of Examiners' Reports

Weighing up examiners’ opinions

The examiners make recommendations to the University as to whether a higher degree by research should be awarded to a given candidate. The University is the final arbiter of this process.  The final decision for the outcome of the examination of a higher degree by research will be based upon the weight of examiner opinion, a balanced and objective assessment of all the information available, consideration of the role and advice of the Faculty Examination Committee, and natural justice.  The latter is an issue that needs to be borne in mind where the potential for appeal exists.  This is particularly important when considering discrepant examiner’s recommendations.

In making a final recommendation for the examination process, all examiners’ reports will be carefully reviewed and evaluated. The recommendation will reflect an assessment of all the information available on the quality of the thesis and not simply reliance on the recommendation of a single examiner.  An overall judgment will be made as to whether the reports are, on balance, essentially favourable.

If the University is unable to resolve discrepant recommendations then an additional examiner will be appointed.  An additional examiner will receive the thesis but not the reports of previous examiners.  The report and recommendation of the additional examiner will be weighed up against the original examiners’ recommendations as described above to determine a final outcome.

Responding to examiners’ comments

The examiner must state clearly in their report what the candidate needs to do to address issues and to provide specific guidance to the candidate as to how he/she can address the issues raised.  Vague statements that can be interpreted as opinion cannot be given weight.  The candidate will not be expected to respond to vague comments or statements of opinion.  Where the examiner makes statements that suggest an intent to redefine the project or to usurp the role of supervisor, such statements should also be discounted.

In the case of re-examination, the examiner is not to use criteria to re-examine a thesis that were not made explicit to the candidate in the original report.  It is unreasonable to expect the candidate to anticipate the expectations of an examiner if they were not made clear in the original examination report.  Thesis revisions on the basis of examiner comments should address the specifics of the examiner’s comments. If those comments are not specific then the candidate cannot be expected to address them and a thesis should not be sent for re-examination to an examiner who has not provided specific guidance to the candidate as to how to address issues.

Revised theses submitted for re-examination

Re-submitted theses will be examined by the original examiners who made the recommendation for resubmission and whose advice has formed the basis of the recommendations to the candidate for the revision of the thesis.  Examiners of a re-submitted thesis will be provided with:

  • The University’s advice to the candidate for the revision of the thesis, including original examiner’s reports and an integrated list of agreed revisions;
  • A comprehensive statement from the candidate outlining the substantive changes that have been made to the thesis, and a concise defence against any recommendations for changes that have not been accepted;
  • The University’s procedure for dealing with revised and re-submitted theses.

It is not normally appropriate for examiners of a resubmitted thesis to raise new issues of substantive concern, unless the revision has been major and has altered the substantive conclusions of the thesis.  Where the original examiners are no longer available alternative examiners will be used.  In this case, new issues not previously raised and communicated to the candidate will not be taken into account when considering the recommendations of examiners of a resubmitted thesis.  Irrespective of the specifications of the original examiners, the revised and resubmitted thesis must satisfy the University’s criteria for the award of the degree.

Examination Duration

Examiners must indicate their willingness to return the marked thesis in a timely manner.  Time limits for examination are 4 to 6 weeks for a Masters Degree (Research), and 6 to 8 weeks for a Doctoral Degree.  Examiners will be contacted fortnightly to obtain overdue reports.  When a realistic re-negotiated return date is not, or cannot, be met a replacement examiner will be appointed.  Normally, a re-negotiated return date will not exceed 12 weeks.  Where a replacement examiner has been appointed, any report subsequently received from the replaced examiner will not be considered in determining the result of the examination.  The candidate will be informed of any significant delays in the examination process.

Confidentiality in the examination process

Examiners will be advised that the thesis is to be examined as a confidential document and unpublished content or findings is not to be divulged.  There must be no contact between candidates and examiners or between supervisors and examiners during the period in which the examiners are preparing their reports.  Examiners must not consult with each other unless approved by the University.

Examination of a performance or exhibition of creative works

If the performance or exhibition is held prior to submission of the thesis, the candidate must present an abstract of the thesis prior to the performance or exhibition.  Confidentiality of the examination will be maintained.  This may require scheduling private sessions or performances for examiners, and may require that examiners attend the performance or exhibition at different times.  If the performance or exhibition involves audience participation or interaction with the candidate, the candidate must not be in a position to inappropriately influence the examiners’ assessment of the creative work.  The exegesis and creative work must be examined as an integrated whole.  A durable record of the performance or exhibition (in print or electronic format) must be submitted with the thesis or within 6 weeks of submission of the thesis.

Procedure

The procedure for examination of a HDR thesis is described in detail in the Higher Degree by Research Examination Procedure.

Status of a candidate whilst under examination

Once the thesis has been submitted for examination, the candidate is recorded as “TD” Grade which indicates that the candidate is under examination.  This grade does not attract course fees, unless the TD grade is activated after the HECS census dates (31 March and 31 August for each year) in which case course fees may be charged for that semester.  The official date for the recording and commencement of the TD grade is the date that the thesis is submitted for examination.

Distribution of copies of the thesis after final ratification

The degree will not be awarded until one electronic copy of the final thesis has been lodged with the University.

Graduation

Candidates are eligible to graduate after the University Council approves the award of the degree.  Students will be advised by Research Services of the Graduation forms that are required to be completed.

Supporting Documents

  • Regulation 5.1
  • Statement of Graduate Attributes: The FedUni setting Policy
  • Supervision Policy
  • Supervision Procedure
  • HDR Candidate selection Policy
  • Selection and Awarding HDR Place Procedure
  • HDR Progression and Reporting Procedure
  • HDR Examination Procedure
  • Confirmation of Candidature Procedure
  • Student Appeal Policy
  • Student Grievance Procedure
  • Deferment and Leave from Studies Policy
  • Withdrawal from All Studies Procedure

Responsibility

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) holds overall responsibility for ensuring research is undertaken in accordance with this Policy and the accompanying Procedures.

Others who have responsibility for ensuring compliance with this Policy include:

  • Executive Deans or Nominees
  • Associate Deans of Research or Nominees
  • Research Services
  • Candidates
  • Principle Supervisors, Associate Supervisors, Co-Supervisors, Provisinoal Principle Supervisors
  • Examiners
  • Research by Higher Degree Sub-Committee

Promulgation

The HDR Candidature Management Policy will be communicated throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice under ‘FedNews’ website and through the University Policy - ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. inclusion on the University Policy, Procedure and Forms website; and/or
  3. distribution of e-mails to Head of School / Head of Department / University staff; and/or
  4. documentation distribution, eg. posters, brochures.
  5. Other - please describe

Implementation

The HDR Candidature Management Policy will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. information Sessions; and/or
  2. training Sessions; and/or
  3. Other - please describe

Records Management

Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Confirmation of Candidature Panel Report Forms Research Services Director, Research Services or delegate Temporary - retain on the student file for 7 Years from date of program completion
Confirmation of Candidature candidate written proposal Research Services Director, Research Services or delegate Temporary - retain on the student file for 7 Years from date of program completion
Progress Reports – Annual and Interim Research Services Director, Research Services or delegate Temporary - retain on the student file for 7 Years from date of program completion
Variation to Thesis Title / Supervisor Form Research Services Director,Research Services or delegate Temporary - retain on the student file for 7 Years from date of program completion
Absentee Leave Forms and supporting documents (med. Certificates etc) Research Services Director or delegate Temporary - retain on the student file for 7 Years from date of program completion
Extension of Candidature request Research Services Director or delegate Temporary - retain on the student file for 7 Years from date of program completion
Intention to submit form Research Services Director or delegate Temporary - retain on the student file for 7 Years from date of program completion
Nomination of Examiners form Research Services Director or delegate Temporary - retain on the student file for 7 Years from date of program completion
Release of Thesis forms Research Services Director or delegate Temporary - retain on the student file for 7 Years from date of program completion
Examiners Reports Research Services Director or delegate Temporary - retain on the student file for 7 Years from date of program completion
Research Services Examination Recommendation Research Services Director or delegate Temporary - retain on the student file for 7 Years from date of program completion
Faculty Examination Committee Recommendation Research Services Director or delegate Temporary - retain on the student file for 7 Years from date of program completion
Recommendation for Award form Research Services Director or delegate Temporary - retain on the student file for 7 Years from date of program completion