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Guideline: Higher Degree by Research Shared Supervision Distribution


To provide guidance to Colleges on how to distribute funds for shared supervision of HDR students.


  1. This document should be read in conjunction with the Research Awards Rules.


  1. Students at ANU are given the best supervision possible, regardless of funding.
  2. Cross-disciplinary supervision is encouraged.
  3. Negotiations are on a case-by-case basis and agreements are unique to the student and the involved ANU Colleges.
  4. The sharing of supervision guidelines refer to agreements between ANU Colleges, not between academic areas within an ANU College.
  5. These guidelines are not prescriptive and shared supervision arrangements that currently exist on an informal reciprocal basis are encouraged.


  1. At the commencement of a student's candidature, where shared supervision across Colleges is determined in the best interests of the candidate, and where cost sharing is necessary, negotiation of an agreement should be made between the relevant Colleges on a case-by-case basis.
  2. The agreement should be based on a home College, that will enrol the student and receive the initial distribution of funds, and a collaborating College that is contributing to the supervision of the student.
  3. This negotiation should include an agreement of the cost sharing arrangements for each year of candidature and a schedule of transfer payments between the home College and the collaborating College.
  4. When determining the cost of supervision and a schedule of transfer payments, the default standard distribution is:
  • 60% Primary Supervisor
  • 40% shared equally between any Secondary Supervisors

Note: For the purposes of this guideline, the current nomenclature used is translated as:

Chair: The Primary Supervisor

Supervisor: A Secondary Supervisor who works closely with the student and the Chair.

Advisor: Assists with the supervision of the student

Net income and expenditure related to each student should be taken into account when starting negotiations.

  1. The default standard percentage distribution can only be varied upon approval by both the home and collaborating College.
  2. The high and low cost funding rates will be determined and published on an annual basis by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor.
  3. Transfer payments should be made annually and retrospectively.
  4. All agreements should be made in writing and kept on the appropriate University file.
  5. All agreements should be reviewed annually to ensure the agreement on shared costs and transfer payments between the home and collaborating Colleges continues to reflect the requirements of the student's supervision.
  6. If Colleges are not able to successfully resolve any negotiation disputes, the Dean, Higher Degree Research, will act as mediator, and the final decision maker.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Higher Degree by Research shared supervision distribution
Document Type Guideline
Document Number ANUP_000749
Version 6
Purpose To provide guidance to colleges on the distribution of funds for shared supervision of HDR students.
Audience Staff-Academic-Research, Students-Graduate-Research
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Teaching & Learning
Effective Date 18 Aug 2010
Review Date 18 Aug 2011
Responsible Officer Dean, Higher Degree Research
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Office of the Dean, Higher Degree Research
Authority Research Awards Rule 2017