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Policy: Higher degree by research - supervision


This policy defines the University expectations on supervision for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Students.


As a research-intensive University, ANU is committed to excellence in supervision of HDR candidates to ensure the generation of new knowledge and the production of the next generation of global research citizens. This policy outlines the key principles that govern supervision of higher degree by research students to achieve these goals.


This policy applies to all staff involved in the supervision and candidature of HDR students.

Policy statement

  1. ANU is committed to the highest standards of excellence in supervision of HDR students. Underpinning this commitment are the principles of:
  1. Distinction in research, scholarship and teaching.
  2. Integrity of all those involved in the supervisory relationship.
  3. Respect between all parties - students, Supervisors, and staff of the University.
  4. Commitment to create disciplinary and/or thematic cohorts among students and scholars.
  5. Joint responsibility with students to establish reciprocal relationships and constructive partnerships. Responsibility includes meeting the formal requirements, taking the initiative to address emerging challenges and opportunities, seeking to maximise productivity, monitoring and ensuring good progress.
  6. Accountability so that outputs provide benefits to the student, supervisors, the University and society.
  7. Ongoing improvement to achieve the highest standards possible.
  1. Each HDR candidate receives supervision in the form of a supervisory panel, comprising a Primary Supervisor and other Associate Supervisors, and a Chair of Panel either from that group or as an additional member. The panel comprises at least three people for a PhD or professional doctorate and at least one person for an MPhil.
  2. The supervisory panel provides knowledge, expertise, planning, and support for students to assist them towards successful completion.
  3. Staff involved in the supervision of candidates develop their skills through both formal and informal mechanisms
  4. Responsibility for ensuring satisfaction of student eligibility criteria for domestic students under the Research Training Scheme is shared between all parties.
  5. Actions that affect the candidature of international students are compliant with the Education Services for Overseas Students Act.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Higher degree by research - supervision
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_012812
Version 1
Purpose This policy defines the University expectations on supervision for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Students.
Audience Students-Graduate-Coursework, Staff-Academic-Research
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Students - Higher Research Degrees
Effective Date 1 Jan 2016
Review Date 1 Jan 2019
Responsible Officer: Dean, Higher Degree Research
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Office of the Dean, Higher Degree Research
Authority Research Awards Rule 2017