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Guideline: Higher degree by research - University, candidate, and supervisor responsibilities

Purpose

This guideline provides a framework for discussions and expectations at the various stages of a Higher Degree by Research student’s candidature, and should be read in conjunction with:

  • The Research Awards Rule;
  • the Higher Degree by Research: Supervision and Higher Degree by Research: Candidature Policies;
  • the Higher Degree by Research: Supervision and Higher Degree by Research: Candidature Procedures; and
  • University policies and procedure concerning general student matters such as student complaint resolution.

Guideline

  1. Supervisors and students discuss their respective roles, and their expectations and responsibilities. They reach a common understanding of the key goals to be met during candidature, the stages at which these goals are to be met, and how they will work together. These are consistently established and re-established as a candidate progresses through their studies.
  2. Where students are enrolled in the National Centre for Indigenous Studies, a reference to the College should be taken as a reference to that Centre.

Candidate responsibilities

Admission

  1. Potential Candidates have responsibility for:
  1. Initiating contact with relevant areas of the University;
  2. Complying with requirements concerning research proposals;
  3. Meeting degree and language entry requirements.

Arrival and settling in

  1. Candidates have responsibility for:
  1. Advising the university of their commencement date and Research Training Scheme (RTS) consumption to date;
  2. Advising the University of any change to their commencement date;
  3. Logging into the Interactive Student Information System (ISIS) and updating their contact details;
  4. Meeting promptly with their Chair and Primary Supervisor to establish mutual expectations and responsibilities. This may include discussion about the aims, scope, orientation and presentation of the thesis and the operation of the supervisory panel;
  5. Agreeing on the frequency and nature of contact with the Primary Supervisor, with a standard expectation being meeting not less than once a month and maintaining other contact;
  6. Attending induction programs including any required research and ethics training within the College as well as those offered by the University;
  7. Becoming familiar with the University's regulations for higher degree research including the Research Awards Rules, and for scholarship holders, scholarship conditions of award, as well as other policies concerning general student matters;
  8. Complying with local area requirements (e.g. prescribed coursework, laboratory or language training, pre-fieldwork seminars) and supervisory panel and Delegated Authority recommendations concerning skills training or further study;
  9. Discussing with the supervisory panel relevant issues regarding research integrity and intellectual property, including obtaining advice relevant to the field of research on health and safety working practices, responsible research practices including human research and/or animal experimentation requirements, and the extent of any confidentiality obligations.
  10. Prior to entering into any contractual agreement, obtaining legal advice in relation to the conditions of the agreement and any confidentiality undertakings entered into.

During Candidature

  1. During candidature, candidates are responsible for:
  1. Consulting with the Chair, Primary Supervisor, and panel members about proposed research plans, before commencing research;
  2. Informing their Primary Supervisor of any change in research design or content;
  3. Seeking feedback from the Chair and panel members on research progress;
  4. Negotiating with all panel members regarding any publication or joint publication likely to arise during the research project according to the criteria specified for authorship in the Code of Research Conduct, to ensure appropriate and adequate recognition of the student's and the panel member’s contribution to the publication .;
  5. Conducting research in accordance with approved ethics clearance, and seeking amended clearance in light of new research contacts and contexts;
  6. Attending relevant seminars and workshops;
  7. Maintaining familiarity with University policy on health and safety, and insurance issues;
  8. Reporting immediately to the Chair of Panel or College any accident or emergency;
  9. Applying for permission to travel using the university form, including complying with any requirements of that form;
  10. Re-evaluating original research proposals in light of research findings;
  11. Maintaining productivity and adhering to expectations set out in the research plan, including submitting written work on a pre-arranged and agreed schedule, and actively engaging in the research program in a manner likely to produce significant results by the time of the first and any subsequent reviews of progress;
  12. Notifying the University of candidature changes such as leave, extension, and change of intensity at least two months in advance;
  13. Paying fees administered by the University and complying with any penalties for non-payment; and
  14. Completing milestones, training, and any required coursework within specified timeframes.

Preparing the Thesis

  1. In finalising the thesis, a candidate has responsibility for:
  1. Maintaining close and regular contact with the Chair of Panel and Primary Supervisor, particularly when working away from campus;
  2. Submitting drafts according to schedule determined in consultation with the Chair of Panel and Primary Supervisor;
  3. Considering advice from panel members concerning the editing and revision of thesis drafts;
  4. Notifying the Examinations Office in writing of the intention to submit and the final thesis title, 2 months before the expected submission of the thesis;
  5. Producing the thesis for examiners according to the Higher Degree by Research Thesis Submission and Examination Procedure; and
  6. Ensuring all outstanding fees have been paid.

Panel member responsibilities

Admission

  1. Prospective and provisional Primary Supervisors have responsibility for:
  1. Responding promptly with advice to prospective students concerning research proposal viability; and
  2. Referring prospective students to alternate Supervisors, Colleges, or Schools where appropriate.

Arrival and settling in

  1. The Chair of the Supervisory Panel has responsibility for:
  1. Coordinating the overall administration of student’s program;
  2. Convening of supervisory panel;
  3. Ensuring other panel members, especially newer staff members and off-campus members, are aware of their responsibilities;
  4. Ensuring students have access to resources in line with the relevant policies and the Research Award Rules;
  5. Commencing conversations regarding students' likely requirements and costs, including fieldwork and any exceptional needs or costs;
  6. Advising newer staff members on panels regarding skills training and professional development opportunities relevant to supervision; and
  7. Agreeing with other panel members the extent of their involvement subject to clauses 8-14
  1. The Primary Supervisor has responsibility for:
  1. Academic oversight of all major research aspects of the student’s candidature;
  2. Monitoring student progress in light of the research plan.
  1. The Chair of the Supervisory Panel, Primary Supervisor, and Associate Supervisors have responsibility for:
  1. Familiarising themselves with the Research Awards Rules and acting in accordance with University legislation and, where relevant for scholarship holders, scholarship conditions of award and scholarship budgets;
  2. Meeting promptly with commencing students to establish mutual expectations and responsibilities. This may include discussion about the aims, scope, orientation and presentation of the thesis and the operation of the supervisory panel;
  3. Discussing any plans for a panel member’s extended absence (e.g. on study leave, long service leave) during the candidature and the proposed arrangements for supervision during the absence;
  4. Agreeing on the frequency and nature of contact with commencing students, with a standard expectation being to meet not less than once a month with their Primary Supervisor and maintaining other contact;
  5. Assisting students in the preparation of their research plan for the first twelve months;
  6. Advising students regarding skills training or further study relevant to the proposed research. This may include prescribed coursework, training courses, directed reading, conference support as required, or referral to appropriate academic skills assistance in the first and any subsequent semester of enrolment;
  7. Raising issues of ethical research and intellectual property, and discussing how they will be handled. This includes advice relevant to the field of research on health and safety working practices, responsible research practices including human research and/or animal experimentation requirements, and the extent of any confidentiality obligations. Prior to entering into any contractual agreement or undertaking it is recommended that the student obtain legal advice in relation to the conditions of the agreement and any confidentiality undertakings entered into. Agreements must be consistent with the relevant provisions of the Research Awards Rules and related policies and procedures.

During candidature

  1. The Chair of the Supervisory Panel has responsibility for:
  1. Arranging panel meetings to consider the student's detailed research proposal, Annual Report and Plan, Thesis Proposal Review, oral presentation, and if applicable, Mid-Term Review.
  1. The Primary Supervisor has responsibility for:
  1. Academic oversight of all major research aspects of the student’s candidature.
  2. Completion of the report from the oral presentation within 12 months of the intended submission date.

  1. The Chair of the Supervisory Panel, Primary Supervisor, and Associate Supervisors have responsibility for:
  1. Assessing with other panel members the appropriateness of the student's proposed experimental plans, research sites, modes of analysis, and/or data selection, and providing advice both verbally and in writing to the student on these;
  2. Advising and negotiating with the student at the commencement or during the program, regarding any publication or joint publication likely to arise during or on the basis of the research project according to the criteria specified for authorship in the Code of Research Conduct, to ensure appropriate and adequate recognition of the student's and the Supervisor's or other joint author's contribution to the publication;
  3. Identifying shortcomings in any aspect of research plans and providing guidance for improvements, and providing this advice both verbally and in writing;
  4. Briefing students on possible challenges (eg. difficulties in accessing data or working in particular sites);
  5. Ensuring that ethical approval is in place before research commences;
  6. Advising the student of relevant seminars and conferences;
  7. Evaluating the appropriateness and effectiveness of the supervisory panel;
  8. Providing opportunities for research reporting. This includes requiring written work from the student on a pre-arranged and agreed schedule, reviewing drafts of submissions for and participating in reviews of progress, and providing advice both verbally and in writing to the student on these;
  9. Referring students to appropriate training, support, and resources (e.g. workshops, seminars, health services, etc.) if needed; and
  10. Report to the Delegated Authority if they consider that the student is not pursuing the program satisfactorily, has contravened a matter in the policy framework, has contravened a condition imposed by the Delegated Authority on the student’s admission to the program, has not completed a required milestone, has committed academic misconduct, or they have serious concerns regarding a student’s health and well-being.

Preparing the thesis

  1. The Primary Supervisor, Associate Supervisors, and the Chair of Panel among them apportion responsibility for:
  1. Maintaining regular contact with students, and a schedule for draft submissions;
  2. Reading thesis drafts and providing timely written and oral feedback;
  3. Discussing career preparation with students (e.g. post-doctoral work, publications, on-line thesis availability);
  4. Reviewing final thesis drafts and determining suitability for submission;
  5. Informing students of examiner-requested thesis amendments and, if nominated, advising the student during the revision process.
  1. The Primary Supervisor signs to confirm that a thesis is in the correct format for submission and whether the panel endorses the submission.
  2. The Chair of the Panel may determine a more limited set of responsibilities for supervisors who are not the Primary Supervisor.

University responsibilities

Admission

  1. The College and University have responsibility for:
  1. Advertising and explaining entrance requirements, applying entry standards equitably in sufficient time for decisions to be made by potential students by published deadlines;
  2. Providing prompt informative advice concerning program and University regulations;
  3. Informing prospective students of available research areas and prospective Supervisors;
  4. Ensuring the availability of appropriate supervisory resources before making admission offers;
  5. Providing students with clear access to information about scholarships and other forms of financial assistance.

Arrival and settling in

  1. The College and University have responsibility for:
  1. Providing induction programs to familiarise students with program guides and University resources, including the entitlement for access to University facilities and resources.
  2. Ensuring that University standards on minimum resources for supervision and research are met;
  3. Providing advice and clear guidelines concerning ethical research conduct, intellectual property, and the appropriate retention or destruction of data;
  4. Directing students to University legislation, codes of practice, policies and procedures relating to HDR students published at the University's website. This also includes provisions for health and safety, equal opportunity and equity, and grievances and appeals;
  5. Ensuring that reporting and review requirements are in place and advised to the student;
  6. Administration to support and enhance HDR candidature, including managing student records and maintaining communication regarding important information; and
  7. Providing learning support and professional development opportunities to supervisors where required.

During candidature

  1. The College and University have responsibility for:
  1. Providing health and safety equipment (eg. in laboratories);
  2. Providing necessary laboratory and/or pre-fieldwork training;
  3. Responding appropriately to student requests for assistance in emergency situations; and
  4. Administration to support and enhance HDR candidature, including managing student records and maintain communication regarding important information.

Preparing the Thesis

  1. The College and University have responsibility for:
  1. Articulating clear regulations regarding thesis submission and appeals provisions;
  2. Providing career-related information and skill development opportunities for HDR candidates;
  3. Administering the ANU Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire in a manner that respects confidentiality;
  4. Offering an exit interview opportunity;
  5. Providing a public ceremony for the conferral of HDR degrees; and
  6. Ensuring student’s records are up to date and correct.

Information

Printable version (PDF)
Title Higher degree by research - University, candidate, and supervisor responsibilities
Document Type Guideline
Document Number ANUP_012814
Version 1
Purpose This guideline provides a framework for discussions and expectations at the various stages of a Higher Degree by Research student’s candidature.
Audience Students-Graduate-Research, Staff-Academic-Research
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Students - Higher Research Degrees
 
Effective Date 1 Jan 2016
Review Date 1 Jan 2019
 
Responsible Officer Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)
Approved By: Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Research Training)
Contact Area Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Research Training)
Authority Research Awards Rule 2016