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Higher Degree by Research Examination Outcomes Procedure
1. Purpose:
  1. These procedures have been developed to guide stakeholders in the processes relating to Higher Degree by Research thesis examination outcomes.
2. Scope:
  1. This procedure applies to candidates who have submitted a HDR thesis for examination at University of Canberra, and to the staff involved in thesis examination process at the University.
3. Procedure:
Receipt of Examiners’ Reports
 
  1. If all examiners have recommended the award of the degree and this is not subject to amendments to the thesis (Recommendation A), then the reports are forwarded immediately to the Associate Dean Research by the HDR Support team.
  2. If any examiner has provided a recommendation that is not Recommendation A, the candidate will consult with the Primary Supervisor to prepare responses. Responses must be submitted to the HDR Support team no later than three weeks from the candidate’s receipt of the reports.
  3. Delays in the completion of the examination process due to a late response to the examiners’ reports are the responsibility of the candidate and Primary Supervisor.
Recommendations
  1. In all cases, examination results will be submitted to the Faculty/Research Institute HDR Committee.  Examiner recommendations of A, B or C will be included on the agenda for noting. 
  2. Where an examination has resulted in D or E recommendations, an Examination Outcomes Committee will, in consultation with the relevant student’s supervisory panel, review the results and report the outcome to the HDR Committee (see below).
Award the degree
  1. If all examiners recommend the award of the degree, and this is not subject to amendments to the thesis (Recommendation A), the Associate Dean Research should also recommend the award of the degree.
Minor or editorial amendments
  1. If the Associate Dean Research recommends the award of the degree subject to the completion of editorial amendments only to the thesis (Recommendation B), the following applies:
    1. the time limit for editorial amendments is two months from the date the candidate and Primary Supervisor are advised of the Faculty/Research Institute recommendation and specific amendments to be made; and
    2. the Primary Supervisor will advise HDR Support when amendments have been completed.
Revisions as specified by examiners
  1. If the Associate Dean Research recommends the award of the degree subject to revisions to the thesis as specified in the report/s (Recommendation C), the following applies:
    1. the time limit for revisions to the thesis as specified by the Associate Dean Research is six months from the date the candidate and Primary Supervisor are advised of the Faculty/Research Institute recommendation;
    2. the Primary Supervisor will advise HDR Support when revisions have been completed and provide a copy of the revised thesis; and
    3. the Associate Dean Research will ensure that appropriate revisions have been made and, if so, recommend the award of the degree.
Revise and resubmit
  1. If one or more examiners have recommended that the candidate be required to revise and resubmit the thesis for examination (Recommendation D), an Examination Outcome Committee will be formed to determine the outcome of the examination.  The Examination Outcome Committee will comprise the Chair of the Faculty/Research Institute HDR Committee and the Director of Graduate Research. 
  2. In determining an outcome, the Examination Outcome Committee will review the thesis, all examiners’ reports and the candidate’s and Primary Supervisor’s responses and will consult with members of the supervisory panel.
  3. Any of the examination outcomes outlined in these procedures may be recommended. The appointment of another external examiner to examine the thesis may be recommended.
  4. If the final recommendation is that the candidate revise and resubmit the thesis for examination, the following guidelines apply:
    1. the time limit to revise and resubmit the thesis is twelve months from the date the candidate and Primary Supervisor are advised of the Committee’s recommendation;
    2. a candidate who undertakes to revise and resubmit is normally required to re-enrol for the expected duration of the revision process;
    3. a thesis may be submitted for re-examination only once and must be accompanied by:
      • a statement from the candidate outlining substantive changes made; and
      • if applicable, an explanation of why recommendations for  change have not been accepted;
    4. every reasonable effort will be made to ensure that a resubmitted thesis is examined by the original examiners;
    5. each examiner will receive a copy of all the original reports, a statement from the candidate outlining substantive changes made and, if applicable, an explanation of why recommendations for change that have not been accepted; and
    6. when the thesis is resubmitted, the procedures for its examination will be in accordance with the Examination of Higher Degree by Research Theses Policy (with the exception being the option to revise and resubmit for a second time).
Not award the degree
  1. If one or more examiners have recommended that the candidate not be awarded the degree (Recommendation E), an Examination Outcome Committee will be formed to determine the outcome of the examination.  The Examination Outcome Committee will comprise the Chair of the Faculty/Research Institute HDR Committee and the Director of Graduate Research. 
  2. In determining an outcome, the Examination Outcome Committee will review the thesis, all examiners’ reports and the candidate’s and Primary Supervisor’s responses and will consult with members of the supervisory panel.
  3. Any of the examination outcomes outlined in these procedures may be recommended.
  4. The appointment of another external examiner to examine the thesis may be recommended.
  5. If the Committee determines that the degree not be awarded and/or that the candidate should not be allowed to present for the degree again, a recommendation to Academic Board to that effect will be made.
Notification of recommendation
  1. In all cases, the Associate Dean Research will make a final recommendation on the examination outcome to HDR Support.
4. Governing Policy and Legislation:
  1. These procedures have been developed to complement the Examination of Higher Degree by Research Theses Policy and the Higher Degree by Research Submission and Examination Guidelines.