Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President, Research and Innovation
In developing this procedure the University had regard to the provisions of section 40B(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).
Higher Degree by Research Supervision Procedure
This Procedure outlines the requirements for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) supervisor registration and the role and responsibilities of those involved in HDR supervision at the University.
This Procedure applies to University staff and affiliates (including Adjuncts and Emeritus Professors) involved in the supervision of HDR candidates at the University.
This Procedure supports the HDR Supervision Policy which outlines the principles for the supervision of HDR candidates.
Procedures for supervisory panel changes are outlined in the HDR Enrolment and Changes to Candidature Policy and Procedures.
Applications for supervisor registration
Applications for supervisor registration must be submitted on the appropriate form to Graduate Research and supported by evidence of completion of the training requirements (for University staff).
Applications for both internal and external supervisor registration must be approved by the Faculty ADR, prior to being submitted to Graduate Research.
Criteria for registration
To be eligible for entry into the Supervisor Register, an academic staff member must meet the following criteria:
have obtained a research degree at the level at which they intend to supervise or provide evidence of equivalent research experience (assessed by the Faculty ADR);
have a current active involvement in research (for Education Focused or Professional staff a statement must be provided by the Faculty ADR to support this);
have a University appointment/position; and
have completed all of the following mandatory training:
Supervising Research Candidates (online).
Research Integrity (online).
Cultural Awareness Training.
External academics, adjuncts or industry professionals who wish to be formally appointed to a supervisory panel as Secondary Supervisor must apply to be registered.
To be eligible for registration as an external supervisor, the following criteria must be met:
have obtained a degree at the level at which they intend to supervise; or
professional experience appropriate to the research project.
External supervisors are not required to complete online training or maintain professional development requirements but are expected to comply with the University’s Rules, Policies and Procedures as they relate to the supervision of HDR candidates.
Advisors may be appointed to a supervisory panel without being registered.
Registered supervisors are required to engage in approved professional development opportunities at least every two years to maintain registration, which include:
appointment to the role of Faculty ADR, HDR Convenor or Dean of Graduate Research;
evidence of a publication or conference presentation on the practice of supervision;
facilitation of a workshop on the practice of supervision within the Faculty, as part of the UC Researcher Development program, or at another tertiary institution; or
evidence of participation in formal training on the practice of supervision, offered by UC Researcher Development, within a faculty (e.g. Supervisor Day Out) or by an approved external provider.
Attendance at Faculty-based or external training must be endorsed by the Faculty ADR and evidence provided to Graduate Research to record in the Register.
Registered supervisors who fail to maintain the professional development requirements will be restricted from taking on new HDR candidates until they have met the requirements.
Supervisor Register management
Graduate Research is responsible for the registration of supervisors and management of the Supervisor Register.
Professional development will be recorded in the Register and monitored for compliance by Graduate Research.
4.Roles and Responsibilities:
As stated in the University's Delegations of Authority Policy, a delegation to approve is conferred on a position, not to an individual occupying the position. A delegated authority extends to any person officially appointment to a position on a temporary basis.
Where the Approving Authority is unavailable to make an academic or administrative decision as required by this policy, or it is not appropriate to do so (e.g. conflict of interest), authority may only be exercised by a delegate with management responsibility for the functions of the position. In the case of a Faculty Associate Dean Research (ADR), the delegate with management responsibility is the Faculty Executive Dean.
Exceptions to this Procedure may be approved by Dean, Graduate Research.
To provide continuity of high-quality supervision, it is the responsibility of the Faculty to ensure that:
The discipline area to which the HDR candidate is admitted has the capacity to provide and maintain high quality supervision throughout the candidature period.
The proposed Primary Supervisor has sufficient expertise in the area of research to be able to offer the HDR candidate appropriate intellectual input.
All members of the supervisory panel, including external supervisors, have the necessary discipline expertise and are registered according to this Procedure.
Supervisory responsibility within panels is clearly designated and understood by the supervisors and the HDR candidate.
An academic staff member within the Faculty is appointed in a convener capacity for HDR students, whose duties include provision of advice to candidates and supervisors on supervision matters where necessary.
All members of the supervisory panel are expected to play an active role in the continued support of the HDR candidate, which includes:
The provision of appropriate academic support (including timely feedback).
Ensuring the HDR candidate has a full understanding of their responsibilities as an HDR candidate.
Ensuring regular contact with the HDR candidate is maintained, and the candidate understands the basis on which contact will be made.
Ensuring the HDR candidate has access to the necessary facilities and resources for their research and is provided opportunities to participate in the intellectual life of the Faculty and the University.
Ensuring the HDR candidate has knowledge of and is compliant with all University Rules, Policies, Procedures and Guidelines relevant to their candidature.
Monitoring the performance of the HDR candidate, ensuring inadequate progress or work below the standard expected is brought to the candidate’s attention.
Ensuring the Faculty ADR is informed as soon as possible of any progress issues.
Recruiting suitable, high-quality examiners in a timely fashion, ahead of thesis submission.
Certifying on thesis submission, that the thesis is properly presented, conforms to University standards and is worthy of examination.
The Primary Supervisor has specific responsibilities in addition to those of the supervisory panel, which include:
Primary responsibility for the HDR candidate’s supervision and progression.
Responsibility for the management of the supervisory panel including facilitating opportunities for all panel members to discuss the candidate's progress.
Main contact point for the HDR candidate, unless otherwise agreed by the supervisory panel.
Main liaison between the HDR candidate and the University.
Providing guidance and advice to the HDR candidate in relation to the University's ethics requirements, and ensuring the HDR candidate's research complies with the University's ethics and integrity guidelines and obligations.
Providing guidance and advice to the HDR candidate where relevant, in developing a Research Data Management Plan, and on date management, storage, transmission and use that complies with the University's Management of Research Data and Primary Research Materials Policy.
Supporting and facilitating the HDR candidate’s progress towards timely completion of the degree, including completion of milestones and implementation of intervention strategies as required to comply with the University's HDR Progress and Milestones Policy.
Assisting to identify and negotiate alternate supervision, if required.
External experts can become involved in the supervision of HDR candidates.
External supervisors are required to comply with the University’s Rules, Policies, Procedures and Guidelines relevant to the supervision of HDR candidates at the University.
Types of external supervisors can include (see Definitions 8.):
research end-user supervisor, or
industry or sector supervisor.
External supervisors are not permitted to supervise as Primary Supervisor.
External supervisors must be registered (see clause 3.4) to be appointed as a Secondary Supervisor.
University staff who leave the University during the candidature of an HDR candidate will be changed to external supervisor or advisor, unless a request is submitted to remove them from the panel.
Advisors can provide essential supplementary expertise to support a supervisory panel. This expertise is typically specialised assistance in an area or a specific aspect of the HDR candidate’s research.
Advisors can be engaged for the duration of the HDR candidature or for as short a period as their expertise is required.
Advisors are not required to be registered, but must comply with the University’s Rules, Policies and other guiding documents relevant to the supervision of HDR candidates at the University.
The Faculty HDR Convenor has responsibility for supporting the ADR in research supervision matters within the Faculty, including:
Raising issues relating to HDR supervision and working with the ADR and Dean of Graduate Research to resolve them.
Assisting to identify alternate HDR supervisory arrangements as required.
Providing advice and directing HDR candidates and staff to the University’s Rules, Policies, Procedures and Guidelines to resolve disputes related to HDR supervision, conflict of interest, or breakdown in the HDR supervision relationship.
Associate Dean Research (ADR)
The Faculty ADR has responsibility for overseeing HDR supervision within the Faculty, including:
Managing supervisory capacity within the Faculty, including approving registrations of new supervisors and changes to supervisory panel arrangements.
Overseeing Faculty-based professional development opportunities for HDR supervisors and managing non-compliance with the University's policy requirements.
Working with the Dean of Graduate Research to resolve matters relating to HDR supervision.
Dean of Graduate Research
The Dean of Graduate Research has oversight of HDR related policy and activity at the University, including:
Development of a program of professional development opportunities for research supervisors.
Supervisor register management and compliance monitoring.
Approval of exceptions to the HDR Supervision Policy and this Procedure.
Reporting to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research & Innovation and University Research Committee and liaising with Faculties on matters relating to HDR supervision.
Providing advice to faculties on conflict of interest and dispute resolution, where advice external to the Faculty is sought.
Providing confidential advice to HDR candidates or supervisors on matters relating to HDR supervision, as requested and as part of the dispute resolution process.
5.Implementation and Reporting:
Graduate Research will monitor the supervisor register regularly and report non-compliance to Graduate Research Committee and University Research Committee.
Graduate Research will monitor candidates’ satisfaction with supervisory arrangements through the biennial Research Student Satisfaction Survey, and report to Graduate Research Committee, University Research Committee and Academic Board.
Exceptions to this Procedure will be reported to Academic Board biannually.
An academic or industry professional appointed by the Vice-Chancellor to an honorary position, who contributes to the University’s teaching and research objectives.
Education Focused staff
A University academic staff member with a teaching workload allocation only.
A former academic staff appointed as a Emeritus Professor by University Council for meritorious and longstanding service to the University.
An individual external to the University appointed to an HDR supervisory panel.
Higher Degree by Research candidate
Means a student enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research course, see University of Canberra Courses and Awards (Courses of Study) Rules 2013
Higher Degree by Research course
Means a degree of master by research or a degree of doctor by research, see University of Canberra Courses and Awards (Courses of Study) Rules 2013.
An academic staff member within a Faculty who is appointed in a convener capacity for HDR students.
Industry or sector supervisor
An individual from a relevant industry organisation, who is engaged to provide industry/sector relevant expertise.
A member of University staff who has completed the registration requirements for registration as a HDR supervisor.
An internal registered supervisor approved as the Chair of a candidates’ supervisory panel.
A member of University staff on a professional employment contract.
Research end-user supervisor
An individual who is external to the University who will directly benefit from or use the outputs, outcomes or results of the research being undertaken. Individuals from other Higher Education Providers or affiliated organisations are excluded. For detailed definition of end-user supervisor see here.
An internal or external registered supervisor approved in a supporting supervisory role on a candidates' supervisory panel.
A formal record of internal and external supervisors who have completed the registration requirements for registration as a HDR supervisor.