Policy Academic Governance Dean's Award for HDR Excellence Procedure

Dean's Award for HDR Excellence Procedure

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To state the eligibility criteria for and provide procedures to manage the issuing of the Dean’s Award for Higher Degree by Research Excellence.

This procedure addresses HESF Standard 4.2: Research Training.


This procedure applies to Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates awarded a James Cook University research doctorate or research masters degree in the previous calendar year, and associated staff involved in the decision-making process.


Terms mentioned in this document and not defined here are defined in the Policy Glossary in the Learning and Teaching domain of the University Policy Library, and in the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Requirements.


1. Criteria for Eligibility

1.1 To be eligible to receive a Dean’s Award for Higher Degree by Research Excellence (Award), a HDR candidate must meet the following conditions:

  • have been awarded a James Cook University research doctorate or research masters degree in the previous calendar year; and
  • all examiners recommended the thesis be accepted with changes to the satisfaction of the College Dean; and
  • meet some or all of the criteria listed at Clause 2; and
  • have been nominated for the Award by the Dean or nominee of the College in which they were enrolled.

1.2 This procedure excludes HDR candidates who received their award cum laude, as this award is dealt with in the Recognition of Academic Excellence Procedure.

2. Procedures for the Issuing of the Award

2.1 Each year the Dean, Graduate Research will invite College Deans/Associate Deans Research Education to nominate a maximum of 10% of eligible HDR graduates (or 1 where 10% is less than 1) for the Award, from a list provided by the Graduate Research School (GRS).

2.2    The nomination must address some or all of the following criteria in relation to the HDR candidate:

  • international recognition of the research work;
  • impact of the research (actual and potential);
  • publications or other outputs (e.g. creative works); any other recognition of the research quality;
  • timely completion (within 4 EFTSL for research doctorate or 2 EFTSL for research masters); and
  • feedback provided in examiner reports.

2.3 The Associate Dean of Research Education will assess eligible candidates from their college against the criteria listed in clause 2.2. The names of awardees, up to a maximum 10% of eligible candidates, will be provided to the GRS by the due date specified each year.  The awardees must be endorsed by their Advisory Panel and College Dean.

2.4 The Dean, Graduate Research will review the nominations provided and determine the successful awardees.

2.4 The recipients of the Award will receive a letter of recognition from the Dean, Graduate Research by email and where possible at a Graduation Ceremony or other Ceremony.

2.5 The list of recipients will be published by the GRS on the Graduate Research School website.

Related Policy Instruments

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Requirements

Recognition of Academic Excellence Procedure




Approval Details

Policy DomainAcademic Governance
Policy Sub-domainResearch Education

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date


23-129/05/202320/06/2023Major Review.Manager, Graduate Research School


23 July 201923 July 2019

Amended to allow better award distribution




Amended to streamline process

KeywordsDean, Award, HDR, Excellence
Contact personDean, Graduate Research