Policy HDR Conferral Procedure

HDR Conferral Procedure

Print Friendly and PDFPrint Friendly


To provide procedural detail to enable the University to bestow a HDR Award of the University to a HDR candidate after successful completion of a course that has not yet been conferred.


This procedure applies to any person admitted to a HDR course who has passed the requirements of their course but the award has not been conferred. Candidates who have met the requirements of the HDR Award must have complied with other all conditions, including the payment of outstanding debts to be eligible to have the award conferred.



1.1 An Award Memo is sent to the GRS from the Dean of College confirming that the candidate has met the requirements of the HDR Award.

1.2 The Dean, Graduate Research will check that the corrections to the thesis have been made by perusing the summary table of corrections and if satisfied write to the candidate informing them that a recommendation that they be awarded the degree will be submitted.

1.3 Course and thesis subject moved to Passed in the Student Management System.

1.4 A candidate will be eligible for their degree to be conferred when the following has been achieved:

(a)   all course requirements have been met, including successful completion of coursework and milestone requirements;

(b)   a 50 word abstract has been submitted to the Graduate Research School;

(c)   any outstanding ethics report(s) have been lodged with Research Services;

(d)   a summary of any amendments made has been submitted to and approved by the College Dean, and lodged with the Graduate Research School;

(e)   all required forms have been submitted;

(f)    a final copy of the thesis has been deposited with the University library as per the HDR Library Thesis Deposit Procedure with the assistance of the College HDR Academic Services Officer;

(g)   all requirements of the partner University have been met in the case of a candidate enrolled under a Cotutelle or Conjoint Degree Agreement;

(h)   any outstanding University debts have been paid.

1.5 The GRS will provide a list of eligible Research Doctorate candidates to Secretariat for recommendation by Academic Board. This must occur prior to conferral for Research Doctorates only.

1.6 The JCU Graduations team will advise secretariat of HDR candidates who are eligible to have their Award conferred by the University Council, prior to each meeting (meeting schedule is available on the JCU Governance webpage).

1.7 The JCU Graduations team will allocate all HDR candidates to a ceremony, based on course/study plan, location and college.

1.8 The JCU Graduations team will provide instructions on how to accept, decline or change ceremony details.

1.9 Graduates are entitled to use the official Award Title once the Award has been conferred by the University Council.

1.10 A Medal shall be awarded to a HDR candidate whose research doctoral thesis was examined in that calendar year and has been judged by the Board of Higher Degrees by Research Committee to be passed ‘cum laude’ on the basis of the independent recommendations of two external examiners and their written justification of this recommendation.

1.11 Recipients of the Medal for Excellence for a Doctoral Research Thesis shall have the option of:

(a) being presented with the Medal at their graduation ceremony; or

(b) having the Medal sent directly to them.

1.12 A posthumous Award will be conferred in accordance with the Posthumous Award Procedure.

1.13 The Graduation Ceremony will be conducted in accordance with the Graduation Ceremony Procedure.

1.14 Official certification documentation will be issued in accordance with the Coursework Award Finalisation, Conferral and Issuance Procedure.

1.15 A graduate may elect to receive a testamur and Australian Higher Education Graduate Statement (AHEGS) in one or more of the following ways;

(a) Access to Digitised Copy; and

(b) Original testamur made available immediately; or

(c) Original testamur made available at a Graduation Ceremony.

1.16 Award titles are the representation of the qualification type, level, field of study/discipline and program of the qualification consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework and requirements of the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy. Refer to Awards Titling Guide.

1.17 The University Secretary/Marshall or Ceremonies Coordinator may prevent a graduate from being able to participate in a Graduation Ceremony if reasonable grounds of a risk or threat have been identified.

1.18 Certification Documentation will be reissued in exceptional circumstances in accordance with the Coursework Award Finalisation, Conferral and Issuance Procedure.

1.19 The conferral of an Award is considered public information. The University may publish or provide confirmation in relation to a graduate’s name, Award/s conferred and their conferral date/s in accordance with the HDR candidate’s acceptance of their student contract.

1.20 The University Council may withdraw or revoke an Award that has been conferred, in accordance with the Coursework Award Finalisation, Conferral and Issuance Procedure.

1.21 Certification Documentation must be returned if the Award has been revoked by University Council or otherwise is required to be surrendered in accordance with the Coursework Award Finalisation, Conferral and Issuance Procedure.

Related policy instruments

Coursework Award Finalisation, Conferral and Issuance Procedure

Awards Titling Procedure

Posthumous Award Procedure

University Seal Procedure

Academic Dress Policy

Recognition of Academic Excellence Procedure

Award Finalisation and Graduation Policy

University Award Requirements

Related policy instruments



Related documents and legislation

AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainResearch Education

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research

Approval Authority

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research

Date for next Major Review

April 2021

Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date



19-2 - 16/12/2019 Modification in response to change in procedure at central JCU Ceremonies Supervisor, Academic Services GRS




Process improvement

Supervisor, Academic Services GRS




Procedure established

Supervisor, Academic Services GRS


Graduand, Graduation, Graduate, Confer, Conferral, Award, Ceremony, In Absentia, medal, posthumous

Contact personDean, Graduate Research