Policy HDR Discontinuation of Candidature Procedure

HDR Discontinuation of Candidature Procedure

Print Friendly and PDFPrint Friendly


To specify the process by which a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidature may be discontinued.


This Procedure applies to Candidates for the research higher degrees offered by the University.


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. An HDR Candidate may have their candidature discontinued at any time after enrolment and prior to conferral for the following reasons:
    1. At the end of a period of being Under Review if the Candidate has not fulfilled the agreed requirements of the Candidature Management Plan.
    2. After not having any contact with Advisors for a minimum of three months and the Graduate Research School have confirmed the situation and also tried to make contact with the Candidate.
    3. By request to withdraw from the candidature by Variation of Candidature form or by email.
    4. The Research Education Sub-Committee has determined that a Candidate has failed the thesis examination process after review of the examiners’ recommendations.
    5. The Candidate has breached the conditions set out in the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Requirements.
    6. The Candidate is no longer able to undertake the agreed research project for reasons such, as but not limited to:
      1. The University has determined on the basis of recommendations from two independent experts that the material being prepared for presentation in the thesis will not meet the requirements for the degree.
      2. The Candidate is no longer able to undertake the approved research project and an appropriate alternative cannot be found after reasonable efforts by the College.
      3. The Candidate is unable to be supervised by appropriate Advisors and alternatives cannot be found after reasonable efforts by the Dean of College.
      4. The candidate has refused to abide by a reasonable formal notification from the university within the period nominated in the notification which must be at least 20 working days.
    7. The University requires that the Candidate be discontinued as the result of a misconduct or complaint process.
  2. The Graduate Research School will provide the Candidate with a Notification of Discontinuation (including the reason for the discontinuation). The notice will be sent to the Candidate’s JCU student email address and postal address as recorded by the University.
  3. A Candidate may appeal the Notification of Discontinuation UNLESS under Clause 1.a or 1.c of this procedure.  To appeal the Notification of Discontinuation, a Candidate must refer to the Student Appeal Procedure (General).
  4. If the candidate has not submitted a written appeal to the notification of discontinuation within 20 working days of the date of the notification, the Graduate Research School will withdraw the Candidate from their degree in the Student Management System.
  5. In the case of discontinuation of an International Candidate, the Graduate Research School must inform the International Student Support team so that they can inform the Secretary of DEEWR through PRISMS.
  6. Following discontinuation, the Candidate can request a review of the decision to discontinue the candidature, by contacting the Queensland Ombudsman, make a complaint as per Clause 3 of the Student Complaint Management Policy and Procedure.

Related Policy Instruments



Approval Details

Policy Domain

Research Education

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research

Approval authority

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research

Date for next Major review

January 2020

Revision History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date


19-1   19/07/19 Minor Change: Added reference to Student Appeal Procedure (General) in Clause 3.  Moved reference to Student Complaint Policy and Procedure from Clause 3 to Clause 6. 
17-3 17/10/17 17/10/17 Clause 1.f.iv added, approved in Res Comm. 
17-2   09/08/17 Administrative changes in response to ESOS Audit 




Removed references to Merit Review

KeywordsDiscontinue, discontinuation
Contact personDean, Graduate Research