Higher Degree by Research Requirements

Policy Research Education Higher Degree by Research Requirements

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NOTE: This Policy is Under Review- For further information regarding this policy please contact the Graduate Research School by email  grs@jcu.edu.au.  

Procedures or documents referred to in parentheses are listed under Related Documents and Legislation, this policy document.

Intent

These requirements describe the general conditions of award of higher degrees by research as defined in the Australian Qualifications Framework and offered by the University including Master of Philosophy, Masters by Research, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and named Professional Doctorates. The requirements have been designed to enhance the JCU postgraduate research experience and improve the career prospects of all Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates by providing a structured framework with clear milestones to assist timely completion and appropriate exit options.

Scope

These requirements apply to candidates for the higher degrees by research as defined in the Australian Qualifications Framework and offered by the University.

Definitions

Terms mentioned in this document and not defined here are defined in the Policy Glossary. Policies and procedures mentioned in this document are referenced within this document as numbered endnotes.

  1. Adjudicator means an additional examiner appointed to adjudicate between the examiners’ reports in the context of the thesis where consensus has not occurred between the original examiners. The adjudicator is normally a recognised expert in the field external to the University with considerable experience in the examination of Australian research theses.

  2. Advisory Panel means the Panel appointed by the Dean, Graduate Research  to undertake the day-to-day supervision of the candidate. The Advisory Panel will comprise the Primary and Secondary Advisors as stipulated in Requirement 4.1 and defined in the HDR Supervision Procedure [18].

  3. Candidature Committee means the committee appointed by the Dean, Graduate Research to make recommendations with regards to the formal assessments of the progress of an individual candidate. The membership and functions of the Candidature Committee are defined in Requirement 4.1.

  4. Candidature Management Plan means the Plan developed by a candidate who is Under Review [32] and approved by their Candidature committee with the aim of overcoming the problems impeding progress with their candidature.

  5. Cotutelle or Conjoint Degree is a degree undertaken conjointly at James Cook University and another institution in accordance with a formal agreement between the participating institutions [6].

  6. Coursework component is the subject(s) studied by the higher degree by research candidate to enhance their capacity to undertake research in the discipline (or cross-disciplinary field) and fulfil their career aspirations.

  7. The Dean, Graduate Research is the person appointed as Chair of the Research Education Sub-Committee.

  8. College means the University organisational unit in which the candidate is enrolled. This unit reflects the organisational affiliation of at least one member of the Advisory Panel, usually the Primary Advisor. The term College includes the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies.

  9. Examiner means an expert external to the University in the field of research of the thesis preferably also with experience of examining Australian research doctoral theses who is appointed to examine the thesis against the criteria established by the University.

  10. External candidate is a candidate who is unable to attend a recognised campus of the University on a regular basis.

  11. Full-time candidate is a candidate enrolled at the rate of 1 EFSTL per year.

  12. Graduate Research School means the organisational unit responsible for the university-level administration of higher degrees by research.

  13. Higher degree by research is a Research Masters degree or a Research Doctorate.

  14. Internal candidate is a candidate who attends a recognised campus of the University on a regular basis as negotiated with their Advisory Panel to fulfil the degree requirements.

  15. International candidate is a candidate who is not a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or a citizen of New Zealand.

  16. Masters degree is a degree that meets the Level 9 requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework. A Research Masters degree must comprise at least two-thirds research and includes the Master of Philosophy and named Research Masters degrees.

  17. Milestones are events that receive special attention to mark the completion of the key phases of higher degree by research candidature and provide the opportunity for the Candidature Committee to make formal recommendations about the candidate’s progress. There are three higher degree by research Milestones: Confirmation of Candidature, Mid-Candidature Review and Pre-Completion Evaluation as described in Requirement 5 and the associated procedures.

  18. Part-time candidate is a candidate enrolled at the rate of 0.5 EFSTL per year.

  19. Register of Advisors means a list of staff, research only partners and adjunct staff of the University who are qualified to be appointed to the Advisory Panel of candidates undertaking a higher degree by research.  (A research only partner has two employers JCU and an outside organisation.)

  20. Research means the process leading to the production of original scholarly or creative work to be presented for the purpose of obtaining the degree.

  21. Research Component refers specifically to planning and undertaking research, developing a thesis, preparation of products for examination, developing new research methods and new data analysis, writing of research or scholarly documents, developing/performing creative works, or other activities fundamental to research. The research component of the candidature must be supervised by the Advisory Panel.

  22. Research Doctorate degree is a PhD or Research Professional Doctorate that meets the Level 10 requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

  23. Research Education Sub-Committee is the sub-committee appointed to advise the University’s Research Committee on matters related to the: (a) administration, supervision and examination of candidates enrolled in higher degrees by research and coursework doctorate awards, and (b) the professional development of Early Career Researchers.

  24. Research Methods Subject is a subject that assists the candidate to acquire the skills required to undertake the Research Component of their higher degree by research.

  25. Responsible Academic Officer means the academic staff member with responsibility for the higher degree by research Candidates enrolled in the College of the candidate.

  26. Skills Audit and Plan means the audit of the skills of the candidate that is undertaken by the Advisory Panel and the candidate as soon as possible after the commencement of candidature in order to develop a plan to equip the candidate with skills required to fulfil their degree requirements and career aspirations.

  27. Thesis means either: (1) a substantive description of the research undertaken for the purpose of obtaining the degree, or (2) a critical interpretation of creative work, together with any associated material that is also subject to examination. The thesis must comply with the format prescribed by the University for the Doctoral or Research Masters course and thesis subject in which the candidate is enrolled.

Requirements

Preamble

The degrees covered by these requirements must comply with:

  1. the standards for research training established by the Higher Education Standards Panel;

  2. the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), and

  3. the Research Training Scheme, which requires the research component to be supervised research.

These requirements must be read in conjunction with the JCU definitions, policies and procedures listed in this document. Procedural elaboration of these requirements is available on the Graduate Research School website.

1. Application

1.1 Entry Requirements

1.1.1 All applicants must normally demonstrate academic capacity at a satisfactory level (Grade Point Average of Credit or equivalent) in their final year of coursework study that was used as part of the basis for admission.

1.1.2. All applicants must meet the IELTS Band 2 English Language Requirements or equivalent as defined by the University [1]. Exceptions to this requirement require written permission of the Dean, Graduate Research.  Exceptions are not normally granted.

1.1.3 If the proposed research involves working with children under 18 years of age, the applicant must be eligible to hold a ‘Positive Notice for Child Related Employment’ (Blue Card), as required by law and the University’s ethics approval process.

1.1.4. To be eligible to apply for entry to a Doctoral program, an applicant must demonstrate the capacity to undertake research at the Doctoral level by the attainment of at least one of the following:

  1. a Bachelor’s degree with at least Second Class, Division A (Honours) in a degree program that included a total of at least a semester of supervised project work, the results of which contributed to the honours grade;

  2. a postgraduate qualification which included: (a) supervised research component(s) of at least one semester or equivalent and resulted in the production of output(s) graded at the equivalent of Distinction or better, and (b) at least one research methods subject;

  3. a Research Masters degree, where at least two thirds of the degree consisted of a supervised research component and resulted in the production of a thesis or equivalent;

  4. enrolment at this or another Australian university in a higher degree by research for the equivalent of at least 0.5 EFTSL with demonstrated satisfactory performance in the supervised research component(s);

  5. a combination of qualifications, research training and experience, considered equivalent to the above by the Responsible Academic Officer in the Enrolling Organisational Unit College, e.g., senior authorship of at least one peer-reviewed publication plus completion of an appropriate research methods subject.

1.1.5. Applicants for a doctoral degree who are seeing admission under conditions 1.1.4 ii, and v and who have not completed an appropriate research methods subject may be exempted from that requirement on condition that they enrol in and successfully complete an appropriate research methods subject before their Confirmation of Candidature Milestone [20], in addition to the normal course requirements.

1.1.6 Professional Doctorate applicants must also have demonstrated professional experience as specified by the requirements for that degree.

1.1.7. To be eligible to apply for entry to a Research Masters degree an applicant must demonstrate the capacity to undertake research at the Research Masters level by the attainment of at least one of the following:

  1. a Bachelor’s degree with at least Second Class, Division B (Honours) in a degree program that included a total of at least a 0.5 semester of supervised project work, the results of which contributed to the honours grade;

  2. a postgraduate qualification, which included: (a) supervised research component(s) of at least 0.5 semester (or equivalent) and resulted in the production of output(s) graded at the equivalent of Credit of better, and (b) at least one research methods subject;

  3. a Graduate Certificate or Diploma in Research Methods with a Grade Point Average of Credit or above in addition to a Bachelor’s degree;

  4. enrolment at this or another university in a higher degree by research for the equivalent of at least 0.5 EFTSL with demonstrated satisfactory performance in the supervised research component;

  5. a combination of qualifications and research experience considered equivalent to the above by the Responsible Academic Officer in the Enrolling Organisational Unit College, e.g., junior authorship of a peer-reviewed research publication plus completion of an appropriate research methods subject.

1.1.8. Applicants for a Research Masters degree who have not completed an appropriate research methods subject as required in 1.1.7 ii and v above may be exempted from that requirement on condition that they enrol in and successfully complete an appropriate research methods subject before their Confirmation of Candidature Milestone[20], in addition to the normal course requirements.

1.1.9. Applicants for a Research Masters degree that includes compulsory research methodology training in addition to the normal course requirements may be admitted on the basis of an appropriate Bachelor’s degree.

1.2 Application and Admission

1.2.1 Applications for higher degrees by research candidature must be submitted in accordance with the HDR application and enrolment procedures [2,3].

1.2.2 As part of the application process, applicants may apply for recognition of prior learning [4]. Such recognition must be approved by the Dean, Graduate Research.

1.2.3 Applicants wishing to transfer their enrolment from another Australian university must indicate their intent in the application process[5].

1.2.4 The provision of educational services consequent on the approval of an application for candidature must not expose the University to a risk of contravening any applicable law, including any international embargoes, sanctions or controls, which regulate the University’s operations from time to time.

1.2.5 As part of the application process, an applicant may apply to enrol as part of a formal Cotutelle or Conjoint Degree Agreement[6] between this and another Australian or international university.

1.2.6 Successful applicants will receive a written offer for a place in a Higher Degree by Research including a specified acceptance date and conditions of offer. Without prior written agreement from the Dean, Graduate Research, offers will normally lapse if not accepted by that date, or if the conditions cannot be met.

1.2.7 An offer for admission may be withdrawn at any time up to the commencement of the program to which admission is sought, if it is determined that the offer was made on the basis of incomplete or inaccurate information supplied by the applicant or a certifying authority, or if the applicant has been excluded from any other tertiary institution or tertiary program and has not so advised the University.

1.3 Transferring Degree Candidature

1.3.1 Candidates enrolled in a research degree may transfer to another degree with the required approvals[5].

1.3.2 Candidates wishing to upgrade from a Research Masters to a Doctoral degree must also comply with the HDR Course Upgrade Procedure[7].

1.4 Readmission to a Research Degree

1.4.1 Candidates who were previously enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research and who: (1) are eligible for readmission (see requirements 8.3.3 and 8.3.4), and (2) wish to apply for readmission must first undertake a formal evaluation of the status of the relevant research [8].

1.5 External / Off-campus students

1.5.1 An applicant intending to study as an external candidate must provide sufficient detail in their application for enrolment as to how: (a) their candidature will be supported, and (b) they will meet course requirements.

2. Operational Requirements for Candidature

2.1 Time Commitment

2.1.1 All candidates must be enrolled either full-time (1 EFTSL / year) or part-time (0.5 EFTSL / year).

2.1.2 Full-time candidates are expected to meet the requirements of their candidature by spending an average of at least 35-40 hours per week for 48 weeks per year on the activities of their candidature, unless a Leave of Absence[9] has been granted. The requirements for part-time candidates are similar, except that the commitment must average at least 16-20 hours per week.

2.1.3 It is expected that a full-time candidate will spend only limited time (i.e., less than 600 hours per year unless otherwise stipulated in scholarship or other conditions) in paid employment that is independent of the activities of their candidature.

2.1.4 A candidate may apply to change their attendance status from full-time to part-time or vice versa[9], unless restrictions apply (e.g., visa and scholarship holders).

2.2 Campus Attendance

2.2.1 Unless on approved field work or travel, candidates enrolled as internal candidates are expected to attend a recognised campus of the University on a regular basis as negotiated with their Advisory Panel to fulfil the degree requirements.

2.2.2 A candidate enrolled as an external candidate is expected to be on campus for at least five working days per year as negotiated with their Advisory Panel to fulfil their degree requirements. Exceptions to this practice must be approved by the Dean, Graduate Research as a Condition of Enrolment[3] or via the HDR Variation of Candidature Procedure[9].

2.2.3 Candidates must remain enrolled until submission of the thesis for examination, unless Leave of Absence[9] has been obtained. [Note: The University considers that candidates on Leave of Absence are not undertaking activities that contribute to their candidature.]

2.3 Communication between the Candidate and the University

2.3.1 The official means of University communication with a HDR candidate is via the JCU student email. All candidates are required to check their JCU student email account regularly and respond to official correspondence in a timely manner.

2.3.2 All candidates must update their contact details with the University within seven days of any change by notifying their Advisory Panel and the Graduate Research School.

2.3.3 All candidates must maintain regular communication as agreed with their Advisory Panel.

2.3.4 Unless on an approved period of Leave of Absence[9], a candidate who fails to make contact or respond to email, telephone or postal communication from their Advisory Panel, enrolling College or Graduate Research School for a period of three calendar months will be placed Under Review[32].

2.4 Minimum and Maximum Durations of Candidature

2.4.1 The minimum duration of candidature for a Higher Degree by Research is:

  1. Research Masters degree 1 year full time (equivalent to 1 EFTSL);

  2. Doctoral degree 2 years full time (equivalent to 2 EFTSL).

2.4.2 The maximum duration of candidature for a Higher Degree by Research is:

  1. Research Masters - 2 years full time, or 4 years part time (equivalent to 2 EFTSL);

  2. Doctoral - 4 years full time or 8 years part time (equivalent to 4 EFTSL).

2.4.3 The maximum or minimum duration of candidature does not include periods of approved Leave of Absence[9].

2.4.4 Exceptions to these requirements (e.g., for candidates transferring from another institution) must be agreed in writing with the Dean, Graduate Research.

2.4.5 Candidates who exceed the maximum duration of their degree without an approved extension will be placed Under Review[32].

2.5 Extension to Duration of Candidature

2.5.1 Candidates wishing to extend their candidature beyond the maximum duration must apply [9] at least one calendar month prior to the specified date of thesis submission.

2.5.2 Candidates who exceed an approved extension period will normally be placed Under Review [32].

2.5.3 Extensions will normally be granted for a total of no more than 12 calendar months. Periods greater than this will be granted only under exceptional circumstances and require written permission from the Dean, Graduate Research.

2.5.4 If an extension is granted, the candidate will be notified in writing of the revised date for thesis submission by the Graduate Research School.

2.5.5 If an extension is not granted, the candidature will be discontinued [33].

2.6 Leave of Absence

2.6.1 All candidates wishing to take leave from their studies for a period greater than four weeks must apply to the Graduate Research School for Leave of Absence[9] at least five University working days prior to commencing this leave. This application must have the prior approval of their Primary Advisor.

2.6.2 Leave of Absence will not be granted prior to the successful completion of the Confirmation of Candidature Milestone (Requirement 5.2), except with the written permission of the Dean, Graduate Research.

2.6.3 Leave(s) of Absence will normally be granted for a total of no more than six calendar months during an entire candidature. Periods greater than this will be granted only for: (1) major life events such as parenthood, and (2) other exceptional circumstances, and require written permission from the Dean, Graduate Research.

2.6.4 Retrospective applications for Leave of Absence will not normally be approved without appropriate justification, e.g., emergency hospitalisation.

2.6.5 Candidates who take a period of Leave of Absence[9] without prior approval may be placed Under Review [32].

2.7 Concurrent Enrolment

2.7.1 A candidate who seeks concurrent enrolment in another degree, diploma or certificate at this or another university must obtain the approval of the Dean, Graduate Research.

2.7.2 Concurrent enrolment will normally only be considered where the total enrolment of the two courses will not exceed the equivalent of a full time load (1 EFTSL/year).

2.7.3 A candidate may be required to suspend or discontinue concurrent studies if they fail to make satisfactory progress in their Higher Degree by Research.

2.7.4 A candidate who is enrolled as part of a formal Cotutelle or Conjoint Degree agreement[6] between this University and another university must comply with the terms and conditions of that agreement, which have priority over these requirements where a disparity exists.

2.8 Withdrawal

2.8.1 A candidate wishing to withdraw from their Higher Degree by Research must notify the Graduate Research School in accordance with the HDR Variation of Candidature Procedure[9].

2.8.2 Non-attendance or non-communication does not constitute a withdrawal from a Higher Degree by Research and may lead to a candidate being placed Under Review[32].

3. Course Components

3.1 Research

3.1.1 The research component of a Higher Degree by Research must comprise two-thirds or more of the qualification culminating in a thesis or equivalent.

3.1.2 The research component includes successful completion of the research subjects that comprise the requirements for the Confirmation of Candidature Milestone [20] as outlined in Requirement 5.2.

3.2 Development Activities

3.2.1 Each candidate will undertake a program of development appropriate to their field of research, level of the degree and their career aspirations[10]. The program will include a range of compulsory and elective activities.

3.2.2 The candidate’s program of activities will be recorded in a Skills Audit and Plan negotiated between the candidate and their Advisory Panel in the first two calendar months of candidature, revised during the Confirmation of Candidature process and submitted to the Graduate Research School with the Confirmation of Candidature Milestone documentation[20] and reviewed at the Mid-Candidature Milestone[21].

3.2.3 Doctoral candidates must complete professional development coursework as listed in Schedule 1 to successfully complete the Mid-Candidature Milestone [21] (Requirement 5.3.3).

3.2.4 Research Masters candidates must complete the compulsory components of the professional development coursework as listed in Schedule 1 to successfully complete the Mid-Candidature Milestone [21] (Requirement 5.3.4).

3.2.5 All international candidates will be required to successfully complete the Skills for International Postgraduates[11] program in their first six calendar months of enrolment as part of their program of development activities to facilitate the timely completion of their Confirmation of Candidature Milestone[20].

3.2.6 A candidate who wishes to be exempted from the Skills for International Postgraduates[11] program must apply to the Graduate Research School in writing, providing justification for, and evidence to support their request. Exemptions must be endorsed by their Advisory Panel and approved by the Dean, Graduate Research.

3.3 Additional Coursework

3.3.1 A candidate may be required, or elect to, enrol in coursework subjects as approved by their Candidature Committee and the Dean, Graduate Research.

3.3.2 University policy and procedures regarding coursework subject enrolments will apply to HDR candidates enrolled in any coursework subjects not listed in Schedule 1 of this policy.

3.3.3 The maximum credit value of all coursework subjects will normally be 15 credit points for Research Masters candidates and 24 credit points for Doctoral candidates. These maxima include the Professional Development coursework subject listed in Schedule 1 that is undertaken by doctoral students but do not include the Confirmation of Candidature Milestone[20] subjects which are regarded as part of the research component of the relevant degree.

3.3.4 Application for a withdrawal from a coursework subject must be submitted in writing to the Graduate Research School[9].

3.4 English Language and Numeracy

3.4.1 Higher Degree Research candidates will be supported to develop proficiency in the English language and numeracy in accordance with the JCU English Language and Numeracy Policy [12].

3.4.2 If specified as a Condition of Enrolment, or as required during candidature, candidates may be required to undertake a Post-Entry Language Assessment (PELA) in order to determine the level of English language and writing support required[13].

3.5 Conduct of Research

3.5.1 A candidate must be aware of, and conduct all their activities in accordance with all relevant policies and procedures of the University, including but not limited to those discussed below.

3.5.2 A candidate must comply with the relevant sections of the Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research [14], including but not limited, to:

  1. Authorship of published material;

  2. Storage and retention of data;

  3. Ethical practice of research.

3.5.3 Candidates must not commence a phase of their research work until any ethics and other permits required by the University or external agencies for that phase have been obtained and must conduct the research in accordance with the conditions of such permits.

3.5.4 All research work must be conducted at locations, in a manner and under the conditions approved by the candidate’s Advisory Panel and any other relevant authority.

3.5.5 Candidates must comply with the University Work Health and Safety Policy [15] and undertake any relevant required training or induction.

3.5.6 Academic misconduct associated with candidature will be handled in accordance with the JCU Student Academic Misconduct Requirements [16].

3.5.7 Any assignment of intellectual property created during candidature will be in accordance with the Intellectual Property Policy-Students [17].

4. Supervision and Management of Candidature

4.1 Supervision

4.1.1 The Dean, Graduate Research will approve a Candidature Committee and an Advisory Panel for each candidate on the advice of the Responsible Academic Officer.

4.1.2 The Candidature Committee must include, but is not limited to:

  1. the Responsible Academic Officer;

  2. an approved member of the Register of Advisors[18] with Advisor Mentor Eligibility, who is independent of the Advisory Panel; and

  3. all members of the Advisory Panel, including the Primary Advisor and at least one Secondary Advisor.

4.1.3 The function of the Candidature Committee is to make recommendations to the Dean, Graduate Research with regards to the outcomes of:

  1. the Candidature Milestones and Reports (Section 5);

  2. the Examination Process (Section 7); and

  3. the Under Review and Discontinuation of Candidature Requirements (Section 8).

4.1.4 The Advisory Panel will be responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the candidate as described in the Higher degree by research Candidate Charter[19] and the HDR Supervision Procedure [18].

4.1.5 The members of the Advisory Panel must not be near relatives or partners of the candidate. In addition, the Primary Advisor must not be the line manager of a candidate who is a permanent employee of the University. If either such circumstances arise during the candidature, there must be consequential changes to the membership of the Advisory Panel.

4.1.6 An Advisory Panel that includes members who are near relatives or partners must also include at least one member who is independent of that relationship. If such circumstances arise during the candidature, there must be consequential changes to the membership of the Advisory Panel.

4.1.7 Any change in the membership of the Advisory Panel, including the addition of other members must be approved by the Dean, Graduate Research [9]. More than two changes to the person appointed as the candidate’s Primary Advisor will be approved only under exceptional circumstances.

4.1.8 Should the Advisory Panel cease to comply with the HDR Supervision Procedure [18], the Responsible Academic Officer must make reasonable efforts find a suitable and approved replacement as soon as possible.

4.1.9 In instances where a candidate’s Primary Advisor becomes unable to supervise the candidate and no suitable replacement can be found after reasonable efforts by the Responsible Academic Officer and the Dean, Graduate Research, candidature may be discontinued[33].

5. Milestones and Reporting

5.1 Preface

5.1.1 Candidates must successfully complete the milestones and reporting requirements outlined in these requirements prior to submission of the thesis for examination

5.1.2 Except with the written permission of the Dean, Graduate Research, candidates who have failed to meet the milestone requirements will have their thesis withheld from examination until such requirements are completed.

5.2 Confirmation of Candidature Milestone [20]

5.2.1 Candidates will be eligible to seek to have their candidature confirmed after the equivalent of 0.5 EFTSL of provisional candidature for Doctoral candidates and equivalent of 0.33 EFTSL of full-time provisional candidature for Research Masters candidates.

5.2.2 The candidate must successfully complete two research subjects as listed in Schedule 1 for their candidature to be confirmed and enrolment continued.

5.2.3 A doctoral candidate who does not have their candidature confirmed within 1 EFTSL and a masters candidate who does not have their candidate confirmed within 0.5 EFTSL of provisional enrolment without an extension[9], will be placed Under Review[32].

5.2.4 The Candidature Committee must meet with the candidate in person or by telecommunications to discuss the evaluation of both subjects and advise the candidate of their overall recommendation to the Dean, Graduate Research with respect to the Confirmation of Candidature Milestone[20], which will be one of the following:

  1. that candidature is confirmed (Pass in both subjects) for the degree in which the candidate is enrolled;

  2. that the application to upgrade from Research Masters to Doctoral candidature is approved and their candidature is confirmed for a doctorate (Pass in both Research Masters subjects credited to doctorate);

  3. that the results for one or both of the Confirmation of Candidature Milestone subjects be withheld for a stipulated period subject to additional conditions, which may include permission for the candidate to undertake one additional attempt to pass either or both subjects (Result Withheld);

  4. that the candidature is not confirmed and the candidate is recommended for an alternative research or coursework degree (Conceded Pass in one or both subjects);

  5. that the candidature is not confirmed, the candidate is not recommended for any further degree (Fail in one or both subjects) and the candidature is discontinued[33].

5.2.5 The Dean, Graduate Research will consider the recommendation of the Candidature Committee and may refer the matter to the Research Education Sub-Committee for advice (as appropriate) before advising the candidate and the Candidature Committee of their decision with respect to the candidature.

5.3 Mid-Candidature Review Milestone[21]

5.3.1 The due date for the Mid-Candidature Review Milestone[21] for a Doctoral candidate is after their candidature has consumed 1.5-2 EFTSL; 0.66 – 1 EFTSL for a Research Masters candidate.

5.3.2 The Candidature Committee must meet with the candidate in person or by telecommunication to discuss the evaluation of the Mid-Candidature Review Milestone and advise the candidate of their recommendation, which will be one of the following:

  1. that the outcome is satisfactory and the candidature be continued;

  2. that the outcome is unsatisfactory and the candidature be placed Under Review [32] for up to six calendar months when the Mid-Candidature Review Milestone will be repeated, unless the candidate has failed to meet the required conditions.

5.3.3. At the Mid-Candidature Review Milestone meeting of a Doctoral candidate, the Candidature Committee must also evaluate the progress in meeting the requirements of the professional development subject (Schedule 1) as detailed in the subject outline for that subject. Subject to the candidate’s satisfactory completion of the agreed program of professional development, the Candidature Committee will recommend that the candidate be awarded a grade of Satisfactory in the professional development subject listed in Schedule 1.

5.3.4 At the Mid-Candidature Review Milestone meeting of a Research Masters candidate, the Candidature Committee must also evaluate the progress in meeting the compulsory requirements of the professional development subject (Schedule 1) as detailed in the subject outline for that subject. (Note: Research Masters candidates are not required to complete the other components of this subject)

5.3.5 If the candidate does not successfully complete the Mid-Candidature Review Milestone[21] including the professional development subject listed in Schedule 1 (Doctoral candidates only) within six calendar months after the due date without an approved extension[9], the candidate will be placed Under Review [32].

5.3.6 If the candidate does not successfully complete the Mid-Candidature Review Milestone[21] after two attempts, the Candidature Committee will recommend to the Dean, Graduate Research that candidature be discontinued[33].

5.4 Pre-Completion Evaluation Milestone[22]

5.4.1 Within the six calendar months prior to the expected submission of the thesis for examination, a candidate is required to undertake the Pre-Completion Evaluation Milestone[22].

5.4.2 After meeting with the candidate in person or by telecommunication to discuss their evaluation, the Candidature Committee must then recommend one of the following to the Dean, Graduate Research:

  1. that the research is of a standard and extent appropriate for submission as a thesis;

  2. that further work is required; in which case the Candidature Committee may also recommend one or both of the following: (a) an extension of candidature, but shall not normally recommend any extension beyond the allowance specified in Requirement 2.5.3; (b) that the Candidate be placed Under Review[32];

  3. that the candidature is discontinued[33].

5.4.3 If the candidate does not submit the thesis for examination within 12 calendar months of successfully completing the Pre-Completion Evaluation Milestone, without an approved extension [9], the Recommendation in 5.4.2.i will lapse and the candidate will normally be required to repeat the Pre-Completion Evaluation Milestone before submitting the thesis. This requirement applies to both full-time and part-time candidates.

5.5 Progress Reports[23]

5.5.1 A report on the candidate’s progress must be submitted to the Graduate Research School on the HDR Progress Report Form every 0.5 EFTSL from the date of enrolment, except if one of the above milestones has been completed successfully in the previous six calendar months or the thesis has been submitted for examination.

5.5.2 The progress of the candidate must be assessed as one of the following:

  1. Satisfactory – progress is within the expected parameters;

  2. Conceded Satisfactory – progress is less than expected but with identified substantive reason(s), which have been addressed and progress is expected to improve;

  3. Progress Requires Review – progress is less than expected without substantive reason.

5.5.3 If a candidate fails to submit a progress report, the outcome for that progress report will normally be recorded as Progress Requires Review, unless an alternative outcome is approved by the Dean, Graduate Research.

  1. If progress is assessed as requiring review or if other serious unresolved issues are identified in the progress report, the Dean, Graduate Research will place the candidate Under Review [32].

  2. A candidate who fails to submit two successive reports or is assessed as requiring review in two successive progress reports will be discontinued[33].

  3. The Dean, Graduate Research may at any time require a candidate to undertake additional activities in order to evaluate their progress.

6. Thesis Preparation, Submission and Examination

6.1. Thesis Content and Format [24]

6.1.1 A candidate must not present in their thesis any research which: (1) contributed, in part or in whole, to the candidate being awarded another qualification; (2) was part of the candidate's basis of admission to their current candidature; or (3) was published, accepted for publication, or submitted for publication prior to enrolment, except where one of the following apply:

  1. the candidature is governed by a formal Cotutelle or Conjoint Degree Agreement [6];

  2. written permission has been given by the Dean, Graduate Research.

6.1.2 Where a candidate wishes to submit a thesis in a language other than English, this must be approved in writing by the Dean, Graduate Research before the Confirmation of Candidature Milestone[20], unless the relevant formal Cotutelle or Conjoint Degree Agreement[6] specifies the submission of the thesis in another language.

6.1.3 The thesis must be presented in accordance with the HDR Thesis Format Procedure[24].

6.2 Thesis Submission

6.2.1 The candidate must be enrolled to submit the thesis.

6.2.2 The candidate must notify the Graduate Research School of their intention to submit the thesis for examination in accordance with the HDR Thesis Submission Procedure[25], two calendar months prior to their intended date of submission.

6.2.3 The thesis must be submitted to the Graduate Research School for examination with the specified approvals[25] except as specified in 6.2.4

6.2.4 The candidate has the right to submit the thesis for examination to the Graduate Research School without the specified approvals[25], provided that the candidate has been advised of and responded to the reasons for refusing such approvals in writing by the Advisory Panel; and a copy of this correspondence has been lodged with the Graduate Research School.

6.3. Thesis Examination

6.3.1 A pool of potential examiners must be selected by the Advisory Panel in consultation with the candidate[26]. The proposed examiners must be external experts of international standing in the topic of the thesis [or a cognate topic]. The examiners must be independent of the candidate, the Advisory Panel and the University[27].

6.3.2 The Chair of the Candidature Committee must notify the Graduate Research School of the names of at least two and up to three examiners and a reserve examiner for approval by the Dean, Graduate Research  at the time the candidate submits the Intention to Submit form to the Graduate Research School.

6.3.3 The Dean, Graduate Research  may appoint an alternative examiner, normally the nominated reserve examiner, in consultation with the Chair of the Candidature Committee if required.

6.3.4 A candidate may elect to undertake an oral examination as a part of a normal examination process[27]. Under such circumstances, the Chair of the Candidature Committee must advise the Graduate Research School in writing of the proposed arrangements[28].

6.3.5 A candidate who wishes to submit their thesis before the relevant minimum period of candidature specified in Section 2.4 may be required to undertake an oral examination by the Dean, Graduate Research.

6.3.6 From the time of submission of the thesis for examination or re-examination, all communication regarding the examination(s) of the thesis must be conducted through the Graduate Research School.

6.3.7 In the process of examination, the examiners may consult with one another through the Graduate Research School, but must submit separate reports.

6.3.8 The examination process may be varied by prior agreement with the Dean, Graduate Research if:

  1. the candidate is enrolled under a Cotutelle or Conjoint Degree Agreement[6] with another University and this variation is specified in the Agreement; or

  2. part of the material to be examined is not ‘print on paper’, necessitating a variation in the examination procedure.

6.3.9 Notwithstanding 6.3.8 above, the requirement for at least two external independent examiners of international standing must be met.

6.4 Consideration of Examiners’ Reports

6.4.1 The examiners’ reports will be considered by the Research Education Sub-Committee, which may: (1) delegate the consideration of reports with non-conflicting recommendations to the Dean, Graduate Research, or (2) appoint an adjudicator to provide advice on divergent recommendations.

6.4.2 The Research Education Sub-Committee or Dean, Graduate Research may:

  1. recommend to Academic Board that the degree be awarded; or

  2. advise the candidate that the Research Education Sub-Committee will recommend to Academic Board that the degree be awarded subject to the completion of corrections to the satisfaction of the Chair of the Candidature Committee [29] or an external examiner/assessor; or

  3. advise the candidate that they will be permitted to revise and re-submit the thesis for re-examination within the time period specified [30]; or

  4. approve the degree be not awarded and the candidature discontinued; or

  5. make another such decision as considered appropriate.

6.4.3 A candidate who has been advised that their degree will not be awarded under Requirements 6.4.2 iii above must revise or resubmit their thesis for re-examination within the time period specified in the advice or formally seek an extension from Dean, Graduate Research [9]. A candidate who fails to comply with this requirement will have their candidature discontinued [33].

6.4 .4 Any subjects and research completed successfully by a candidate who has been advised that of the outcomes specified under Requirement 6.4.iii, or 6.4.iv may be credited towards a
Research Masters’ degree or an appropriate postgraduate coursework degree or diploma on the recommendation of the Candidature Committee subject to any other required academic approvals.

7. Conferral of the Degree

7.1 Requirements for Conferral of the Degree

7.1.1 A candidate will be eligible for their degree to be conferred when:

  1. all course requirements have been met, including successful completion of coursework and milestone requirements;

  2. a 50 word abstract has been submitted to the Graduate Research School;

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

  4. a summary of any amendments made has been submitted to the enrolling Organisational Unit College, approved by the Responsible Academic Officer and lodged with the Graduate Research School;

  5. all required forms have been submitted;

  6. final copies of the thesis have been deposited in electronic and print formats with the University library[31];

  7. all requirements of the partner University have been met in the case of a candidate enrolled under a Cotutelle or Conjoint Degree Agreement[6];

  8. any outstanding University debts have been paid.

8. Unsatisfactory Progress and Discontinuation

8.1 Unsatisfactory Progress

8.1.1 A candidate should manage their candidature in a way that ensures they are able to complete milestones and required work by the due dates and within the time frames specified.

8.1.2 A candidate having difficulty in completing required work or milestones by the due dates must seek advice and assistance to allow them to continue to comply with the requirements in these requirements and should keep evidence of their attempts to obtain and implement such advice and assistance.

8.1.3 The Candidature Committee may determine that a candidate’s progress is unsatisfactory for reasons including, but not limited to the following:

  1. unsuccessful outcome of a required milestone evaluation;

  2. an assessment of Progress Requires Review on a progress report;

  3. a grade of Fail for any required subject;

  4. failure to complete one of the following by the due date without approved extension[9]:

  • a required subject;

  • a Milestone or Progress Report;

  • submission of the thesis for examination or re-examination.

8.1.4 Unsatisfactory progress will result in the candidate being placed Under Review.

8.2 Under Review[32]

8.2.1 The Dean, Graduate Research  may place a candidate Under Review[32] on the recommendation of the Candidature Committee, the Responsible Academic Officer or the Research Education Sub-Committee.

8.2.2 A candidate placed Under Review[32] will be notified in writing within 10 University working days of the decision by the Graduate Research School. For the purpose of Section 8.2 of these requirements, notification of the candidate will date from the time the University sends the notification to the candidate’s JCU email address. The Head of the College and, in the case of international candidates, JCU International will also be notified.

8.2.3 A candidate placed Under Review must remain enrolled unless a Leave of Absence is approved in writing[9].

8.2.4 Within 20 University working days of notification that they are Under Review[32], the candidate must submit a Candidature Management Plan endorsed by their Candidature Committee to the Graduate Research School[32].Failure to submit a Candidature Management Plan in the proscribed period will trigger the Discontinuation of Candidature Procedure [33].

8.2.5 The progress of a candidate who is Under Review must be formally monitored by their Candidature Committee for a prescribed period (usually up to six calendar months) in accordance with the conditions specified in the Candidature Management Plan as outlined in the HDR Under Review Procedure[32].

8.2.6 At the end of the prescribed period, the Candidature Committee must review the candidate’s progress against the Candidature Management Plan and prepare an Under Review Report, which includes one of the following recommendations to the Dean, Graduate Research:

  1. that the candidature be continued;

  2. that the Under Review Process be continued for a further specified period;

  3. that the candidature be discontinued.

8.2.7 The Dean, Graduate Research will consider the recommendation of the Under Review Report and may refer the matter to the Research Education Sub-Committee for advice (as appropriate) before advising the candidate and the Candidature Committee of their decision with respect to the candidature.

8.3 Discontinuation of Candidature [33] and Appeal [35]

8.3.1 The Manager, Graduate Research School must issue the candidate with a discontinuation of candidature notification at the instigation of the Discontinuation of Candidature Procedure [33]. A copy of the notification must be provided to the Head of their College and, if applicable, JCU International.

8.3.2 A candidate affected by a decision to discontinue their candidature may appeal in accordance with the JCU Student Complaint Policy and Procedure [35].

8.3.3 Where candidature is discontinued, candidates may apply for readmission to their program [8] or a new Higher Degree by Research at least one year after the date of discontinuation. Entry requirements at the time of application will be applicable and the reason/s for discontinuation of candidature may be taken into consideration when determining if admission is approved.

8.3.4 Applications for readmission on the basis of the research undertaken for the degree in which candidature was discontinued must be submitted no later than five years from the date of discontinuation.

Related Documents and Legislation

Documents Referred to in these HDR Requirements

See Graduate Research School Policies & Procedures webpage

1.APPLICATION

1

HDR English Language Requirements Procedure

2

HDR Application Procedure

3

HDR Enrolment Procedure

4

HDR Recognition of Prior Learning Procedure

5

HDR Transfer of Enrolment Procedure

6

HDR Cotutelle or Conjoint Enrolment Procedure

7

HDR Course Upgrade Procedure

8

HDR Readmission Procedure

2. OPERATIONAL REQUIRMENTS FOR CANDIDATURE

9

HDR Variation and Extension Of Candidature Procedure

3. COURSE COMPONENTS

10

HDR Development Activities Procedure

11

HDR Skills for International Postgraduate Students Procedure

12

JCU English Language and Numeracy Policy

13

HDR Post-entry English Language Assessment Procedure

14

Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

15

Work Health and Safety Policy

16

Student Academic Misconduct Requirements

17

Intellectual Property Policy-Students

4. SUPERVISION AND MANAGEMENT OF CANDIDATURE

18

HDR Supervision Procedure

19

Higher Degree by Research Candidate Charter

5. MILESTONES AND REPORTING

20

HDR Confirmation of Candidature Milestone Procedure

21

HDR Mid-Candidature Review Milestone Procedure

22

HDR Pre-Completion Evaluation Milestone Procedure

23

HDR Progress Report Procedure

6. THESIS PREPARATION, SUBMISSION AND EXAMINATION

24

HDR Thesis Format Guidelines

25

HDR Thesis Submission Procedure

26

HDR Nomination of Examiners Procedure

27

HDR Examination Procedure

28

HDR Thesis Examination – Conflict of Interest Procedure

29

HDR Consideration of Examiners’ Reports Procedure

  

7. CONFERRAL OF THE DEGREE

31

HDR Library Thesis Deposit Procedure

8. UNSATISFACTORY PROGRESS AND DISCONTINUATION

32

HDR Under Review Procedure

33

HDR Discontinuation of Candidature Procedure

34

JCU Student Complaint Policy and Procedure

Other Relevant Documents and Legislation

JCU Policy Library

Information Communication Technology Acceptable Use Policy

Learning and Teaching Assessment Policy

Authorised Use of University Facilities, Premises and/or Grounds for Non-core Purposes

Children on Campus

Library Use Policy

Discrimination and Harassment: Policy and Procedure

Enrolment Requirements for International Student Visa-Holders

Field Trip Procedures

Graduate Attributes of Higher degree by research Programs

Information Privacy Policy

Higher Degrees by Research Minimum Standard of Resources, Facilities and Other Support Procedure

Noise on University Sites Policy

Open Access Policy

Pets on Campus

Research Repository Policy

Right to Information Policy

Scholarships for Research Masters and Doctoral Students

Student Complaint Management Policy

Student Conduct Policy

Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy

Student Fees and Charges Payment Allocation Policy

Student Information Access Policy

Student Loans Policy

Student Services and Amenities Fee Policy

Casual Teaching by Students Policy

Students with Disabilities

Subject Outlines Policy

Transfer of International Student Visa-Holders to Other Educational Institutions

Tuition Fee – Internal Sponsorship and Exemption Policy

Tuition Fee – Schedule A - Summary of Categories of Internal Sponsorship and Exemption of Tuition Fees

Tuition Fee Payment Instalment Plan Policy for On-shore and Distance International Students

Tuition Fee Policy for International Students

Vehicle Fleet Policy

Workplace Bullying and Intimidation

Schedule 1

Higher Degrees by Research Subjects Referred to in this Document

Subjects included in the Research Component of a Higher Degree by Research

RD7001:03

Planning the Research

Compulsory Confirmation of Candidature Milestone subjects for doctoral candidates

RD 7002:03

Situating the Research

Compulsory Confirmation of Candidature Milestone subjects for doctoral candidates

RM7001:03

Planning the Research

Compulsory Confirmation of Candidature Milestone subjects for Research Masters candidates including candidates who wish to use the Confirmation of Candidature Process to upgrade to a doctorate

RM7002:03

Situating the Research

Compulsory Confirmation of Candidature Milestone subjects for Research Masters candidates including candidates who wish to use the Confirmation of Candidature Process to upgrade to a doctorate

Subject included in the Coursework Component of a Research Doctorate

RD7003:03

Professional Development

Compulsory subject for doctoral candidates; must be completed as part of the Mid-Candidature Review Milestone. The compulsory components of this subject must also be completed by Research Masters candidates.

Administration

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

Policy Sponsor

Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review

30/09/2016

Revision History

Approval date - the date the approval authority approved the establishment, minor or major amendment or disestablishment

Implementation Date - the date the policy was published in the Policy Library and is the date the policy takes effect

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

17-123/02/201701/03/2017

Reference to merit reviews removed: Clause 5.1.3 removed; Clause 8.3.2, 8.3.3, 8.3.4 and 8.3.5 removed; Clause 8.3.6 amended; Numbering at clause 2.1 amended (incorrect number flow corrected).

Manager, Graduate Research Operations

16-2

22/08/2016

23/08/2016

Minor amendments to align with Council approved Academic and Student Delegations Register

Associate Director, Enrolment and Client Services

16-1

12/02/2016

15/02/2016

Minor administrative amendment to clause 8.3.6 – University Registrar changed to: Director Student Services. Approved by  Policy Sponsor

Quality, Standards and Policy Unit

15-2

  

Revised - 16/09/2015

Minor amendments to 1.1.2 and references to  ‘Enrolling Organisational Unit’ changed to ‘College’ - Approved by Dean  Graduate Research

15-2

15-1

  

Revised - 23/06/2015

Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework

Quality, Standards and Policy Unit

14-2

  

Approved at RESC (4/14) held on 26/06/2014. Noted by Research Committee (4/14) 29/07/2014

 

14-1

30/09/13

01/01/2014

Approved by Academic Board

 

Keywords

Higher degree by research