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To outline the processes involved for academic staff in the supervision of candidates for higher degrees by research (HDR) awards.

Responsible Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Implementation Officer: Dean, Research Training

First approved by:
Academic Board on 20 November 2012

Amendments Approved by:
Academic Board on 14 May 2013;

Policy Manager on 12 March 2015
(admin amendment - Schedule A on page 2, 1b
change from "Research Supervision unit EEE715”
to “HDR Supervision unit EEE732”;

Amended on 12 August 2015
(Legislation document link change to Unisol website)



Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Supervision Procedure


This procedure was approved by Academic Board on 20 November 2012 and incorporates all amendments to 14 May 2013.
This procedure is pursuant to the Higher Degrees by Research Supervision Policy and includes the following schedules:
Schedule A: Qualifications for HDR Supervision
Schedule B: Code of Good Practice in HDR Supervision
Schedule C: Role of HDR Coordinators
PURPOSE

To outline the processes involved for academic staff in the supervision of candidates for higher degrees by research (HDR) awards.

SCOPE

This applies to academic staff who are supervising or who intend to supervise candidates for higher degrees by research (HDR) awards.

DEFINITIONS

Principal supervisor: a member of Deakin academic staff who is the leader of an HDR supervision team, and has the responsibility of ensuring that the candidate receives appropriate guidance in their project and support toward successful completion of their thesis and its examination.

Co-supervisor: a person meeting the criteria set out in Schedule A — Qualifications for HDR Supervision — of this procedure, who shares the main supervisory responsibilities more or less equally with another co-supervisor, one of whom will take the role of executive supervisor.

Executive supervisor: a team member who is a suitably-qualified member of the University’s academic staff will act as executive supervisor, taking the responsibility of ensuring that the candidate receives appropriate guidance in their project and support toward successful completion of their thesis and its examination. HDR supervision teams will not necessarily include a principal supervisor, for example when supervision is shared between two co-supervisors.

Associate supervisor: a member of the University academic staff who plays one or more of the following roles in the supervision team: providing assistance to the other team members in guiding and supporting the candidate, acting as a back-up in case of absence or non-availability of the principal supervisor, and/or bringing particular research expertise to the team to assist the candidate.

External supervisor (previously designated as research supervisor): a person who plays a comparable role to an associate supervisor, but is not a member of the University staff.

Head of Academic Unit nominee: a senior member of academic staff who is qualified as a principal supervisor.

Head of Academic Unit: Heads of Academic Units listed in Schedule A of the HDR Supervision Policy.

Higher degrees by research (HDR): an academic award of the University, as specified in clause 6, Regulation 05.2(1) – Academic Awards.

Member of academic staff: a paid academic staff member, may include conjoint academic staff, subject to Schedule A — Levels of Appointment of Conjoint Academic Staff — of the Appointment of Conjoint Academic Staff Procedure.

Research adviser (previously designated as team leader): a supervisor who is an eminent member of the University professoriate who wishes to have a high-profile link to the supervision of a candidate’s project but is not expected to carry out all the day-to-day responsibilities of a principal or executive supervisor.

PROCEDURE
Prospective supervisors
1Prospective supervisors will need to ensure they are suitably qualified for supervision of HDR candidates in accordance with Schedule A — Qualifications for HDR Supervision of this procedure and fully cognisant of the Higher Degrees by Research Supervision Policy.
2Prospective supervisors will notify Deakin Research, which maintains a database of staff available for supervision of HDR candidates.
3Before becoming a credentialed supervisor, prospective supervisors are normally required to have experience as an associate supervisor for a candidate until the latter successfully completes their HDR.
4Prospective supervisors may undertake the “Fast-Track” Supervisor Training Program as outlined in Schedule A — Qualifications for HDR Supervision of this procedure as an alternative to the requirement for acting as an associate supervisor.
5Once credentialed, supervisors may be appointed to a HDR candidate's supervision team as a principal, executive or co-supervisor.
Supervisors
6Persons who have fulfilled the above requirements should apply to the Dean of Research Training for recognition of status to act as a principal, executive or co-supervisor. Deakin Research maintains a database of staff qualified and available for supervision of HDR candidates.
Appointing supervision teams
7In appointing a supervision team, the Head of Academic Unit must be satisfied that:
  1. the principal or executive supervisor meets the criteria specified in the Higher Degrees by Research Supervision Policy and Schedule A — Qualifications for HDR Supervision — of this procedure
  2. the principal or executive supervisor is anticipated to remain a member of the University academic staff for at least the normal duration of their charge’s candidature
  3. all supervisors have the workload capacity to take on the role, and will not exceed the supervision load limits specified in clauses 18–22 below
  4. members of the supervision team have appropriate research expertise to support the candidate’s project
  5. the team does not include people who are themselves HDR candidates
  6. less experienced supervisors in the role of principal or executive supervisor are mentored by including at least one experienced supervisor in the team.
8In accordance with Higher Degrees by Research Supervision Policy, the RRTC will then approve the supervision arrangements for each candidate.
Prospective research advisers
9Research advisers are members of the professoriate nominated by the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the appropriate Faculty. The process is:
  1. The Pro Vice-Chancellor/Director writes to the Executive Officer HDR requesting that the nominee be permitted to be appointed as a research adviser. The document should:
    1. set out the grounds for the nomination (e.g. the eminence of the nominee, the demand for their supervision, the strategic value of this role to the nominee’s area and to the University)
    2. set out the nominee’s commitments to academic activities other than research and research supervision
    3. explain how a large number of candidates will be managed
    4. describe what the nominee’s role will be and how they will interact with the other supervisors in supervision teams
    5. set out their track record of timely HDR completions
    6. indicate the level of support for the proposal.
10The information is presented to the RRTC for a decision.
11In considering the nomination, the RRTC will take into account the nominee’s eminence, their track record in research and research training; the workability of the proposed supervision arrangements; the capacity of the nominee to manage a large number of HDR candidates; the supervisory support available from colleagues; and the strategic value to the nominee’s area and to the University.
12Research adviser status will be reviewed after three years.
Changes to the supervision team
13An HDR coordinator or the Head of Academic Unit may recommend addition or removal of members of the supervision team at any stage of candidature. Proposed changes must be discussed with the candidate. Any new appointment to the team is made by the Head of Academic Unit, must be agreed to by the new appointee, and approved by the Dean of Research Training. Whatever changes are made, the team must always include a principal or an executive supervisor. There is no limit to the size of the team but common sense suggests that five people would be a sensible maximum. All changes should align with the Higher Degrees by Research Supervision Policy.
14The Head of Academic Unit can remove a person from the supervision team if the Head judges that their supervision performance is not consistent with the Higher Degrees by Research Supervision Policy, this procedure or the requirements of Schedule B — Code of Good Practice in HDR Supervision — to this procedure, or if they no longer meet the necessary criteria to be a principal, executive or co-supervisor (Schedule A: Qualifications for HDR Supervision).
15If the principal or executive supervisor is absent and the candidate has no convenient means of communicating with them for a period exceeding six weeks, the Head of Academic Unit must appoint a replacement, either temporarily or permanently, according to the circumstances.
16Normally the candidate is enrolled in the Academic Unit of which the principal or executive supervisor is a member. If a change in the supervision team results in a new principal or executive supervisor being appointed from a different Academic Unit the candidate’s enrolment will be transferred to that unit.
17To formalise any change to the supervision team, one of the supervisors should initiate a “Change of Supervisor” online form accessible from the Higher Degrees by Research webpage.
Supervision load limits
18Principal, executive and co-supervisors shall be limited to a supervisory load not exceeding seven full-time equivalent HDR candidates, and not more than ten individual HDR candidates.
19Co-supervisors (including executive supervisors) share the supervision load between them (thus only counting 50 per cent toward the supervision load limits specified above). Workload recognition would also be shared in this case, as would any merits or rewards for successful completions.
20A principal supervisor who has not yet acted in the role of principal, executive or co-supervisor of a candidate who has successfully completed their HDR, shall be limited to a supervisory load not exceeding three full-time equivalent HDR candidates, and not more than five individual HDR candidates.
21In addition to the above limits, an associate supervisor shall be limited to six full-time equivalent HDR candidates, and not more than ten individual HDR candidates.
22In exceptional cases, outstanding researchers may be designated as research advisers and given special dispensation by the RRTC to exceed the normal load limit. To be given this status, a person must be nominated to the RRTC as described in clauses 9–12 (see Schedule B: Code of Good Practice in HDR Supervision).
ASSOCIATED INFORMATION

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
Higher Degrees by Research Academic Progress Procedure
Higher Degrees by Research website
Research Conduct Policy



Printed copies of this document may not be current. Please refer to The Guide for the most recent version.
Deakin University 2015