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Graduate Research Examinations Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) This Policy outlines the University’s position, consistent with any legislative and other requirements, in relation to the conduct of examinations for higher degrees by research.

(2) This Procedure describes the steps which must be taken by candidates, supervisors, the Graduate Research School (GRS), panels and examiners during the examination of a higher degree by research. The requirements for presentation, submission and retention of a thesis, and the procedures for the nomination and appointment of examiners are prescribed in the separate procedures.

(3) The Board of Graduate Research (BGR) determines the conditions under which graduate research theses are examined. The examinations are administered by the GRS.

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Section 2 - Scope

(4) This Policy applies to:

  1. All campuses
  2. All higher degrees by research
  3. All staff of the University, including honorary staff
  4. All candidates for a higher degree by research 
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

Award of a Higher Degree by Research

(5) The award of a higher degree by research is based on:

  1. an assessment of the quality of the thesis or the thesis and research artefact by a minimum of two independent expert examiners, and
  2. the satisfactory completion of any other requirements of the degree, including any specified coursework or placement.

(6) The criteria for the examination of the respective higher degrees by research are prescribed in the Graduate Research Examination Procedures.

Modes of Submission

(7) Two modes of submission for higher degree examination are recognised at La Trobe University:

  1. Thesis mode (with or without publications)
  2. Practice-based mode

(8) The requirements for each of these modes are outlined in the schedules and guidelines attached to the Graduate Research Examinations Procedure - Thesis Requirements, Submission and Retention.

(9) The choice of mode of submission will be determined by the candidate in consultation with their supervisor according to the features and requirements of the particular research project.

Joint Work

(10) While candidates may form part of a research team they are expected to make substantial contributions towards the research projects described in the thesis in a combination of project conception and design, analysis and interpretation of research data or materials.

(11) The thesis will be written by the candidate. Where the thesis contains any work of co-authors (which may occur when the thesis contains material that has been published or is intended for publication) then the inclusion of that work will comply with the University’s Authorship of Research Outputs Policy and the Schedule for Presentation of Theses for Graduate Research Degrees by Research.

Responsibilities for Examination of Higher Degrees by Research

(12) The Board of Graduate Research has responsibility for:

  1. ensuring the criteria for examination (as prescribed in the Graduate Research Examination Procedures listed in the clauses below) are followed and directing the way in which higher degrees by research will be examined
  2. the appointment of examiners in accordance with the criteria and procedures outlined in the Graduate Research Examinations Procedure - Nomination and Appointment of Examiners
  3. determining the conditions for the format, submission and retention of theses, as outlined in the Graduate Research Examinations Procedure - Thesis Requirements, Submission and Retention and associated schedules
  4. making a recommendation to Academic Board for the award of a higher degree by research in each case.

(13) The Graduate Research School is responsible for the coordination and administration of the higher degree by research examination process.

Access to the Thesis

(14) The University seeks to fulfil its responsibilities to disseminate the results of publicly funded research and to enhance its reputation as a leading research university. To support these aims the University will provide open access to the final thesis, subject to any legitimate embargo that may prevail for a designated period of time.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Provision of Examinable Material to Examiners

(15) Depending on the mode of submission (thesis or practice-based mode) examinable material may consist of a thesis (including an exegesis), other written material such as catalogues and journals, and research artefact(s), which may be submitted individually or presented in the form of an exhibition or performance.

(16) Detailed guidelines for candidates submitting research artefacts in the practice-based mode will be provided by their School. GRS will be responsible for the provision of the thesis or exegesis to all examiners.

(17) Following the submission of the thesis with the required documentation, as described in the Graduate Research Examinations Procedure - Thesis Requirements, Submission and Retention, GRS will despatch the thesis to the approved examiners with the appropriate examination instructions for the relevant mode of submission.

(18) GRS will provide examiners with electronic access to the thesis. If examiners request a hard copy of the thesis the candidate will be asked to provide a printed version.

Exhibition or Performance of Examinable Material

(19) Projects such as works of art, design, photography, installation, architectural models, film or performances resulting from creative investigations, will be presented in a gallery or other appropriate venue, at times and dates approved by the Board of Graduate Research on the recommendation of the principal supervisor and School Director of Graduate Research (SDGR).

(20) The examiners will attend any performance or exhibition independently, and will receive a copy of supporting written documentation (eg the catalogue). Each examiner will also receive a copy of the visual durable record (eg digital recording) and the thesis/exegesis. The timing of the provision of this material (before or after the performance or exhibition) will be determined in each disciplinary area.

Part B - Criteria for Examination

General

(21) Examiners will be provided with the following criteria for examination of a thesis for the respective degrees:

Masters by Research

(22) The degree of Masters by research shall be awarded on the basis of examination of a thesis. The requirements for the degree shall be satisfactory completion of any coursework components and completion of a thesis which demonstrates the following course learning outcomes: 

  1. competence in the design and conduct of a research project that incorporates methodological skills appropriate to the discipline and a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in one or more disciplines.
  2. the candidate’s ability to provide a critical appraisal of relevant literature and available research, to appreciate and understand the relationship of the investigations undertaken by the candidate to the wider field of knowledge in which these investigations are located, and to draw out the contribution to knowledge made by these investigations
  3. the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the methodological techniques used in the research and any shortcomings associated with these techniques
  4. a satisfactory level of literary presentation reflecting an ability to communicate in a clear, concise and authoritative manner appropriate to the field of research and to the scholarly community to which it is addressed.

PhD

(23) The degree of PhD shall be awarded on the basis of examination of a thesis. The requirements for the degree shall be the satisfactory completion of any coursework requirements and completion of a thesis which demonstrates the following course learning outcomes:

  1. a substantial body of knowledge at the frontier of a field of research or learning, including knowledge that constitutes an original contribution.
  2. the candidate’s ability to provide a critical appraisal of relevant literature and available research, to appreciate and understand the relationship of the investigations undertaken by the candidate to the wider field of knowledge in which these investigations are located, and to draw out the contribution to knowledge made by these investigations
  3. the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the methodological techniques used in the research and any shortcomings associated with these techniques
  4. a satisfactory level of literary presentation reflecting an ability to communicate in a clear, concise and authoritative manner appropriate to the field of research and to the scholarly community to which it is addressed.

Professional Doctorate

(24) A Professional Doctorate (Research) degree shall be awarded on the basis of examination of a thesis once the candidate has met all coursework requirements of the degree at a satisfactory level. The thesis will demonstrate the following course learning outcomes: 

  1. a substantial body of knowledge at the frontier of a field of work or learning, including knowledge that constitutes an original contribution of direct relevance to the profession
  2. the candidate’s ability to provide a critical appraisal of relevant literature and available research, to appreciate and understand the relationship of the investigations undertaken by the candidate to the wider field of knowledge with particular reference to the profession in which these investigations are located, and to draw out the contribution to knowledge made by these investigations
  3. the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the methodological techniques used in the research and any shortcomings associated with these techniques
  4. a satisfactory level of literary presentation reflecting an ability to communicate in a clear, concise and authoritative manner appropriate to the field of research and to the professional area to which it is addressed.

Part C - Conduct of the Examination

(25) Examiners will examine the thesis according to the provisions outlined in these procedures and in the Graduate Research Examinations Procedure - Nomination and Appointment of Examiners.

When a Thesis Contains Publications

(26) When a thesis contains already published work, or work accepted or submitted for publication, the examination of the thesis will assess the research as presented, assessing whether the combination of published/accepted work/submitted and other work meets the criteria for the respective degrees as outlined in Part B.

(27) In their evaluation of the articles/book chapters/book, examiners will take into account the standing of the journal or, in the case of book chapters or a book, the quality of the publishers.

(28) Examiners may recommend that changes are made to any unpublished or framing material (see Schedule for Presentation of Theses for Graduate Research Degrees by Research) in a thesis that contains publications, but may not recommend changes to any accepted/ or published work. Recommended changes or additions to the framing material may, however, address matters pertaining to the published articles/book chapters.

Practice-based Mode Involving a Performance or Exhibition

(29) The examiners shall view the exhibition or performance independently and follow the normal practice of not communicating with one another as prescribed in the Graduate Research Examinations Procedure - Nomination and Appointment of Examiners.

(30) Following the exhibition or performance the examiners will complete their individual examination of the thesis, the visual presentation and other supporting documentation, and prepare their reports according to the requirements outlined in these procedures.

Part D - Recommendations Available to Examiners

(31) Examiners will recommend one of the options in Recommendations (immediately following this clause). Examiners are requested to:

  1. include justifications of their recommendations in their reports
  2. provide candidates with feedback
  3. when appropriate, list amendments required to bring the thesis or project up to a standard appropriate for the degree.

Recommendations

Option Recommendation
(a) the thesis should be classified as passed and the candidate awarded the degree without amendment or further examination
(b) the thesis should be classified as passed and the candidate awarded the degree subject to the minor amendments specified in the examiners’ reports and the correction of any typographical errors being made and documented to the satisfaction of the principal supervisor and the SDGR or Head of School.
(c) the thesis should be classified as passed and the candidate awarded the degree subject to the major amendments recommended in the examiners’ reports and the correction of any typographical errors being made and documented to the satisfaction of the principal supervisor and the SDGR or Head of School.
(d) the thesis should be classified as deferred and the candidate given up to twelve months to revise (see Part I for details of how revisions are determined) and resubmit the thesis for examination
(e) the candidate should not be awarded the degree

(32) Following the submission of a revised thesis the options available to examiners are:

  1. Pass, with or without advice concerning any typographical errors
  2. Fail

Part E - Monitoring and Reporting Progress of Examinations

(33) Examiners are asked to return their reports within six weeks.

(34) The Graduate Research School will send regular reminders to examiners during this period.

(35) The Graduate Research School will provide candidates and supervisors with an update on the examination status after two months have elapsed since the thesis was dispatched. Candidates or supervisors may also request an update of the examination status during the examination period.

(36) Recommendations made by examiners will not be communicated during the examination process. Candidates and supervisors will be advised of the outcome as per Part M.

Part F - Appointment of a Reserve Examiner

(37) If there continues to be no response from either of the first two examiners after eight weeks GRS will approach the third approved examiner and officially invite them to examine the thesis, under the same conditions given to the initial examiners.

(38) A reserve examiner may also be appointed in certain circumstances after the initial examiners’ reports are received - see Part H below.

Part G - Oral Examinations

(39) Normally, there is no provision for oral examinations in higher degrees by research at La Trobe University. However oral examination may be required under certain provisions for some cotutelle and joint award degrees. Any requirements for such oral examinations will be outlined in relevant inter-institutional agreements and course accreditation documents.

Part H - Reaching a Decision Based on Examiners’ Recommendations

Summary of Decision and Conferral

(40) The procedures for reaching a decision and conferral of the degree are:

  1. Examiners recommend a classification 
  2. The SDGR or the Advisory Panel recommends the final classification according to (41) 
  3. The Chair BGR makes the decision, based on the recommendation of the SDGR or Advisory Panel, and recommends to Academic Board the award of the degree 
  4. BGR ratifies the Chair BGR's decision and the recommendation to Academic Board if the candidate has met the requirements for the degree
  5. Academic Board approves the award of the degree
  6. University Council confers the degree.

(41) Each examiner will choose from among the recommendations prescribed in Part D of this procedure.

Action Following Examiner Recommendations

Scenario
Examiner 1 recommendation
Examiner 2 recommendation
Action
1
One of a, b, or c
The same recommendation
The SDGR will normally adopt the mutual recommendation for the final classification
2
One of a ,b, or c
One of a, b, or c but not the same as Examiner 1
The SDGR will normally recommend one of the classifications, with appropriate corrections or amendments
3
One of d or e
One of d or e (whether the same or different)
The SDGR will normally convene a Graduate Research Advisory Panel which will in turn recommend one of d or e. Where the recommendation is (e) the Advisory Panel will specify whether this is:
- no degree to be awarded (a fail outcome) or 
- the candidate should be awarded a master’s degree by research (minor amendments only allowed).
4
One of a, b or c
One of d or e
The GRS will ask the reserve examiner to examine the thesis prior to communication with the SDGR.

(42) Depending on the recommendation of the reserve examiner following Scenario 4, the following action will be taken:

Scenario
Recommendation of reserve examiner following Scenario 4 above
Action
5
a, b or c 
The SDGR will normally recommend one of a, b or c
6
d, or e
The SDGR will convene an Advisory Panel which will in turn recommend one of d or e. Where the recommendation is (e) options are as for Scenario 3 above.

Part I - When a Thesis is Deferred

Development of Guidelines for Revision

(43) Where an Advisory Panel confirms a classification of deferred (option d) the Advisory Panel will determine guidelines for the revision of the thesis based on the examiners’ reports. The provision of guidelines for revision of a deferred thesis must maintain the anonymity of the examiners.

(44) The chair of the Advisory Panel must submit a written report of its recommendations and guidelines for the revision of the thesis to the Chair BGR for approval.

(45) Approved guidelines must be considered by the examiner (or examiners) who recommended deferral. The Graduate Research School is responsible for liaising with the examiner(s) for their approval that the guidelines proposed by the Advisory Panel constitute an acceptable framework for revision of the thesis. If the examiner(s) do not agree with all parts of the guidelines proposed by the Advisory Panel, the examiner(s) are asked what modifications are required. Should the examiner(s) not accept the guidelines and propose no modifications, then the matter will be referred back to the Advisory Panel for further consideration, to determine the guidelines, and obtain the examiner(s) agreement. If agreement cannot be reached with the examiner(s) recommending deferral, another examiner will be sought to examine the revised thesis.

(46) Following agreement with the examiner(s) concerning the guidelines for revision the candidate is advised and asked to confirm their acceptance of the guidelines in writing (see Part O below for enrolment status following this step).

Re-examination of the Thesis

(47) The complete revised thesis is submitted for re-examination to the examiner or examiners who recommended that the thesis was deferred. If the examiners who recommended that the thesis was deferred are no longer available the Advisory Panel will recommend to the Chair of BGR that another examiner be appointed. A resubmitted thesis will be evaluated on the same academic criteria as a thesis submitted for the first time.

(48) Any examiner of a resubmitted thesis will be advised that it is a resubmitted thesis. Examiner(s) are provided with the revision guidelines. At the discretion of the Chair BGR an examiner may request and be provided with the thesis in its original form and reports from the original examination.

(49) No direct communication between the original or new examiners and the candidate or supervisor in relation to the amendments required for the thesis may occur without approval from the Chair BGR.

(50) The re-examination has two possible recommendations available: 

  1. Pass, with or without advice concerning any typographical errors
  2. Fail

Part J - Requirements for Graduate Research Advisory Panels (Advisory Panel)

Role of an Advisory Panel

(51) An Advisory Panel is convened by an SDGR in the circumstances outlined in clause 41 Action Following Examiner Recommendations above. The Advisory Panel is normally convened within four weeks of the SDGR receiving the examiners’ reports and recommendations.

(52) An Advisory Panel will:

  1. make recommendations to the Chair BGR regarding an examination outcome as prescribed in Part H above;
  2. establish guidelines for the revision of the thesis (as prescribed in Part I above).

(53) An Advisory Panel may also be established at the discretion of the Chair BGR.

Appointment and Composition of the Advisory Panel

(54) Advisory Panels are appointed by the SDGR and consist of:

  1. the SDGR (in the role of Chair)
  2. a nominee of the College Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) from the broad field of research
  3. at least one other senior academic who has expertise in the area of the thesis.

(55) The Chair of the Advisory Panel should not normally be of the same discipline as the candidate. If the SDGR is the supervisor, has been directly involved in the supervision at any time during candidature, or has attended the candidate’s research progress panel meetings (sufficiently often to give rise to questions of conflict of interest), then another senior member of academic staff of that school should chair the panel.

(56) Where possible the panel membership should have appropriate gender representation.

Submissions to the Advisory Panel

(57) When the Graduate Research School (GRS) determines that the examiners’ reports should be referred to an Advisory Panel, the Manager GRS, will inform the principal supervisor and the School Director of Graduate Research (SDGR).

(58) The Manager GRS will send the candidate a letter officially advising them of the decision to convene an Advisory Panel and will enclose the de-identified examiners’ reports.

(59) The Manager GRS will provide the Advisory Panel members with copies of the examiner’s reports. Examiners’ identities will be visible to the Advisory Panel but must not be shared with the supervisor or candidate to preserve the confidentiality of the examination process.

(60) The candidate and supervisor will be invited by the Advisory Panel to address in writing the concerns raised by examiners. The candidate and supervisor may also propose changes to be made to the thesis if it is either to be passed, or deferred and resubmitted for examination.

Participation in Advisory Panel Meetings

(61) Supervisors and candidates may participate in Advisory Panel meetings as allowed by the Advisory Panel but are not authorised to make recommendations to the Chair of BGR.

(62) The candidate may nominate another person who has expertise in the field of research to be his or her representative. The representative may provide written proposals for amending the thesis on behalf of the candidate and may attend parts of the meeting as allowed by the Advisory Panel.

(63) When attending an Advisory Panel, a candidate may also be accompanied by a support person. The support person may provide general support for the candidate but may not speak on the candidate’s behalf.

(64) The Advisory Panel will determine its procedure as prescribed above and may hold some of its discussions without the candidate, the candidate’s representative or a supervisor present.

Approval of Advisory Panel Recommendations

(65) An Advisory Panel may make recommendations according to the options outlined in clause 52 unless circumstances prevail as outlined in clause 68.

(66) The Chair BGR will normally approve the recommendations of an Advisory Panel out-of-session. The Chair BGR may ask an Advisory Panel for clarification of any part of its recommendations and its consideration of the examiners’ reports, and, where the Advisory Panel’s recommendation does not appear to meet the examiners' concerns, the Chair may refer the matter back to the Advisory Panel before approving its recommendation.

(67) In exceptional circumstances the Chair BGR may refer the Advisory Panel’s recommendation to a full meeting of the BGR or may seek further consideration by the examiners.

Part K - Setting Aside an Examiner’s Report

(68) The Chair BGR, or the Advisory Panel reviewing the examination reports and recommendations, may set aside an examination of a dissertation when:

  1. there is sufficient evidence of inadequate or poor quality in that examination
  2. there is demonstrable bias that disadvantages the candidate and brings the examination into question 
  3. it has been found that the examiner does not meet the criteria for examiners as prescribed by the Graduate Research Examinations Procedure - Nomination and Appointment of Examiners
  4. there is evidence of actions, such as collaboration between examiners or inappropriate communication with the candidate, supervisor or other persons involved in the candidate’s research that may bring the examination into disrepute.

(69) When the Chair BGR sets aside an examination recommendation and report (either independently or on the recommendation of an Advisory Panel), the reserve examiner will be requested to examine the thesis if they have not already done so. The two examiners’ recommendations will then be considered, without the report and recommendations that have been set aside, as if they are the only reports and recommendations.

(70) Where three examiners have selected (c), (d) and (e), and one of the latter two reports is set aside, the Advisory Panel may make a recommendation based upon the remaining examiners’ reports, without seeking further examination.

(71) BGR will be advised of and will review all examiners’ reports set aside at its next meeting.

Part L - Candidate Appeals

(72) Candidates may appeal the outcome of an examination where there is evidence of a breach of regulation, policy or procedure that has had a meaningful impact on the outcome of the examination.

(73) A candidate seeking to appeal the outcome of an examination must advise the Manager GRS of their intention to appeal within 10 working days of being notified of the outcome of their examination.

Appointment and Composition of a Graduate Research Examination Appeal Panel (Appeal Panel)

(74) Upon being notified of a candidate’s intention to appeal, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or nominee will appoint a Graduate Research Examination Appeal Panel which will normally meet within 20 working days of the candidate lodging their notice of intention to appeal.

(75) Appeal Panel members must have had no prior involvement with the candidate. Where possible the panel membership should have balanced gender representation.

(76) The Appeal Panel will consist of three members who have significant experience in research training and an understanding of higher degree by research examination, as follows:

  1. a professor of the University who will act as chair. The chair of the panel should not normally be of the same discipline as the candidate.
  2. two other senior academics, one of whom must be a member of the Board of Graduate Research.

(77) A secretary will be appointed to support the panel.

Submissions to the Appeal Panel

(78) The Chair of the Appeal Panel will seek written and verbal submissions as appropriate from the candidate, supervisor and any relevant staff members who have been involved with the administration of the candidate’s examination. Submissions should address any relevant grounds for appeal, as outlined in clause 72 above.

(79) When attending an Appeal Panel, a candidate may be accompanied by a support person. The support person may not be a legal practitioner or possess any form of legal qualification. They may provide general support for the candidate but may not speak on the candidate’s behalf.

Decisions Available to Appeal Panels

(80) In determining an appeal the Appeal Panel may:

  1. uphold the appeal, or
  2. dismiss the appeal.

(81) The Appeal Panel will report its decision to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or nominee, who will direct the Chair, Board of Graduate Research to take appropriate action.

(82) The Appeal Panel will give written notice of its decision and the reasons for it to the candidate. The candidate will be advised that if they are not satisfied with the decision of the Appeal Panel they maintain the right to file a grievance or complaint with the University Ombudsman or contact the Victorian State Ombudsman.

(83) The Chair, Board of Graduate Research will inform the candidate in writing of any actions to be taken in relation to the candidate’s examination following the outcome of the appeal.

(84) During the time in which the appeal is being lodged and heard, the candidate’s status remains ‘under examination’ as outlined in Part O, until the outcome of the appeal is known.

Part M - Communication of Outcomes

(85) If the decision of the Chair BGR is (a), (b) or (c) or (e), the GRS sends a letter of decision and copies of the examiners’ reports to the candidate with a copy to the principal supervisor and SDGR.

(86) The identity of the examiners is revealed to the candidate at the time a letter is sent as described in clause 86, unless an examiner has requested that he or she remains anonymous. If an examiner’s report is set aside it is not given to a supervisor or candidate.

(87) When an Advisory Panel is convened to consider a recommendation of (d) the candidate and supervisor will receive the examiners’ reports and recommendations with the identity of the examiners removed, to ensure the integrity of any potential re-examination of the thesis.

(88) Following the outcome of a meeting of an Advisory Panel, and confirmation of the decision by the Chair BGR, the GRS sends a letter of decision and copies of the de-identified examiners’ reports to the candidate with a copy to the principal supervisor. 

(89) The candidate and supervisor should indicate in writing their acceptance of any guidelines provided by the Advisory Panel for revision of the thesis within 10 working days of receipt.

Part N - Recommendation for Award and Award of Degree

(90) Following fulfilment of the final submission requirements as outlined in the Graduate Research Examinations Procedure - Thesis Requirements, Submission and Retention the recommendation for the award of the degree is made by the Chair BGR out-of-session. Ratification of the recommendation for award is considered at the next meeting of BGR.

(91) The recommendation of the Chair BGR for the award of the degree is submitted to Academic Board for approval. Following Academic Board approval the degree can be conferred.

Part O - Candidate Status After Thesis Submission

During the Examination Period

(92) Following advice from the Library Repository that the candidate has uploaded their thesis for examination GRS will change the candidate’s status on the student record system to ‘under examination’.

(93) The date of uploading will be recorded. From this point the candidate is no longer enrolled and will not incur any additional fee liabilities.

(94) During this time the candidate will continue to have access to the University’s ICT and Library facilities for a period of not less than six months or until all requirements for their degree have been completed if this date is sooner.

(95) International candidates must seek information from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) in relation to any extension of visas that may be required during this period.

Following the Examination Period

(96) Following advice of outcomes and the satisfactory completion of any amendments that may be required (see clauses 96 to 100) candidate status on the student data base is changed to ‘completed’ and arrangements for graduation will commence.

(97) Invitations to graduate are emailed to candidates’ La Trobe student email account. It is the candidate’s responsibility to keep their personal contact details up to date via Student OnLine.

(98) Following the issue of a testamur candidates’ access to the University’s ICT and Library facilities is ceased and their student email account is closed, unless alternative arrangements have been made through the local academic unit.

Where No Amendments are Required

(99) Candidates whose thesis is passed without any requirement for amendments complete the final steps required for the deposit of their thesis according to the Graduate Research Examinations Procedure - Thesis Requirements, Submission and Retention.

Where Minor or Major Amendments Are Required

(100) Candidates who are required to make amendments to the thesis will be allowed a limited period for completion of those amendments and submission of the final copy of their thesis to the GRS as follows:

  1. Minor amendments - 4 weeks
  2. Major amendments - 12 weeks

(101) Candidates who are unable to complete the required amendments in the designated time will be required to apply for an extension to the amendment period. One extension will be granted up to the equivalent of the original period given. Extensions beyond 24 weeks will be given only in exceptional circumstances.

When a Thesis is Deferred for Revision and Resubmission

(102) When a candidate is requested to revise the thesis as directed by the Advisory Panel, the candidate is re-enrolled for a period not exceeding 12 months. The candidate will continue to be supervised and comply with other conditions of candidature during this period.

(103) Candidates who do not submit the final revised version of the thesis (with authorised Authority to Submit documentation) within twelve months will have their status changed to lapsed and access to university facilities terminated.

Options for Submission After Candidature has Lapsed

(104) Candidates whose candidature has lapsed may apply to revive their candidature according to the graduate research policy and procedures in order to resubmit their revised thesis.

Part P - Prizes and Medals

School and College Medals

(105) Schools and Colleges may award prizes or medals to any candidates for meritorious examination outcomes as they see fit.

The Nancy Millis Medal

(106) The Nancy Millis Medal will be awarded for outstanding PhD theses on the basis of examiners’ reports, endorsement by the School Director of Graduate Research (SDGR) and approval by the Board of Graduate Research (BGR). Candidates nominated for the award will normally have demonstrated through their thesis and any creative works related to the thesis:

  1. international or national recognition of the significance of the research;
  2. the impact or potential impact of the work in the context of the field of research.

(107) Examiners will be asked if they recommend the candidate should be considered for the award based on the criteria in (106).

(108) The examiners’ recommendations, together with an assessment of the examiners’ reports, will form the basis for a recommendation by the SDGR to the BGR. Where a SDGR experiences a conflict of interest, a recommendation will be made by the relevant Head of School or the relevant Associate PVC (Research).

(109) BGR will make a final decision, taking into consideration the examiner’s recommendation, SDGR endorsement, and that the number of medals awarded each year will be typically 5% of the number of graduating candidates. A PhD candidate will normally be considered for award when at least one of the examiners has made such a recommendation.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(110) For the purpose of this Policy and Procedure:

  1. Candidate: any student of a higher degree by research who has not yet graduated from their degree and has not withdrawn. This will include those currently on approved leave.
  2. Decision: the decision of the Chair of the Board of Graduate Research in relation to the outcome of a higher degree by research examination, after consideration of the recommendations of examiners, the School Director of Graduate Research and a Graduate Research Advisory Panel where appropriate. The ‘decision’ is submitted to Academic Board for approval.
  3. Embargo: an approved prohibition on access to a thesis for a designated period of time.
  4. Higher degree by research: A degree at Level 9 or 10 of the Australian Qualifications Framework, which is comprised of at least two-thirds research and no more than one-third coursework, namely Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), professional doctorates; and Master’s by research degrees. May also be referred to as a graduate research degree.
  5. Research artefact: an outcome of research other than the major written component such as a thesis (including exegesis). This may be outputs such as a sculpture, painting, novel, software, or an event such as an exhibition or performance.
  6. Thesis: the major written outcome of a higher degree by research, either standalone, or an exegesis accompanying a research artefact.
  7. Thesis mode of submission: a mode of submission for examination for a higher degree by research in which the thesis is the only ultimate examinable outcome.
  8. Practice-based mode of submission: a mode of submission in which the examinable components for a higher degree by research examination include a research artefact and a thesis.
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Section 6 - Stakeholders

Responsibility for implementation – Chair, Board of Graduate Research.
Responsibility for monitoring implementation and compliance – Board of Graduate Research.