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Higher Degree Research Register of Supervisors Policy

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions of this document click the link in the main navigation (grey) bar above or contact policies@scu.edu.au for versions that expired pre August 2012.

Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to establish the SCU registration requirements for staff seeking to undertake the role of Principal Supervisor or Co-Supervisor for new Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates. It seeks to ensure that candidates in SCU HDR awards (i.e. Masters by Research, PhD, or Professional Doctorates) have the best possible supervisory experience.

Scope

(2) This Policy applies to all staff.

Section 2 - Definitions

(3) Nil

Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) SCU staff must be approved for inclusion in the SCU HDR Supervisor Register in order to undertake the role of Principal Supervisor, or of Co-Supervisor, for new Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates.

(5) According to the criteria and exemptions established in this Policy, the Dean, Graduate Studies will determine whether or not a new supervisory applicant is placed on, or removed from, the HDR Supervisor Register. The decision of the Dean, Graduate Studies is appealable to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) whose subsequent decision is then final.

Criteria for Registration as a Principal Supervisor

(6) Subject to obtaining a special consideration under clause (7), in order to qualify for registration as a Principal Supervisor a staff member must:

  1. possess an equivalent (or higher) Australian Qualifications Framework qualification to the HDR degrees they seek to supervise; and
  2. be a continuing staff member of the university, or a staff member with a minimum fixed term contract of at least three years; or refer to clause (8); and
  3. be Research Productive according to SCU's definition; and
  4. have previously been part of a HDR supervision team that has successfully supervised a HDR candidate to completion; or refer to clause (9); and
  5. have taken appropriate steps in the past three years to develop and maintain good supervisory skills and knowledge of Southern Cross University's policies, guidelines and rules as they pertain to higher degrees by research. This will include attendance at relevant workshops/seminars offered by the Graduate School, and may include attendance at appropriate supervisory skills development conferences/workshops external to the University, or participation in appropriate online programs. This may also include a staff member's designated role as a School or Special Research Centre Director of Higher Degrees Research Training.

Special Consideration

(7) Prospective Principal Supervisors who do not meet all of the criteria at clause (6) may apply to the Dean, Graduate Studies for an exemption based on other Scholarly activities and in accordance with Clause 8 or 9.

(8) Prospective Principal Supervisors who do not have a minimum 3 year fixed term contract, but who have at least 1 year remaining on their contract at the time of the proposed candidate's commencement date can apply to the Dean, Graduate Studies for approval. In this instance the following 3 criteria need to be satisfied in order for the appointment of Principal Supervisor to be approved:

  1. the co-supervisor is an ongoing staff member or has a contract longer than the student's candidature and is eligible to be a principal supervisor under the standard criteria in Clause (6); and
  2. the co-supervisor must be allocated a 30% or more supervisory load and is expected to be engaging regularly with the student; and
  3. there must be a prior agreement that the co-supervisor will take on the role of Principal as an ongoing or interim measure if the Principal Supervisor's contract is not renewed.

(9) Prospective Principal Supervisors who have not been part of a HDR supervision team that has successfully supervised a HDR candidate to completion may apply to the Dean, Graduate Studies for an exemption if they can demonstrate their involvement in the following:

  1. Participate in three confirmation of candidatures: The prospective principal supervisor would be expected to engage as much as possible as an observer to this process, ensuring they understand the process and the outcome, as well as what their responsibilities would be to a candidate undertaking a confirmation; and
  2. Participate in two In-candidature reviews: It is important that prospective principal supervisors understand the importance and purpose of this review for HDR candidates.
  3. Examination processes: it is expected that prospective principal supervisors will, through the School/Centre Director HDRT, be familiar with the HDR examination process. Prospective principal supervisors must agree to mentoring by an experienced co-supervisor or the SDHDRT when assisting their first HDR candidate with the response to examiners.
  4. School Director HDRT endorses the application: for an application for a new Principal Supervisor to be considered for fast track approval by the Dean, Graduate Studies, the application must be endorsed by the SDHRT.
  5. School Director HDRT Director must agree to formally induct any applicant that is approved: this will involve ensuring that new Principal Supervisors are familiar with their responsibilities, relevant policies, processes and expectations in relation to HDR candidature.

(10) Attendance at supervisor training: a new Principal Supervisor will be required to attend the first available supervisor training scheduled, as well as complete any online training offered

Criteria for Co-Supervisor

(11) Subject to obtaining a clause (12) special consideration, in order to qualify for registration as a Co-Supervisor, a staff member must:

  1. possess an equivalent (or higher) Australian Qualifications Framework qualification to the HDR degree they seek to supervise; and
  2. be a continuing staff member of the university, or normally a staff member with a minimum fixed term contract of at least three years, or an adjunct appointment of the university; and
  3. be Research Productive according to SCU's definition; and
  4. have taken appropriate steps in the last three years to develop and maintain good supervisory skills and knowledge of Southern Cross University's policies, guidelines and rules as they pertain to higher degrees by research. This will include attendance at relevant workshops/seminars offered by the Graduate School, and may include attendance at appropriate supervisory skills development conferences/workshops external to the University, or participation in appropriate online programs. This may also include a staff member's designated role as a School or Special Research Centre Director of Higher Degrees Research Training.

Special Consideration

(12) Prospective Co-Supervisors who do not meet all of the criteria at clause (8) may apply to the Dean, Graduate Studies for an exemption based on other Scholarly activities.

Section 4 - Procedures

The Registration, Renewal and Upgrade Process

(13) Staff seeking to obtain registration as Principal Supervisor or Co-Supervisor must complete an Application Form and submit it to their Head of School/Director, Special Research Centre for endorsement and forwarding to the Dean, Graduate Studies for determination.

(14) According to the criteria established in this Policy, the Dean, Graduate Studies will determine whether or not an applicant is placed on the Register.

  1. Note: Any Head of School/Director, Special Research Centre who wishes to enter the Register cannot approve their own application, and instead must submit an Application for approval by their immediate supervisor.

Deeming Provision

(15) Staff who have an enrolled candidate(s) under their supervision as a Principal Supervisor or a Co-Supervisor at 1 June 2015, or who have successfully graduated a HDR candidate in the last seven years (since 1 June 2008) at any university as a Principal Supervisor or a Co-Supervisor will be deemed to be registered on the Registry. Supervisors deemed to be on the Registry will be registered automatically by the Graduate School. Registration will be as a Principal Supervisor if any of those supervisions was (or has been) as a Principal Supervisor, or as a Co- Supervisor if none of these supervisions are (or have been) at the Principal Supervisory level.

Automatic Upgrading

(16) Staff who are Registered as Co-Supervisors and who subsequently qualify as a Principal Supervisor via supervising a HDR candidate to completion, will have their registration automatically updated by the Graduate School.

(17) Staff who are eligible to supervise Masters level students and who subsequently meet requirements to supervise Doctoral and Masters level students through successful completion of a Doctoral degree will, upon provision of appropriate evidence of this completion, have their registration updated to include their eligibility to supervise Doctoral level students.

Renewal of Registration

(18) Subject to clause (20), where registration is approved it will take effect for a period of three years. In the third year, the Manager, Graduate School will send a Renewal of Registration form to the Registered Supervisor for completion and returning to their Head of School or Director, Special Research Centre for endorsement and forwarding to the Dean, Graduate Studies for determination.

(19) In signing the form and making a recommendation for renewal of registration, the Head of School or Director, Special Research Centre will have regard to the Supervisor continuing to meet the Criteria for Registration at clauses (6) and (8) of this Policy.

(20) If a Renewal of Registration form is not received by the registration expiry date, the Supervisor's registration will lapse and the Supervisor will be removed from the register. The Dean, Graduate Studies will then conduct a review of that staff member's performance as an HDR supervisor.

(21) If a Supervisor provides a completed Renewal of Registration form (provided directly by the Manager, Graduate School) or an Application form after registration has lapsed, then subject to clause (19) the Supervisor's registration will be reinstated noting that a period of lapsed registration has occurred.

The Deregistration Process

(22) Upon receipt of a Renewal of Registration form:

  1. if a Head of School or Director, Special Research Centre determines that there are insufficient grounds for continuation of registration, they will recommend to the Dean, Graduate Studies that the Supervisor be removed from the register. Such a recommendation will instigate a review of that staff's HDR Supervisions by the Dean, Graduate Studies in accordance with clause (20).
  2. if the Manager, Graduate School determines that all the criteria for Principal or Co Supervisor Registration have not been met, they will contact the Supervisor to explore available means for the Supervisor to meet the criteria. If the Supervisor is unable to meet the criteria to the Manager, Graduate School's satisfaction prior to the registration expiry date, registration will be discontinued.

Dean, Graduate Studies Review of Registration

(23) The Dean, Graduate Studies may review the registration of any HDR Supervisor at any time. Such a review may result in the implementation of an intervention program that could include measures such as:

  1. the augmentation of the supervisory team with another supervisor;
  2. provision of a mentor;
  3. re-allocation of current supervisions; or
  4. the deregistration of that Supervisor where the Dean, Graduate Studies determines performance of supervisory duties is unsatisfactory.

(24) Any staff who are deregistered as HDR Supervisors may re-apply and be accepted for registration in the same manner as new applicants.

(25)

Review and Complaints Procedures

(26) Any Supervisor who disagrees with a decision in regard to either their registration or deregistration may appeal to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research).

Maintenance and Publication of the Register

(27) The Register will be:

  1. maintained in the Graduate School by the Manager, Graduate School; and
  2. made accessible to the general public on the Graduate School website.

Transitional Arrangements

(28) The establishment of a Register of HDR Supervisors will take effect from 1st September 2015. Any staff who are supervising HDR students and are not on the Register at this time will have their HDR Supervisions reviewed by the Dean, Graduate Studies in accordance with clause (20).

Section 5 - Guidelines

(29) Nil.