FAQs for Domestic Research Higher Degree Students

FAQs for International Research Higher Degree Students

FAQs for Domestic Students wanting to undertake a Cotutelle Degree

FAQs for International Students wanting to undertake a Cotutelle Degree

FAQs about Flinders University thesis guidelines for including published material into a normal PhD

FAQs PhD by Published Work

FAQs Using an Editor for a RHD thesis

FAQs for RHD Supervisors about the Register of RHD Supervisors

FAQs: Graduate Diploma of Research Methods

 


 

FAQs for Domestic Research Higher Degree Students

How do I apply for a Research Higher Degree?

Students must first complete an online Expression of Interest Form. Be sure to select the 'research degree' option for your level of study. By filling in your Expression of Interest form you will receive assistance from an RHD Administrative Officer in the appropriate College to locate a supervisor.

 

How do I find a supervisor in my field of study?

You can use the Find a Supervisor tab to enter one or two keywords to describe your proposed area of research. In addition, potential research supervisors need the following information before they can assess your viability as a research student:

  • Your 500-word research proposal.
  • Academic qualifications transcript.
  • Details of your research experience.
  • International students need to check English requirements

If you need additional assistance you will need to contact the RHD Administrative Officer in the appropriate College to be connected with a supervisor for your research project.

 

How do I apply for a research higher degree?

Go to the RHD Applications page, read the overview and begin your application online.

 

Is it possible to study a Masters Degree by Research or a doctorate part-time at Flinders University?

Yes, it is possible to undertake a RHD on a part-time basis. You will need to tick that option on the RHD application form.

 

If I am a part-time RHD student, how many hours per week am I expected to study?

As a part-time student you are expected to study for 15-20 hours per week (that is half of the full-time expectation).

 

Is it possible to study a Masters Degree by Research or a doctorate externally at Flinders University?

In order to determine if you can study externally, you will need to discuss and negotiate these details with your potential supervisor. For further information please contact the RHD Administrative Officer in your College in the first instance. Please also refer to the policy on external status: Section 6.13(viii) of the RHD Policies and Procedures. At the time of the assessment of your RHD application, your potential supervisor will also need to complete the application for external status form.

 

What are some alternative pathways into a Masters by Research without Honours?

Some options would be:

  1. Enrol in the Graduate Diploma for Research Methods
    This course is designed to provide you with in-depth knowledge of and skills in research methods and the opportunity to develop further depth and breadth of knowledge in your chosen discipline area as a pathway to research higher degree study.  It includes a substantial 18-unit research thesis so that you will be eligible to apply for scholarship opportunities as well as research higher degree entry (conditions apply).
  2. Enrol in Honours for one year
    This enables you to gain experience in a research dissertation and you would then be eligible to apply for a RHD scholarship. Also, an honours year would be commonwealth supported and there are some honours scholarships available if you have a high GPA and can demonstrate financial need.
  3. Enrol in a Coursework Masters with a research component of 18 units or more
    This would allow you to gain research experience. Please note that in some cases the course would be full-fee paying.
  4. Apply for a Masters by Research but only be accepted with qualifying studies
    'Qualifying Studies' is a complex area because each College deals with it in a different manner. Ultimately, it is the Board and College Research Higher Degrees Committee who can determine if you will succeed in a RHD without the normal admission requirements (i.e. Honours), but it does mean that you would not be eligible for a scholarship.

 

What are some alternative pathways into a doctorate without Honours?

Enrol in the Graduate Diploma for Research Methods . This course is designed to provide you with in-depth knowledge of and skills in research methods and the opportunity to develop further depth and breadth of knowledge in your chosen discipline area as a pathway to research higher degree study.  It includes a substantial 18-unit research thesis so that students will be eligible to apply for scholarship opportunities as well as research higher degree entry (conditions apply).

Enrol in a Masters by Research to begin the research process with a view of upgrading to a PhD at a later date you have successfully presented your research proposal. Again, however, if you do not complete the Masters then you will not be eligible for a scholarship since you will not have a grade to take the place of the Honours grade for ranking purposes.

 

How can I be admitted to a Masters by Research or doctorate without a research background? 

Information about admission requirements is available for all Masters by Research and doctoral degrees. Please contact the RHD Administration Officer in your College to seek clarification as to whether ‘the Board’ would deem your current qualifications as equivalent to Honours (based on any coursework or professional experience and/or publications undertaken in previous degrees).

 

Can I apply for a PhD by Published Work?

A PhD by Published Work is only available to individuals who have ‘normally had a postgraduate research or academic association of at least three years with Flinders University or other approved institution, and [have] made a substantial contribution to knowledge and scholarship in the relevant discipline. They will be accepted into the degree on the basis of previous extensive published work. Please refer to the PhD course rule, sections 12 to 15, for specific information about the requirements for the PhD by Published Work. It has very strict parameters and commencing postgraduates will not qualify.

Applications for a PhD by Published Work can be submitted using the standard PhD Application form; however, an application for candidature must also contain a written endorsement from the Executive Dean of your College, indicating that your application is for a PhD by Published Work. 

For assistance with these applications you will need to contact the RHD Administration Officer in the appropriate College.

For more information about a PhD by Published Work please see the FAQs below.

 

Can I transfer from my current university and be admitted to a PhD at Flinders University? What do I need to do? 

Please make contact with the appropriate College RHD Administration Officer to commence your RHD application. It is advisable to include the following information:

  1. The name of the proposed supervisor for your research;
  2. The area/discipline in which you are undertaking your PhD;
  3. Time elapsed since commencing candidature;
  4. Details of scholarship held.

Visit the How to Apply page for more information.

If you are a domestic student, please be aware that Flinders University will liaise with your current institution about your Research Training Program fee offset entitlements.

 

Can I keep my email and other Live services when I graduate?

Yes, refer to Student Email FAQs:http://www.flinders.edu.au/current-students/computing/student-email/faqs.cfm#graduate

 

RHD Contact Officers: Conciliation and Arbitration Process

Did you know that there are Contact Officers who can assist staff and candidates in every discipline with the resolution of problems? Every College has Contact Officers who provide advice and support.

 

When can I be called “Dr”?

If you are a PhD student, you are able to use "Dr" once your degree has been conferred by Flinders University. The conferral process occurs at a Graduation Ceremony, Council Meeting or in absentia. To be eligible for conferral, the Dean of Graduate Research needs to confirm that you have met the degree requirements and record that you have been awarded the degree on the Student Information System. For further information about conferral procedures visit the Graduation website.

 

 


FAQs for International Research Higher Degree Students 

How do I apply for a Research Higher Degree?

International students must first complete an online Expression of Interest form. Be sure to select the 'research degree' option for your level of study. By filling in your Expression of Interest form you will receive assistance from the International Centre and the College to locate a supervisor.

Further information is provided regarding visas and English language requirements for international students.


Does the university need to approve my proposed topic via the Expression of Interest Form before l can start my application?


The Expression of Interest Form assists students with organising a potential supervisor and a suitable research project for the formal application for admission. By arranging this in advance of your application, it can expedite the process once your application has been made.


When I submitted an electronic Expression of Interest Form, no ‘thank you’ note or any other sign appears to assure me that you have received it. Should I wait for a response before I start my official application?

Usually when you complete the Expression of Interest Form you receive confirmation on the screen. This is followed up by an email from the relevant College RHD Administrator. If you have further queries about your Expression of Interest, please contact the International Centre at internationalapply@flinders.edu.au.


What time of the year can I commence a RHD?

The projects for Research Higher Degree study are usually flexible in terms of when your candidature could commence. You can commence your candidature for a RHD at any time during the year in which your application has been successful, provided your visa has been arranged. Details about fees will be included in your offer letter. If you are applying for an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship (AGRTPS) or Flinders International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (FIPRS), however, you will have to submit your application by the closing date to begin the following year. Check all details for international opportunities on the scholarships website.


Can I send my RHD application form and required documents electronically?

Once you have contacted your potential supervisor and discussed your research project, you will be asked to complete the RHD application form. Once this form is filled in it can be emailed to the International Centre at internationalapply@flinders.edu.au.


What qualifications do I need to apply for a Masters by Research or PhD?

For admission to a research higher degree program, you normally need an Honours Class 1 or 2A degree or equivalent, although other qualifications may be considered. Refer to the Course Rules for Masters by Research and Doctorate degrees.

In addition, international students need to meet the required English language proficiency requirements.

Direct entry into a PhD is also dependent on the strength of your research background and you may be required to undertake a qualifying program if your research profile is not considered sufficient.

As part of your student visa requirements, you normally need to study full-time.

Note that Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology), Doctor of Education, and Doctor of Public Health have additional entry requirements. Please refer to the International Application page for details.


How can I source information about tuition fees for a RHD?

Tuition fees depend on the course you are undertaking. The International Centre’s website has information about fees, living expenses, annual health cover and visa expenses, as well as further information about studying at Flinders and living in Adelaide.


What English proficiency scores do I need before I can apply for a RHD?

Any offer for candidature will be made on the condition that the English language requirement has been met prior to commencing. The International Centre’s English language requirements web page provides additional information.


What happens if my application is successful?

You will receive an email from the International Centre containing a PDF version of your formal ‘Letter of Offer’, as well as a link to an information booklet titled Your Letter Offer Explained.

Once you have read this information you will be able to formally accept your offer for candidature. Please note that you will also be expected to pay for a portion of your tuition and overseas health cover as part of your formal acceptance, and arrange your visa. All of this information will be provided on your initial acceptance email.

 

Can I intermit or extend my candidature?

Yes, you can. However, in accordance with Australian Government regulations (ESOS Act and National Code 2007) onshore international students on a student visa are only able to defer, intermit or extend their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) in exceptional circumstances.  Such circumstances are generally beyond the control of the student (e.g. serious illness or injury, bereavement of a close family member).  Please note that deferring, intermitting or extending your candidature may affect your student visa.  For advice regarding student visa implications please contact the following services prior to lodging an application for variation of candidature:

Before lodging this application, you must contact the International Compliance Team at any one of the following contacts:

Phone: 8201 3571 or 8201 3950
Submit a request:  http://supportcenteronline.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=825 
Email: internationalcompliance@flinders.edu.au

International Student Services
Phone: 8201 2717
Email:  iss@flinders.edu.au

In accordance with Australian Government regulations (ESOS Act and National Code 2007) onshore international students on a student visa are only able to defer or intermit their candidature in exceptional circumstances generally beyond the control of the student, e.g. serious illness or injury, bereavement of a close family member. Deferring, intermitting or extending your candidature will not guarantee extension of your student visa. The University is required to inform the Department of Immigration and Border Protection of your decision which will have implications for your current visa.


Note: an extension of your candidature does not automatically extend your student visa.  If your student visa is due to expire prior to your submission date, you will be required to provide documentation for your CoE extension. Please discuss this matter with staff in the International Centre. Please note that this approval may affect the fees associated with your enrolment.  For further information please contact Flinders Connect on 1300 354 633 or submit a help request via:  https://faq.flinders.edu.au).

 

Can I keep my email and other Live services when I graduate?

Yes, refer to Student Email FAQs:http://www.flinders.edu.au/current-students/computing/student-email/faqs.cfm#graduate

RHD Contact Officers: Conciliation and Arbitration Process

Did you know that there are Contact Officers who can assist staff and candidates in every discipline with the resolution of problems? There are Contact Officers all over the uniwho provide advice and support.

 

When can I be called “Dr”?

If you have completed your PhD, you are able to use "Dr" once your degree has been conferred by Flinders University. The conferral process occurs at a Graduation Ceremony, Council Meeting or in absentia. To be eligible for conferral, the Dean of Graduate Research needs to confirm that you have met the degree requirements and record that you have been awarded the degree on the Student Information System. For further information about conferral procedures visit the Graduation website.

 

 

 


FAQs Using an Editor for a RHD thesis


Can I use a professional editor for my RHD thesis?

Yes. The use of a professional editor is permitted, if undertaken in accordance with the following conditions. Professional editing of a thesis refers to editing services that are paid for.
(a) professional editing must be undertaken before the final version of the thesis is submitted to the student's supervisor for consideration;
(b) supervisors must oversee the process and monitor professional editing on an individual basis; and
(c) professional editing must be limited to formatting, grammar and style and must not alter or improve the substantive content or conceptual organisation of the thesis.
Reference: Research Higher Degrees - Appendix F

‘Guidelines for editing research theses’, developed through a collaboration of the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) and the Australian Council of Graduate Research Inc (ACGR Inc), have recently been updated. The guidelines were developed with close attention to Australian standards for editing practice and provide information for editors, academic supervisors and research students about the editorial services that professional editors can provide when editing research students’ theses.

Professional editors work to these guidelines, and the following websites contain links to the most recent update of the guidelines. Providing the following links to IPEd’s website will ensure that candidates and academic supervisors always have access to the most up-to-date information:

·       Editing academic theses is for editors and sets out the scope and limit of editing services an editor can provide.

·       Engaging an editor is for candidates and outlines the process of engaging a professional editor, the services a professional editor may offer and the tasks that fall outside the editor’s role.

·       When your student engages an editor is for supervisors and includes information to support your student in appointing an editor as well as your responsibilities as a supervisor of a candidate who is working with a professional editor.

How do I employ a suitable editor?

Each of the Australian societies of editors maintains a register of professional editors that can help students identify a suitable editor.

Students can employ editors not on the list above, but must ensure that they are provided with a copy of the University's guidelines for using an editor. Care should also be taken to ensure that the proposed editor has experience in research higher degree theses.

Should the professional editor be acknowledged in the prefatory matter of the thesis?

Yes. It is important to include an acknowledgement of the help given or work carried out by another person or organisation in editing a thesis. The acknowledgement should take the following form: 'Professional editor, [editor's name], provided copyediting and proofreading services, according to the conditions laid out in the university-endorsed national guidelines, 'The editing of research theses by professional editors'.

Can I claim the payment of an editor?

Research higher degree students may claim a thesis allowance of up to $500, to assist with the cost of the production of their thesis. The claim may include the cost of consumables such as paper, ink, USBs, and disks, as well as costs associated with professional printing, and binding. Costs such as the purchase of computer equipment are not included. For a copy of the form and the allowance rules refer to: Scholarships - forms.

Where are the rules and guideliens for RHD theses found?

The rules for RHD theses are part of Appendix F of the Research Higher Degrees section of the Student Related Policies and Procedures Manual.

I want to know more about how I should go about the editing process for my thesis. When should I edit? What should I expect? What's the difference between 'copy-editing' and 'proofreading', and why does it even matter?

The Dean of Graduate Research discusses these questions and more in the following in-depth interview with Office of Graduate Research staff member and private editor, Dr Sam Franzway.

 

 

FAQs about Flinders University thesis guidelines for including published material into a normal PhD

Can I publish research from my research higher degree thesis during candidature?

Yes. Flinders University strongly encourages students to publish research from their thesis prior to submission, provided this activity does not detract from the main task of completing their thesis on time. Publications may be included provided they contribute to the overall theme of the thesis and are appropriately placed within it.

How do I incorporate publications into the body of my thesis?

You must format publications included as chapters in the same way as the other chapters in the thesis (i.e. not presented as reprints). Reprints may sometimes be included as appendices, however, where they differ substantially in form from the body of the chapter (pending copyright approval if required). Chapters that include a substantial published component should highlight this with appropriate referencing or footnotes.

How can I check the copyright conditions of journals for publications that need to be included as part of my PhD or PhD by Published Work thesis?

Contact eResearch in the Library (8201 2084  or eresearch@flinders.edu.au) with a list of citations and they will be able to check the copyright. If you need to seek permission for use from the publisher, candidates will have to do that themselves, but eResearch can provide a simple template to use. Please note, this should be done early because publishers’ are not always prompt in their replies.

What kind of introduction and conclusion do I need to write?

Publication chapters should be conceptually linked to the chapters before and after and follow a logical sequence. In addition, theses with a high proportion of published material need to contain a broad contextual statement, demonstrating the relevance of the work to the wider field of knowledge. This is most commonly achieved through an introductory literature review or commentary and a general, wider ranging, conclusion.

Can I include multi-authored papers in my thesis?

Yes. Multi-authored papers may be included within a thesis; however, the candidate is expected to be the primary author of these papers. A clear statement is required for each publication documenting the contribution of each author to the paper (from conceptualisation to realisation and documentation). If you are not the first author, you need to justify the paper’s inclusion and clearly explain the circumstances relating to the production of the paper and your position in the list of authors. It may be more suitable to include these papers as appendices, rather than in the main body of the thesis.

Do I need the approval of co-authors if I use a publication in my thesis?

Yes. You are required to obtain permission from any co-authors to include their work in your thesis. Co-authors can give their permission via the Submission of Thesis Form. Please note: this section of the form will be provided to examiners so that they are aware of all external contributions to your thesis.

Where are the rules and guidelines for RHD theses found?

The rules for RHD theses are part of Appendix F of the Research Higher Degrees section of the Student Related Policies and Procedures Manual.

What if I am not enrolled in a PhD and have a range of high-quality publications that form a substantial contribution to knowledge?

You should refer to the Course Rule for the PhD by Published Work and the FAQs.

 

FAQs about PhD by Published Work

What is the PhD by Published Work?

The PhD by Published Work is only for individuals who have already generated a range of high-quality publications that form a substantial contribution to knowledge - that is, publications completed prior to the commencement of the degree - and have an association with Flinders (not as postgraduates) as outlined below:

(a)        at least three years have elapsed after qualification for the bachelors degree with honours or equivalent;

(b)        he or she has spent at least three years following graduation substantially engaged in the practice and study of the discipline or related discipline; and

(c)        he or she has normally had a postgraduate research position (such as a Postdoctoral Fellowship or similar research position), or academic association of at least three years with Flinders University, or other approved institution (an approved institution is an institution that has an affiliation with Flinders via research and/or teaching), and has made a substantial contribution to knowledge and scholarship in the relevant discipline, as determined by the award, or eligibility for the award, of full academic status as defined in the Academic Status Policy.

How do I apply for the PhD by Published Work?

If you meet the eligibility criteria set out above you must apply in writing to the Executive Dean of the appropriate College providing the details of the work you propose to submit and a curriculum vitae. Also refer to the Course Rule.

What is the duration of candidature for the PhD by Published Work?

The maximum duration of candidature is one year of approval of enrolment by the Board of the College. The candidate must submit bound copies of the published work to the College within one year of approval of enrolment. Refer to Section 14 of the RHD Policies and Procedures.

How do I enrol for the PhD by Published Work?
Once you have approval from the Executive Dean to commence a PhD by Published Work, contact the RHD Administration Officer to arrange an enrolment appointment. The enrolment appointment takes approximately ½ hour.

What is the format of a PhD by Published Work thesis?
The thesis shall include, in addition to the relevant publications:

(a)        a contextual statement which would normally include the aims underpinning the publications; a literature review or commentary which establishes the field of knowledge and provides a link between publications; and a conclusion showing the overall significance of the work and contribution to knowledge, problems encountered and future directions of the work. The discussion should not include a detailed reworking of the discussion from individual papers within the thesis.

(b)        a statement which indicates which portions of the work are claimed to be original;

(c)        a statement which, in the case of work carried out conjointly, clearly states the extent to which the person was responsible for the initiation, conduct and direction of such conjoint research; and

(d)        a statement which clearly indicates any portions of the work submitted that have previously been submitted for any degree in the University or any other institution

The Student related Policies and Procedures Manual shows that multi-author papers may be included within a thesis; however, the candidate is expected to be the primary author of these papers. A clear statement is required for each publication documenting the contribution of each author to the paper (from conceptualisation to realisation and documentation). If you are not the first author, you need to justify the paper’s inclusion and clearly explain the circumstances relating to the production of the paper and your position in the list of authors. It may be more suitable to include these papers as appendices, rather than in the main body of the thesis. Where the candidate includes papers that have joint- or multiple-authorship, the candidate is strongly encouraged to have all authors sign a statement giving permission for the paper to be included in the thesis. Original signatures are preferred but scanned signatures are acceptable.

How can I check the copyright conditions of journals for publications that need to be included as part of my PhD or PhD by Published Work thesis?

Contact eResearch in the Library (8201 2084 or eresearch@flinders.edu.au) with a list of citations and they will be able to check the copyright. If you need to seek permission for use from the publisher, candidates will have to do that themselves, but eResearch can provide a simple template to use. Please note, this should be done early because publishers’ are not always prompt in their replies.

How is a PhD by Published Work examined?

As outlined at Section 3.8 of the RHD Policies and Procedures, Examiners of a thesis for a PhD by Published Work candidate should satisfy themselves that the candidate has demonstrated:

(a)        evidence of an original investigation or testing of ideas;

(b)        competence in independent research or experimentation;

(c)        a thorough understanding of the appropriate techniques in the field demonstrated both by their application and a thorough review of the literature;

(d)        critical use of source material, experimental results (where appropriate) and published work;

(e)        appreciation of the relationship of the special theme to the wider field of knowledge;

(f)         capacity to present well-written work;

(g)        a higher degree of independence of thought and approach; and

(h)        a significant original contribution to knowledge.

There will be two examiners for a PhD by Published Work thesis both of whom shall be of international standing in the discipline and who are external to the University. A supervisor will not act as an examiner. The PhD by Published Work is examined in accordance with Sections 19-27 of the RHD Policies and Procedures.

Where are the rules for RHD theses found?
The rules for RHD theses are part of Appendix F of the Research Higher Degrees section of the Student Related Policies and Procedures Manual.


FAQs for RHD Supervisors about the Register of RHD Supervisors

When was the Register of RHD Supervisors implemented?

The policy for the Register of RHD Supervisors was implemented in 2013 and is managed by the Office of Graduate Research.


What is the reason for the Register of RHD Supervisors?

In 2006 AUQA recommended (Recommendation 9) that Flinders develop a system to support a robust process to monitor the training, experience and effectiveness of research higher degree supervisors, such as the development of a supervisors' register and introduction of measures to gauge the quality of supervision.

In 2011 the University appointed a Dean of Graduate Research to take responsibility for implementing support for graduate research students, including supervisory training. The 2011 Self-Review Audit noted the 2006 recommendation and in interviews with DVCR Professor David Day and the Dean of Graduate Research Professor Jeri Kroll, the auditors emphasised that initiatives such as the Supervisors' Register need to be implemented, not just planned. The Supervisors' Register Proposal passed VCC and Academic Senate in 2012.

The policy took effect from 1 January 2013 and The Register became active online in April 2013 with restricted access.

What is a Principal Supervisor?

Principal Supervisors will have primary supervisory responsibility for the candidature and for maintaining effective communication with the candidate and with other supervisors.


What is an Associate Supervisor?

Associate Supervisors will provide additional supervisory support for the candidate and additional expertise to the supervisory panel. Associate Supervisors may be required to temporarily assume primary supervisory responsibility when the Principal Supervisor is unavailable.


What is an Adjunct Supervisor?

Adjunct Supervisors may be appointed to provide additional expertise to the supervisory panel. The Adjunct role is appropriate where extra expertise would be beneficial, but where the supervisor is not eligible to assume a Principal or Associate Supervisor role; for example, a supervisor external to the university without Flinders academic status.


What are the requirements for being a Principal or Associate Supervisor?

Please see  Appendix I of the Policy on Register of Research Higher Degree Supervisors which is part of the RHD Policies and Procedures in the Student Related Policies and Procedures.


How is 'research active' defined in the Register of Research Higher Degree Supervisors?

A registered supervisor must be active in research or creative work as demonstrated by publishing at least 5 Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) items (or weighted equivalent) in the previous 5 years, or a non-traditional output or equivalent as recognised by Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA),
and by acting as Chief Investigator on at least 1 NCRG (category 1) grant in the previous 5 years;
or by acting as supervisor for at least 1 research higher degree completion in the previous 5 years;
or has received at least $50,000 in external research funding in the previous 5 years;
or has an equivalent peer-reviewed track record.

There may be other circumstances, such as Early Career Researchers, that justify staff being classified as research-active and exceptions to this definition can be nominated by the College Dean (People and Resources) and approved by the Executive Dean of the College.


Can a staff member who has recently been awarded a Masters by Research or a PhD (an Early Career Researcher) supervise a Research Higher Degree candidate?

For the purposes of the Register, recent Masters by Research or PhD graduates will be considered ‘research active’ as an Early Career Researcher for a period of 5 years following award of the degree. These staff members, therefore, will be able to supervise the degree that equates to their own qualification level, as long as a qualified mentor is appointed.

For example, a Masters by Research graduate can supervise Masters by Research candidates, and PhD graduates can supervise both Masters by Research and doctoral candidates. In each case a qualified mentor must be appointed. After 5 years, they will be expected to meet the criteria as currently stated in the policy in order to remain eligible to supervise RHD students.

What is a qualified mentor?

An experienced mentor needs to be on the Register of RHD Supervisors, be research active and have completed a RHD supervision (of the relevant degree) at principal level within the previous 5 years. For example, a staff member with a PhD who has only supervised a Masters to completion can only mentor a staff member supervising a Masters student.

How is it determined whether an academic staff member is research active?

For academic staff members to be considered research active they must have a HERDC/ERA-eligible weighted publication count of 5 from the last five years to the present. Eligible publications from this time period are counted regardless of the affiliation of staff members at the time of publication. The following categories of publications are considered HERDC eligible:

  • A1 books
  • B1 book chapters
  • C1 journal articles
  • E1 conference papers.

ERA eligible publications include the HERDC eligible publications listed above as well as category A2R reports and N2 non-traditional outputs. Category A1 books are weighted as 5 in the weighted publication count while all other HERDC/ERA eligible publications are weighted as 1.

The Office of Graduate Research obtains lists of staff members' publications from RePortal (https://research.flinders.edu.au/RePortal) to determine their research active status. These lists are generated using publication records entered into the Research Management Information System (RMIS). For this reason it is important that staff ensure their publication records in the RMIS are kept up to date, including publications from the last five years to the present. Furthermore, publication records are used for internal reporting, including promotions as well as for external reporting to the Commonwealth from which substantial income is derived.

Staff members can enter publications into the RMIS by logging onto the RMIS web interface at https://rmis.flinders.edu.au/RMENet/ and using the same FAN and password combination used to log onto the university computer network. Before entering publications data it is recommended that staff go to the publications collection website at http://www.flinders.edu.au/research/researcher-support/publications-data-collection-pdc/publications-data-collection-pdc_home.cfm and familiarise themselves with the collection process. Staff should read the linked documents on the page that explain the publication categories, the documentation required by Researcher Support to verify their publications and detailed instructions for entering publications into the RMIS.

 

Can you automatically supervise new RHD students if you are currently on the Register during the Transitional Period?

Academic staff taking on new supervisions must fulfil all of the requirements to be a Principal or Associate Supervisor. If they do not, they will need an exemption. For example, there may be other circumstances that justify staff members being classified as research active. Please consult your Dean of School (or nominee) and have the exemption confirmed by your College Dean (People's Resources). If an exemption is not granted, the staff member will not be able to take on new supervisions.

How long do I stay on the Register?

Once academic staff members are placed on the Register, whether from the transition period 2011-2012 or through application, they remain there. The only exceptions are for those who resign, retire or do not have their Full Academic Status (FAS) renewed. However, if a staff member becomes research inactive (see definition above), they will not be eligible to take on new RHD supervisions until they become research active. Please note that staff who become research inactive may continue supervising their current students.


What is the
Supervisor Induction Program?

Effective supervision is a key element in the learning experience for research higher degree candidates. All staff members new to supervising RHD candidates at Flinders must complete the Postgraduate Research Supervision Induction Program and needs to be completed within 12 months of commencement of supervision. Experienced supervisors need to update their supervisor training within 5 years from 1 January 2013. It comprises two core workshops and a choice of two electives:

*This module can be taken online.

The program covers the complex environment in which supervision occurs, Flinders University policy and processes regarding Research Higher Degree Supervision and good practice when supervising students.

Keeping up to date with research supervision

Experienced supervisors need to update their supervisor training every 5 years from 1 January 2013. A range of workshops and lunchtime seminars are also offered to experienced supervisors who wish to update their skills and knowledge. They can attend three of these one-hour workshops to update their practice and to fulfill their professional development requirement (valid for five years).

These lunchtime workshops are offered by the Office of Graduate Research for research higher degrees supervisors.  These one-hour sessions give RHD supervisors an opportunity to learn about current RHD issues, impacts of legislation and policy and best practice approaches to supervision and RHD student administration. 

In addition, if you are a newly registered supervisor, you can count three of these one-hour workshops as the equivalent of one elective in the Postgraduate Research Supervision Training program.

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Current scheduled courses

In order to see which core topics and electives are scheduled for enrolment, please link to Current scheduled courses .

Each year the Office of Graduate Research will notify all RHD Supervisors of the lunchtime workshops.

 

Exemptions

Reasons for exemptions to CILT Supervisor Training can be found in the Academic Supervisor Induction Guidelines (DOC 66KB) Guidelines for academic staff and supervisors. Evidence of previous training consists of a program that covers the complex environment in which supervision occurs, Flinders University policy and practice regarding Research Higher Degree Supervision and good practice when supervising students.


What are some examples of equivalent contributions to the Postgraduate Research Supervision Induction Program?

If you have provided a training course on any aspect of supervision, given a paper at a conference on supervisory practice, provided an information session at College level about supervision practice, or attended a College-run information session on RHD policies and procedures, you will be given credit towards updating your skills and knowledge.

If any of the above applies to you, please advise the Office of Graduate Research via email (gradresearch@flinders.edu.au) with a subject heading of “Equivalent Supervisor Training”. Please provide as many details as possible, and you will be advised by return email whether it has been approved and recorded on the Register.


Are staff members with Professional Doctorates eligible to supervise PhD students?

A qualified Principal and Associate Supervisor need to be appointed for every student. Executive Deans can approve special cases for supervision and may take into account factors such as the percentage of the research component of the Professional Doctorate, relevant publications and relevant academic and professional experience in the student's proposed field of study.

*As of 2015, all Professional Doctorates must comprise two-thirds research, the same proportion stipulated by the new Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) for a PhD.


Can I be a Principal or Associate Supervisor for a PhD without having completed a PhD?

The Dean of the Office of Graduate Research can approve special cases on the recommendation of the Executive Dean if the staff member has an appropriate peer-reviewed track record of publications or equivalent academic expertise and relevant grants. In these cases, either the Principal or Associate Supervisor should have a PhD and at least one PhD completion within a five-year period.

Can I be a Principal or Associate Supervisor for a Masters by Research without having completed a PhD?

You can supervise a Masters by Research, either as Principal or Associate Supervisor, if you have completed a Masters by Research degree. If you want to supervise as Principal, you should have had at least one Masters by Research completion within a five-year period.

How does the new Register of Research Higher Degree Supervisors model of Principal Supervisor and Associate Supervisor accommodate collaborative supervision (50/50 split of responsibility between two equal supervisors)?

The new Register of Research Higher Degree Supervisors does not alter the current policy on RHD supervision, where it is the expectation that one person, normally the Principal Supervisor, has the overarching authority for the candidature. He or she signs papers and writes references, etc. The Associate signs paperwork in the Principal's absence. It is important that each candidature has a nominated signatory for such paperwork so that College RHD Officers can keep track of the candidature. Supervisors should divide tasks at the beginning of candidature so that allowances can be made at the College level in their workloads.

RHD Contact Officers: Conciliation and Arbitration Process

Did you know that there are Contact Officers who can assist staff and candidates in every discipline with the resolution of problems? There are Contact Officers from across the university who provide advice and support.


Can Emeritus Professors supervise research higher degrees?

Yes they can, but at two different levels depending on the status of their title of Emeritus Professor.

The policy states that the title of Emeritus Professor may be conferred by Council on a staff member holding an appointment at Academic Level E or D Plus who has given distinguished service or otherwise made a significant contribution to the scholarly activities of the University over a considerable period of time and who retires or resigns. It is a title that is awarded for life.

In order to be recognised on the Register of RHD Supervisors, an Emeritus Professor would need to have Full Academic Status, which would entitle them to the position of Principal or Associate Supervisor. Full Academic Status or Adjunct Academic Status is not part of the award of the Emeritus Professor title. If an Emeritus Professor has Adjunct Academic Status, they can only be listed as an Adjunct Supervisor and will not be recorded on the Register.

Please note that each student needs to have at least one Principal Supervisor and one Associate Supervisor. If a change in supervision level to Adjunct Supervisor occurs for an Emeritus Professor, a replacement supervisor, Principal or Associate, will need to be found.

Can Professorial Fellows supervise research higher degrees?

Yes they can. Professorial Fellows are awarded for three years and have the same status as those with Full Academic Status.

 

FAQs: Graduate Diploma of Research Methods

How is the course structured?

The Graduate Diploma of Research Methods comprises 18 units of coursework and an 18-unit supervised research thesis/project component. There are a range of research methods topics in each discipline area that are available to you, as well as the Communicating Research topic.  You can discuss an appropriate program of study with a relevant College administrator or course coordinator.

Can I do this course part-time?

Yes, the Graduate Diploma of Research Methods is available part-time. Please ensure that you discuss your potential program of study with a course coordinator to allow you to get the most out of the available topic offerings in your College.

How much is the course?

The course is charged at the domestic full-fee paying rate and can be deferred using FEE-HELP. Each topic amount is calculated differently, based on your subject area. To calculate an estimate of your fees you can head to  the Fee-paying student tuition fees page (click here).

How do I apply?

Domestic applicants apply via SATAC.

International applicants apply via the University’s International Centre

What are the admission requirements?

You will need to have completed an approved degree or equivalent qualification from an approved tertiary institution with a GPA of 5.00 or greater. Under exceptional circumstances and subject to specific conditions, the College Board may admit you if you can show evidence of fitness for candidature, i.e. a suitable publication record, or work experience in a research role. Admission is subject to the relevant discipline area being able to provide suitable supervision for the program of study.

Do I need to do anything else to apply?

You will also need to submit a Research Statement for assessment by the College and your potential supervisor for the 18-unit research thesis/project component. The Research Methods Research Statement form outlines details regarding the student’s proposed area of research and at least one potential supervisor.  The Research Statement form is available to download here.  Please choose the relevant form for your area and submit it via email to your relevant College administrator here.

How does the research thesis/project component topic work?

When you apply you will be encouraged to locate a suitable supervisor who will work with you when you reach the research thesis/project component. The thesis is supervised and assessed in the same way as the thesis for an Honours or Masters coursework degree. Refer to the Research Components of Postgraduate Coursework Awards.

Can I start mid-year?

Mid-year intake is now available for this topic. To ensure that you have sufficient available topics for your mid-year entry, please contact your relevant administrator or course coordinator.

What is COMS9001?

COMS9001 – Communicating Research is a topic that helps students to develop their written and oral skills for use in higher degree research. It develops their general and academic communication skills within the specific context of their area of study. The subjects covered include English grammar, syntax and idiom; academic and scientific writing; structure and argument; literature reviews; academic publishing; research proposals; editing; and peer review. Students will learn how to edit their own and their peers' work.

Will the GDRM help me obtain an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship (AGRTPS) or FURS scholarship?

If you are currently ineligible for a scholarship because you do not have an equivalent Honours qualification, the Graduate Diploma of Research Methods may improve your eligibility. For full eligibility requirements please visit the scholarships website.

Who do I contact in my area?

Contact details for Course Coordinators and College Administrators can be found here.

When do I have to apply by if I want to start this year?

Dates to be announced.

Can I do this course online?

Unfortunately this course is only offered in internal mode is not available online.

Can I use my PhD research proposal?

We prefer you not to, but there can be an association between the work you do in the Grad Dip and your RHD.

Do I have to apply for an RHD at Flinders once I’ve finished, or could I apply at another university?

Yes, you are welcome to apply for a Research Higher Degree at any university once you have completed this course, subject to meeting the entry requirements.

What is the difference between the Grad Dip, and Honours?

The Graduate Diploma in Research Methods is not intended to replace Honours for students who transition directly from a normal Bachelors to an Honours degree. The intention of the Graduate Diploma in Research Methods is to provide a pathway for groups of students who have not followed conventional pathways to Research Higher Degree study by ensuring students are research ready.

Below is a list to indicate the types of students who might benefit from these degrees:               

  • students who have an honours degree completed more than ten years ago, and who do not meet the eligibility requirements for a scholarship;
  • students who have coursework postgraduate diplomas or masters degrees without a minimum 14 to 18-unit research component;
  • students who wish to work in another field or to do interdisciplinary research;
  • non-traditional RHD students such as those who entered the workforce immediately after their Bachelor degree and/or who have no honours or postgraduate qualifications; and
  • International students without appropriate qualifications.