Policy Redesign Project

All policies and procedures are being reviewed as part of this project. This document is pending review, but remains in effect until the review is carried out.

Research Components of Postgraduate Coursework Awards

Establishment: Council, 23 February 2000                                                
Last Amended: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), 5 February 2016
Nature of Amendment: Consequential amendments arising from the revision of the Assessment Policy
Date Last Reviewed: September 2015
Responsible Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

1.  Preamble

Course rules and programs of study relating to postgraduate coursework awards are published annually. The University's policies and procedures relating to research components of postgraduate coursework awards will be published annually by the University. All information on postgraduate coursework awards specific to faculties, including information on faculty policies and procedures, research interests of the Schools, facilities for postgraduate coursework study etc. will be published annually and provided to all postgraduate coursework students undertaking a course which includes a research component in each faculty. 

2.  Application of Policies and Procedures

These policies and procedures apply to the research component of all postgraduate coursework awards where the research component(s) has a total value of 18 units or more. With the approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) these policies and procedures may be applied to 13.5 unit research components of postgraduate coursework awards*, or to research higher degree courses which include a compulsory coursework component.

3.  Definitions 

3.1  School refers to an independent academic unit within a faculty having responsibility for designing and teaching a range of topics within its discipline areas.

3.2  Faculty refers to any faculty committee or representative to which the faculty has delegated functions concerning minor theses.

3.3  Postgraduate coursework awards refers to Graduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Masters by Coursework.

3.4  Supervisor refers to the principal supervisor, unless otherwise specified.

3.5  Topic convener refers to the academic staff member, appointed by the Dean of School, to convene the research component topic.

3.6  External refers to a program of study which is conducted primarily off campus and which does not require regular attendance at the University.

4.  Appointment of Supervisors 

4.1  Each postgraduate coursework award student will have one supervisor and at least one alternate supervisor appointed for the research component of their course. For students enrolled on an external basis or as part of an offshore program, the University may appoint, in addition to the supervisors, a suitably qualified person who is resident at, or near the place of study, to provide advice and support to the student. If this person meets the criteria, he/she could be appointed as an adjunct supervisor. The faculty will ensure that:

(i)  the supervisor is qualified at a higher level in the field concerned or has equivalent relevant academic or professional or practice-based experience and expertise and has a satisfactory record of postgraduate supervision.

(ii)  except in special cases, the supervisor is a full-time member of staff or holds academic status in the University. In special cases where a supervisor is not a member of academic staff or does not hold academic status in the University, he or she will be suitably qualified to supervise the student as prescribed in Clause 4.1(i) in this policy and have a close association with the University. A person will only be appointed as a supervisor if he or she can reasonably be expected to be able to provide supervision for the duration of the research project.

(iii)  supervision is provided for the duration of the research project and that an appropriate replacement is made in the event of any absence of the supervisor.

(iv)  students are consulted about their nominated supervisors and agree to work with the supervisors before commencement of the research project. Where it becomes necessary to appoint a replacement supervisor for the reasons as prescribed in Clause 4.1(iii) in this policy, the student will be consulted about the replacement supervisor and agree to work with the replacement supervisor before the appointment is confirmed.

4.2  The supervisor must have relevant knowledge, expertise and interest in the student's research area.

4.3  The supervisor carries the responsibility of coordinating communication between the supervisors and the student, and for resolving any issues.

4.4  In some cases, for example where the research area is multi-disciplinary, more than one co-supervisor or a panel of supervisors may be appointed. Whatever the supervisory arrangement, the primary responsibility must be made clear to all parties.

5.  Dean of School 

It is the responsibility of the Dean of School (or nominee) to:

(i)  oversee the selection of a student's area of research;

(ii)  monitor the progress of students undertaking a research component; and

(iii)  coordinate the supervision of students undertaking a research component.

6.  Intellectual Property

The supervisor is responsible for making students aware of the University's policy relating to intellectual property before embarking on the research project.

7.  Ethics and Biosafety Approval, and Work Health and Safety Requirements

7.1  Any research project involving human subjects, animals, or biosafety (eg gene technology) matters must obtain prior ethical and/or biosafety approval from the relevant committee listed below:

Human Subjects:

Southern Adelaide Clinical Human Research Ethics Committee (managed by SA Health);

Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee (SBREC).

NB:  Proposals to conduct research that involves or impacts upon Indigenous peoples are forwarded by SBREC to the Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement for comments and recommendations, which are incorporated into the Committee's response.

Animals:

Animal Welfare Committee.

Biosafety:

Biosafety Committee - Under its terms of reference the Biosafety Committee receives applications for approval of research projects involving the use of:

(i)  a genetically modified organism (GMO); and

(ii)  biohazardous material (including human body fluids, human tissue samples and other body products but excluding clinical activities such as collection and testing of specimens.

Researchers proposing to use carcinogenic or toxic chemicals (other than those specified above) must refer to the Hazardous Chemicals Safety Management Procedures .  Researchers proposing to use ionising radiation must consult the relevant Area Radiation Officer.

7.2  It is the supervisor's responsibility to ensure that the student's research project has appropriate ethical and/or biosafety approval.

7.3  Students and supervisors will note that in the event of a student's proposed research project not receiving appropriate ethical and/or biosafety approval, the student will need to choose another research project or his/her enrolment in the research component topic will be cancelled.

7.4  The supervisors will ensure that the student's research is conducted in accordance with the University's Work Health and Safety requirements.

8.  Responsibilities of the Student, Supervisor, School and University

The responsibilities of the student, the supervisor, the relevant School, and the University are set out in Appendices A-D to this policy.

Appendix A: Responsibilities of the Student Enrolled in a Research Component
Appendix B: Responsibilities of the Supervisor of a Research Component
Appendix C: Responsibilities of the School
Appendix D: Responsibilities of the University

9.  Progress and Reports 

9.1  It is the responsibility of the supervisors to monitor the performance of the student relative to the research project objectives, and to ensure that inadequate progress or work below the standard generally expected is brought to the student's attention in writing. Regular contact between the student and supervisors, as outlined in the responsibilities of the student and supervisor, should facilitate the early identification of problems and the provision of timely academic counselling.

9.2  The Faculty will undertake a formal review of the progress of each student at the mid-point of the research project. The review will take the form of written reports to the Dean of School, or nominee, from the student and the supervisors documenting progress and outlining expectations for completion. The Faculty may at any other time review the progress of the student in the research component of the course, taking into account recommendations from the supervisor or Dean of School, or nominee

9.3  To enhance the development of students' skills, each School will organise activities such as seminars, work-in-progress sessions, and workshops, whereby students are able to make regular oral presentations to staff and their peers on the progress of their research.

9.4  During the research component of a postgraduate coursework award, the supervisor will specify a timeline for the completion of a research proposal and timelines by which the student is expected to meet milestones towards his or her research project to enable review of the student's progress.

9.5  Unsatisfactory progress in a research component of a coursework postgraduate award is defined as:

(a)  failing to submit a research proposal within the specified timeline or failing to submit a proposal of an acceptable standard in the opinion of the supervisors; or

(b)  failing to provide a satisfactory report at the mid-point of the research project in the opinion of the supervisors and Dean of School (or nominee); or

(c)  failing to make adequate progress towards timelines set by the supervisor required to meet the objectives of the research project.

9.6  If the progress of a student in a research component of a postgraduate coursework award is deemed to be unsatisfactory, the Faculty may take one of the following courses of action. In each case, the reasons for taking a particular course of action will be fully documented:

(a)  take no action (which means that student may continue their enrolment in the normal way); or

(b)  permit the student to continue his or her enrolment subject to such conditions as the Faculty may impose; or

(c)  ask the student to show cause why he or she should not be transferred to another appropriate award; or

(d)  ask the student to show cause why he or she should not be precluded from re-enrolling in the course for up to five years; or

(e)  ask the student to show cause why his or her enrolment in the course should not be terminated.

9.7  Should the Faculty determine to ask a student to show cause why one of the courses of action listed in clause 9.6 should not be taken, the following procedures will apply:

(a)  the student will be sent a letter to their nominated postal address by registered mail and University email account inviting him or her to show cause why one of the courses of action listed in clause 9.6 should not be taken;

(b)  the letter will be in a standard format approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and will notify the student that if he or she does not reply within a specified time period the specified course of action will be taken;

(c)  a student who receives such a letter may request an interview (as detailed in the letter they receive) to discuss his or her response to the letter. If requested, an interview must be granted.

9.8  The Faculty will consider the case of any student whose progress has been identified as unsatisfactory, taking into account any response from the student, and shall determine which course of action outlined in Clause 9.6 of this policy is appropriate. If a student fails to respond to a request to show cause, the Faculty will take the course of action as detailed in the show cause letter The Faculty will inform the student by letter, without delay, of its decision and the reasons for the decision. The letter will be sent to the student's nominated postal address by registered mail and University email account.

9.9  Appeals against Outcomes of Review of Student Progress

A student who wishes to appeal against the decision of a Faculty in relation to unsatisfactory progress will, in the first instance and without delay, discuss the matter with the Secretary or Chairperson of the relevant Faculty Committee Should the student still be dissatisfied with the response he or she may appeal to the Student Appeals Committee. An appeal may be lodged only on the following grounds:

  • the appropriate policy was not adhered to or correct procedures were not followed in considering the matter; and/or
  • the decision was made without due regard to facts, evidence or circumstances; and/or
  • the penalty was too harsh.

9.10  A student wishing to appeal to the Student Appeals Committee must lodge the appeal with the Manager, Student Policy and Projects within 20 working days of the date of the notification of the Faculty's determination. The appeal must:

  • be accompanied by the original show cause submission, any correspondence which the student has received from the University in relation to the request to show cause, and the outcome of the deliberations;
  • include details of the grounds for the appeal, including evidence in support of the student's case (together with supporting documentation);
  • include any additional information which the student considers relevant;
  • specify what outcome is sought.

9.11  All other matters relevant to an appeal and its conduct will be governed by the provisions of the Student Appeals and Complaints Policy and Procedures.

9.12  Recording of outcomes of review of student progress

9.12.1  Termination or preclusion from re-enrolment in a course will appear on the student's official academic transcript. Preclusion will only appear for the duration of that preclusion.

9.12.2  No other outcomes of a review of a student's progress will be recorded on the academic transcript.

9.12.3  Information on terminations, preclusions, restricted enrolments and contract enrolments will be entered into the Student Information System in order to be available to staff members processing enrolments.

10.  Submission of Research Component for Examination

10.1  The research component must be submitted for examination in a form consistent with the requirements of Appendix F, Rules for Higher Degrees Theses of the Research Higher Degrees Policy.

10.2  A student may submit a research component for examination even if this is against the advice of the supervisor.

10.3  Where a student believes that the supervisor will not support the submission of the research component because there has been a breakdown in the relationship between the student and supervisor, the student should contact the Dean of the School, or nominee, to initiate a process to overcome any possible prejudice in the examination of the research component.

10.4  A student must be enrolled in the research component topic in order to submit the research component for examination.

10.5  Each School shall publish the expected format and length required of a research component.

10.6  A candidate must sign a declaration that the thesis does not contain any material previously published or written by another person except where due reference is made in the text or footnotes. There can be no exception to this rule. Material produced jointly by a candidate and his/her supervisors or others can be included in the narrative of the thesis  only if it is the original work of the candidate. To ensure compliance with the Australian Code  for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007), the candidate must fully acknowledge if   the thesis involves the original work of the joint authors other than the candidate, and it must be fully acknowledged in a form consistent with the requirements of Appendix F, Rules for Higher Degree Theses of the Research Higher Degrees Policy.

10.7  Students enrolled in Schools other than foreign language disciplines must submit their research component in English.

10.8  In the case of students enrolled in foreign language Schools, permission to submit the research component in a language other than English will be considered by the relevant faculty. Each case will be considered on its merits and the following points taken into account:

(a)  the competence of the supervisors in the language proposed;

(b)  the availability of a sufficient range of qualified examiners competent in the language; and

(c)  evidence of an appropriate link between the subject of the research component and the language in which it is proposed to submit the research component.

10.9  Where a student is given permission to submit a research component in a language other than English, the student will be required to include in the research component an abstract in English.

11.  Examination and Appointment of Examiners

11.1  Faculties will determine criteria for the assessment of the research component, including expected standards of performance.  All students and examiners will be provided with a statement of the criteria and standards.

11.2  There will be at least two examiners for a research component.  Examiners may be external to the University. A supervisor cannot act as an examiner.  A supervisor may make a recommendation to the examiners on the grade for the student’s performance in elements of study that are related to the research component such as field work or laboratory work, but should not otherwise participate in the determination of the final grade for the research component.

11.3  A student should not be examined only on the basis of his or her understanding of a body of existing knowledge. A student is examined by individuals who must judge his or her approach to research, construction of hypotheses, questions, argument and analysis.

11.4  The following general principles will apply in the selection of examiners:

(i)  Faculties are responsible for ensuring that examiners are free from bias, either for or against the student or the supervisor and are independent of the student's research project;

(ii)  Examiners will normally be active in research/scholarship or professional practice thus ensuring that their knowledge of the field is current; examiners should be qualified at a higher level in the field concerned or have equivalent relevant academic or professional or practice-based experience and expertise;

(iii)  examiners will have empathy with the theoretical framework used by the student;

(iv)  examiners will be made familiar with the requirements of the University, the essential parts of the Rules governing the postgraduate coursework award, and the requirements of a research component determined by the faculty;

(v)  before examiners are appointed, students will be given the opportunity to object to any potential examiners. Any such objections will be taken into account in the process of selection of examiners. At the end of the examination process the student will receive full copies of the examiner's reports (annotated if necessary to preserve the anonymity of an examiner if this has been requested).

11.5  Nominations of possible examiners for a research component will be made to the Faculty after the supervisor has consulted the student on any objections the student may have to the potential examiners. The supervisor will also remind the student of the University's policy concerning the confidentiality of examiners and that any attempt by the student to contact potential examiners could undermine the integrity of the examination process. Nominations of possible examiners are to be made at least three months before a candidate is due to submit a thesis for examination.  The supervisor will submit to the faculty:

  • the nominations of two possible examiners, their credentials and addresses;
  • the nomination of one reserve examiner, with credentials and address in the event that a preferred nominee is unable to act as examiner; and
  • information on any objections expressed by the student to potential examiners.

11.6  The appointment of any examiner will be approved by the faculty.

11.7  Once examiners have been approved by the faculty, they will be invited to act as examiners and will be provided with:

  • the name of the student, the award for which the student is enrolled, the School and faculty in which the work has been undertaken, the title and summary of the research component, the weighting of the research component in terms of the overall requirements for the award, and the names of supervisors;
  • information about the requirement of the research component;
  • information on the University's policy concerning confidentiality of examiners and the release of examiners' reports to students;
  • information on the procedures to be followed in the event of significant divergence between examiners' reports (refer to Clause 12.2 in this policy);
  • the University prescribed examiner's report form, and the University's schedule of grades and marks; and
  • information on the honorarium payable for the examination of a research component.

11.8  The normal deadline for response to the invitation to act as examiner will be four weeks and the deadline for submission of the report by the examiner will normally be two months from receipt of the research component. An alternative deadline may be negotiated with the student and the examiner where a deadline is impracticable.  If an examiner is unable to accept an invitation or fails to respond to an invitation within the specified deadline (despite being sent reminder notifications), an invitation will be sent to a person approved as a reserve examiner.

11.9  Upon the submission of a research component by a student, the Faculty General Manager will forward copies to examiners who have accepted invitations to examine the research component.

11.10  If a report has not been received from an examiner within six weeks, the Faculty General Manager will write to the examiner reminding him or her of the due date for submission of the examiner's report.

11.11  If an examiner fails to provide a report by the due date, the examiner will be requested in writing to indicate when the report will be received. In exceptional circumstances the faculty will appoint a third examiner and then make a decision on the outcome of the examination, in accordance with Clause 12 in this policy. The examiner who has failed to provide a report will receive written notification that a report is no longer required, and that a replacement examiner has been appointed.

11.12  Section 10 of the Assessment Policy and Procedures governs the schedule of grades awarded to a research component. An examiner of a research component will submit a written report on the research component by way of the University's prescribed form for examiners (Appendix F) and will make one of the following recommendations:

(a)  that the research component be awarded a percentage mark and a grade of either High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, Pass, or Fail.

(b)  that the research component be awarded a percentage mark and a grade of either High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, or Pass, subject to the completion of minor amendments* carried out to the satisfaction of the faculty.

(c) that the student be invited to revise and resubmit the thesis, to address matters raised by the examiners, under conditions determined by the Faculty.

11.13  From the time of the appointment of examiners no direct contact between an examiner and a supervisor, or between an examiner and a student, may occur in relation to any material under examination. Should an examiner require clarification of any aspect of the material under examination, any inquiries will be directed to the Faculty General Manager who will refer it for consideration to the student, the supervisor or on the advice of the student or supervisor, to another suitably qualified person.

11.14  Consultation between examiners may not take place before the examiners submit their reports to the faculty.

11.15  The assessment process will include written reports on the thesis incorporating a short statement of the reasons for the grade or mark awarded to the thesis.

* Amendments may range from the correction of spelling or typographical errors and small changes to the text, to changes to the structure and substance of some chapters of the research component which can be completed to the satisfaction of the supervisor and the Faculty, without being returned to the examiner.

12.  Consideration of Examiners' Reports 

The faculty will determine the outcome of the examination of the research component in accordance with the following procedures:

12.1  When both examiners have recommended at least a passing grade the faculty will make a decision on the grade recommended. When there is divergence of less than 15% between the marks recommended by the examiners for the research component, the faculty shall award the mark that is the average of the marks recommended by the examiners, and determine the corresponding grade.

12.2  When there is divergence of 15%, or more, in the marks recommended by the examiners, or when one, or both, of the examiners have recommended a Fail grade, the student and the supervisor will be asked to comment on the examiners reports. In this process the examiners' identities and recommended mark and grade shall not be revealed to the student. The examiners' reports and student and supervisor's comments will be referred to the faculty, which will make a decision on the percentage mark and grade to be awarded.

12.3  Should an examination process become protracted, the student will be kept informed regularly in writing on the progress of the examination process by the Faculty General Manager.

13.  Return of Research Component after Examination

Examiners will be asked by the faculty to return copies of the research component to the University at the completion of the examination process.

14.  Lodging of Research Component in the Library

14.1  Once the examination process is completed the candidate is responsible for uploading the research component to the University's digital repository in digital format. The School will ensure a copy is uploaded to the University’s digital repository. This will be the authoritative copy of the research component. On request, a second printed copy may be submitted to  the School. The digital copy will be available for open access, unless otherwise exempted by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or delegate.

15.  Students Appeals and Complaints

15.1  A student may request a review of the grade given for a research component on the grounds that:

(i)  the assessment procedures specified in this policy were not adhered to; and/or

(ii)  the grade is wrong or unfair.

15.2  The following procedures apply in respect of a request to review the grade given for a research component:

15.2.1  A student must begin the process of review by consulting without delay the topic convener or, if that person is expected to be absent from the University until after the time limit for requesting a review has expired, the Dean of the relevant School. The staff member concerned shall advise the faculty, which may confirm the grade or amend the grade or determine that a review of the grade should occur.

15.2.2  If such consultation fails to take place through no fault on the part of the student, or fails to resolve the matter, and the student wishes to take the matter further, then the student must, within 20 working days of the publication of the grade, or date of dispatch of the result by mail (whichever is later), make a written request that the grade be reviewed, including detailed grounds for the request and indicating the nature of the review requested. This request must be submitted to the faculty nominee. Should the topic convener also be the faculty nominee, this function will be fulfilled by the Executive Dean of the Faculty, or his/her alternate nominee.

15.2.3  The faculty will, within five working days from the request having been received, decide if a review of the grade is justified or not and will notify the student, in writing, of the decision and the reasons for the decision.

15.2.4  Where the faculty decides that a review of the grade is justified, the faculty must arrange for this to commence within ten working days and will determine its nature within the following provisions. Depending on the grounds for the appeal the review may include:

(i)  ensuring that the process followed for assessing and determining the grade for the research component was in accordance with Clauses 11 and 12 of this policy;

(ii)  arranging for a review of the grade.

15.2.5  Where the Faculty decides that a review of the grade is justified, the Faculty will refer to each examiner the supervisor’s and student’s comments and the other examiner’s report for consideration and ask the examiners to confer and reach agreement. If the examiners confirm the original grading and the student remains dissatisfied with the result even if they agree, the Faculty may appoint an arbitrator to review relevant documents and recommend a final grade to the Faculty.

15.2.6  If an amendment to the grade is recommended as a result of the review, it must be submitted to the faculty for approval.

15.2.7  The faculty will, within five working days of the completion of the review, notify the student in writing of the outcome of the review, and the reasons for the decision.

15.3  A student whose request for a review of grade is not granted may appeal to the Student Appeals Committee. Such an appeal to the Student Appeals Committee must be lodged with the Manager, Student Policy and Projects within 20 working days of the date of the dispatch of the notification from the Faculty. The appeal must:

  • be accompanied by a copy of the letter the student had received from the faculty;
  • include details of the review process entered into, the action which the student has taken thus far and the grounds for the appeal, including the evidence in support of the student's case, together with supporting documentation; and
  • specify what remedy is being sought within the range of remedies available to the Student Appeals Committee as described in the Policy governing the Student Appeals Committee.

15.4  All other matters relevant to an appeal and its conduct must be governed by the provisions of the Student Appeals and Complaints Policy and Procedures.

Appendix A: Responsibilities of the Student Enrolled in a Research Component

The responsibilities of students enrolled in a research component of a postgraduate coursework award include: 

  1. becoming familiar with the relevant Rules governing the course or degree in which they are enrolled, the University's policies and procedures on research components and the policy on Academic Integrity;
  2. selection of supervisors with the assistance of the Dean of School (or nominee);
  3. planning an appropriate research project with the supervisor;
  4. discussing with the supervisor the type of help considered most useful, and keeping to an agreed schedule of meetings which will ensure regular contact;
  5. when planning the research project, advising the supervisor of any theoretical, methodological and/or philosophical assumptions held by the student that might impact on the research project or the working relationship between student and supervisor;
  6. taking the initiative in raising problems or difficulties and sharing responsibility for seeking solutions;
  7. maintaining the progress of the work in accordance with stages agreed to with the supervisor, including, in particular, presentation of any required written material in sufficient time to allow for comments and discussions before proceeding to the next stage;
  8. discussion at regular intervals of the progress towards, and impediments to, maintaining the agreed timetable with the supervisor;
  9. adopting, at all times, safe working practices relevant to the field of research and adhering to the ethical practices appropriate to the School;
  10. accepting responsibility for producing the final copies of the research component, its content, and ensuring that it is in accord with the relevant requirements, including the standard of presentation;
  11. ensuring that all publications and presentations that arise directly from research undertaken for a higher degree at Flinders University, whether published or presented during a higher degree candidature at Flinders University or subsequently, must carry a Flinders University attribution. These requirements do not preclude additional attribution to other appropriate institutions.

Appendix B: Responsibilities of the Principal Supervisor of a Research Component

The responsibilities of the supervisor of a research component of a postgraduate coursework award include: 

1.  planning an appropriate research project with the student. This planning will initially include:

  •  evaluating the feasibility of the proposed area of research;
  • discussing the value of the research;
  • ensuring that the scope of the research is appropriate to the weighting of the research component and to the award;
  • ensuring that he or she has the necessary knowledge/expertise to effectively supervise the student in the area chosen;
  • ensuring that adequate resources and funding will exist to support the research;

Where an interview or meeting or discussion is required under this policy, and the student is unable to attend, this may be conducted by an alternative process.
 
2.  becoming well acquainted with the student's academic and/or professional background so that if the student needs additional skills and/or knowledge to undertake the proposed research project, the student can be informed how these might be acquired;
 
3.  suggesting ways that the student can make the most effective use of time. This will include planning of the research project, suggesting appropriate research methods/techniques to be used and ensuring the availability of library resources in the field and bibliographical and technical assistance;

4.  making the student aware at the beginning of any theoretical, methodological and/or philosophical assumptions held by the supervisor that might impact on the research project or the working relationship between supervisor and student;

5.  informing the student about any planned leave (or retirement) within the duration of the research project and the arrangements made to provide effective supervision during such an absence;

6.  ensuring the student's research project has appropriate ethical and/or biosafety approval (if applicable), that the student is aware of issues of intellectual property and that the student's research project is conducted in accordance with the University's Work Health and Safety requirements;

7.  ensuring the student is aware at the start of the candidature of any confidentiality agreements that are associated with the proposed research;

8.  maintaining close and regular contact with the student and establishing at the beginning the basis on which contact will be made. This will facilitate the supervisor's role in advising the student on the pace of progress, and ensuring that a reasonable timetable is set to permit the research project to be completed in the appropriate time;

9.  requiring written work from the student on a pre-arranged and agreed schedule so that his or her progress can be assessed at regular intervals. Constructive and critical comments should be made on any written work presented to the supervisor. In each instance, a turnaround time for any submitted work should be established;

10.  ensuring that any criticism is given in a constructive, supportive and sensitive fashion;

11.  fulfilling administrative obligations regarding the student's enrolment in the research component which includes supporting the student in relation to outside organisations and funding agencies; and ensuring appropriate access to the facilities of the School;

12.  monitoring carefully the performance of the student relative to the standard for the postgraduate coursework award, and ensuring that inadequate progress or work below the standard generally expected is brought to the student's attention. The supervisor should assist with developing solutions to problems as they are identified;

13.  being alert to developments in the research area that might require expenditures not initially identified. The supervisor should keep in touch with the research to ensure that resources are available; if the research develops in such a way as to require additional resources, the matter should be brought immediately to the attention of the Executive Dean of the Faculty, and where appropriate, Research Services Office and research funding bodies;

14.  informing the course coordinator of any difficulties and problems experienced by the student which are likely to impede progress. If a problem is not resolved, the relevant Dean of School (or nominee) should be consulted. The relevant Dean of School and Executive Dean of the Faculty should be notified in writing of continuing problems;

15.  immediately informing the Dean of School (or nominee) should the supervisory relationship break down. In such an instance, the Dean of School should ensure that other supervisory arrangements are made to the satisfaction of the student. Where the supervisor is the Dean of School, the Executive Dean of the Faculty shall ensure that satisfactory supervisory arrangements are made;

16.  commenting critically on the content and the drafts of the research component and, at the time of submission, checking that the research component is properly presented, conforms to the specifications for the research component and is of sufficient standard to be, prima facie, worthy of examination; and

17.  advising the faculty of the names and credentials of suitable examiners in accordance with Clause 11 of this policy;

18.  ensuring that the student is aware that all publications and presentations that arise directly from research undertaken for a higher degree at Flinders University, whether published or presented during a higher degree candidature at Flinders University or subsequently, must carry a Flinders University attribution. These requirements do not preclude additional attribution to other appropriate institutions.
 

Appendix C: Responsibilities of the School

It is the responsibility of the School to ensure that:

  1. the proposed area of research is appropriate for the research component;
  2. the School is appropriate for the research to be undertaken, has the space and other facilities to adequately support the research and can offer an appropriate academic environment for the student;
  3. the proposed supervisor is sufficiently expert in the area of research, and has the time and commitment to be able to offer the student proper supervision.
  4. proper supervision can be provided and maintained throughout the research period;
  5. each student has written guidelines (and where appropriate, training) concerning ethical and safety procedures appropriate to the School;
  6. a student proposing research involving a confidentiality agreement has been counselled by the Director of the relevant research institute about the consequences of restricted access to their research results;
  7. each student has been informed as to what facilities are available to the student within the School;
  8. appropriate opportunities are provided by way of seminars and the like, for students to develop their skills.
  9. appropriate opportunities are provided for students to interact with and develop profitable intellectual relationships with one another and with staff;
  10. all research component students are provided with a statement which sets out the procedures by which students may make representation to the Dean of the School (or nominee) if they believe that their work is not proceeding satisfactorily for reasons outside their control;
  11. the appropriate procedure is used for dealing with unresolved conflicts between supervisors and students (refer to Appendix B, Clause 15); and
  12. it fulfils any other institutional administrative obligations regarding the student's enrolment in a research component.
  13. all students submitting a written thesis must review the thesis using electronic text-matching software (academic integrity software), provided by the University, prior to submitting it for examination. Use of text-matching software is compulsory and must comply with the Protocols for the Use of Electronic Text-Matching Software.

Appendix D: Responsibilities of the University

The University has the responsibility to establish a policy framework within which School and Faculty specific policies can be developed. The University is responsible for general policies related to: 

  1. clearly specified standards which apply regardless of discipline, and which are set to ensure that enrolling students are likely to have the capacity to succeed, given adequate commitment;
  2. access to physical facilities and resources which, while varying between different parts of the University, will be made clear to students at the outset;
  3. administration of postgraduate coursework awards and scholarships;
  4. the status of intellectual property arising from the work of students as part of their studies;
  5. minimum reporting requirements;
  6. procedures by which either the students or the supervisors may make representations, as appropriate, should significant difficulties arise (grievance procedures, appeals, etc);
  7. a procedure which, while enabling inexperienced staff to supervise students, makes clear a process by which assistance from experienced staff may be sought (either by the supervisor or the student) should it be required. In general, inexperienced staff should begin as Alternate Supervisors only;
  8. explicit procedures relating to all aspects of the examination process, including clear guidelines for examiners and students outlining the University's expectations for the particular degree; all students and examiners will be provided with a statement of the criteria and standards;
  9. general training programs for students and staff development courses in areas such as supervising research component students; and
  10. publicity of research programs, scholarships and awards.