The University requires that each RHD candidate have a supervisory team that consists of a Principal Supervisor and at least one Associate Supervisor. In some cases, one or more Adjunct Supervisors may also be appointed.

The Principal Supervisor has primary responsibility to ensure the smooth and effective conduct of the research project; Associate Supervisors contribute additional expertise and provide supervision of the work when the Principal Supervisor is unavailable. Adjunct Supervisors may be appointed to provide additional expertise where the supervisor is not eligible to a Principal or Associate Supervisor.

It is University policy that the Principal Supervisor or one of the Associate Supervisors must be an experienced supervisor, having supervised at least one successful reasearch higher degree completion (either as Principal or Associate) within the preceding 5 year period. They must also be employed by Flinders University or its affiliated institutions at a fraction of 0.5 or greater. Both the Principal Supervisor and Associate Supervisors(s) must be listed on the Register of Resarch Higher Degree Supervisors. See Section 7 of RHD Policies and Procedures.

To request a change in supervisory arrangements, including adding an Associate or Adjunct Supervisor or changing your Principal Supervisor on either a temporary or permanent basis, you should submit an Application for Change or Addition to Supervisor form to your school's Chair of Higher Degree Committee, who will forward it with a recommendation for action to the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee. The form must have the support of all members of the current and proposed supervisory team and the candidate, and it must include details about research and supervision experience of any newly proposed supervisors.

Changing Supervisors

If it becomes necessary to change your Principal Supervisor (for example because the supervisor has left the University), then you should discuss ahead of time the appointment of a replacement Principal Supervisor. Because of the important contribution that the Principal Supervisor makes to the research, it is essential that all parties, including the proposed new Principal Supervisor, agree on the direction the project will take for the remaining part of the candidature. Given the importance of the decision, it may be a good idea to involve the Dean of School or the School's Chair of Higher Degree Committee in the discussion. See Section 7.1 (iv) of the RHD Policies and Procedures. The Application for Change or Addition to Supervisor form needs to be completed.

Adding an Associate or Adjunct Supervisor

You should discuss with your Principal Supervisor the possibility of nominating additional Associate or Adjunct Supervisors who can contribute expertise in cognate areas that will add value to your research project. Adjunct Supervisors need not be University staff; they are often based in industry or at other research institutions and can bring a fresh perspective to the research. See Section 7.3 of the RHD Policies and Procedures. An Application for Change or Addition to Supervisor form needs to be completed.

When Supervisors are away

If your Principal or Associate Supervisor will be away from campus for a period of three months or more (for example because of Outside Study Leave or Long Service Leave), then you and your supervisory team should agree on the nomination of a temporary Principal or Associate Supervisor. Often it will be appropriate for an Associate Supervisor, who is already familiar with the research, to assume the role of Principal Supervisor. However, since the Principal and Associate Supervisors must be members of Flinders academic staff, even when acting in a temporary capacity, it may be necessary to nominate someone not previously involved with the project. See Section 7.1 (iii) of the RHD Policies and Procedures. An Application for Change or Addition to Supervisor form needs to be completed.