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Graduate Research Continuation Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Procedure is to support the implementation of the Graduate Research Continuation Policy.

Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to all HDR candidates as well as to University staff engaged in the provision and support of HDR supervision.

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Section 2 - Policy

(3) Refer to the Graduate Research Continuation Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(4) There is a Graduate Research Continuation Procedure Flowchart available for this Procedure.

Part A - Review Requirements

(5) Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates are required to complete mandatory milestones and progress reviews, as per University and Faculty requirements.

(6) Additional reviews may be requested by a supervisory panel with the Departmental HDR or MRes Director / Advisor if a candidate needs support and is not making satisfactory progress.

Progress indicators

(7) Indicators of progress at a satisfactory level may include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  1. the candidate has obtained necessary approvals (e.g. ethics), is undertaking literature reviews, has collected data appropriate to the year level and is on track to complete;
  2. the Candidate has successfully passed their Confirmation of Candidature (CoC);
  3. the Candidate and supervisory panel have agreed on a satisfactory Annual Progress Review (APR) outcome; and
  4. the Candidate has met candidature milestones as documented and communicated.

(8) Indicators of progress at a marginal level may include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  1. the candidate has obtained necessary approvals (e.g. ethics), is undertaking literature reviews, yet data collection or writing is slower than expected for this stage of the degree;
  2. the Candidate has marginally passed their Confirmation of Candidature;
  3. the Candidate and supervisory panel have agreed that progress is slower relative to opportunity, have indicated a satisfactory APR outcome, however the candidate’s progress would benefit from an interim progress report; and
  4. the Candidate has missed some candidature milestones as documented and communicated.

(9) Indicators of progress at an unsatisfactory level may include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  1. the Candidate is considered unlikely to complete their degree satisfactorily (including mandatory coursework requirements) within the maximum time allowed;
  2. the Candidate’s performance and review at confirmation of candidature was unsatisfactory;
  3. the Candidate’s performance at yearly APR was unsatisfactory; and
  4. the Candidate did not meet candidature milestones as documented and communicated.

Non-completion of milestones

(10) Failure to complete the Confirmation of Candidature or Annual Progress Review may lead to cessation of enrolment as outlined in the Higher Degree Research Variations to Candidature Policy.

Part B - Review Process

Departmental Review

(11) The CoC, APR or supervisor recommended review or other Departmental progress reporting requirement is assessed by the Departmental HDR or MRes Director / Advisor where one of three outcomes will occur, each clearly communicated to the candidate in writing:

  1. the candidate progress is at a satisfactory level, and the candidature will continue;
  2. the candidate progress is at a marginal level, and the candidate will be required to complete an interim progress report; or
  3. the candidature progress is at an unsatisfactory level and the candidate will be required to complete a Panel Review.

Interim Progress Report

(12) Candidates with marginal outcomes to their review will be provided with a set period of time to demonstrate progress. This will be measured by completing an interim progress report. The period of time provided will vary according to the graduate research degree:

  1. For MRes, candidates will be provided with a month;
  2. For MPhil, candidates will be provided with two (2) months;
  3. For PhD, candidates will be provided with three (3) months.

(13) Candidates required to complete an interim progress report will be provided with relevant academic and research support from the Graduate Research Academy (GRA) as needed and/or changes may be supported with additions to their supervisory panels. The interim progress report will be reviewed by the supervisory panel and Department HDR or MRes Director / Advisor to determine if progress is at a satisfactory level. One of two outcomes will occur, each clearly communicated to the candidate in writing:

  1. the candidate progress is at a satisfactory level, and the candidature will continue; or
  2. the candidature progress is at an unsatisfactory level and the candidate will be required to undergo a Panel Review.

Panel Review of Progress

(14) Cases of candidates with progress at an unsatisfactory level as determined by CoC, APR or Interim Progress Report will be provided with a set period of time to improve their progress prior to undergoing a Panel Review. The period of time provided will vary according to the graduate research degree:

  1. For MRes, candidates will be provided with a month;
  2. For MPhil, candiates will be provided with two (2) months;
  3. For PhD they will be provided with three (3) months.

(15) In collaboration with the candidate, an independent experienced supervisor (in subject area) and HDR or MRes Director / Advisor, the supervisory team will set objectives and review the progress plan over the designated time period.

(16) At the end of the designated time period, a Panel consisting of the independent supervisor, HDR or MRes Director / Advisor, at least one academic external to the department and the AD, RTP will review the progress of the candidate, and overall dynamics of the supervision provided, in accordance with the agreed progress plan. One of three outcomes will occur, each clearly communicated to the  candidate in writing:

  1. If progress is deemed to be at a satisfactory level by the Panel the candidature will continue;
  2. If progress is deemed to be at an unsatisfactory level by the Panel the candidate may downgrade (PhD to MPhil only) or withdraw; or
  3. If progress is deemed to be at an unsatisfactory level by the Panel the candidate will be recommended for a Formal Review of Candidature by the Executive Dean of Faculty. The candidate is provided with twenty (20) working days to provide a written response to the Executive Dean to accompany the Formal Review.

(17) The University will report any international students who downgrade or withdraw under Section 19 of the ESOS Act and will notify them of any potential impacts under the ESOS National Code. Candidates are responsible for following the advice and required actions in their notification.

Formal Review

(18) All documentation and evidence provided to the Panel, together with the Panel recommendation letter, and the response letter from the candidate, are reviewed by the Executive Dean of Faculty. One of two outcomes will occur:

  1. If the decision is to continue candidature, the candidate may continue candidature and complete an interim progress report as per clause 12;
  2. If the decision is to terminate candidature, the Executive Dean is to report accordingly to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

(19) In the case of decision of termination of candidature, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) is to advise the candidate of termination including the reasons for such a decision. The Graduate Research Academy will inform the Research Degree Subcommittee / Higher Degree Research Management Committee that termination has taken place and the effective date.

(20) The University will report any international students who are terminated under Section 19 of the ESOS Act and will notify them of any potential impacts under the ESOS National Code. Candidates are responsible for following the advice and required actions in their notification.

Withdrawal

(21) Candidate may withdraw from candidature at any time during the review process.

(22) The University will report any international students who withdraw under Section 19 of the ESOS Act and will notify them of any potential impacts under the ESOS National Code. Candidates are responsible for following the advice and required actions in their notification.

Part C - Communication of Review Outcome

(23) All students will receive advice / notification regarding continuation of their graduate research degree.

(24) In the case of a program downgrade or termination of candidature, candidate will also be advised of:

  1. the reasons for such a decision;
  2. the appeals processes available to appeal through the Academic Appeals Policy / Academic Appeals Procedure.

Part D - Candidate Grievances

(25) Candidates can raise any concerns in relation to their review process with the Head of Department (or nominee).

Part E - Appeals

(26) Candidates may appeal decisions relating to the termination of their PhD, MPhil or MRes candidature in accordance with the Academic Appeals Policy. Appeals on this basis are limited to procedural grounds only. Students have twenty (20) working days to submit an appeal following notification of the decision.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(27) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(28) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary.