Higher Degree by Research Confirmation of Candidature Schedule

Schedule overview

1 Purpose

To establish the process and responsibilities for the Confirmation of Candidature for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Students at the University.

2 Scope

This schedule must be read in conjunction with the Academic Standing, Progression and Exclusion Procedure and is subordinate to it.

3 Schedule

3.1 Provisional candidature

A Student is admitted to an HDR program as a provisional candidate until successful completion of the Confirmation of Candidature process.

Students transferring from another higher education institution will be admitted as a provisional candidate unless they provide evidence at the time of Admission of having successfully completed a Confirmation of Candidature process at the same program level at their previous institution. The Graduate Research School (GRS) will assess such evidence on a case-by-case basis and a determination will be made by the Associate Dean (Graduate Research School) as to whether a transferring Student will need to undergo the Confirmation of Candidature process at the University.

Students who are approved to transfer Credit from an incomplete masters level program to a doctoral level program are expected to complete the Confirmation of Candidature requirement at the doctoral level within six months of Admission to the new Academic Program. This applies to both current University and new-to-University Students.

3.2 Timing

Doctoral Students are normally expected to complete the confirmation process within:

  • one year of Full-Time Enrolment; or
  • two years of Part-Time Enrolment.

Some Doctoral HDR programs allow Students to complete the confirmation process after:

  • one year and three months Full-Time Enrolment; or
  • two years and six months Part-Time Enrolment.

Students should refer to the Confirmation of Candidature web page for Program-specific dates.

All masters degree by research Students are normally expected to complete the confirmation process within:

  • six months of Full-Time Enrolment; or
  • one year of Part-Time Enrolment,

Due dates for Confirmation of Candidature are calculated from the date of commencement in the Academic Program.

If a Student has not completed the confirmation process within the allocated timeframe they may be placed on Conditional Academic Standing and given an extension of up to three months to complete the confirmation process.

A Student who has not completed Confirmation of Candidature after this extension period, may be sent a Show Cause Notice asking why they should not be Excluded from the Academic Program.

An exception to this process is in cases where the confirmation panel recommends candidature termination. In these cases, a Student may be sent a Show Cause Notice without first being placed on Conditional Academic Standing. Please refer to section “Academic Standing and Progression for Higher Degree by Research Students” in the Academic Standing, Progression and Exclusion Procedure for further information.

3.3 Student Notice

The GRS will confirm the Confirmation of Candidature due dates The GRS will then provide Notice to the Student about the specific procedures to be followed. The Notice would normally include the timing, format, expectations, scope, quality and length of work to be presented for Confirmation of Candidature.

3.4 Confirmation of Candidature

The Confirmation of Candidature process has two components:

  1. a written Confirmation Proposal, normally no longer than 20 pages setting out the:
    1. aims of the research;
    2. review of literature showing the relationship of the work to the current body of knowledge in the discipline area;
    3. methodologies by which the aims will be addressed; and,
    4. likely outcomes of the work, together with their significance.
  2. an oral proposal presentation normally of 30 to 45 minutes duration to a review panel leading to a recommendation on Confirmation of Candidature from the GRS.

3.4.1 Requirements for written component

The following areas will normally be addressed in the Confirmation Proposal:

  • aims and objectives of the research;
  • review of the relevant literature;
  • proposed contribution to the field of research;
  • details of the proposed research methods, including analysis of data;
  • research ethics application, if appropriate;
  • milestones and timelines;
  • resources required to complete the research; and
  • type of Thesis the Student intends to submit (e.g. Standard Thesis, Thesis by Publication, Thesis with Creative Works component).

Students should refer to the Confirmation of Candidature web page when preparing their proposal.

The Student is expected to seek feedback on, and the endorsement of, their written confirmation proposal from their HDR Supervisory Team prior to submitting to the Graduate Research School.

The HDR Supervisory Team is expected to have provided appropriate advice on the confirmation document and engaged in discussions about resources and other requirements with the Student.

The Student should normally provide their confirmation proposal to the Graduate Research School at least 20 University Business Days prior to the scheduled presentation. Where Confirmation of Candidature is embedded within the Coursework structure of an Academic Program, the timelines as stipulated by the particular Academic Program should be followed.

Following feedback from the panel, the Student should return their revised written proposal to the Graduate Research School within the time stipulated by the panel. The panel will consider the Students' Enrolment status and additional time may be given to those Enrolled Part-Time.

Where major revisions are requested, the chair of the panel may reconvene the panel to review the resubmission and to confirm that the requested revisions have been addressed satisfactorily by the Student.

The confirmation panel will review the revised submission within 10 University Business Days and provide a recommendation to the Associate Dean (Graduate Research School) regarding whether the proposal is of an acceptable standard for the Student's candidature to be confirmed.

If a Student has not attended to the required revisions to the satisfaction of the panel, a recommendation may be made that the Student not be confirmed and asked to show cause why they be allowed to continue in the program.

3.4.2 Requirements for the oral component

The oral component of the confirmation process provides Students with an opportunity to present their proposed research for peer review. This would normally include the confirmation panel, peers from the relevant discipline and the wider University community.

The oral presentation will normally be followed by question time from attendees to provide the Student with an opportunity to experience academic discussion of research work.

It is expected that expert and constructive advice from those in attendance at the oral presentation will be noted by the panel and may be provided for inclusion in the feedback to the Student.

The Student should liaise with the Graduate Research School at least 60 University Business Days in advance of their Confirmation of Candidature date.

3.4.3 Other components

It is expected that Students will have completed the following components at the time of confirmation:

  • Preparation of ethical clearance documentation (if required). Due to discipline-specific research practices some Students may gain ethics clearance before confirmation. If ethics approval has not been sought by the time of confirmation, then an ethics application should be submitted as part of the written component for confirmation. Please refer to the University's research website for further information on the ethics approval processes;
  • Determination of ownership and disbursement of Intellectual Property in accordance with the University's policies on Intellectual Property;
  • Completion of a Resource Requirement Plan;
  • Completion of the Library Researchers Tutorial; and
  • Any other requirements that are specified by the University or the Graduate Research School.

3.5 Confirmation of Candidature review panel

The confirmation review panel will consist of the chair, normally a senior academic Employee, and at least two other members who have appropriate expertise. One of these members may be external to the University.

None of the panel members can currently be, or have been, a member of the Student's HDR Supervisory Team, or closely involved with the Student's research project. A proposed panel member must declare any actual or perceived conflict of interest with regard to the Student, their research project, or the Confirmation of Candidature process in accordance with the University's policies on conflicts of interest. These are to be assessed in accordance with the University's policies on conflicts of interest and alternative panel members or the Associate Dean (Graduate Research School) may be appointed.

3.5.1 Provision of written feedback

The confirmation review panel will provide written feedback, normally in the form of a report summarizing the strengths, achievements, developmental needs and further revision (if required), to the Associate Dean (Graduate Research School) for endorsement. The Associate Dean (Graduate Research School), through the Graduate Research School, will forward a copy of the report along with any additional requirements to the Student and Supervisory Team.

Students are required to submit a response to the report to the Graduate Research School by the due date. The Graduate Research School will forward the Student response to the confirmation review Panel for their recommendation.

3.6 Panel recommendation

The confirmation review panel will review the Student's response and will make one of the following recommendations to the Associate Dean (Graduate Research School):

  • candidature be confirmed;
  • provisional candidature continue with conditions; or
  • candidature be discontinued.

The confirmation review panel recommendation will be considered by the Associate Dean (Graduate Research School). The Associate Dean (Graduate Research School) will review the recommendation and provide a Notice to Students through the GRS regarding the outcome of the confirmation process.

3.6.1 Candidature be confirmed

Where a Student's candidature has been confirmed, the University commits to providing appropriate resources to allow the Student to complete the HDR Academic Program.

3.6.2 Provisional candidature continue with conditions

A Student who has received a notification of 'provisional candidature continue with conditions' is required to undertake revisions until such time as the confirmation review panel recommends that the Student has met the conditions for confirmation or is judged to be not suitable to continue in the Academic Program. Revisions will normally be completed within three months of receipt of the panel recommendation by the Student.

3.6.3 Candidature be discontinued

A Student who has been recommended for discontinuation of candidature will receive a Show Cause Notice asking them to justify why their candidature should not be discontinued.

Students who fail to respond to a Show Cause Notice within the specified timeframe, or do not provide reasonable grounds for the continuation of their program, will have their candidature cancelled by the Dean (Graduate Research School).

The Dean (Graduate Research School) is responsible for reviewing responses to Show Cause Notices, in conjunction with the Associate Dean (Graduate Research School).. Where reasonable grounds for continuation have been provided, the Student will be allowed to continue as a provisional candidate for a further period of three months on receipt of notification from the GRS.

If a Student fails to successfully complete the Confirmation of Candidature process within the three months, their candidature will be discontinued.

3.7 Appeals

Students may seek to identify grounds to Appeal a Decision to discontinue candidature by following the process as outlined in the Student Complaint and Appeal Policy and the Academic Appeal Procedure.

4 References

Nil.

5 Schedule Information

Accountable Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

Responsible Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date

10/11/2016

Effective Date

10/11/2016

Review Date

10/11/2019

Relevant Legislation

Electronic Transactions Act 1999

Higher Education Support Act 2003

Related Policies

Academic Programs and Courses Policy

Assessment Policy

Award Eligibility and Graduation Policy

Research Code of Conduct Policy

Student Complaint and Appeal Policy

Related Procedures

Academic Appeal Procedure

Academic Standing, Progression and Exclusion Procedure

Formal Examinations Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

HDR Forms

Confirmation of Candidature

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Academic Program

An approved Higher Education Award of the University, consisting of a combination of Courses the successful completion of an offering of which, together with any credit transfers and Exemptions in accordance with the relevant requirements, will fulfil the prescribed requirements for that particular Award....moreAn approved Higher Education Award of the University, consisting of a combination of Courses the successful completion of an offering of which, together with any credit transfers and Exemptions in accordance with the relevant requirements, will fulfil the prescribed requirements for that particular Award.

Appeal

A formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned....moreA formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned.

Decision

A determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University....moreA determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University.

Enrolment

The process of admitting Students to one or more Courses for the current Academic Year....moreThe process of admitting Students to one or more Courses for the current Academic Year.

Full-Time Study

A Student will be deemed to be in Full-time Study where they are enrolled in at least 75% of the equivalent full-time load (8 Units) during an Academic Year. A Student enrolled in 3 or more Units in a single Semester may be deemed as full-time for that Semester. Additionally for visa requirements, International Students studying in Australia on a student visa must complete their progra...moreA Student will be deemed to be in Full-time Study where they are enrolled in at least 75% of the equivalent full-time load (8 Units) during an Academic Year. A Student enrolled in 3 or more Units in a single Semester may be deemed as full-time for that Semester. Additionally for visa requirements, International Students studying in Australia on a student visa must complete their program within the time specified on their Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) and therefore must maintain a full-time load per Academic Year.

Higher Degree by Research (HDR)

A Research Doctorate or Research Masters program for which at least two-thirds of the Student load for the program is required as research work....moreA Research Doctorate or Research Masters program for which at least two-thirds of the Student load for the program is required as research work.

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student

A Student enrolled in an HDR program....moreA Student enrolled in an HDR program.

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Supervisor

A member of a Student's HDR Supervisory Team. An HDR Supervisor may hold the position of Principal HDR Supervisor or Associate Supervisor....moreA member of a Student's HDR Supervisory Team. An HDR Supervisor may hold the position of Principal HDR Supervisor or Associate Supervisor.

Intellectual Property (under development)

Notice

A Notice from the University is a document, whether physical or electronic. A Notice may be: given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by registered or pre-paid mail to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by electronic communication to the University-issued email account provided by the Unive...moreA Notice from the University is a document, whether physical or electronic. A Notice may be: given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by registered or pre-paid mail to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by electronic communication to the University-issued email account provided by the University to a Student during the period of Enrolment until the completion of their program; or sent by electronic communication to the email address provided to the University by an addressee not enrolled at the University. A Notice is taken to be received if: given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided to the University by the addressee; or sent by registered or pre-paid mail - three University Business Days after the date of posting; or sent by electronic communication - at the time that would be the time of receipt under the Electronic Transactions Act 1999 or its succeeding legislation. A Notice that would be deemed to have been received out of business hours or on a non-University Business Day will instead be deemed received on the next University Business Day.

Part-Time Study

Enrolment in less than .75 EFTSL in any year shall be deemed to be Part-Time Study....moreEnrolment in less than .75 EFTSL in any year shall be deemed to be Part-Time Study.

Student

A person who: has been Admitted or Enrolled in an Academic Program at the University, but has not yet graduated from the program; or has been Enrolled in a Course at the University but has not yet completed the Course....moreA person who: has been Admitted or Enrolled in an Academic Program at the University, but has not yet graduated from the program; or has been Enrolled in a Course at the University but has not yet completed the Course.

Thesis

Also known as a Standard Thesis, is the material outcomes of a program of research. It is also referred to as a 'dissertation'....moreAlso known as a Standard Thesis, is the material outcomes of a program of research. It is also referred to as a 'dissertation'.

Thesis by Publication

A Thesis where some chapters are in the form of research papers published in, or submitted to, peer-reviewed journals....moreA Thesis where some chapters are in the form of research papers published in, or submitted to, peer-reviewed journals.

Thesis with Creative Works

A Thesis with Creative Works includes original work such as multimedia, film, exhibition, performance, musical composition, novel, play or other Faculty approved production, in addition to an Exegesis....moreA Thesis with Creative Works includes original work such as multimedia, film, exhibition, performance, musical composition, novel, play or other Faculty approved production, in addition to an Exegesis.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

University Business Days

The days of Monday to Friday inclusive between 9am and 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), with the exclusion of gazetted Public Holidays for the relevant campus location, plus the closure of the University between 25 December and 1 January in the following year inclusive as specified in the USQ Enterprise Agreement, as well as any closure of the University either at one or se...moreThe days of Monday to Friday inclusive between 9am and 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), with the exclusion of gazetted Public Holidays for the relevant campus location, plus the closure of the University between 25 December and 1 January in the following year inclusive as specified in the USQ Enterprise Agreement, as well as any closure of the University either at one or several campuses in accordance with a direction of the Crisis Management Team.

Definitions that relate to this schedule only

Keywords

PhD, dissertation, thesis, doctoral

Record No

15/1744PL

Complying with the law and observing Policy and Procedure is a condition of working and/or studying at the University.

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