Academic regulations for Higher Degrees by Research

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These regulations form part of Research Policy 10 Higher Degrees by Research

Definitions
Foreword
1. Higher Degree by Research programs and Admission Criteria
    1.1 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    1.2 Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications)
    1.3 PhD Collaboration
    1.4 Professional Doctorate by Research
    1.5 Masters by Research
2. Research Degree Graduate Qualities
    2.1 Overview
    2.2 Research development and training activities
    2.3 Professional Doctorates
3. Application for admission
    3.1 Application for admission for Doctor of Philosophy, Masters by Research and Professional Doctorate (not Doctor of Philosophy [by Portfolio of Publications])
    3.2 Application for Admission for Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications)
4. Enrolment
    4.1 Initial enrolment
    4.2 Commencement of degree
    4.3 Provisional enrolment and confirmation of candidature
    4.4 Conditions for enrolment
    4.5 Duration of enrolment  
    4.6 Change of load between full-time and part-time enrolment
    4.7 Change of mode between internal and external enrolment
    4.8 Concurrent enrolment
    4.9 Deferral of enrolment
    4.10 Recreational leave and leave of absence
    4.11 Withdrawal from candidature
    4.12 Transfer to another higher degree by research
    4.13 Studying away from the University
    4.14 Communication  
    4.15 Recommended working hours
5. Research proposal and Confirmation of candidature
    5.1 Research proposal
    5.2 Confirmation of candidature
6. Programs of research
    6.1 Requirements
    6.2 Intellectual Property
7. Supervision requirements
    7.1 Appointment of supervisors
    7.2 Changes to supervisory arrangements
8. Monitoring progress
9. Unsatisfactory progress
    9.1 Definition  
    9.2 Procedure for managing unsatisfactory progress
10. Suspension and Formal review of academic progress
    10.1 Suspension of Candidature
    10.2 Formal review of academic progress
11. Appeals process
    11.1 Grounds for appeal
    11.2 Lodging the appeal
    11.3 Special Appeals Committee
    11.4 Notification of decisions
    11.5 Further avenues of appeal
12. Administrative withdrawal
    12.1 Definition
    12.2 Procedures
13. Responsible conduct of research: research integrity
14. Research misconduct
    14.1 Description
    14.2 Plagiarism
    14.3 Use of text comparison software
    14.4 Procedure
15. Grievance procedures
16. The thesis
    16.1 Content of the thesis for examination – Doctor of Philosophy, Professional Doctorate and Masters by Research (excluding Doctor of Philosophy [Portfolio by Publications])
    16.2 Content of Thesis for Doctor of Philosophy (Portfolio by Publications)
    16.3 Form of the thesis for examination
    16.4 Originality and eligibility
    16.5 Coursework and practice components of Professional Doctorates by Research
    16.6 Notice
17. Examination of the thesis
    17.1 Confidentiality
    17.2 Appointment of examiners
    17.3 Criteria for examination
    17.4 Defence of the thesis
    17.5 Examiner's reports
    17.6 Passed thesis - assessment option 1
    17.7 Minor corrections - assessment option 2
    17.8 Amendment - assessment options 3(a) and 3(b)
    17.9 Re-submission and re-examination - assessment option 4
    17.10 For PhD examinations only, awarding a Masters Degree by Research - assessment option 5
    17.11 Failed thesis and appeal - assessment option 6
    17.12 Appeal
    17.13 Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel
    17.14 Appointment of an adjudicator
18. Final grades and transcript notations for research degree students
19. Reinstatement/re-admission
    19.1 Application
20. Eligibility for the degree
21. Lodgement of thesis with University Library
    21.1 Requirements
    21.2 Availability and/or restriction on circulation/electronic access of thesis
22. Quality control
Appendix A: Statement of minimum resources for higher degrees by research degree students
Appendix B: Research integrity
Guidelines for the preparation of research statements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications)
Guidelines for the Statement of Agreement
Guidelines for the preparation of research proposals
Guidelines for the presentation of the thesis, or exegesis
Guidelines for the presentation of a thesis containing published research
Guidelines for the presentation of a thesis by creative practice
Guidelines for the presentation of the thesis for PhD (by Portfolio of Publications)

Guidelines for the oral defence of the thesis

Supervisory panels at UniSA: Framework and Guidelines


Definitions

Associate Dean: Research Education

The management, responsibility and authority for Research Education and related activities differs between divisions. The term Associate Dean: Research Education used here refers to the Dean or Associate Dean (or equivalent) holding responsibility for research education, as determined within the management structure of the Division.

Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) refers to the document issued to international students studying in Australia on a student visa, for student visa purposes.

Creative Work(s) means here a product of human creative skill or its application, for example a painting, performance, novel, or multi-media presentation.

Divisional Research Management Committee (DRMC) means the Research or Research Degrees Management Committee established by the Division.

Equivalent Full Time Student Load (EFTSL) - the measure used to determine a student's enrolled load. One 'EFTSL' is the amount of student load determined by the University to be equal to a full-time load for one student for one year, and is expressed at the University as 36 units.  Unless stated otherwise, times stated in these regulations are in EFTSL and include part-time equivalence.

Form refers to all online and paper based forms and applications.

Principal Supervisor

is a university academic or adjunct staff member who has primary responsibility for guiding the postgraduate research undertaken by a designated HDR student and for overseeing the progress of that student towards completion of their research degree. The Principal Supervisor is normally responsible for decisions and processes as detailed in these regulations, however the supervisory panel should be consulted as appropriate.

Publications may include where appropriate exhibitions and/or creative works.

Research Education Portfolio Leaders (REPLs) includes Research Degrees Coordinators, Associate Heads of School: Research and Program Directors: Professional Doctorate (Research) and their equivalents.

Supervisory Panel

is the team responsible for providing supervision to a research degree student. The panel must include a minimum of two UniSA supervisors, one of whom will be the principal supervisor. Supervisory panels can also include experts from other disciplines and end-user advisors external to the University, as appropriate for the research degree student’s discipline and project.

Suspension - the research degree student has not completed the requirements for the award of the degree. Enrolment lapses prior to the completion process due to the student failing to make satisfactory progress. Within three years, the student may seek reinstatement and be re-admitted if appropriate support is available.

Termination - Termination may be determined as an outcome of a formal inquiry into alleged research misconduct. No reinstatement is permitted.

Foreword

The University has established the Research Degrees Committee (RDC), a sub-committee of Academic Board, which has the delegated authority in matters relating to research education and training. [View the Terms of Reference].

RDC is responsible to Academic Board for the conduct of all matters pertaining to research education and training. RDC is also responsible for the administration of these academic regulations in accordance with the University's policies.

Research Degrees Committee will establish an Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel. Membership will comprise the Dean of Graduate Studies, the Associate Deans: Research Education from each division, and the Head: Research Education, Teaching Innovation Unit. The minimum attendance for a quorum is the Dean of Graduate Studies plus 50% of the Associate Deans: Research Education. The Panel is responsible for the maintenance of academic integrity, quality and standards in relation to research degree policy, examinations, programs, administration and student activity.  

Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel will:

  • provide determination on examination results
  • note the allocation of Commonwealth and competitive UniSA research degree scholarship offers as approved by divisions, consider new research degree program submissions, approve admissions into the PhD (by Portfolio of Publications)
  • provide interpretation of research degree Policy, Regulations and Codes of Good Practice and to manage and monitor quality assurance standards under the Quality Assurance Framework for Research Degrees (HDR Academic Approval Panel)
  • provide determination on cases of alleged research misconduct. 

Each division has a Research Management Committee, the Chair of which is the Dean: Research. Each Divisional Research Management Committee (DRMC) is responsible for monitoring and ensuring the effective conduct of research education management within the area and for ensuring that the area adheres to relevant policies, regulations and codes. Responsibility for research degrees may be delegated to the Associate Dean: Research Education. The Associate Dean: Research Education is required to complete authorisations at various points of candidature in accordance with these academic regulations.

Each Head of School will appoint a Research Education Portfolio Leader (REPL see definitions), who will represent the area as a member of the relevant DRMC and who will oversee the quality of all components of the research degree program and monitor the progress of research degree students.

1. Higher degree by research programs and admission criteria

Research degree programs at University of South Australia are:

  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Professional Doctorate by Research, where research shall constitute at least two-thirds of the degree
  • Masters Degree by Research.

In addition to specific candidature prerequisites below, Clause 3 outlines admission criteria and procedures for all research degree applicants.

In addition to prerequisites and admission criteria for research degree programs all international applicants:

1.1 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

1.1.1. Program

PhD programs provide training and education with the objective of producing graduates with the capacity to conduct research independently at a high level of originality and quality. By the end of the degree program, the PhD student ought to be capable of conceiving, designing and carrying to completion a research program without supervision.

The purpose of the PhD is to advance knowledge and/or the application of knowledge through the preparation of a substantial piece of work which represents a significant contribution to a particular field of study.

The PhD student submits for examination a written thesis or where indicated in the program documentation, a thesis which consists of written and creative work components. A research degree student submitting a thesis with creative components should refer to the Guidelines for the presentation of a thesis by creative practice.  Acceptable formats for the presentation of the thesis are detailed in Section 16, and the appropriate Guidelines for presentation.

1.1.2 PhD admission criteria

An applicant for a place in a Doctor of Philosophy program must satisfy the entry requirements set by the Research Degrees Committee which demonstrate competence to undertake a higher degree by research by:

a. holding or being eligible to hold from an approved higher education institution an award in an appropriate discipline which is assessed by this University as being equivalent to:

i. an Honours degree or a Bachelor degree with Honours of at least class 2a standard; or

ii. an appropriate Masters degree; or

b. satisfying the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education (or delegate) of their fitness to undertake further advanced work on the basis of their standard of achievement in, and the relevance of, previous higher education studies, and/or relevant professional experience and/or published research work. Schools may admit candidates to study a research degree provided they have evidence that the applicant has a reasonable probability of successfully completing the degree to which they are admitted.

1.2 Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications)

1.2.1 Program

The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications) is to allow formal recognition of established researchers and/or scholars who:

a. do not already hold a PhD qualification

b. has produced research of international standing in their respective fields on the basis of their ongoing record of academic publication (work), and

c. for whom enrolment in the existing 'standard' PhD (by thesis) program is inappropriate.

The PhD (by Portfolio of Publications) enables the degree of PhD to be awarded to research degree students on the basis of their original and substantial scholarly contribution to knowledge as demonstrated in publications.

'Publications' in this program can include written texts such as books, articles in journals, conference papers and substantial commissioned research reports. It can also include work which does not take the form of written text, such as productions, exhibitions, designs or performance of a literary or creative work appropriate to the research degree student's discipline or medium presented as a durable visual record. Whatever form the published work takes it is necessary that it should, at the very least, have been accessible within the public domain and have undergone a refereed or substantive peer review process.

The thesis to be presented for examination will consist of:

a. a portfolio of refereed publications (as defined above) based on original research and

b. a substantive integrating written component.

The substantive integrating written component is to set out:

a. an argument linking the papers together into a coherent theme and

b. the way the publications submitted represent an advance in knowledge in the research degree student's discipline or field, or

c. the application of new knowledge or critical inquiry in original ways, or

d. new expressions of knowledge or critical creative insight.

The integrating written component must also contain a substantial theoretical component relevant to the research degree student's discipline or field. There is no stipulated word length as what is appropriate will vary with the nature of the submitted work and the research degree student's discipline or field. Any additional research to be undertaken should only be directed towards the development of the integrating theme.

The total submission must be at a standard appropriate for the award of the degree of PhD.

Previous association with the University is not required.

The degree will be awarded to a research degree student who, through published work of which the research degree student is either sole author or joint author, has made a significant original scholarly contribution to knowledge and demonstrated a capacity for independent research, as judged by independent experts applying appropriate international standards.

The published work may be based on or manifested in rigorous experimental, theoretical, creative, empirical and/or design inquiry. The standard for the degree will be the same as that required for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at University of South Australia.

1.2.2 Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications) admission criteria

An applicant for admission to candidature for the PhD (by Portfolio of Publications) degree must satisfy the Research Degrees Committee that they:

a. are an established researcher and/or scholar, and

b. hold or are eligible to hold from an approved higher education institution an award in an appropriate discipline which is assessed by this University as being equivalent to:

i. an Honours degree or a Bachelor degree with honours of at least class 2A standard; or

ii. an appropriate Masters degree; or

c. hold such other qualifications as are acceptable to the Research Degrees Committee - in such cases the applicant must satisfy the Committee of fitness to undertake further advanced work on the basis of the standard of achievement in, and the relevance of, previous higher education studies, professional experience and published research work.

d. An applicant who has already been awarded a PhD will not be admitted to the degree.

e. An applicant who is pursuing, or who has previously pursued within the previous three years, a program of research under the RES-10 University's Higher Degrees by Research Policy, or an equivalent at another Australian or overseas university, will not be admitted to candidature.

1.3 PhD collaboration

PhD Collaboration refers to Jointly Supervised PhDs, Dual Award PhDs and Jointly Badged PhDs. Development, implementation and administration of such degrees will be in accordance with Policy RES-19 PhD Collaboration.

1.4 Professional Doctorate

1.4.1 Program

The Professional Doctorate by Research comprises at least two-thirds research and meets scholarly and university standards of research practice. Research Degrees Committee has responsibility for program approval and monitoring. This degree is covered by these Regulations.

The Professional Doctorate by Research is a rigorous program of advanced study and research, designed specifically to meet the needs of industry and professional groups. Professional Doctorate by Research programs foster excellence in professional practice by developing the capacity of individuals to lead the development of knowledge in their professional contexts. The Professional Doctorate by Research encourages close cooperation between the University, industry and profession and provides a framework for the integration of professional expertise and scholarly inquiry.

The coursework component of the Professional Doctorate by Research is designed to build on the research degree student's professional expertise by exposing them to leading and challenging ideas in their fields. The research component of the Professional Doctorate by Research will direct and inform change in order to benefit the workplace and/or professional context. Supported by expert supervisors, Professional Doctorate by Research degree students bring the highest level of systematic research knowledge and practice to professional projects.

Students enrolled in a Professional Doctorate submit for examination a body of research work, hereafter known as a thesis. The thesis is as specified in the program approval documentation and may be a dissertation, portfolio of work, exegesis, creative works, published articles or written project, or any combination thereof, as specified for the particular program.

1.4.2 Professional Doctorate by Research admission criteria

An applicant for a place in a Professional Doctorate by Research must satisfy the entry requirements set by the Research Degrees Committee which demonstrate competence to undertake a higher degree by research by:

a. holding or being eligible to hold from an approved higher education institution an award, in an appropriate discipline, which is assessed by this University as being equivalent to:

i. an Honours degree or a Bachelor degree with Honours of at least class 2a standard; or

ii. an appropriate Masters degree; or

b. satisfying the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education (or delegate) of their fitness to undertake further advanced work on the basis of their standard of achievement in, and the relevance of, previous higher education studies, and/or relevant professional experience and/or published research work. Schools may admit candidates to study a research degree provided they have evidence that the applicant has a reasonable probability of successfully completing the degree to which they are admitted.

c. normally, having at least five years experience of practice in their relevant field and normally within the last ten years.

1.5 Masters by Research

1.5.1 Program

Masters by Research programs have the objective of training research degree students in:

  • analysing the literature, relevant creative works and debate in the substantive area of the thesis topic at an advanced level
  • research methodology and techniques and in their critical evaluation, appropriate to the field of study, and
  • the application of such methodology, by conducting a specified program of research under appropriate supervision.

A student enrolled in a Masters by Research submits for examination a written thesis, or where indicated in the program documentation, a thesis which consists of written and creative work components. A research degree student submitting a thesis with creative work components should refer to the Guidelines for the presentation of a thesis by creative practice.  Acceptable formats for the presentation of the thesis are detailed in Section 16, and the appropriate Guidelines for presentation.

1.5.2 Masters by Research admission criteria

An applicant for a place in a Masters by Research must satisfy the entry requirements set by the Research Degrees Committee which demonstrate competence to undertake a higher degree by research by:

a. holding or being eligible to hold from an approved higher education institution an award in an appropriate discipline which is assessed by this University as being equivalent to:

i. an Honours degree or a Bachelor degree with honours; or

ii. a relevant Bachelor degree (or equivalent) of at least three years with a minimum credit average

iii. an appropriate Masters degree; or

b. satisfying the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education (or delegate) of their fitness to undertake further advanced work on the basis of their standard of achievement in, and the relevance of, previous higher education studies, and/or relevant professional experience and/or published research work. Schools may admit candidates to study a research degree provided they have evidence that the applicant has a reasonable probability of successfully completing the degree to which they are admitted.

2. Research Degree Graduate Qualities

2.1 Research Degree Graduate Qualities

The seven Research Degree Graduate Qualities build on and considerably extend the University's seven Graduate Qualities and are the guiding principles for postgraduate research degree programs.

The Research Degree Graduate Qualities are elaborated in ways that take into account the specific discipline, professional area and the research that is undertaken.

The identification of Research Degree Graduate Qualities builds upon work undertaken internationally which aimed to identify characteristics of high quality postgraduate research degrees. This work is linked to the general agenda of identifying and assuring quality in universities in terms of student learning outcomes.

The Research Degree Graduate Qualities and their indicators identify generic outcomes that result from a good research education experience and identify competencies that are transferable to the workplace, whether academic or professional.

2.2 Research and transferable skills development and training activities

The University recognises that research and transferable skills are developed by research students through both the execution of their research, and through additional research development and training activities.

Research and transferable skills development and training activities support the development of the Research Degree Graduate Qualities, and research degree students are required to participate in these activities as part of their research training.

For research degree students, the nature of their participation in research development and training activities, within the framework for skill development adopted by the University, is negotiated between the research degree student and their supervisory panel and documented in the Induction Plan and Statement of Agreement. Consideration will be given to the Research Degree Graduate Qualities in terms of the particular needs of the student, their career aspirations, and the particular field of their research. Participation will be reviewed and modified in subsequent planning and review of progress meetings between the research degree student and supervisory panel.

3. Application for admission

3.1 Application for admission for Doctor of Philosophy, Masters by Research and Professional Doctorate [excluding Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications)]

3.1.1 An application for admission to a place in a research degree program must be made on the prescribed application form and must include a proposed program of study in the form of a research outline, which should be prepared after consultation with the proposed principal supervisor/ Professional Doctorate by Research program director. The research outline will include:

  • a provisional thesis title
  • a clear statement of the research topic
  • the aim and significance of the research project
  • a brief overview of previous relevant research
  • a broad plan of action or methodology
  • where creative works are to be included, an indication of the relative size and nature of the written and creative components.

3.1.2 The relevant Associate Dean: Research Education will recommend admission to the research program to taking into consideration the following factors:

  • the qualifications and experience of the applicant
  • whether the proposed program of research conforms to the educational profile and mission of the University
  • whether the proposed program of research suits a higher degree by research
  • whether the proposed program of research is feasible in terms of the ethics approval required
  • an assessment of the existing intellectual property involved in the proposed program of research
  • whether adequate supervision, physical and financial resources are available (see Appendix A - Statement of minimum resources for research degree students) for the proposed program of research
  • in the case of PhD and Masters by Research applicants, a statement of willingness by the principal supervisor to supervise the proposed research
  • referees' reports.

3.1.3 The Associate Dean: Research Education will approve or reject admission to a place in the research degree program and may set conditions on an offer of admission. An offer of admission comprises a letter from the University of South Australia's Student and Academic Services, together with an acceptance of offer form for completion by the applicant. Correspondence from other parties does not constitute an offer of admission.

3.1.4 In making offers for admissions, the University may also take into account relevant legislative or Government policy requirements, for example requirements relating to visas and Australian Autonomous Sanctions.

3.1.5 The University reserves the right not to offer a place. This decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

3.2 Application for admission for Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications)

3.2.1 An application for admission to candidature must be made on the prescribed application form and include a research statement, prepared in negotiation with the proposed principal supervisor. The research statement should be prepared in accordance with the guidelines for the preparation of research statements for Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications).

3.2.2 In order to demonstrate the applicant is an established researcher, the application must also include the following:

a. a copy of the applicant's curriculum vitae

b. copies of the publications, in chronological order, which are intended for inclusion in the thesis together with appropriate proof of peer review, eg government requirements or internal UniSA publication guidelines. The published work intended to be included in the thesis will not normally be more than 10 years old at the time of application and must have been published in English, or if not, a certified translation must be supplied

c. a statement that published works or the contents have not been included in any other work leading to an academic award

d. a statement making clear the extent of the applicant's contribution to each jointly authored publication. All authors for each jointly authored publication must sign a declaration that demonstrates the percentage of their contribution for each publication

e. a statement and evidence to enable assessment of ethical acceptance

f. a commitment by the applicant to work regularly on the approved program of study and to maintain regular contact with the supervisors and REPL.

3.2.3 An application for admission will be assessed by the Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel of Research Degrees Committee. The following factors will be taken into consideration when assessing the application:

a. the qualifications and experience of the applicant

b. the detailed research statement submitted by the applicant which may include any additional research required (see Guidelines). Any additional research should only be directed towards the development of the integrating theme

c. a statement of willingness by the principal supervisor to supervise the proposed program

d. the suitability of the proposed program of study and the research topic for a PhD degree

e. whether the proposed program of study conforms to the University's research profile and mission of the University

f. whether adequate supervision and physical and financial resources are available

g. the assessment of ethical considerations and

h. the assessment of intellectual property considerations.

3.2.4 The Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel will consider the submission and where, in the opinion of the panel the applicant:

a. satisfies the entry requirements, and

b. has a substantial record of ongoing research and publications, and

c. has submitted a portfolio that is prima facie worthy of examination for a PhD by Portfolio, notwithstanding the requirement for a substantive written component as described in Section 16.2 it will make recommendation on admission and may set conditions on an offer of admission.

3.2.5 Any admissions must be reported to Research Degrees Committee.

3.2.6 The Dean of Graduate Studies will have responsibility to ensure that the members of the Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel are independent of the applicant.

3.2.7 The Research Degrees Committee reserves the right to seek referees' reports.

3.2.8 The Research Degrees Committee reserves the right not to offer a place.

4. Enrolment

4.1 Initial enrolment

4.1.1 An applicant who accepts an offer of admission to a place in a Higher Degree by Research program must commence within the time specified in the letter of offer unless a written request for a deferment of enrolment is approved by the Associate Dean: Research Education (refer Clause 4.9).

4.1.2 Failure to enrol within the specified time subject to Clause 4.1.1 may result in the research degree applicant forfeiting their right to a place.

4.1.3 All research degree students (excluding PhD by Portfolio of Publications) must be enrolled as provisional students and will be subject to the provisions contained in clause 4.3.

4.2 Commencement of degree

4.2.1 The degree commences from the date of initial enrolment, unless otherwise determined by the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education.

4.2.2 Research degree students must comply with the enrolment dates indicated by the University.

4.3 Provisional enrolment and confirmation of candidature

Research degree students (except those undertaking a PhD by Portfolio of Publications) are enrolled provisionally until the requirements for confirmation of candidature are met.

For research degree students undertaking a PhD (by Portfolio of Publications), candidature will commence from the date of initial enrolment, unless otherwise determined by the Research Degrees Committee.

4.3.1 Research degree students will complete the Research Induction Plan with their principal supervisor.

4.3.2 Students and supervisors will complete a Statement of Agreement within six months of commencement in a higher degree by research program (except for students undertaking a PhD by Portfolio of Publications refer 4.3.3).

4.3.3 Research degree students enrolled in the PhD by Portfolio of Publications will complete the Statement of Agreement within 2 weeks of commencing the degree.

4.3.4 Within 6 months full-time study, or up to 12 months where specified by the student's home School and Division:

  • PhD (excluding PhD (by Portfolio of Publications)) and Masters by Research students are required to have their research proposal and confirmation of candidature approved by the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education.
  • Professional Doctorate by Research students are required to have successfully completed 18 units of the coursework component, approved by the Program Director.

4.3.5 Confirmation of Candidature is recommended by the Review Panel (see Clause 5 Research Proposal and Confirmation of Candidature) and approved by the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education. It includes approval of both the Research Proposal, the Statement of Agreement and the Induction Plan.

4.3.6 A research degree student transferring from another higher degree by research must complete the Confirmation of Candidature requirements for the new research degree.

4.3.7 A research degree student who is not able to complete the Confirmation of Candidature requirements within the provisional enrolment timeframe must apply for an extension to the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education at least one month prior to the due date of their research proposal. Any application for extension must be justified and include a supporting statement from the principal supervisor and be agreed to by the Associate Dean: Research Education. Normally, an extension will be granted for a maximum of three months.

4.3.8 A research student who is not able to complete the Confirmation of Candidature within an approved extension period will be advised that they are making unsatisfactory progress (see Clause 9.0 Unsatisfactory Progress) and will be required to meet the agreed requirements and timelines to avoid suspension of their candidature.

4.4 Conditions for enrolment

Conditions of enrolment will be in accordance with Academic Policy A 48- Enrolment and subject to additional requirements as outlined below.

Subject to clause 4.3 (Provisional Enrolment and Confirmation of Candidature), an enrolled research degree student will remain enrolled in each calendar year following initial enrolment until:

  • all components of the degree program have been completed and the final thesis is submitted and the student is conferred with the degree, or
  • withdrawal, suspension or termination of the enrolment.

4.4.1 Continued enrolment is subject to the research degree student's satisfactory progress (see Clause 8 Monitoring progress).

4.4.2 Students who fail to pay their fees and charges by the due date may have their enrolment in future study periods cancelled. University of South Australia Statute 6 provides that a student will not be permitted to re-enrol in the following academic year, be issued with a Confirmation of Enrolment, obtain an academic transcript, or graduate until all outstanding fees and charges from the current year are repaid.

4.4.3 A research degree student required to undertake major revision of the thesis after examination may be required to pay fees for the period required to undertake corrections.

4.4.4 Where progress is deemed to be unsatisfactory, the relevant supervisor and REPL may suspend the enrolment of a research degree student (See Clauses 10 and 11).

4.5 Duration of enrolment

4.5.1 PhD students and supervisors are expected to develop a research project which will enable the research degree student to submit the thesis for examination no later than 3.5 years from initial enrolment. Research doctoral programs are for four years to allow for examination and possible resubmission.

4.5.2 Masters by Research students are allocated a maximum of two years to complete their degree.

4.5.3 The periods of maximum candidature, as outlined in clause 4.5.1 and clause 4.5.2, include provisional enrolment, any periods of candidature for any previous higher degree by research prior to transfer, and exclude periods of approved deferment and approved leave of absence.

4.5.4 If the thesis has not been submitted for examination within the period of maximum candidature, the research degree student will be required to show cause to the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education why enrolment should not be deemed to have lapsed and supervision discontinued.

4.5.5 Subject to clause 4.5.6, in exceptional circumstances, in order to complete the degree requirements, the Associate Dean: Research Education may approve extra time in addition to the maximum allocated time outlined above. Extra time will be subject to the payment of any applicable tuition fees, availability of supervision and subject to progress being monitored on a prescribed basis by the Associate Dean: Research Education.

4.5.6 For international student visa holders:

a. International student visa holders must complete their degree within the expected duration of their program, as specified in their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).

b. Extra time will only be considered on the grounds of:

i. compassionate or compelling circumstances (e.g. illness where a medical certificate states that the student was unable to study or where a supervisor has been unavailable and this has affected the student's progress)

ii. an outcome of a review of progress in accordance with Clause 9, or

iii. an approved leave of absence in accordance with Clause 4.10.

c. Where extra time has been granted under this Clause above, a record of the variation and the reasons for the variation will be recorded on the student's file.

d. Where extra time has been granted, Student and Academic Services will issue a new CoE and notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection of the approved variation.

e. Where a student does not complete within the duration of the student's program as specified on the CoE, and extra time has not been approved, the University will not issue a new CoE.

4.5.7 Requests to go over the allocated time of candidature must be applied for on the appropriate form. Research degree students must not assume that their request has been approved unless they have been notified in writing by Student and Academic Services.

4.5.8 The minimum period of enrolment which may be approved by the Research Degrees Committee for a Doctoral degree will normally be not less than:

  • eighteen months full-time equivalent for a Doctoral student [excluding PhD (by Portfolio of Publications)] or
  • twelve months full-time equivalent for a Masters by Research student, or
  • twelve months full-time equivalent for a Doctoral student (by Portfolio of Publications).

In exceptional circumstances, the period of minimum enrolment may be reduced by the Research Degrees Committee, on a recommendation from the Associate Dean: Research Education.

4.6 Change of load between full-time and part-time enrolment

4.6.1 A research degree student may change load from full-time to part-time candidature, or vice versa, provided that the supervisor and REPL approve the recommendation.

4.6.2 For international student visa holders, a change of load from full-time to part-time candidature can only be approved if it is part of an outcome of a review of progress in accordance with Clause 8.

4.6.3 University research degree scholarship conditions require students to be enrolled full-time (except in exceptional circumstances), therefore research degree students on a scholarship who apply for a change of load from full-time to part-time must seek approval from the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education.

4.6.4 Requests for change of load should be made on the appropriate form. Research degree students must not assume that their request has been approved unless they have been notified in writing by Student and Academic Services.

4.7 Change of mode between internal and external enrolment

4.7.1 Subject to Clauses 4.7.2 and 4.7.3, a research degree student may change mode from internal to external candidature, or vice versa, provided the supervisor and REPL approve the recommendation.

4.7.2 International student visa holders must be enrolled internally.

4.7.3 University research degree scholarship conditions require students to reside in South Australia (except in exceptional circumstances), therefore research degree students on a scholarship who apply for a change of mode from internal to external must seek approval from the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education.

4.7.4 Requests for change of mode should be applied for on the appropriate form. Research degree students must not assume that their request has been approved unless they have been notified in writing by Student and Academic Services.

4.8 Concurrent enrolment

4.8.1 A research degree student may not enrol in a program leading to the award of another degree at this or another institution while enrolled in a research program at this University, except in exceptional circumstances where the second program complements the research program.

4.8.2 For international student visa holders, enrolling in a second program is dependent upon whether the student will remain able to complete their higher degree by research program within the duration of their CoE and maintain satisfactory progress as required by these Regulations.

4.8.3 The research degree student must make a case to the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education for permission to enrol in a second program, including evidence of academic achievement that indicates that the studies to be undertaken will not impact adversely on the progress of the research degree. The request must have the strong support of the supervisors and the REPL.

4.8.4 Any hours devoted to such concurrent study are to be included within the time allowance for paid employment (see clause 4.15).

4.8.5 In each review of progress, the supervisors will be required to advise if the concurrent enrolment has impacted adversely on the research degree student's progress in the program. If progress is not satisfactory, approval for concurrent enrolment will be rescinded.

4.8.6 A research degree student may be required to enrol in any such courses at this University as may be prescribed by the Research Degrees Committee and/or which support the research degree. These courses will be negotiated between the principal supervisor and research degree student and included in the Induction Plan and Statement of Agreement.

4.9 Deferral of enrolment

The relevant Associate Dean: Research Education may permit the deferral of initial enrolment (refer clause 4.1) for a period not exceeding twelve months.

4.10 Leave of absence

All students are entitled to twenty days recreation leave in each full-time equivalent year of enrolment. This is not deemed to be leave of absence for the purpose of calculating consumed candidacy load.

All provisions in these regulations regarding leave of absence are subject to relevant requirements for international student visa holders (refer clause 4.10.16).

4.10.1 A research degree student may take a leave of absence after enrolling but not within the period of provisional enrolment unless there are exceptional circumstances.

4.10.2 Any type of leave of absence (excluding recreation leave) taken during candidature will count towards the total amount of leave. This applies to both full-time and part-time research degree students.

4.10.3 Prior to commencing the leave, a request for leave of absence must be approved by the supervisor, and the REPL.

4.10.4 Retrospective leave will not be approved, except in special circumstances. Where a student is requesting retrospective leave after the relevant census date, an Amendment to Enrolment and Fees in Special Circumstances can be applied for where the student can demonstrate that special circumstances have impacted upon his/her ability to study. The special circumstances must be supported by documentary evidence and made within 12 months of the enrolment period being applied for.

Special circumstances, as outlined on the Study Assist government website, are those which include, but are not limited to, medical, family, personal, employment or course related circumstances which were:

  • beyond the student's control, and
  • did not make their full impact on the student until on or after the census date and
  • the circumstances made it impracticable for the student to complete the requirements of the research degree during the study period in which the student enrolled.

Retrospective leave may also be approved where there has been an administrative error by the University.

4.10.5 The research degree student will be notified by Student and Academic Services of the outcome of their application.

4.10.6 Normally, leave of absence for reasons other than in 4.10.14 may only be taken for a maximum of six calendar months at any one time. The relevant Associate Dean: Research Education must approve a request for leave that is 6 months or greater, or where a student has already taken 6 months leave.

4.10.7 Normally, leave of absence will not be approved for a research degree student who has exceeded the allocated period of candidature (see clause 4.5).

4.10.8 The total period of the leave of absence accumulated in a given candidature will not normally exceed twelve calendar months. However, if the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education deems the circumstances to be exceptional, leave in excess of twelve calendar months may be granted.

4.10.9 A research degree student requiring leave in excess of twenty four calendar months must apply to the Dean of Graduate Studies. Any application for this leave must be justified by the research degree student and must include a supporting statement from the principal supervisor and be supported by the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education.

4.10.10 Reasons for leave of absence include medical, adoption and maternity leave, carer's and family leave, personal and financial leave.

4.10.11 A research degree student is entitled to twelve weeks maternity leave during their candidacy.

4.10.12 A research degree student is entitled to ten calendar days carer's leave in each calendar year.

4.10.13 A research degree student whose partner gives birth or adopts is entitled to ten calendar days parental leave.

4.10.14 In exceptional circumstances, leave of absence of up to twelve calendar months may be granted to a research degree student wishing to enrol for a program leading to the award of another degree or diploma, provided that:

a. the program is complementary to the research degree student's program of research

b. the leave and program are justified by the research degree student

c. the leave has the strong support of the principal supervisor.

Leave undertaken for this purpose will count towards the total amount of leave to be taken.

(Also see clause 4.8 Concurrent Enrolment)

4.10.15 At the discretion of the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education, a research degree student may be placed on administrative leave for up to six months where progress is being impeded for reasons such as change of supervision or approval of change to the program of research. Limited support will be available during this period and any scholarship will be suspended for the period of the administrative leave.

4.10.16 In accordance with The National Code 2007, international student visa holders are not permitted to take leave of absence except on the grounds of 'compassionate or compelling circumstances' (i.e. circumstances that are beyond the control of the student and have an impact upon the student's academic progress or wellbeing, as supported by documentary evidence).

Examples of compassionate or compelling circumstances include, but are not limited to:

a. serious illness or injury as supported by a medical certificate

b. bereavement of close family members such as parents or grandparents (where possible a death certificate should be provided)

c. major political upheaval or natural disaster in the home country requiring emergency travel, which has impacted on the student's studies

d. where a supervisor has been unavailable, due to circumstances outside of the University's control, and this has affected the student's progress

e. where it is a benefit or condition of a University-funded scholarship (e.g. paid carer's, parental or maternity leave).

4.10.17 For international student visa holders, leave of absence may result in cancellation of the student's CoE, which may affect their student visa.

4.11 Withdrawal from candidature

4.11.1 A research degree student who wishes to withdraw should discuss their plans for withdrawal with their Principal Supervisor, their supervisory panel, and/or their REPL.  If, following discussion, the student still wishes to withdraw, they should complete the appropriate form and submit it to the relevant divisional research office.

4.11.2 Where an international student visa holder withdraws from their program, their CoE will be cancelled, which may affect their student visa.

4.11.3 A research degree student may apply to be re-admitted to their research program (refer clause 19 Reinstatement/re-admission in these regulations).

4.12 Transfer to another higher degree by research

4.12.1 A research degree student may be permitted to transfer or upgrade to a different research degree program provided that the criteria for admission have been met. Where a student is upgrading from a Masters by Research to a Doctoral program a recommendation outlining how the student meets the criteria for admission must be approved by the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education. Recommendations for transfer and upgrade must:

a. state that the relevant areas agree to the transfer and that the appropriate resources are available to enable the student to complete the degree

b. include a review of the research proposal or, where the student is transferring to a different school/institute but has the same research topic, approval of the research proposal is provided by the relevant Associate Deans: Research Education.

If approved, the period of enrolment (excluding periods of deferral and leaves of absence) will be counted towards the new degree.

4.12.2 A research degree student who wishes to transfer or upgrade should apply on the appropriate form.

4.12.3 The research degree student will be notified in writing by Student and Academic Services of the outcome of their application.

4.12.4 International students transferring between UniSA research degrees or to another institution:

a. An international student visa holder, who wishes to transfer to another institution and has not completed six calendar months of study at this University, will require a release letter in accordance with Policy A-48 Clause 10.7. Requests are to be made to the relevant manager in Student and Academic Services.

b. International student visa holders are advised to obtain a new CoE where required and ensure that their visa covers the period in which they will be enrolled in the new program.

4.13 Studying away from the University

This section applies to research degree students wishing to undertake study away from the university either overseas or interstate. This includes external students who are undertaking study away from their primary study location but excludes students on a Joint or Dual award PhD and offshore research degree students.

4.13.1 In all cases where a research degree student is studying away from the University to pursue research overseas or interstate the student must obtain written permission from their principal supervisor, REPL and Associate Dean: Research Education.

4.13.2 International student visa holders are required to ensure their proposed arrangements to study away from the University do not conflict with their visa requirements.

4.13.3 Applications to study away from the University will be made using the appropriate form and provide a detailed plan of activities to be undertaken as well as an invitation from the university, institution or organisation the student is visiting (where the student is not visiting a university or institution approval from the appropriate authorities must be provided). A copy must be provided to Student and Academic Services to be retained in the student's file.

4.13.4 A request to study away from the University will only be approved once the research degree student's candidature has been confirmed.

4.13.5 Normally, the maximum period of study away from the University will be six months.

4.13.6 A research degree student may include recreational travel during their time of study away but approval must be obtained prior to travel (refer Clause 4.10 Recreational Leave and Leave of Absence). For international students this is subject to student visa requirements (including that students must not have more than 28 days without enrolment).

4.13.7 Student enrolment will be maintained during the approved period of time the student is undertaking study away from the University.

4.13.8 A research degree student cannot use the length of time spent undertaking study away from the University as a reason for either an extension of candidacy or scholarship.

4.13.9 Any research degree student permitted to study away from the University must comply with the requirements of the overseas institution, undertake appropriate health and vaccination advice, consult regularly the Australian Government's travel advisory and ensure appropriate insurance cover is held.

4.13.10 Students must adhere to the University's travel guidelines.

4.14 Communication

The University's primary method of communication with students is electronic, through the UniSA student email account and the student portal. Students may re-direct their University email to a personal account, but University staff will only use the UniSA student email account. All students are expected to check their UniSA student email account and any announcements on the student portal on a regular basis. During a formal inquiry and/or appeal process, communication with students will be by letter to the mailing address on the student record system. In all other cases it should be assumed that communication will occur by email to the UniSA student email account. Special provisions will be made for students who do not have access to electronic communication. Normally this will be in writing to the student at the mailing address on the student record system (see Guidelines on electronic communications with students). Copies of all formal correspondence with a student and any other relevant documentation pertaining to the procedures outlined in these Regulations must be retained on the student's file in Student and Academic Services.

4.15 Recommended working hours

4.15.1 It is recommended that full-time research degree students undertake paid employment for no more than 8 hours per week or for a total of the equivalent of 8 hours per week over a 12 month period. The hours of work include marking and preparation associated with part-time teaching duties.

4.15.2 A student may undertake work outside the research degree subject to the approval of their supervisors. International students must ensure this is consistent with the conditions of the student visa.

4.15.3 A supervisor may not approve a student undertaking work unless he/she is satisfied that the work will not interfere with the student's study program. The work must be documented in the reviews of progress and regularly monitored.

4.15.4 Work commitments cannot be accepted as grounds for an extension to scholarship or application to go overtime.

5. Research proposal and confirmation of candidature

Note: This section does not apply to research degree students admitted to a PhD (by Portfolio of Publications). These students must have their research statement approved prior to commencement of candidature (see clause 3.2.1 and the Guidelines for the preparation of Research Statements).

For all other research degree students, a research proposal must be approved by the Associate Dean: Research Education before a PhD or Masters by Research student can proceed with the research program and move from provisional to confirmed candidature.

5.1 Research proposal

5.1.1 The structure and terminology of the research proposal may vary between different research degree programs. The form and content of the research proposal will be as specified by the Division/School for the relevant program.

5.1.2 Within the research proposal, the research degree student should explain how the Research Degree Graduate Qualities will be developed during the program (See the Guidelines for the preparation of research proposals).

5.1.3 Research students must submit the Statement of Agreement (refer to the Guidelines for the Statement of Agreement) with their research proposal.

5.2 Confirmation of candidature

5.2.1 Unless an extension has been granted:

  • PhD and Masters by Research degree students must present and have approved a comprehensive Research Proposal, normally before the expiration of a maximum of six months full-time study, or up to 12 months where specified by the student's home School and Division
  • Professional Doctorate by Research students must have their research proposal developed and approved before they are enrolled in the research component of the degree.

5.2.2 A research degree student who transfers between higher degrees by research programs must have their confirmation of candidature approved by the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education (see 4.12).

5.2.3 The Associate Dean: Research Education (or delegate) will establish a panel to review each research degree student's research proposal and will establish guidelines for the composition of the panel. A panel meeting may occur face-to-face or by teleconference (also see 4.3.6).

5.2.4 Each research degree student must present and defend their Research Proposal to the review panel and include the Statement of Agreement.

5.2.5 The Panel will advise the Associate Dean: Research Education (or delegate) that:

a. the research proposal should be accepted and that the Statement of Agreement is appropriate for supporting the research project and timelines , or

b. the research degree student should be required to undertake amendments for the proposal and/or the Statement of Agreement to be accepted, or

c. the research proposal and/or Statement of Agreement should not be approved and the research degree student should be suspended (where the student has had a reasonable opportunity to improve the proposal and still does not meet requirements ) (refer clause 9 Unsatisfactory Progress and clause 10 Formal Review of Academic Progress), or

d. the research proposal and/or Statement of Agreement should not be approved and the research degree student should be transferred to another program (where the student has had a reasonable opportunity to improve the proposal and does not meet requirements).

5.2.6 On the advice of the panel, the Associate Dean: Research Education (or delegate) will formally advise the research degree student of the outcome of the panel meeting. The panel chair will provide written feedback from the panel to the research degree student and the Associate Dean: Research Education.

5.2.7 Based on the outcome of the panel meeting, the Associate Dean: Research Education will notify Student and Academic Services on the appropriate form.

6. Programs of research

6.1 Requirements

6.1.1 A research degree student will undertake a program of research under supervision in order to complete a thesis for examination.

6.1.2 The primary role of each full-time PhD and Masters by Research student is to work on their thesis and, for all research degree students, to complete the degree within the maximum allocated time of enrolment.

6.1.3 A research degree student will enter into a formal Statement of Agreement with the supervisors regarding the completion of the research (refer Guidelines for the Statement of Agreement).

6.1.4 A research degree student studying on campus is required to attend the Orientation Session and is also expected to participate in the on campus research development and training activities. A research degree student studying off campus is required to participate in online orientation programs and participate in online research development and training activities.

6.1.5 The research and study will be carried out either within the University or within an industrial, commercial, government, educational, research or other organisation approved by the Associate Dean: Research Education.

6.1.6 If a Professional Doctorate by Research student is to complete a prescribed practical component in their program, normally the student will be monitored by University staff who are recognised by the relevant Division as providing leadership in the relevant professional field. In the event that a student is supervised by professional leaders external to the University and approved by the Division, the Professional Doctorate by Research Program Director will be responsible for monitoring the student's progress.

6.2 Intellectual property

The University provisions relating to intellectual property are contained in the Outside Work Policy, and University Activities - Intellectual Property: Ownership and Commercialisation Guidelines. The Statement of Agreement Form outlines the considerations that require the completion of the Student Participation/Intellectual Property Agreement. Copyright in all theses will remain the property of the research degree student.

7. Supervision requirements

7.1 Appointment of supervisors

The requirements, authorities and procedures for the appointment of postgraduate research supervisors are outlined in Policy RES 18 Higher Degree by Research Supervision and the associated procedures. Additionally:

7.1.1 Supervisors are appointed on the basis that their research expertise is appropriate to the research outline indicated in the application.  Students will be supervised by a supervisory panel, with the panel composition determined as appropriate for the student's research and intended career path.  The panel will consist of a minimum of 3 supervisors, made up of:

a. a principal supervisor (mandatory),

b. one or more co-supervisors/associate supervisors from the student's discipline area,

c. one or more co-supervisors/associate supervisors from other disciplines,

d. one or more advisors who are end users of research in the discipline.

7.1.2 At the time of application, the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education is responsible for ensuring that each PhD and Masters by Research student has a principal supervisor appointed. Where possible, other panel members should be appointed at the same time.

7.1.3 For Professional Doctorate by Research students, supervisors will be appointed at the commencement of the degree. The requirements will be as specified in the appropriate professional doctorate program information.

7.1.4 A minimum of two UniSA supervisors must be appointed to a research degree student within three months of commencement. It is expected that every effort will be made to appoint remaining panel members between that time and confirmation of candidature.

7.2 Changes to supervisory arrangements

7.2.1 In the event that the designated principal supervisor is unavailable or unable to supervise the research degree student for periods of no more than six weeks a co-supervisor will ensure continuity of supervision during that period.

7.2.2 In the event that the designated principal supervisor is unable to supervise the research degree student effectively for a period of six weeks or more, the Head of School/ Institute Director, in consultation with the REPL, and research degree student will nominate a replacement supervisor, in accordance with RES-18 Higher Degrees by Research Supervision and the University's approved procedures.

7.2.3 In the event that the research proposal requires a change in supervision for its approval to occur, the Head of School/Institute Director, in conjunction with the research degree student and REPL, will nominate a replacement supervisor in accordance with RES-18 Higher Degrees by Research Supervision and the University's approved procedures.

7.2.4 Where a research degree student wishes to change the focus of the research after the research proposal is accepted and which requires a change in supervision, the student must make application to the Associate Dean: Research Education to vary the research. In these circumstances, the University reserves the right to decline the proposed change of focus.

7.2.5 At any stage of candidature, where additional expertise is required and in consultation with the principal supervisor and REPL, a research degree student may add a supervisor to their supervisory panel in accordance with RES-18 Higher Degrees by Research Supervision and the University's approved procedures.

8. Monitoring progress

8.1 A research degree student must make satisfactory progress in the research to remain enrolled in the program.

8.2 Professional Doctorate by Research students must also make satisfactory progress during the coursework component to obtain approval for continued enrolment in the program.

8.3 Reviews of Progress must be undertaken in accordance with the relevant University procedures.

8.4 A research degree student shall have the right to discuss any matter pertaining to the progress of the candidature with the Principal Supervisor, any other member of the supervisory panel, the REPL, Head of School or the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education, as appropriate, to resolve any impediment to that progress. However, where possible a problem will be dealt with at the local level and will involve as few people as possible. Problems should not be escalated before attempting local resolution.

8.5 The purpose of reviews of progress is to:

  • Assist with research degree student progression through their award
  • Provide support to research degree students with their progression
  • Allow for intervention where research degree students are not progressing according to plan
  • Meet legislative and University requirements
  • Ensure research degree students have access to appropriate resources, and
  • Ensure the University's duty of care to research degree students is met

8.6 Each research degree student, Principal Supervisor and REPL undertake at least two documented planning and review sessions each year (no more than 6 months apart) (for Professional Doctorate by Research students, this occurs in the research component of the program only). These are known as Reviews of Progress. These reviews will inform continued enrolment.

8.7 The Statement of Agreement shall inform the review of progress and, along with the student's progress plan, any decisions relating to applications for:

  • extensions to scholarships and fee-relief,
  • variations to candidature,
  • overtime, and
  • extensions to CoEs

8.8 A record of the Review of Progress shall be retained in the student's file. The following outcomes will be recorded as appropriate:

  • Satisfactory: the research degree student is meeting the requirements of the statement of agreement and previous reviews of progress, and therefore academic progress is deemed to be satisfactory;
  • Satisfactory: Concerns were raised but have been resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned and documented;
  • Conceded satisfactory. The enrolment is to be subject to the student meeting specified research milestones and timelines agreed with the Supervisor, and may be subject to additional reviews of progress;
  • Unsatisfactory. Suspension of candidature has been recommended to the Associate Dean: Research Education.

8.9 Where a research degree student fails to participate in the reviews of progress, and an exemption to participation is not in place, they may be administratively withdrawn (refer clause 12 Administrative Withdrawal).  Exemptions to participation in reviews of progress are limited to extenuating circumstances, on compassionate or medical grounds.

8.10 Where there are concerns about the progress of a research degree student the research degree student will be informed in writing of the requirements necessary to make satisfactory progress. The research degree student may be required to undertake additional reviews of progress. A copy of the requirements and intervention strategy (see 9.2.1) will be provided to Student and Academic Services and retained on the student's file.

8.11 In the event that a problem which is impeding progress is not resolved through the review procedure, the research degree student has the right to submit a case to the Dean of Graduate Studies for investigation. Where possible a problem will be dealt with at the local level and will involve as few people as possible. Problems should not be escalated before attempting local resolution.

9. Unsatisfactory progress

9.1 Definition

Unsatisfactory progress is defined to be where the research degree student:

a. has failed to provide a Research Proposal within the required time

b. has not successfully met the requirements of their confirmation of candidature as a result of their Research Proposal deemed not to be acceptable on academic grounds

c. has failed to obtain the appropriate ethics and safety clearances for the conduct of the research

d. has failed to meet agreed timelines and milestones

e. is absent without approved leave for more than six months or, in the case of international student visa holders, is absent without approved leave for any period outside of the recreation leave permitted in the Regulations

f. has failed to submit their research for examination within the prescribed time

g. has failed to otherwise comply with the Policy, Procedures or Regulations of the University.

9.2 Procedure for managing unsatisfactory progress

9.2.1 If a research degree student's progress is considered to be unsatisfactory (refer 9.1) the research degree student will be notified in writing by their principal supervisor and REPL, outlining the reasons that have been identified. The notification will include an intervention strategy designed to improve their performance in their research program. A copy of the correspondence and intervention strategy will be provided to the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education and Student and Academic Services to be retained in the student's file.

Possible intervention strategies may include, but are not limited to:

  • counselling or training (e.g. RESA workshops, Occupational Health and Safety, ethics and/or research methodology)
  • a recommended course of action comprising revised timelines and milestones
  • a reduction in load
  • a reduction in working hours
  • approved leave of absence.

9.2.2 If a research degree student continues to make unsatisfactory progress the principal supervisor and REPL will review the research degree student's progress, taking into account the intervention strategies and activities undertaken by the research degree student.

9.2.3 The REPL will advise the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education that:

a. the research degree student be allowed to continue subject to certain conditions as they wish to impose. The REPL is to inform the research degree student in writing of the conditions and the timelines, as well as the possible outcomes should the conditions not be met. For international student visa holders, the outcomes include the possible cancellation of the student's CoE which may result in cancellation of their student visa. A copy of the correspondence is to be provided to the Associate Dean: Research Education and to Student and Academic Services to be retained on the student's file, or

b. The research degree student's candidature is to be suspended. The REPL will advise the research degree student that a notification to suspend their candidature has been made to the Associate Dean: Research Education. The research degree student will be notified in writing by the REPL of the following:

i. The reasons for the suspension under clause 9 Unsatisfactory Progress in the Academic Regulations for Higher Degrees by Research

ii. The process for appealing the suspension (refer clause 10 Suspension and Formal Review of Academic Progress)

iii. That their enrolment in the program will be discontinued as a result of the suspension

iv. (For international students on a student visa only) that the suspension of their candidature constitutes a breach of their student visa conditions, and that the University is required by law to notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection if they are suspended/ terminated. This results in cancellation of their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and possible cancellation of their student visa.

v. That their scholarship may be suspended as an outcome of their candidature suspension.

9.2.4 A copy of the notification letter is to be provided to the Associate Dean: Research Education and Student and Academic Services to be retained in the student's file.

9.2.5 The research degree student will have twenty working days to appeal to the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education the decision to suspend their candidature (refer clause 10 Suspension and Formal Review of Academic Progress).

10. Suspension and formal review of academic progress

10.1 Suspension of candidature

10.1.1 Where the Associate Dean: Research Education receives a recommendation to suspend a research degree student's candidature (clause 9.2.4) due to unsatisfactory progress, the Associate Dean: Research Education will advise the Divisional Research Management Committee that the research degree student's enrolment will be suspended or terminated.

10.1.2 The research degree student will have 20 working days to appeal to the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education the decision to suspend their candidature.

10.1.3 If the research degree student does not appeal the decision within 20 working days of the date of the suspension letter, the student's enrolment will be cancelled and they will be notified by the Associate Dean: Research Education.

10.1.4 A research degree student whose enrolment is suspended will have a notation marked on his/her transcript in accordance with clause 18 of these Regulations.

10.1.5 For an international student visa holder whose candidacy is suspended, their CoE will be cancelled, which may result in cancellation of their student visa.

10.1.6 Where the research degree student appeals the suspension, the Associate Dean: Research Education will conduct a Formal Review of Academic Progress.

10.2 Formal review of academic progress

10.2.1 Upon receiving an appeal from the research degree student, the Associate Dean: Research Education, as Chair of the Division Research Management Degrees Committee, will establish a panel consisting of:

  • at least three University academic staff members who are members of the University's Register of Current Higher Degree by Research Supervisors, two of which are discipline specific and one academic staff member from an independent school/centre or institute.
  • A nominee of the Director, Student and Academic Services
  • a representative from USASA.

The panel may proceed even if all members are not in attendance, provided there is a quorum of three which must include the chair.

10.2.2 The Associate Dean: Research Education will write to the research degree student notifying him/her of the Formal Review of Academic Performance under clause 10.2.1. The letter from the Associate Dean: Research Education must, at a minimum:

  • detail the reasons that the research degree student's progress has become the subject of a review
  • advise of the membership of the panel appointed under clause 10.2.1
  • advise the timing and location of the panel's meeting
  • provide information on the procedures for Formal Review of Academic progress, and
  • advise the research degree student of his/her right to present a case at the panel meeting, either in person, via agreed electronic medium, or by production of documentation, as to why the student should be allowed to continue with the degree.

10.2.3 The student will be invited to attend the meeting to present their case and may be assisted or represented at the meeting by:

a. a representative of USASA or

b. any staff member or student of the University.

This person is not a member of the formal inquiry panel.

10.2.4 The Associate Dean: Research Education will invite the supervisor(s) and REPL to present their case for suspension of candidature. However, the supervisor(s) and REPL may not be a member of the Panel.

10.2.5 The Panel will consider the research degree student's academic progress and whether there are any grounds for suspension of enrolment.

10.2.6 The Panel meeting will proceed on the scheduled date regardless of the research degree student's advised availability to attend, or actual attendance. If the research degree student has not responded to the letter referred to in clause 10.2.2, the University must demonstrate that it has made all reasonable attempts to contact the student about the panel meeting, including by postal mail and other usual means of University communication (for example email and telephone).

10.2.7 The Panel may decide to:

a. allow the research degree student to continue subject to such conditions as it wishes to impose, or

b. suspend the student.

10.2.8 Within ten working days of the Panel meeting, the Associate Dean: Research Education will:

  • advise the Divisional Research Management Committee of the Panel's decision
  • notify the research degree student, in writing, of the Formal Academic Review Panel's decision.

10.2.9 Where the Panel decides that the student is to be suspended, the research degree student will be notified by email and registered post that:

  • they have the right to appeal the decision of the panel to the Dean of Graduate Studies (refer Clause 11.0 Appeals Process) within 20 working days of the date on the letter, and the grounds that they may appeal on,
  • their enrolment in the program will be discontinued if the student does not appeal, or the appeal is rejected by the Dean of Graduate Studies,
  • (for international students on a student visa only) the suspension/termination of their candidature constitutes a breach of their student visa, and that the University is required by law to notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection if they are suspended. This results in cancellation of their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and may result in the cancellation of their student visa.

10.2.10 The Associate Dean: Research Education will notify Student and Academic Services of the outcome of the Panel and include detailed reasons as to why the research degree student's progress has been found to be unsatisfactory, together with a copy of the relevant correspondence to the student.

10.2.11 If the research degree student does not appeal the decision within 20 days of the date of the letter from the Formal Academic Review Panel, the research degree student's enrolment will be cancelled and the student and relevant Associate Dean: Research Education will be notified.

10.2.12 A research degree student whose enrolment is suspended will have a notation marked on his/her transcript in accordance with clause 18 of these Regulations.

10.2.13 For an international student visa holder whose candidacy is suspended, their CoE will be cancelled, which may result in cancellation of their student visa.

11. Appeals process

11.1 Grounds for appeal

The Special Appeals Committee considers appeals by students after all other review processes have occurred.

Note: Appeals against decisions made by the Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel must be made to the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation (DVC: R&I). In these instances the responsibilities of the Dean of Graduate Studies in Clause 11 of these regulations are undertaken by the DVC: R&I.

11.1.1 Students are entitled to lodge an appeal with the Dean of Graduate Studies to have their case reviewed by the Special Appeals Committee providing the following conditions are met:

a. the student is appealing a decision referred to in clause 11.1.2 below, and

b. the policy and/or procedures were not correctly observed and/or

c. information is available that supports the student's case for appeal which was not known or not available at the time previous appeals were considered.

11.1.2 The following decisions are eligible for consideration by the Special Appeals Committee:

a. outcome of Research Proposal and Confirmation of Candidature (refer clause 5 Research proposal and Confirmation of Candidature)

b. outcome of a Review of Academic Progress (refer clause 10 Suspension and Review of Academic Progress)

c. outcome of review of Research Integrity and Misconduct (refer clause 14 Research Misconduct).

11.1.3 Where the appeal is lodged by an international student visa holder, the University will maintain the student's CoE while any internal (ie within the University) appeal is ongoing.

11.2 Lodging the appeal

11.2.1 Students wishing to appeal against a decision as specified in 11.1.2 must lodge an appeal, in writing, setting out the grounds for appeal to the Dean of Graduate Studies within 20 working days from the date specified in the letter notifying the student of the relevant committee's decision.

11.2.2 The Dean of Graduate Studies will decide whether or not the appeal meets the relevant criteria and will notify the student, in writing, within five working days of the lodgement of the appeal that:

a. the appeal has been denied, including grounds for denial, or

b. the appeal has been forwarded to the Special Appeals Committee for consideration.

11.2.3 In considering the grounds for appeal, the Dean of Graduate Studies may refer the case back to the relevant staff member or committee, in order to negotiate a satisfactory outcome. This will not be used to deny a student access to the Special Appeals Committee where they meet the criteria for appeal, but rather as an effective way to resolve issues locally before proceeding to appeal.

11.2.4 The Dean of Graduate Studies will report the outcome of their decision to the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education.

11.2.5 A copy of all correspondence will be maintained on the student's file.

11.2.6 The decision of the Dean of Graduate Studies regarding eligibility for appeal to the Student Appeals Committee will be final. No further avenues of appeal exist within the University.

11.2.7 Students may continue their program of study pending the outcome of an appeal, unless the University considers that to do so places the student, others or the University at risk. In these cases, appropriate documentary evidence must be retained on the student's file in Student and Academic Services.

11.2.8 Should the student's appeal be denied, their current enrolment will be amended accordingly.

11.3. Special Appeals Committee

11.3.1 Where the Dean of Graduate Studies upholds the appeal, the appeal will be heard by the Special Appeals Committee, which is a sub-committee of University Council (convened with the following membership):

  • the current chair of the Student Appeals Committee (the community member of University Council) (Chair)
  • three senior University academic staff members listed on the University's Register of Current Higher Degree by Research Supervisors, nominated by the relevant Pro Vice Chancellor and endorsed by Research Degrees Committee
  • one student representative nominated by USASA.

11.3.2 The quorum of the Special Appeals Committee is three members, which must include the community member of University Council or their nominee.

11.3.3 The Special Appeals Committee will consider relevant reports and any further written submissions from:

  • the student lodging the appeal
  • the principal supervisor
  • the relevant head of school/institute director
  • the Chair of the Divisional Research Degrees Management Committee which recommended the decision, i.e. the Dean: Research or Associate Dean: Research Education or nominee
  • the Dean of Graduate Studies
  • persons considered relevant to the appeal.

The Special Appeals Committee will then invite the following people to attend the hearing(s) in person or via telephone or video conference if required:

  • the research degree student lodging the appeal
  • a staff member responsible for the original decision which is under appeal. This may be the principal supervisor, the relevant Dean: Research, the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education, the relevant head of school/institute director, the relevant Pro Vice Chancellor or nominee, or the Dean of Graduate Studies.

11.3.4 The research degree student may be assisted or represented by a USASA Representative or nominee who is a UniSA staff member or student.

11.3.5 The decision of the Special Appeals Committee is final and no further avenues of appeal exist within the University. For external appeals see clause 11.5.

11.4 Notification of decisions

11.4.1 The executive officer to the Special Appeals Committee will notify the student by registered mail within five working days of the committee's decision, and the basis for that decision. Copies of all relevant correspondence will be forwarded to:

a. the principal supervisor concerned

b. the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education

c. the relevant REPL

d. the Dean of Graduate Studies

e. Student and Academic Services to be retained on the student's file.

11.4.2 Student and Academic Services will amend the grade in the University's student records system if appropriate, and will ensure that any notation required is entered on the student record (refer Clause 18).

11.5 Further avenues of appeal

11.5.1 Students have the right to appeal decisions made by the University in relation to these regulations through the following external avenues.

a. the Office of the State Ombudsman, or

b. the Office of the Training Advocate. Contact details for these bodies can be found on their websites.

11.5.2 Where a student pursues their appeal through an external body:

a. their place in the program will be held, pending the outcome of their appeal. However, the student will not be permitted to enrol in further courses, or incur further fees.

b. the student must advise Student and Academic Services in writing that an appeal has been lodged with an external body (and name the external body) within 10 working days of lodging the appeal.

c. the student must advise Student and Academic Service in writing of the outcome of the appeal within 10 working days from the date specified in the letter from the external appeal body. The letter will be retained in the student's file.

11.5.3 If the appeal is unsuccessful, the University will take the appropriate action, irrespective of whether the student chooses to pursue further avenues of external appeal. For international student visa holders, this will mean their CoE will be cancelled which may result in cancellation of their student visa.

12. Administrative withdrawal

12.1 Definition

Where a research degree student has failed to participate in a Review of Progress (see Clause 8 Monitoring progress), maintain enrolment (except where the student is on approved leave of absence) or has failed to maintain contact with the supervisor for more than 6 months, the student may be administratively withdrawn.

12.2 Procedures

12.2.1 The Associate Dean: Research Education will advise the research degree student that they are at risk of being administratively withdrawn if they do not complete a Review of Progress, enrol or make contact with the supervisor within a reasonable timeframe.

12.2.2 All reasonable attempts should be made to contact the student and records of attempts to contact the student retained. If the student is unable to be contacted or does not respond to requirement set by the Associate Dean: Research Education within 20 working days, they are to be administratively withdrawn.

12.2.3 A research degree student who is administratively withdrawn may appeal to the Dean of Graduate Studies to be reinstated. Students are entitled to lodge an appeal with the Dean of Graduate Studies where policy and/or procedures were not correctly met.

12.2.4 A research degree student who is administratively withdrawn will have a notation marked on the transcript in accordance with clause 18 of these Regulations.

12.2.5 A research degree student who is an international student visa holder will have their CoE cancelled which may affect their student visa.

13. Responsible Conduct of Research: Research Integrity

The University is committed to generating and maintaining a culture of research integrity across the university.

Core elements of research integrity include honest dealing with research data, primary materials and findings; fair attribution of authorship; respect for and acknowledgement of the work of others; handling funding with integrity; careful management of perceived or actual conflicts of interest; accurate and wide dissemination of research findings; responsible conduct of peer review; the promotion of collaboration; attention to human and animal ethics and biosafety requirements; and adherence to all relevant legal and regulatory requirements.

All research degree students and supervisors are required to adhere to high standards of research integrity at all times and comply with the following codes and legislation:

In addition the University has implemented a governance framework for the responsible conduct of research.

Research degree students and supervisors are required to adhere to the following University policies and guidelines if applicable to their discipline and research project:

14.  Research misconduct

14.1 Description

14.1.1 Research misconduct does not include honest differences in judgement in management of the research project, and may not include honest errors that are minor or unintentional.

14.1.2 A complaint or allegation may result in a finding of research misconduct if it involves the following:

  • a breach of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Australian Code)
  • intent and deliberation, recklessness or gross and persistent negligence
  • serious consequences, such as false information on the public record, or adverse effects on research participants, animals or the environment.

14.1.3 Research misconduct may occur at a personal level, research project level or as a failure to comply with regulatory requirements. Examples of research misconduct under these categories include:

a. at a personal level

  • deception in proposing, carrying out or reporting the results of research
  • falsification or misrepresentation of application information, ethics or research proposals or academic records
  • failure to identify and declare serious conflicts of interest
  • wilful concealment or facilitation of research misconduct by others.

b. at research project level

  • presentation or collection of data that has been copied, plagiarised, falsified, fabricated or in other ways obtained improperly
  • inclusion of material in individual work that has involved significant assistance from another person, where its inclusion is not permitted by the other person
  • risking the safety of human participants, or the wellbeing of animals.

c. breaching rules that govern research

  • conducting research without ethics approval as required by the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes
  • plagiarism (see 14.2 below)
  • failure to comply with the University's Authorship policy
  • deviations from the Australian Code that occur through gross or persistent negligence.

14.2 Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a specific form and serious act of misconduct. It is the use of another person's words or ideas as if they were one's own. It may occur as a result of lack of understanding and/or inexperience about the correct way to acknowledge and reference sources. It may result from poor academic practice, which may include poor note taking, careless downloading of material or failure to take sufficient care in meeting the required standards. It may also occur as a deliberate misuse of the work of others with the intent to deceive. It may include, but is not restricted to:

a. using another person's ideas work, product or research data without acknowledgment

b. arranging for someone else to undertake all or part of a piece of work and presenting that work as one's own.

14.3 Use of text comparison software

14.3.1 As part of the University's procedures for identifying instances of plagiarism, any work that is submitted by a research degree student may be subjected to testing using text comparison software. It is a condition of enrolment in a research degree program that research degree students give their consent to this process.

14.3.2 As part of the Statement of Agreement with the supervisor, the research degree student is required to sign the following statement appearing within the Agreement:

  • the research degree student authorises any written material submitted to be tested by the University for plagiarism, using text comparison software. This involves the University or its contractor copying work submitted by the research degree student and storing it on a database to be used in future to test work submitted by others.

14.4 Procedure

Allegations of research misconduct will require specific action by supervisors and responsible officers of UniSA, the procedures for which are outlined in Appendix B attached to these regulations.  

15. Grievance procedures

All grievances and complaints by research degree students not covered under these Regulations should be dealt with under University Policy C-17 Student Complaints Resolution. The Associate Dean: Research Education will report any grievance or complaint made by a research degree student on the review of progress form.

16. The thesis

Each research degree student must submit a body of research work for examination. This is known as a thesis.

16.1 Content of the thesis for examination – Doctor of Philosophy, Professional Doctorate and Masters by Research [excluding Doctor of Philosophy (Portfolio by Publications)]

16.1.1 The thesis is the material form of a sustained program of research that has produced original findings. The thesis may comprise either:

a. a written text comprised of conventional chapters presented as typescript, or

b. a written text containing a combination of peer reviewed publications and conventional chapters presented as typescript (Thesis Containing Published Research), or

c. creative or visual works together with an exegesis (a thesis by creative practice). 

16.2 Content of Thesis for Doctor of Philosophy (By Portfolio of Publications)

16.2.1 The thesis will consist of:

a. a portfolio of refereed publications (as defined in the Guidelines) based on original research

b. a substantive integrating written component.

16.2.2 The substantive integrating written component is to set out:

a. an argument linking the papers together into a coherent theme and

b. the way the publications submitted represent an advance in knowledge in the research degree student's discipline or field, or

c. the application of new knowledge or critical inquiry in original ways, or

d. new expressions of knowledge or critical creative insight.

16.2.3 The total submission must be at a standard appropriate for the award of the degree of PhD.

16.2.4 The integrating written component must also contain a substantial theoretical component relevant to the research degree student's discipline or field. There is no stipulated word length, as what is appropriate will vary with the nature of the submitted work and the research degree student's discipline or field. Any additional research should only be directed towards the development of the integrating theme.

16.2.5 The publications must have been subjected to a peer review. There is no minimum number of publications specified. It is expected that for the majority of publications, the applicant will be the sole or first named author. The publications submitted should follow a coherent theme and be of a sufficient number for the body of work to constitute a substantial and original contribution to knowledge.

16.2.6 The submission will not include unpublished work, review articles, newspaper articles, articles in non-refereed professional journals, work that had already been submitted successfully or unsuccessfully for the award of a degree at any university, or works where the applicant's role was that of editor.

16.3 Form of the thesis for examination

16.3.1 The thesis may be presented for examination in either printed or electronic form, and should comply with the Guidelines for presentation.

16.3.2 The research degree student must submit a thesis for examination to the Research Degrees Committee that:

  • meets the University's requirements for research integrity
  • as an accurate account of the research program
  • is assessable according to examination criteria
  • conforms with the appropriate guidelines for presentation (see the Guidelines).

16.3.3 The submission of a non-standard thesis will require the approval of the Associate Dean: Research Education before being presented for examination.

16.4 Originality and eligibility

16.4.1 The work on which the thesis is based must be the original work of the research degree student.

16.4.2 Work which has been submitted for any other academic award may not be submitted as the main content of the thesis. Any portion of the thesis, where the main content of the thesis consists of any significant extension or elaboration of the research degree student's earlier work, must be clearly indicated. Work undertaken as part of any qualifying program may be taken into account as part of the work for the degree for which that program was designed.

16.4.3 A research degree student will normally make a formal presentation of the thesis to a division/institute/ school/ research centre seminar prior to the commencement of the examination process.

16.4.4 When submitting a thesis, a research degree student must affirm that:

a. to the best of their knowledge, the thesis contains no material written by another person except where due reference is made in the text of the thesis

b. the material in the thesis has not been the basis of the award of any other degree or diploma except where due reference is made in the text of the thesis

c. all substantive contributions by others to the work presented in the thesis, including jointly-authored publications, have been clearly acknowledged.

16.4.5 When the research degree student submits the thesis for examination, the principal supervisor and the REPL will verify to the Associate Dean: Research Education that:

a. the extent to which the work, that is data collection, data analysis, and writing of the thesis, was carried out by the research degree student and, if an editor was used, the extent of the involvement of the editor

b. the authorship of the thesis to the best of their knowledge

c. whether the thesis is properly presented and is worthy of examination

d. that the research has been conducted in a responsible manner and in agreement with approved research policies for human research ethics, animal ethics, or other research policies appropriate to the nature of the research.

16.4.6 If the principal supervisor is unable to advise that, in their opinion, the submission is prima facie worthy of examination, the Associate Dean: Research Education will offer the student the opportunity to withdraw the submission before examination, or for the student to make a case to the Dean of Graduate Studies for the examination to proceed.

16.5 Coursework and practice components of Professional Doctorates by Research

16.5.1 A Professional Doctorate by Research student will undertake the assessment for the prescribed coursework and/or practice in accordance with the approved program documentation as recommended by Research Degrees Committee and approved by Academic Board.

16.5.2 The coursework and practice components will be graded in accordance with the University's Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual.

16.6 Notice (For a thesis by creative practice or exegesis only)

A research degree student must notify the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education of their intention to submit a thesis for examination. Notification will be in writing and at least one month prior to submission. The notification will include an electronic summary of not more than 500 words regarding the content of the thesis. The notice should indicate that the research degree student is to present creative works within the thesis. The summary will be forwarded to the examiners when they are invited to examine the thesis. (Also refer to clause 17.2 Appointment of examiners.)

17. Examination of the thesis

Regulations relating to examination may be varied only where variations are specified in a Dual Award PhD or Jointly Badged PhD agreement and/or student schedule (see RES-19 PhD Program Collaboration).

17.1 Confidentiality

17.1.1 Subject to clause 17.1.3 and 17.4.4, anonymity must be maintained during the examination process, but normally all reports of examiners will be made available to the research degree student, unless indicated otherwise by the examiner.

17.1.2 A research degree student has the right to be consulted about the choice of examiners, but does not have the right to nominate or veto the selection of examiners, and will not be advised of the identity of the final chosen examiners.

17.1.3 Normally, dialogue about the examination is not permitted between the supervisors and/or the research degree student with the examiners during the examination process. Any dialogue that occurs must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

17.2 Appointment of examiners

17.2.1 Upon receiving notice from a research degree student of intention to submit the thesis for examination the Associate Dean: Research Education, will approve the nomination:

  • for two examiners external to the University
  • a reserve examiner, for appointment in the event that one of the appointed examiners fails to return the examination report within the required time.

17.2.2 Any supervisor of the research degree student may not be appointed as an examiner of that research degree student's thesis.

17.2.3 Where creative works are included with the thesis, the same two people will examine both the written component and the creative work(s).

17.2.4 Examiners must:

a. hold a research degree at the level (or higher) they are examining, or have equivalent professional experience

b. be of high academic standing and have an international profile in the student's research field

c. wherever possible, have recent research activity in that field

d. have the capacity to arrive at an independent assessment of the thesis

e. have knowledge about the standards expected for the thesis/research work/creative work

f. not have given any substantive advice on the research (except in the case of a resubmitted thesis)

g. not had or have a close personal relationship with the student or supervisors

h. not have any other conflicts of interest that, in the opinion of the Associate Dean: Research Education, make them unable to assess the thesis objectively.

17.2.5 Examiners must be of the highest quality, and where possible, one of the examiners should be from an overseas university or overseas research organisation.

17.2.6 Following Divisional approval of examiners, Student and Academic Services will confirm the examiners' availability and despatch the thesis to them for assessment.

17.2.7 Where an examiner fails to return an assessment within the required time of receiving a thesis for examination, the Associate Dean: Research Education may appoint another examiner.

17.2.8 Arrangement for the examination of creative works will be made by the School in conjunction with Student and Academic Services.

17.3 Criteria for examination

17.3.1 Doctor of Philosophy degree:

Examiners will examine the research degree student's thesis according to the following criteria:

a. capacity to demonstrate critical analysis and original thought in all aspects of the study

b. ability to demonstrate a comprehensive and detailed knowledge of the literature and theoretical understandings relevant to the field of study

c. capacity to design and apply appropriate research methodologies

d. the extent to which the thesis makes a significant original contribution to knowledge and/or the application of knowledge within the field of study

e. for the Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications), the research degree student's ability to review critically their own work in relation to the relevant existing knowledge and demonstrate (and supported in the integrating component) a clear and sustained contribution to the discipline area.

f. the quality of the presentation of the thesis/exhibition, including:

  • the clarity of expression
  • the accuracy and appropriateness of presentation of results
  • the quality and relevance of illustrative material (such as graphs, tables, illustrations)
  • the relevance and accuracy of citations, references, etc
  • the development of a coherent argument where relevant to the field of study.

g. the quality of creative works, if any, including:

  • the conceptual understanding of the relevant field
  • the ideas and/or imagination demonstrated
  • the technical competence
  • the resolution of the creative works and
  • the complexity and difficulty demonstrated

h. the worthiness of the thesis/exhibition for publication in any appropriate form.

17.3.2 Professional Doctorate by Research degree: Examiners will examine the thesis according to the following criteria:

a. the research degree student's capacity to:

  • demonstrate a significant and original contribution to knowledge about professional practice and a contribution to knowledge of fact and/or theory
  • demonstrate a critical appreciation of the literature relevant to the research project
  • present a well-designed and structured investigation (or set of investigations)
  • present information in a manner consistent with the relevant discipline(s)
  • demonstrate a critical appraisal of their own work relative to that of others
  • present evidence of independent and critical thought

b. the quality of the presentation of the thesis/exhibition, including:

  • the clarity of expression
  • the accuracy and appropriateness of presentation of results
  • the quality and relevance of illustrative material (such as graphs, tables, illustrations)
  • the relevance and accuracy of citations, references, etc
  • the development of a coherent argument where relevant to the field of study, and

c. the worthiness of the thesis/exhibition for publication in any appropriate form.

17.3.3 Masters by Research degree examiners will examine the thesis to determine:

a. the research degree student's ability to demonstrate an appropriate knowledge of the literature, creative works and theoretical understandings relevant to the field of study

b. the research degree student's capacity to demonstrate critical analysis in applying research approaches and, where appropriate, interpreting results

c. the extent to which the thesis makes a contribution to knowledge and/or the application of knowledge within the field of study

d. the quality of the presentation of the written component, including:

  • the clarity of expression
  • the accuracy and appropriateness of presentation of results
  • the quality and relevance of illustrative material (such as graphs, tables, illustrations)
  • the relevance and accuracy of citations, references, etc
  • the development of a coherent argument where relevant to the field of study, and

e. the quality of creative works, if any, including:

  • the conceptual understanding of the relevant field
  • the ideas and/or imagination demonstrated
  • the technical competence
  • the resolution of the creative works the complexity and difficulty demonstrated.

17.4 Defence of the thesis

17.4.1 PhD students commencing from 1 January 2016 will be required to undertake an oral defence of the thesis as part of their thesis examination.

17.4.2 Research Degree students who commenced prior to 1 January 2016 may elect to undertake an oral defence of the thesis as part of their thesis examination in consultation with their supervisors. Students who elect to undertake an oral defence should advise Student and Academic Services at least 3 months prior to their thesis submission.

17.4.3 The oral defence of the thesis will normally occur via video conference 8-12 weeks after submission of the thesis to Student and Academic Services.  Students are required to attend the oral defence in person, normally at their home campus.  The oral defence will be facilitated by a Chairperson (Chair) who is a senior member of academic staff, and who is not a supervisor of the student.

17.4.4 Confidentiality, as specified in clause 17.1, is applicable to students undertaking an oral defence of the thesis until the initial examination of the written thesis is completed and the preliminary examiner reports submitted to Student and Academic Services.  Prior to the oral defence, students will be provided with a copy of the written examiner reports, without the preliminary recommendation outcome.

17.4.5 Students required to undertake an oral defence of the thesis who require variation to the arrangements for their oral defence due to special circumstances may submit a request for variation to the Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel. Variations may include an exemption from undertaking the oral defence only in extenuating circumstances.

17.4.6 The Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel may determine that a student may not progress to the oral defence, or that a variation to arrangements be made, at their discretion.

17.4.7 The oral defence will be conducted in accordance with Guidelines which will be made available for staff and students.

17.5 Examiners' reports

17.5.1 The examiners will independently assess the thesis and recommend to the Research Degrees Committee one of the following assessments:

1. Pass forthwith.

2. Pass, following minor corrections (including typographical errors) being completed and certified by the Associate Dean: Research Education.

3. Pass, following major corrections

3a. I delegate authority to the University's Research Degrees Committee or nominee the responsibility of being satisfied that the amendments have been made in line with the examiners' reports, OR

3b. I would like to see the thesis again in order to be satisfied that the amendments have been made in line with my recommendation.

4. Revise and resubmit for re-examination (by the same examiners where possible) after a period of further research.

5. For PhD examinations only, I consider the thesis is not of PhD standard, but is worthy of the awarding of a Masters by Research degree following any corrections indicated in my report. I delegate to the Research Degrees Committee or nominee the responsibility of being satisfied that the corrections have been made.

6. Fail.

17.5.2 On receipt of all examiners' reports, Student and Academic Services will despatch the reports to the principal supervisor and research degree student, copied to the REPL and Associate Dean: Research Education.  For examinations including an oral defence (see 17.4) the reports will also be provided to both examiners, and the Chair of the oral defence.

17.6 Passed thesis - assessment option 1

17.6.1 Where a thesis has been assessed as passed forthwith, the final thesis must be submitted to the Research Degrees Committee within four weeks of the notification of the examination outcome. The submission will be accompanied by a Thesis Completion form that is signed by the student, principal supervisor, REPL and the Associate Dean: Research Education, each confirming that the thesis is satisfactory for the award of the degree.

17.6.2 If a case is made by the research degree student and the Supervisor that the final thesis cannot be submitted within the four weeks submission deadline, the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education may grant an extension. Student and Academic Services will record the extension in the student's file.

17.7 Minor corrections - assessment option 2

17.7.1 In the case that a thesis has been assessed as passed following minor corrections, the revised thesis must be submitted to the Research Degrees Committee within six weeks of the notification to the student of the requirement for revision.

17.7.2 The submission will be accompanied by a Thesis Completion form that is signed by the student, principal supervisor, REPL and the Associate Dean: Research Education, each confirming that the revisions have been made, or addressed, and that the thesis is satisfactory for the award of the degree.

17.7.3 If a case is made by the research degree student and the Supervisor that amendments cannot be completed satisfactorily within the six weeks submission deadline, the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education may grant an extension. Student and Academic Services will record the extension in the student's file.

17.8 Amendment - assessment options 3(a) and 3(b)

17.8.1 Where a thesis has been assessed as passed following major corrections, the revised thesis will be submitted to the Division Research Management Committee within three months of the notification of the need for revision.

17.8.2 In the case where an examiner has recommended assessment option 3(a), the submission will be accompanied by a Thesis Completion form that is signed by:

  • the student
  • the principal supervisor
  • a nominee of the Associate Dean: Research Education
  • the REPL, and
  • the Associate Dean: Research Education

each confirming that the revisions have been made and that the thesis is satisfactory for the award of the degree.

17.8.3 In the case where an examiner has recommended assessment option 3(b), the revised thesis will be accompanied by a Return to Examiner form together with a summary of amendments that is signed by:

  • the student
  • the principal supervisor
  • a nominee of the Associate Dean: Research Education
  • the REPL, and
  • the Associate Dean: Research Education

each confirming that the revisions have been made. The thesis will be reviewed by the examiner before the final submission is considered by Research Degrees Committee.

17.8.4 If a case is made by the research degree student and the Supervisor that amendments cannot be completed satisfactorily within the three months submission deadline, the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education may grant an extension. Student and Academic Services will record the extension in the student's file.

17.8.5 A thesis which is not re-submitted within the allowed time will, in the absence of demonstrated due cause, be deemed to have failed.

17.9 Re-submission and re-examination - assessment option 4

17.9.1 Where a thesis is to be re-submitted for examination after major revision:

a. the thesis may be submitted once only in the revised form

b. the written component should be submitted to Student and Academic Services normally within six months of the notification to the student of the requirement for revision

c. the submission will be accompanied by a summary of amendments and Return to Examiner form that is signed by:

  • the student;
  • the principal supervisor;
  • one other person nominated by the Associate Dean: Research Education;
  • the REPL; and
  • the Associate Dean: Research Education;

each confirming that the revisions have been made and the thesis is worthy of re-examination.

d. re-examination of the written component of the thesis will be arranged by Student and Academic Services

e. re-examination of creative works will be conducted within the relevant school in conjunction with Associate Dean: Research Education, and the results forwarded to the Research Degrees Committee

f. normally, the same examiner(s) will be appointed

g. the examiner(s) may recommend only that the thesis be:

i. passed forthwith, or

ii. passed with specified amendments required but the award process may proceed, or  

iii. failed.

17.9.2 The research degree student may be required to pay fees for the period required to undertake corrections.

17.9.3 If a case is made by the research degree student and the Supervisor that amendments cannot be completed satisfactorily within the six months submission deadline, the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education may grant an extension. Student and Academic Services will record the extension in the student's file.

17.9.4 A thesis which is not re-submitted within the allowed time will, in the absence of demonstrated due cause, be deemed to have failed.

17.10 For PhD examinations only, awarding a Masters Degree by Research - assessment option 5

17.10.1 In the case of a thesis which has been assessed as not of PhD standard, but worthy of awarding a Masters by Research degree following any corrections indicated in the examiners' reports, the revised thesis will be submitted to Research Degrees Committee within three months of the notification of the need for revision.

17.10.2 The submission will be accompanied by a statement signed by:

  • the principal supervisor;
  • one other person nominated by the Associate Dean: Research Education; and
  • the Associate Dean: Research Education;

each confirming that the revisions have been made and that the thesis is satisfactory for the award of a Masters by Research degree.

17.10.3 If a case is made by the research degree student and the Supervisor that amendments cannot be completed satisfactorily within the three months submission deadline, the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education may grant an extension. Student and Academic Services will record the extension in the student's file.

17.10.4 A thesis which is not re-submitted within the prescribed time will, in the absence of evidence of extenuating circumstances, be deemed to have failed. 

17.11 Failed thesis and appeal - assessment option 6

17.11.1 Where both examiners recommend that the thesis be failed, the Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel will deem the thesis to have failed.

17.11.2 Where one examiner recommends that the thesis be failed and the other recommends that the thesis be passed (or passed with corrections or amendments or revised and re-submitted), normally the Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel will recommend the appointment of a third examiner or an adjudicator and a final result will then be determined by the Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel.

17.11.3 A thesis which has been failed may not be resubmitted for the award of the degree and the enrolment will be terminated, except as provided in clause 17.12.

17.12 Appeal

17.12.1 A research degree student may submit an appeal to the Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel to have the thesis re-examined once only, provided that evidence is submitted to the satisfaction of Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel that one or more of the examiners:

a. was unqualified to examine the work, or

b. substantially misinterpreted the work, or

c. was prejudiced or biased in the assessment of the thesis.

17.12.2 Where a research degree student is appealing to have the thesis re-examined, the principal supervisor and research degree student will provide documentation and a recommendation as to the proposed course of action to the Associate Dean: Research Education within six weeks of receipt of the examiners' reports. All examiners' reports are to be taken into account when preparing a recommendation.

17.13 Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel

17.13.1 The Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel will determine whether the appeal should be upheld or rejected and, if upheld, will appoint one or two new examiners. If the appeal is not upheld, the student may, within twenty days, lodge an appeal with the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation for the appeal to be heard by the Special Appeals Committee (see Clause 11.3.2 for details of the constitution of the Special Appeals Committee). The decision of the Special Appeals Committee will be final.

17.13.2 The Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel may determine that:

a. dialogue be conducted with all or any one of the examiners, or between the examiners

b. another examiner be appointed

c. an independent adjudicator be appointed, or

d. any other action as deemed appropriate.

17.13.3 The Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel will not approve an alternative result to that provided by the examiners.

17.13.4 The Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel will send a written report to the Associate Dean: Research Education for action.

17.14 Appointment of an adjudicator

17.14.1 Where an independent adjudicator is required, the Associate Dean: Research Education will appoint the adjudicator, normally who will be external to the University.

17.14.2 The adjudicator is not an additional examiner, but a judge requested to pronounce on the relative soundness, correctness and appropriateness of the initial two examiners' recommendations.

17.14.3 The following material is sent to the adjudicator:

a. original thesis

b. examiners' reports (anonymised)

c. rejoinder from the student and supervisor

d. criteria for examination.

17.14.4 The adjudicator will evaluate the above material and advise the Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel about whether the examiners have:

a. fully grasped the substance of the research degree student's thesis/research work

b. erred in their judgement of the thesis; and/or assessed the thesis at the appropriate level (see clause 17.5).

18. Final grades and transcript notations for research degree students  

The final grades and transcript notations for research degree students are outlined in Section 8 of the Academic Policy and Procedure Manual

19. Reinstatement/re-admission

19.1 Applications

19.1.1 A research degree student who has withdrawn or whose enrolment was suspended or administratively withdrawn may apply to the Dean of Graduate Studies for reinstatement, provided they have had less than three years absence and will continue their previous research project.

19.1.2 An application is required to be supported by the principal supervisor; REPLs, Associate Dean: Research Education and Head of School. The application must be in writing and include the reason why the student should be reinstated.

19.1.3 The principal supervisor of a reinstated research degree student will be required to establish milestones with the research degree student to ensure completion within the required timeframe and the Associate Dean: Research Education will be required to agree to these milestones and to monitor progress against milestones.

19.1.4 Reinstatement will be allowed only once.

19.1.5 A research degree student who is reinstated will liable for tuition fees if they are over their allocated candidature time.

20. Eligibility for the degree 

If the Research Degrees Committee is of the opinion that a research degree student has satisfied the requirements for the award of the degree, it will certify to Council that the research degree student is eligible to be admitted to the degree.

21. Lodgement of the thesis with University Library 

21.1 Requirements

21.1.1 One copy of the final version of the thesis, amended if necessary must be sent to Student and Academic Services for lodgement with the University Library.  The digital copy of the thesis will be made available in the University's institutional repository, Research Outputs Repository. 

21.1.2 The final digital version should include an appropriate record of creative works, eg photographs, video recording.  Personal information such as signatures or addresses of the student, supervisors and other parties should be removed from the final digital version submitted with the library.  

21.1.3 In order to protect intellectual property rights, a research degree student may restrict access to the thesis (refer to clause 6.2). Restrictions to access will be outlined in the student's Statement of Agreement at the commencement of their candidature.  

21.2 Availability and/or restriction on circulation/electronic access of thesis

21.2.1 The research degree student, as author, will be asked to consent in writing to full text access to the digital thesis. Student and Academic Services will send a digital copy of the aforementioned notice of consent with the copy deposited in the Library.  The digital copy will be made available on open access through the institutional repository, except where a restriction is imposed by the Associate Dean: Research Education, as provided for in clause 21.2.2.  

21.2.2 Where written consent to the digital thesis being made available for access is not given by the author, the Associate Dean: Research Education may restrict access of the thesis. 

21.2.3 If the Associate Dean: Research Education approves a restriction on access, the digital thesis will become available for access two years after the thesis has been deposited with the University, unless a longer period has been approved by the Associate Dean: Research Education.

21.2.4 Student and Academic Services will report to Research Degrees Committee on those theses where a restriction on access has been approved.

22. Quality control 

The Research Degrees Committee will review these Regulations and their implementation annually.

 

Appendix A: Statement of minimum resources for higher degrees by research degree students

Preamble

The University of South Australia (UniSA) has research degree students studying full-time or part-time, on-campus or externally in a range of locations in Australia and offshore, and including offshore through industry partners in a number of locations.  Research degree students at UniSA are expected to produce work of a very high standard and require facilities of an equivalent standard with which to do this. All research degree students should be able to undertake educational activities with the University in an environment promoting the principles of equity and social justice and free of unlawful discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation. Divisions and institutes receive annual funding from the University's budget and other sources to provide resources and facilities for research degree students. The University funds come from revenue from international student fees and from funds allocated by the Commonwealth Government's Research Training Scheme (RTS).  

Approval of resources will occur in two stages:

1. in signing the Recommendation Form the University agrees to fund basic facilities and resources for that research degree student, access to which is agreed upon in the Induction Form

2. in approving the Statement of Agreement and Confirmation of Candidature, the University agrees to fund the negotiated project specific resources for that research degrees student.

Funding for resources must be approved by the relevant authorising persons.  

Postgraduate Research Degree Supervisor expertise and time

The most important resource that UniSA provides to research degree students is the expertise and time of the supervisor. Supervisors are required to be familiar with the Code of Good Practice: Research Degrees Management and Supervision and to adhere to its principles. Under Research Policy 18, Higher Degree by Research Supervision, supervisors must remain aware of current supervisory practices and policy environment by participating in supervisor development programs provided by the University.  

University research resources

The University will provide the following resources to all research degree students:

  • access to a strong and supportive research culture where they will be supported by a critical mass of researchers, address significant research questions, and witness high calibre research 'leadership' in action
  • access to information resources and Library services relevant to the research process, including: scholarly electronic and print collections, inter-library loans, a digital research repository, support and advice on research data management, data storage, research tools and services, ICT support, on campus and on-line information skills workshops and access to expert advice from professional librarians and information technology staff
  • copyright advice about rights and responsibilities on issues which might arise through the use of third party copyrighted works
  • advice about Intellectual Property and Commercialisation
  • access to Research Education Support Activities (RESA) Online; online workshops and resources provided by and through UniSA and the Australian Technology Network's e-Grad School
  • Research Education Support Activities (RESA) on campus workshops and resources.  

Division/institute/school research resources

In signing the Recommendation Form to accept a research degree student, the Head of School/ Institute Director and divisional Associate Dean: Research Education/Chair of Research Management Committee commits the area to provide the following basic facilities and resources that research degree students can access while completing their degree. Access will be negotiated in the Induction and Statement of Agreement.  Access will be reviewed via the Review of Progress process.  

On campus students

On campus research degree students with be provided with the following facilities, available 24 hours a day, subject to safety requirements. Access will be negotiated with each student taking into account their needs, including any disability-related services, and preferred mode of study. Part-time research degree students will have pro rata access to the same facilities as full-time research degree students negotiated on a case-by-case basis. For full-time on campus students, resources will include:

  • appropriate office facilities including a workstation compliant with Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare (OHS&W) requirements
  • appropriate access to UniSA Information Technology (IT) facilities and computing resources including a desktop computer, Microsoft Office software, email and internet access consistent with staff standards
  • appropriate access to a photocopier and computer printing facilities
  • access to a telephone for local calls for research purposes
  • secure storage for research materials appropriate to the research area
  • technical and IT support
  • maintenance allowance of at least $300 per annum to cover expenses associated with photocopying and printing costs, postage, fax, phone calls, stationery, binding and other services required to produce draft copies of the thesis. The allowances can be claimed on the appropriate form and receipts/explanation must be provided
  • at least $800 available to each research degree student for the purpose of delivering paper/s, preferably refereed, at conferences during their enrolment and preferably on an annual basis. Consultation with the supervisor is required to determine the choice of conference
  • where research degree students do not hold scholarships, an allowance of $200 for the production and binding of the final copy of the thesis.  

External students

Where research degree students study off campus such that they relinquish direct access to study facilities, the University will provide them with resources outlined below. Part-time external Research degree students will have pro rata access to the same facilities as full-time external research degree students, negotiated on a case-by-case basis. For full-time external students, resources will include:

  • technical and IT support
  • library assistance via phone or online, electronic document delivery to desktop and postal delivery of loan items and documents
  • maintenance allowance of at least $500 per annum (details as per on campus students, above)
  • at least $800 available to each research degree student for the purpose of delivering paper/s, preferably refereed, at conferences during their enrolment and preferably on an annual basis. Consultation with the supervisor is required to determine the choice of conference
  • where research degree students do not hold scholarships, an allowance of $200 for the production and binding of the final copy of the thesis.  

Offshore students with a partner institution

Where students study offshore through a partner institution, the provision of the following resources is dependent on the agreement signed between the offshore partner and the University in relation to resources, establishment of program fees and fee split. Part-time offshore research degree students will have pro rata access to the same facilities as full-time offshore research degree students, negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Having considered the terms of the agreement and the agreed upon fees for each offshore research degree program, offshore students will have access to:

  • partner institution libraries that enable research degree students to access research material most appropriate for their area of research as well as phone and online assistance and electronic document delivery to desktop from the UniSA Library
  • financial support as negotiated with their supervisor to deliver conference paper/s, preferably refereed, during the course of their candidature.  

The Local Program Management Partner (LPMP) is expected to provide a team of professional managers to work closely with UniSA for the local promotion and management of UniSA programs. Its responsibilities include providing the following local administrative and management support:

  • a program manager who co-ordinates, administers and manages the program locally
  • publication of updates (newsletters) to guide and direct the progress of the program in accordance with UniSA requirements
  • provision of facilities for information sessions, commencement and induction seminars, coursework seminars, research seminars, supervisor and student meetings, etc
  • collection of assignments, draft research papers and thesis for onward transmission to UniSA
  • internet/email facilities for students who do not have direct access to email facilities
  • facilitation and co-ordination of communications between UniSA administration and academic staff and students
  • formation of research groups for students of similar research interests (if appropriate);
  • collection of program fees and remitting the same to UniSA as per contract
  • attending to students' administrative requests which need only local action, within 24 hours
  • providing regular feedback to UniSA on the progress of the program through course evaluations.  

Project specific resources

The University recognises that each research degree student may require specific equipment, e-research infrastructure, laboratory or studio space and funds adequate for the completion of the research program. Expenses may include travel arising from field work, experiments and data collection and the cost of consumables.  

These project specific costs are to be identified by the research degree student and supervisor during the preparation of the research proposal Statement of Agreement. Where the student's project is a subset of the supervisor's funded research project, such costs could be allocated from the project's budget. Costs must be presented and negotiated with the head of school/institute director prior to confirmation of candidacy. Should a change of proposal prove necessary, resources may be renegotiated between the research degree student, the Supervisor and the Head of School/Institute Director, and the Statement of Agreement updated to reflect the changes. Research Degrees Committee, in conjunction with the appropriate areas of the University, will review this statement on a regular basis.  

Please note: The resources listed above are only available to currently enrolled higher degree by research degree students and do not include those on leave/suspension from the program. The amounts listed in this policy are the minimum and Divisions/ Schools/ Institutes may develop specific policies in relation to, for example, attendance at national and/or international conferences. Students should check this with the relevant Associate Dean: Research Education.

Appendix B: Research integrity

Procedures in cases of alleged research misconduct  

Note 1: Any possible breach of examination procedures will be dealt with by the Examinations and HDR Academic Quality Panel.  

Note 2: Where an external party, including an examiner or an academic from another university, has concerns that the action of a research degree student may involve research misconduct, the issue may proceed straight to a formal inquiry.  

Note 3: if a research degree student is also employed by the University the processes identified in the Managing Research Misconduct Procedure may apply and also Section 11 - Disciplinary Procedures of the University of South Australia Enterprise Agreement 2014 (the Agreement).  

1. Initial inquiry

1.1 Where a staff member or another research degree student has concerns that the action of a research degree student may involve research misconduct, they will first discuss the issue with the appropriate REPL.

1.2 To determine whether the case should proceed to an initial inquiry, information or material from the research degree student may be requested by the REPL. This may include an electronic version of a publication, thesis chapter or the full thesis in the case of an allegation of plagiarism for submission to a text-comparison software program.

1.3 If the REPL believes the issue warrants further explanation, the principal supervisor will notify the research degree student within 5 working days, detailing their concerns and requesting that the research degree student attend a meeting with the supervisor and REPL to discuss the matter. The meeting should occur within 20 days of the initial notification.

1.4 Initial enquiry

1.4.1 The research degree student may be assisted or represented at the meeting by:

  • a representative of USASA, or in the case of offshore students, a representative of the UniSA partner institution
  • any staff member or student of the University.

1.5 If the research degree student chooses not to participate in the discussion, the REPL will advise the Associate Dean: Research Education, to initiate a formal inquiry, and provide their record of the initial inquiry.

1.6 Possible outcomes of the initial inquiry:

a. If, as a result of the discussion with the research degree student and the supervisor(s), the REPL determines that no research misconduct was involved, no further action will be taken and no record of the discussion will be entered in the research degree student's file.  If an allegation is shown to be mischievous, those involved may face disciplinary action.

b. If, as a result of this discussion with the research degree student and supervisor(s), the REPL  determines that the action of the research degree student involved research misconduct and there is evidence of this, the REPL will provide academic counselling to the research degree student and may decide on a further course of action, including:

i. asking the research degree student to undertake further research, and if necessary:

  • re-submit the work
  • correct the public record for any publications arising.

or

ii. proceeding to a formal inquiry.

1.7 If, as a result of this discussion with the research degree student and supervisor(s), the REPL determines a formal inquiry is appropriate, or if the research degree student does not agree with the course of action proposed by the REPL then the REPLs will provide their record of the initial inquiry to the appropriate Associate Dean: Research Education and advise them to initiate a formal inquiry.

1.8 Upon advice from the REPL that the case is to go to a formal inquiry, the Associate Dean: Research Education will, within 10 working days, provide a report to the research degree student and the supervisor(s). A copy of the correspondence will be sent to Student and Academic Services and retained in the student's file.  

2. Formal inquiry

2.1 A formal inquiry can be initiated in one of two ways:

a. Upon receipt of advice from the REPL following an initial inquiry, the Associate Dean: Research Education will review the case and the evidence provided to determine whether the case should proceed to formal inquiry. The Associate Dean: Research Education may request further information or material from the research degree student. This may include an electronic version of a publication, thesis chapter or the full thesis in the case of an allegation of plagiarism for submission to a text-comparison software program.

b. Where an external party, including an examiner or an academic from another university, has concerns that the action of a research degree student may involve research misconduct, the issue may proceed straight to a formal inquiry. Upon receipt of advice from an external party to Student and Academic Services, the Dean of Graduate Studies may advise the research degree student that the examination process has halted pending an investigation. The Dean of Graduate Studies may request that both examiners cease examination pending the investigation and the case may proceed straight to a formal inquiry.

2.2 The Associate Dean: Research Education will ensure that all processes have been complied with.    

2.3 Where the case proceeds to a Formal Inquiry Panel, the Associate Dean: Research Education will establish a committee consisting of:

a. the Associate Dean: Research Education (Chair)

b. an academic staff representative from an independent school/centre or institute

c. a nominee of the Director, Student and Academic Services

d. arepresentative from USASA.

In addition to the members of the Formal Inquiry Panel, up to two other senior research staff members from the discipline area who are members of the University's Register of Current Higher Degree by Research Supervisors may be co-opted to the Panel. The student's supervisor(s) cannot be a member of the panel. The Panel will invite the staff member who originally raised the allegation of research misconduct at the initial inquiry, but they may not serve as a member of the formal inquiry panel.  

2.4 The Chair will write to the research degree student providing details of the alleged misconduct and inviting the research degree student to attend or, if unable to attend (in person or via teleconference, Voice over Internet Protocol, or video conference) to present their case to the formal inquiry panel regarding the allegation. The letter to the research degree student must include:

a. a copy of this regulation and

b. copies of all information and documents to be considered at the inquiry.

The student may be assisted or represented at the inquiry by USASA or nominee or any staff member or student nominee of the University. This person is not a member of the formal inquiry panel. The meeting must occur within twenty days of the initial notification.

2.5 The formal inquiry may proceed:

a. whether or not the research degree student responds or attends.

b. even if all members are not in attendance, provided there is a quorum of three which must include the chair.

2.6 Formal Inquiry Panel outcomes

2.6.1 Outcomes may include:

a. failure in the course (if part of a professional doctorate) and/or program, or

b. suspension from the University for a period not exceeding three years, or

c. another outcome appropriate to the case but with an impact less serious than termination of candidature, or

d. termination of candidature.

2.6.2 Within ten working days of the meeting, the Associate Dean: Research Education will notify the research degree student, in writing, of the Formal Inquiry Panel's decision and basis for that decision.

2.6.3 Where the formal inquiry concludes that the action of the student does not constitute research misconduct as defined above, no further action will be taken and any record of the investigation will be removed from the research degree student's file. The research degree student may be permitted to undertake further research, if necessary, and re-submit the work.

2.6.4 Where the formal inquiry concludes that the action of the student was an example of research misconduct, the Panel will determine an appropriate outcome.

2.6.5 The Associate Dean: Research Education will notify the research degree student by registered mail within ten working days of the decision, and the basis for that decision. Where the Panel has determined that the action of the student was an example of misconduct, the letter must include:

  • a copy of this regulation
  • the student's  right to appeal the decision of the committee to the Dean of Graduate Studies (refer clause 11 Appeals Process)

2.6.6 The Dean of Graduate Studies will report all adverse findings of Research Misconduct and actions taken by the University in response to them to the relevant funding agencies, journals, collaborating institutions, researchers, professional registration bodies, the general public and other relevant parties (including the external party reporting the misconduct) as determined by Dean of Graduate Studies at his or her absolute discretion. The Dean of Graduate Studies must report any non-adverse findings to such entities and persons if the Dean of Graduate Studies determines that it is necessary to do so.

2.6.7 For international student visa holders, the University need only await the outcome of a final internal (i.e. within the University) appeal which supports the University's decision before cancelling the student's CoE, unless extenuating circumstances relating to the welfare of the student apply (in which case cancellation of the student's CoE can take place immediately).  Cancellation of a student's CoE may affect their student visa.

2.6.8 All correspondence is to be forwarded to Student and Academic Services and retained in the student's file.  

2.7 Recording outcomes of research misconduct inquiries

2.7.1 The University will store data about research misconduct and breaches of examination procedures in the research degree student's file. The data will be stored for a minimum period of 10 years from the date of the last incident recorded.

2.7.2 No data will be recorded where following an initial inquiry involving the research degree student, it is determined that no research misconduct occurred.

2.7.3 All Associate Deans: Research Education and the Dean of Graduate Studies will have access to any data stored in the research degree student file, for consideration when determining whether the action of that research degree student was research misconduct, and if so in determining the appropriate outcome.

2.7.4 Where a research degree student has breached an examination procedure that does not constitute research misconduct, the following information will be recorded in the research degree student's file:

a. details of the student, the program and the examination

b. the type of breach

c. the counselling provided to the research degree student.

2.7.5 Where the Associate Dean: Research Education determines research misconduct occurred, a record of the case will be forwarded to Student and Academic Services. Student and Academic Services will record the case in the research degree student's file. The record will consist of:

a. details of the student, the program and the research work

b. the type of research misconduct

c. the factors taken into consideration

d. the evidence or other material on which the findings were based

e. the outcome and the reasons for its determination

f. the student's agreement to the specified outcome.

2.7.6 Where a case is referred to a Associate Dean: Research Education or the Dean of Graduate Studies, they will have access to the data stored regarding the initial inquiry relating to that case, and to any other cases recorded against that research degree student, in order to assist in the determination.

2.7.7 Where, as a result of an initial inquiry, the REPL concludes that the action of the research degree student does not constitute research misconduct, any record of that investigation will be removed from the research degree student's file.

2.7.8 Where, as a result of an initial inquiry, the REPL (or equivalent) concludes that the evidence in the case is sufficient to proceed they will ensure that a record is retained in the research degree student's file to indicate whether the case was referred to a formal inquiry panel, or the research degree student allowed to re-submit work, and the factors taken into consideration in making that decision.

2.7.9 Where a formal inquiry panel is constituted, the Panel, through the Chair, will have access to the data stored regarding the initial inquiry relating to that case, and to any other cases recorded against that research degree student, in order to assist in their determination. The Panel will add a record of their determination to the research degree student's file, including:

a. the factors taken into consideration in determining an outcome

b. the evidence or other material on which the findings were based

c. the outcome and the reasons for its determination.

2.7.10 Where a research degree student appeals the outcome of a formal inquiry, the Special Appeals Committee through the Chair, will have access to the data stored regarding the initial inquiry and formal inquiry relating to that case, and to any other cases recorded against that research degree student, in order to assist in the determination.


Guidelines for the preparation of research statements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications)

Guidelines for the Statement of Agreement

Guidelines for the preparation of research proposals 

Guidelines for the presentation of the thesis, or exegesis

Guidelines for the presentation of a thesis containing published research

Guidelines for the presentation of a thesis by creative practice

Guidelines for the presentation of the thesis for PhD (by Portfolio of Publications)

Guidelines for the oral defence of the thesis

Supervisory panels at UniSA: Framework and Guidelines