Policy

Higher Degree by Research Candidature Charter - Policy

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1.0   Purpose and Scope

This policy sets out the provision of support, mentoring and developmental opportunities that a candidate can expect and also describes the expectations of the University in relation to the conduct and performance of the candidate. It applies to all HDR candidates, all advisors of HDR candidates, all enrolling Academic Organisational Units (AOUs) and all other units of the University that support HDR candidates.

2.0   Principles and Key Requirements

HDR candidates are recognised as developing early-career researchers and during their candidature it is expected that they will undertake original research and scholarly activities, develop their disciplinary knowledge and research capabilities, as well as gain transferable and professional skills. This policy sets out the mutual expectations of the University and HDR candidates.

2.1   University

UQ will provide the following support, mentoring and developmental opportunities to HDR candidates:

  1. the opportunity to develop the qualities, skills, knowledge and abilities set out in the Statement of Higher Degree by Research Graduate Attributes;
  2. participation and representation in relevant forums at enrolling AOU, Faculty and University levels;
  3. access to academic support and student services;
  4. provision of a suitably-qualified advisory team capable of guiding the candidate towards the timely and successful submission of a high-quality thesis, subject to satisfactory progress and the continuing availability of appropriate advisors;
  5. provision of information relating to access to funding and infrastructure support and appropriate resources to complete their program;
  6. adequate information and clear procedures to make informed decisions in relation to management of intellectual property, authorship and agreements with third-parties;
  7. access to a process to address grievances and appeals against decisions, which can be found at PPL 3.60.02 Student Grievance Resolution and PPL 3.60.05 Appeals to Senate by Students.

Candidates will be treated with courtesy and respect, and be afforded a safe environment in accordance with UQ policies, including but not limited to, PPL 2.10.03 Health, Safety and Wellness, PPL 1.70.06 Discrimination and Harassment and PPL 1.70.02 Prevention of Sexual Harassment.

2.2   HDR Candidates

HDR candidates are required to be familiar with and adhere to relevant UQ rules, policies, procedures, guidelines and codes of conduct, wherever they are applicable to candidature.

HDR candidates are responsible for:

  1. taking an active, self-motivated approach to their research, HDR candidature and career development that leads to the production of a thesis and to the qualities, skills, knowledge and abilities set out in the Statement of Higher Degree by Research Graduate Attributes;
  2. engaging in academic discourse with their advisory team and be receptive to discussion and guidance;
  3. following UQ rules, regulations and guidelines pertaining to their degree and to raise any questions or concerns with their advisors, the enrolling AOU’s Postgraduate Coordinator, the Head of School or the Institute Director, or the Graduate School, whichever is appropriate in the context;
  4. abiding by ethical approvals for the work wherever necessary, be aware of compliance issues, and abide by health and safety policies and procedures as required;
  5. showing respect towards all persons including other members of staff, to students and to the general public;, including those involving social media;
  6. understanding expectations and responsibilities, contributing to fostering a respectful and safe environment as set out in the Student Charter, and behaving in a manner consistent with these expectations, including UQ policies such as PPL 2.10.03 Health, Safety and Wellness, PPL 1.70.06 Discrimination and Harassment, PPL 1.70.02 Prevention of Sexual Harassment, and PPL 4.10.13 Intellectual Property for Staff, Students and Visitors.

3.0   Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

3.1   Graduate School

The Graduate School is responsible for managing HDR candidature in accordance with UQ policy and procedure.

3.2   Academic Organisational Unit

The relevant AOU is responsible for ensuring a supportive research environment and adequate resourcing for the student’s project and development.

3.3   Advisors

Advisors are responsible for ensuring supervision of the student in accordance with the role of HDR research advisors, as specified in PPL 4.60.01 Eligibility and Role of Higher Degree by Research Advisors.

3.4   Candidates

Candidates are responsible for responding to requests in accordance with program requirements, maintaining progression of their candidature, and for abiding by University of Queensland policies and procedures.

4.0   Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The Graduate School will monitor candidate progression, including numbers of reported grievances, appeals and misconduct relating to HDR candidates. The Graduate School will also encourage HDR candidate participation in surveys and other feedback mechanisms.

HDR candidates also have representation on relevant UQ committees, which provides an opportunity to raise concerns and provide feedback.

5.0   Recording and Reporting

Student progression is recorded in accordance with PPL 4.60.05 Higher Degree by Research Candidature Progression.

Grievances, appeals and misconduct are recorded in accordance with PPL 3.60.02 Student Grievance Resolution, PPL 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct, PPL 3.60.05 Appeals to Senate by Students and PPL 4.20.10 Research Misconduct- Higher Degree by Research Students.

Advisory performance and eligibility for registration on the UQ Principal Advisory Registry is monitored by the Graduate School in accordance with PPL 4.60.01 Eligibility and Role of Higher Degree by Research Advisors.

6.0   Appendix

6.1   Definitions

Enrolling AOU - an Academic Organisational Unit that directly enrols HDR candidates.

HDR – Higher Degree by Research.

Custodians
Dean, Graduate School Professor Alastair McEwan

Procedures

Higher Degree by Research Candidate Charter - Procedure

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1.0   Purpose and Scope

This procedure outlines best practice and mutual expectations in the relationship between the University (UQ), Higher Degree by Research advisors and Higher Degree by Research candidates, as articulated by The Australian Council of Graduate Research (ACGR) Good Practice Principles.

The procedure applies to all Higher Degree by Research candidates, advisors and Academic Organisational Units (AOUs), including interactions between Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates, advisors and the University.

2.0   Process and Key Controls

This procedure operationalises the Higher Degree by Research Candidature Charter by prescribing the responsibilities and accountabilities associated with Higher Degree by Research candidature, from admission to thesis examination.

The Graduate School will inform candidates, advisors and Academic Organisational Units of the responsibilities set out in this procedure at the beginning of the student’s candidature.

3.0   Key Requirements

The following are responsibilities and accountabilities of HDR candidates and UQ that apply to the management of HDR candidature:

  1. Admission requirements and processes for entry to a graduate research program are transparent and clearly documented. The admission requirements and processes at UQ are clearly documented at PPL 4.60.04 Higher Degree by Research Admission.
  2. Support for HDR candidates focuses on facilitating a successful completion in accordance with program requirements.

UQ responsibilities include:

  • ensuring candidates are informed, at the commencement of candidature, of University and enrolling AOU-specific (Graduate School approved) requirements and resources relevant and available to them, including policies and procedures relating to research ethics, responsible conduct of research, and workplace health and safety;
  • ensuring candidates are informed of the grievance resolution processes relating to candidature and examination of the thesis and any applicable appeal rights;
  • monitoring candidate progress and advising candidates in a constructive manner if their progress rate and quality fall below the expected standard;
  • providing candidates, at the beginning of candidature, the processes and expectations on which a decision about confirmation of candidature will be made; and
  • providing candidates program requirements according to 4.60.05 Higher Degree by Research Candidature Progression and 4.60.08 Higher Degree by Research Examination.

Candidate responsibilities include:

  • following UQ rules, policies, procedures and guidelines pertaining to any scholarships, grants or other financial assistance for their research candidature, including reporting any change in circumstance that affects their eligibility to receive further support;
  • developing a research project of appropriate scope and working diligently to complete the thesis within the specified time;
  • being aware of policies and procedures relating to candidature progression;
  • maintaining satisfactory progress through their candidature as demonstrated by attaining progression milestones on time;
  • refraining from embarking on any significant variation to the topic unless agreed to by the advisory team;
  • ensuring that the thesis meets UQ's requirements for preparation, presentation and examination of theses and follow the protocols of scholarly presentation appropriate to the discipline;
  • seeking support to resolve problems in the advisor-student relationship that cannot be resolved within the advisory team; and
  • not engaging in conduct that disrupts the teaching, learning or research activities of other students and staff, or that interferes with others performing their duties.
  1. Graduate research candidates are supported to undertake original research and scholarly activities whilst developing key research and employability skills for academic and non-academic careers.

UQ responsibilities include:

  • ensuring that candidates have opportunities to develop their disciplinary knowledge base and their capabilities as a researcher;
  • ensuring candidates have access to professional development and skills training opportunities, including the Career Development Framework;
  • providing access to Library and IT services and infrastructure; and
  • providing access to counselling support and career planning advice. Candidate responsibilities include:
  • presenting and attending such seminars as the enrolling AOU requires;
  • developing appropriate oral and written competence in academic English for the production of a thesis and for the reporting of research results through different media;
  • understanding and complying with the policies, procedures and guidelines for Responsible Conduct of Research (PPL 4.20.02);
  • acquiring, by completion of candidature, the overall qualities, skills, knowledge and abilities set out in the Statement of Higher Degree by Research Graduate Attributes; and
  • attending courses specified by the enrolling AOU and approved by the Graduate School.
  1. Graduate research candidates have access to information on the resources available to help facilitate timely completion of a quality research project and have an opportunity to engage with scholarly communities both within the University and globally.

UQ responsibilities, including the Graduate School and AOU, include:

  • informing the candidate (prior to the commencement of candidature) of all financial arrangements that might affect them and the proposed project, which could include external grant funds that will support the research and factors that might impact on funding continuity or access to other resources, including supervision;
  • informing the candidate through written agreement early in candidature of arrangements relating to intellectual property (IP) and confidentiality considerations, in accordance with PPL 4.10.13 Intellectual Property for Staff, Students and Visitors;
  • informing the candidate of obligations under PPL 4.20.06 Research Data Management and authorship under PPL 4.20.04 Authorship;
  • providing the candidate with opportunities to contribute to the collegial, intellectual and social life of the AOU;
  • encouraging the candidate to attend relevant seminars and conferences and assisting in the preparation of work for publication or other appropriate forms of dissemination; and
  • advising and encouraging the candidate to participate in activities associated with professional and/or scholarly societies relevant to their discipline.

Candidate responsibilities include:

  • complying with all regulatory requirements that affect their research;
  • complying with UQ policies and procedures regarding research data management under PPL 4.20.06 Research Data Management and authorship under PPL 4.20.04 Authorship;
  • fulfilling all reporting obligations to funding bodies as required;
  • treating all members of the University with respect in both formal and informal contexts, according to the Student Charter;
  • contributing to the intellectual and social life of the enrolling AOU by participation in activities such as meetings of postgraduate associations, and by attendance at research seminars and other academic functions;
  • attending and presenting work at relevant conferences and disseminating work in appropriate scholarly outlets;
  • keeping abreast of the latest developments in the research field in order to be aware of any new parameters affecting their research project and maintaining a broad knowledge of the field; and
  • treating all UQ facilities and equipment used in research with due care and in an appropriate manner.
  1. Advisors must provide supervision to graduate research candidates in the design, conduct and timely completion of the research project; support in publication and dissemination of research findings; and advice on the acquisition of a range of research and other skills as appropriate to the discipline and the background of the candidate.

UQ responsibilities include:

  • ensuring that advisors discuss with and provide guidance to the candidate in accordance with program requirements on the suitability of topics and the scope, quality and originality of the research that could be expected to lead to an examinable thesis within the expected time frame;
  • ensuring that advisors provide guidance about the nature and scope of the research, relevant literature sources and methodology, and the expected standard of research, analysis, writing and presentation;
  • ensuring that HDR advising can be provided by staff members (and where appropriate, outside mentors) who are engaged actively in research in the mutually-agreed field;
  • providing access to reasonable levels of advice and support from associate advisors, in areas of particular expertise or during the absence of the principal advisor, while acknowledging that the primary responsibility for directing the research remains with the principal advisor;
  • ensuring regular access to principal and associate advisors and a mutually-agreed level of contact as agreed at the commencement of candidature and at regular reviews; and
  • ensuring that advisors discuss outlines, read and provide timely feedback on documents (including drafts), and inform HDR candidates of the acceptable standard of scholarly and technical presentation.

Candidate responsibilities include:

  • submitting regular drafts of work/reports as agreed with the advisory team, and negotiating with the advisory team a reasonable amount of time to read and comment in detail;
  • informing the advisor of any personal or other difficulties (without necessarily specifying the details), which have slowed or may slow progress; and
  • establishing and maintaining a mutually-agreed level of contact with the advisory team; attending meetings prepared to make clear statements about ideas, progress and problems; and continuing the agreed-upon schedule for contact and for submission of work when away from UQ on field work, research trips, or while enrolled as a remote candidate.
  1. Thesis examination is conducted by at least two experts of international standing in the discipline who are external to the enrolling institution, independent of the conduct of the research, and without any real or perceived conflict of interest in reaching their decision.

4.0   Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

4.1   Graduate School

  • HDR candidature is managed in accordance with UQ policies and procedures for Research Higher Degree Candidates (topic group PPL 4.60) and also with legislative requirements including the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, the Higher Education Act (HEA), and Research Training Program (RTP) guidelines.
  • The Dean, Graduate School is the custodian of these UQ policies and procedures for Research Higher Degree Candidates and the HDR Programs.
  • The Dean, Graduate School is accountable via the Office of the DVC (Research) and the Higher Degree Research and Student Experience Committees of Academic Board.

4.2   Enrolling Academic Organisational Units

  • AOUs have a central role in supporting HDR candidate progression and ensuring a supportive research environment.
  • AOUs have a responsibility to ensure that resourcing for a candidate is properly scoped before commencement of candidature.
  • The AOU has the responsibility for the performance of HDR Advisors.
  • Accountability lies with the Heads of the AOU and their nominees (PGCs) who provide local academic leadership of the HDR Programs.

4.3   HDR Advisors

  • HDR Advisors have a critical role in supporting the progression and development of candidates in line with the responsibilities of the role (PPL4.60.01).

4.4   HDR Candidates

  • HDR candidates have a responsibility to operate within policy and guidelines set by the University, respond to requests by the University, and to engage positively in their program.

5.0   Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The Graduate School will monitor candidate progression, including numbers of reported grievances, appeals and misconduct relating to HDR candidates. The Graduate School will also encourage HDR candidate participation in surveys and other feedback mechanisms.

HDR candidate also have representation on relevant UQ committees which provides an opportunity for feedback.

6.0   Recording and Reporting

Student progression is recorded in accordance with PPL 4.60.05 Higher Degree by Research Candidature Progression.

Grievances, appeals and misconduct are recorded in accordance with PPL 3.60.02 Student Grievance Resolution, PPL 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct, PPL 3.60.05 Appeals to Senate by Students and PPL 4.20.10 Research Misconduct- Higher Degree by Research Students.

Advisory performance and eligibility for registration on the UQ Principal Advisory Registry is monitored by the Graduate School in accordance with PPL 4.60.01 Eligibility and Role of Higher Degree by Research Advisors.

7.0   Appendix

7.1   Definitions

Advisor – Principal or Associate Advisor

Enrolling AOU - an Academic Organisational Unit that directly enrols HDR candidates

HDR - Higher Degree by Research

PGC – Postgraduate Coordinator of an enrolling AOU

Principal Advisor – Advisor with the primary responsibility for directing the research

Custodians
Dean, Graduate School Professor Alastair McEwan
Custodians
Dean, Graduate School Professor Alastair McEwan