Policy

Higher Degree by Research Candidature - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This policy describes the framework for the management of higher degree by research candidature. The policy should be read in conjunction with Higher Degree by Research Candidature – Procedures.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Advisor – Principal Advisor

Dean – Dean of the UQ Graduate School or delegate

Enrolling AOU – Academic Organisational Unit that directly enrols HDR candidates

FTE – Full-time equivalent enrolment

HDR – Higher Degree by Research

MPhil – Master of Philosophy

PGC – Postgraduate Coordinator of the enrolling AOU

PhD – Doctor of Philosophy

Professional Doctorate (research) – a professional doctorate administered by the UQ Graduate School where at least two thirds of the program is research at AQF level 10

Research Training Program – Commonwealth block grant provided, on a calendar year basis, to higher education providers to support domestic and overseas students undertaking higher degree research.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all HDR candidates enrolled at The University of Queensland.

4. Policy Statement

Subject to the terms of this policy and associated procedure, HDR candidates are entitled to apply for changes to their candidature. This policy and associated procedure detail the following candidature options available to HDR candidates:

  • change of attendance load
  • change of attendance mode
  • concurrent enrolment
  • change of project
  • change of thesis title
  • change of advisory team
  • change of enrolling AOU.

Changes to candidature for international candidates may be subject to the conditions of the student visa, the Education Services for Overseas (ESOS) Act, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) sanctions legislation.

Candidates enrolled in a HDR program are expected to maintain satisfactory progress throughout their program, comply with conditions of candidature, and complete their program within expected timeframe (PPL 4.60.09 item 7, Research Training). In cases where HDR candidates do not meet these expectations, the enrolling AOU may be required to submit a review of candidature.

5. Attendance Load

5.1 Domestic candidates may enrol either full-time or part-time with the approval of the Dean.

5.2 International candidates studying on a student visa cannot be recorded as part-time due to government legislation. Candidates on non-student visas may be eligible for part-time enrolment depending on the individual visa circumstances.

5.3 Candidates in receipt of a UQ Research Scholarship are subject to PPL 4.80.01 UQ Research Scholarships - Procedures.

6. Attendance Mode

6.1 Domestic candidates may be permitted to change their attendance mode to remote candidature when they are required to conduct their research away from one of UQ’s three main campuses (St Lucia, Gatton, or Herston) with the approval of the Dean.

6.2 Domestic candidates who do not reside within daily commuting distance of any of UQ’s three main campuses (St Lucia, Gatton, or Herston) may request enrolment as a remote candidate with the approval of the Dean.

6.3 International candidates studying on a student visa cannot be recorded as remote within Australia due to government legislation. International candidates on non-student visas may be eligible for remote enrolment on-shore depending on the individual visa circumstances.

6.4 International candidates studying overseas may be permitted to change their attendance mode to remote with the approval of the Dean.

6.5 Candidates in receipt of a UQ Research Scholarship are subject to PPL 4.80.01 UQ Research Scholarships - Procedures.

7. Concurrent Enrolment

7.1 Candidates must not pursue any other program or course at the university or elsewhere without the approval of the Dean.

7.2 The Dean may rescind the approval to undertake a second program in cases where a candidate is not demonstrating satisfactory progress in their HDR program.

8. Change of Project Title and Scope

8.1 Candidates are permitted to change their project title throughout candidature with the approval of the Principal Advisor.

8.2 Change of project scope requires the approval of the Principal Advisor, PGC and the Dean, and is subject to the availability of adequate resources and supervision. Change of project scope may also require reassessment of autonomous sanctions.

8.3 Duration of candidature should be taken into account when considering a change of project to ensure the new project can be completed within the maximum duration of the program. Extensions beyond the maximum program duration will only be permitted in extenuating circumstances with the approval of the Dean.

9. Change of Advisory Team

9.1 Candidates are permitted to change their advisory team throughout candidature with the approval of the Dean.

9.2 The Dean may replace any member of a candidate’s advisory team after consulting with or considering a recommendation from the Head of AOU or their delegate.

9.3 Candidates cannot be enrolled in the HDR program without a principal advisor. Where a candidate does not wish to continue with their current principal advisor and where no other person is able to act as the principal advisor, the enrolling AOU is required to submit a review of candidature to the Graduate School.

10. Change of Enrolling AOU

10.1 Candidates may be permitted to change their enrolling AOU with the approval of the Dean.

11. Review of Candidature

11.1 Enrolling AOUs are required to submit a review of candidature in cases where:

  • candidates have not demonstrated satisfactory progress in their program
  • an appropriate advisor is no longer available and an alternative advisor cannot be appointed.

11.2 A review of candidature may lead to withdrawal or termination from candidature, or a transfer to a different HDR program.

11.3 Enrolling AOUs can submit a review of candidature at any point during candidature considering evidence is submitted to support the review as outlined in section 11 of Higher Degree by Research Candidature – Procedures.

11.4 The outcome of a review of candidature is determined by the Dean.

12. Withdrawal from Candidature

12.1 The Dean may withdraw a candidate if the candidate:

  • has not made satisfactory progress in the HDR program after receiving specific guidance and feedback about their progress;
  • has a pattern of non-compliance with reasonable direction of their advisor, PGC, or the Dean;
  • has not complied with a condition of enrolment set by the Dean;
  • has an overdue milestone or submission;
  • has not complied with University rules and guidelines as outlined in UQ policies and procedures;
  • has not met financial obligations to the University;
  • has supplied incomplete or inaccurate information associated with their enrolment, including information provided in the application for admission; or the principal advisor cannot continue and no other person is available or willing to be appointed to the role.
  • is found guilty of misconduct under PPL 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct - Policy.

12.2 Candidates may withdraw voluntarily from the program at any time. Voluntary withdrawal should be discussed with the advisory team and/or the PGC to ensure all possible alternatives have been considered.

12.3 Once a candidate has been withdrawn an application to re-enrol will only be considered with approval from the Dean, upon evidence the issue has been remedied and a plan to successfully complete is provided.

13. Admission Following Withdrawal

13.1 If a candidate is withdrawn from a HDR program for any reason, they must apply for admission as a new applicant as described in PPL 4.60.04 Higher Degree by Research Admission.

Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan

Procedures

Higher Degree by Research Candidature - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the processes associated with candidature changes, review of candidature, and withdrawal and termination of higher degree by research candidature. The procedures should be read in conjunction with PPL 4.60.11a Higher Degree by Research Candidature – Policy.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Advisor – Principal Advisor

Dean – Dean of the Graduate School or delegate

Enrolling AOU – Academic Organisational Unit that directly enrols HDR candidates

FTE – Full-time equivalent enrolment

HDR – Higher Degree by Research

MPhil – Master of Philosophy

PGC – Postgraduate Coordinator of the enrolling AOU

PhD – Doctor of Philosophy

Professional Doctorate (research) (PDRes) – a professional doctorate administered by the UQ Graduate School where at least two thirds of the program is research at AQF level 10

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all HDR candidates enrolled at The University of Queensland.

4. Procedures Statement

These procedures detail the circumstances in which a candidate may request changes to their candidature and the process to follow in seeking changes. Apart from changes to the thesis title, all requests must be fully endorsed by the candidate, advisor, and PGC within an AOU prior to being submitted to the Graduate School.

These procedures also detail the steps taken by the Graduate School, and outline a candidate’s appeal options, if the Dean decides that a candidate is to be withdrawn or terminated from their HDR program, or where the enrolling AOU submits a review of candidature.

5. Attendance Load

5.1 Full-time and part-time enrolment status is taken as defined in PPL 4.60.04 Higher Degree by Research Admission, part 9.

5.2 Candidates whose milestone or submission official due date is overdue at the time of requesting part-time enrolment are required to submit a milestone or submission extension request to accompany the request for part-time enrolment.

5.3 To change attendance load, candidates must submit a request to the Graduate School using the Change of academic load request.

6. Attendance Mode

6.1 To change attendance mode, candidates must submit a request to the Graduate School using the Notification of remote status request.

6.2 The Dean may set conditions on minimum periods of attendance at the university.

6.3 During remote candidature, HDR candidates must:

  • maintain regular contact with their advisory team, enrolling AOU, and the Graduate School
  • have access to all necessary facilities, such as equipment and library resources, and
  • continue to make satisfactory progress in their project.

7. Concurrent Enrolment

7.1 To apply for concurrent enrolment, candidates must submit a request to enrol in concurrent program to the Graduate School prior to commencing the second degree program.

7.2 The advisor must be satisfied the additional work of the second program will not impact on the candidate’s HDR program.

8. Change of Project Title and Scope

8.1 To apply for a change of project and thesis title, candidates must submit a request to the Dean.

8.2 Changes to the thesis title require the endorsement of the candidate and Principal Advisor, at submission.

8.3 A change of project must be approved by the enrolling AOU as having adequate resources and supervision.

9. Change of Advisory Team

9.1 To apply for a change of advisory team, candidates must submit a Change of advisor or advisory team request to the Dean, with the endorsement of the current and proposed advisory team and the PGC.

10. Change of Enrolling AOU

10.1 To apply for a change of Enrolling AOU, candidates must submit a Change of Enrolling School or Institute request to the Dean.

10.2 Candidates are required to discuss their project with the PGC of the proposed enrolling AOU prior to requesting a change.

10.3 Duration of candidature should be taken into account when considering a change of enrolling AOU. Extensions beyond the maximum program duration will only be permitted in extenuating circumstances with the approval of the Dean.

11. Review of Candidature

11.1 Enrolling AOU requirements

11.1.1 Enrolling AOUs are required to submit details of the candidate’s circumstances leading to a review using the Review of candidature form.

11.1.2 Enrolling AOUs are required to inform the candidate that a review of candidature is being submitted to the Graduate School.

11.1.3 Reviews that are being submitted due to the candidate not demonstrating satisfactory progress must include:

  • a clear explanation of the progression issues and the reason for the recommendation, and
  • evidence to support the allegations of unsatisfactory progress, such as meeting notes, email exchanges, or academic work undertaken in the HDR program, and
  • evidence to demonstrate how the enrolling AOU has attempted to assist the candidate to improve their progress and address identified deficiencies

11.1.4 Reviews that are being submitted due to the candidate no longer having a suitable advisor must include:

  • a clear explanation of the circumstances that led to the candidate not having an advisor, and
  • evidence to demonstrate how the enrolling AOU has attempted to appoint an alternative advisor or assisted the candidate with locating an alternative advisor.

11.2 Appeals

11.2.1 Following receipt of a review of candidature from an enrolling AOU, the Graduate School will formally contact the candidate regarding the review and provide them with 10 working days to respond to the Dean.

11.2.2 The candidate’s response should:

  • address the comments and evidence provided in the enrolling AOU’s review of candidature
  • show cause why they should not be withdrawn or terminated from candidature or transferred to a different HDR program, and
  • state a desired outcome.

11.2.3 If the candidate does not respond to the review of candidature, the enrolling AOU’s submission will be provided to the Dean who will determine the outcome of the review of candidature.

11.2.4 If the candidate does respond to the review of candidature, the enrolling AOU’s submission and the candidate’s response will be provided to the Dean who will determine the outcome of the review of candidature.

11.2.5 If the Dean agrees with the enrolling AOU’s recommendation, the candidate will be issued with a notice of intention to withdraw and provided 20 working days to appeal to the Senate Student Appeals Committee (SSAC). The candidate’s enrolment will be maintained during the SSAC process. Candidates should refer to PPL 3.60.05 Appeals to Senate by Students prior to submitting an appeal to the SSAC.

11.2.6 If the Dean does not agree with the enrolling AOU’s recommendation, the Dean will discuss alternative options with the candidate, advisor, and/or the enrolling AOU and the candidate will maintain enrolment with candidature conditions stipulated by the Dean.

12. Withdrawal and Termination

12.1 Voluntary withdrawal from candidature

12.1.1 Candidates may withdraw from their program by informing the Graduate School in writing or by submitting a Withdrawal from candidature request.

12.1.2 Voluntary withdrawals do not need to be endorsed by the advisor or PGC, but candidates are expected to discuss their desire to withdraw from the program with their advisor and/or PGC prior to submitting a request to the Graduate School.

12.1.3 The withdrawal will take effect from the date of receipt of the notification. Retrospective and future dated requests will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

12.2 Withdrawal from candidature

12.2.1 If the Dean decides that a candidate is to be withdrawn due to any reason listed in section 12 of PPL 4.60.11 Higher Degree by Research Candidature - Policy, the candidate will be issued with a notice of intention to withdraw and provided 10 working days to appeal the notice to the Graduate School.

12.2.2 If no appeal to the SSAC has been received within 20 working days, a withdrawal of candidature will be processed and the candidate will be withdrawn from their program with no further appeal options available through the University.

12.2.3 In cases where the candidate appeals and the appeal is upheld, the Dean may set conditions on enrolment.

12.2.4 In cases where the candidate appeals and the appeal is dismissed by the Dean, the candidate will be issued a second notice of intention to withdraw and provided 20 working days to appeal to the Senate Student Appeals Committee (SSAC). The candidate’s enrolment will be maintained during the SSAC process. Candidates should refer to PPL 3.60.05 Appeals to Senate by Students prior to submitting an appeal to the SSAC.

12.2.5 A candidate who has been withdrawn from the program by the Dean, may apply for readmission at a future date. If the readmission relates to the same program for which the candidate was withdrawn, the Dean may shorten the minimum time to complete the program in accordance with section 10.6 of PPL 4.60.04b Higher Degree by Research Admission - Procedures.

12.2.6 If a candidate is withdrawn following a review of candidature, or as a result of guilty finding of misconduct, the candidate can only reapply to enrol after a minimum period of 12 months.

12.2.7 A PhD candidate may be permitted to transfer to the MPhil program instead of being withdrawn from candidature with approval of the Dean.

12.2.8 Candidates who reapply following a withdrawal after review of candidature may be required to address terms and conditions set by the Dean.

12.3. Scholarships and fee liability

12.5.1 Scholarship placements will cease effective the date of withdrawal or termination in accordance with PPL 4.80.01 UQ Research Scholarships.

12.5.2 In cases where the withdrawal causes an overpayment of scholarship, the candidate may be required to make repayments.

12.5.3 Candidates who withdraw voluntarily, are withdrawn without academic penalty, or are terminated with academic penalty after census date for the research quarter in which the withdrawal is processed remain fee liable. Candidates seeking to have fee liability removed should refer to PPL 3.50.10 Removal of Financial Liability Due to Special Circumstances.

12.6. Information for international students

International students should be aware that withdrawing from the program may affect their student visa. International students may wish to seek advice from the UQ Visa Officer and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) before requesting to withdraw from their program.

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