Winthrop hall during centenary year

Nominating Examiners

There are five steps that graduate research co-ordinators and/or supervisors must undertake when nominating thesis examiners and six criteria for potential thesis examiners. There is advice for viva voce examiners and chairs, and information about examiner conflicts of interest.

Nomination Forms and Steps

There are five steps that graduate research co-ordinators and/or supervisors must undertake when nominating thesis examiners

Step 1
Graduate research coordinators and/or supervisors should print out a nomination of examiner form
Step 2
    Schools should contact examiners to secure their agreement to examine. Schools should provide examiners with a copy of the thesis title and abstract and direct them to the information for examiners. At this stage, the examiners should be invited to examine, subject to the approval of the Board of the Graduate Research School.
Step 3
Graduate research co-ordinators must complete the nomination form, including:
Step 4
Obtain and attach a copy of the students abstract or summary to the form.
Step 5
Submit the completed form and attachments to the Graduate Research School about three weeks before the intended submission date. If approved, the board will formally appoint the examiners, or will seek further information from the graduate research coordinator if required.

Thesis Examiner Criteria

  • Examiners are given six weeks from the date of receipt of thesis to assess it and return their reports.
  • Graduate research co-ordinator must invite the preferred examiners and obtain their acceptances before lodging their names with the board for final appointment.
  • It is not necessary to have invited the reserve examiner, but the graduate research co-ordinator should have secured a confirmation from the preferred examiners that they are in a position to examine the thesis within the six-week time-frame.
  • Examiners need to know the estimated time of submission. It is important not to underestimate or overestimate an expected submission date as examiners often organise their schedules in anticipation of receiving a thesis at a particular time.
  • Examiners do not necessarily have to hold an equivalent degree to that which they are examining, but they must be clearly shown to be recognised experts in their field.
  • They must be able to testify that the thesis before them is:
    • for the PhD, a substantial and original contribution to knowledge in its given field
    • for the master's, a substantial work generally based on independent research.
  • The graduate research co-ordinator must list examiners' qualifications and indicate whether they are still active in their given field by providing either a brief curriculum vitae or a list of key and/or recent publications.
  • Steps must be taken to ensure that examiners are free from bias.
  • The graduate research co-ordinator must provide a statement which confirms that there is no conflict of interest between examiners and the student or supervisors.
  • For PhDs: Four examiners (3 preferences and 1 reserve) must be nominated, none can be current employees of The University of Western Australia; two must be external to the state of Western Australia.
  • For master's: Three examiners (two preferences and one reserve) must be nominated; at least one must be external to the state of Western Australia.

Nomination of international examiners is not mandatory but it is desirable.

A complete street address for each examiner is required to ensure the thesis arrives at its destination safely. Couriers do not deliver to PO Box numbers.

  • The list of examiners must be accompanied by a statement (at least a paragraph) which outlines the relevance of each nominee to the particular field.
  • It is usual to recommend two examiners who have expertise specific to the area and one more general examiner who may be able to provide an overview.
  • The nominated reserve's name must also be submitted along with details of his or her relevance.
  • Examiners need an indication whether the thesis will contain confidential information.
  • If the thesis does contain confidential information, the graduate research co-ordinator should secure an undertaking from examiners that they will keep the contents of the thesis confidential, and advise the Graduate Research School accordingly.