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

If your student is enrolled in the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education or the Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, your student should initiate the nomination process by entering the name of the proposed examiners in the Nomination of Examiners online form accessed from the Delphi portal.

If your student is enrolled in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, they need to complete the Nomination of Examiners form provided below:

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

Step 1
Discuss possible examiners with students a few months before the intended submission date. The number of required examiners can be found here.
Step 2
Contact examiners to secure their agreement to examine, understanding that they will be formally invited to examine the thesis, subject to the approval of the Board of the Graduate Research School. At this early stage, examiners should be provided with a copy of the thesis title, thesis abstract and the estimated date of examination. They should be also be directed to the GRS Information for Examiners.
Step 3
Complete the coordinating supervisors section of the nomination form, including:
  • the full mailing and emailing addresses of the proposed examiners. A complete street address for each examiner is required to ensure that if a hard copy thesis is requested, the thesis arrives in a timely manner at the nominated destination. Please do not provide a post office box number as couriers rarely deliver to PO boxes.
  • the qualifications of the proposed examiners and a statement for each regarding suitability and expertise
  • confirmation of each examiner's acceptance and availability
  • an approximate submission date and the final thesis title.

If students are submitting their nomination form through Delphi they must enter the name of their examiners, which will then be forwarded to their coordinating supervisor for completion of the examiner details.

Step 4
Attach a copy of the student's abstract to the form.
Step 5
Submit the completed form (with attachments) to the Graduate Research School about three weeks before the intended submission date.

Thesis Examiner Criteria

Availability
  • 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 invite the reserve examiner if confirmation has been secured 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.
Expertise
  • 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.
  • Supervisors 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.
Independence
  • 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.
Eligibility
  • For PhDs not requiring a viva voce: 4 examiners (3 preferred and 1 reserve) must be nominated, none can be current employees of The University of Western Australia; 2 must be external to the state of Western Australia.
  • For PhDs requiring a viva voce: 3 examiners (2 preferred and 1 reserve) must be nominated; at least 1 must be external to the state of Western Australia. The Chair of the examination panel must be a senior member of academic staff of UWA, appointed by the Dean of the Graduate Research School.
  • For master's: 3 examiners (2 preferred and 1 reserve) must be nominated; at least 1 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.

Relevance
  • 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 reserve examiner's name must also be submitted along with details of his or her relevance.
Confidentiality
  • 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.