At The University of Western Australia, examination of theses prepared for Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) is wholly external. The process for examination and classification of theses assumes that examiners undertake the task independently, without bias. Professional and personal relationships between examiners and a student and their supervisor/s, and relationships between examiners and the University, have the potential to introduce bias and thus reduce the independence of the examination, in fact or perception. Sometimes it is not clear to examiners and their nominees what might constitute a conflict of an examiner's interest that must be declared.
This policy sets out the principles for independent thesis examination.
These examples set out different types of conflict of interest that may arise between the examiner and various parties including the student, the supervisor, the university, the subject matter itself and another examiner.