Summary requirements for the nomination and appointment of supervisors for Higher Degree by Research Students
- Every student must have at least two UWA supervisors.
- At the time that supervisors are nominated for a student, there must be a reasonable expectation of continuity of supervision1.
- Every student must have at least one supervisor who has previously supervised an HDR student to successful completion at this or another recognised tertiary institution.
- One of the supervisors must be designated as the Principal Supervisor. This is the supervisor who provides primary academic leadership in the supervision. This person must be research active as defined by the relevant faculty/School to which they are attached, have research expertise and experience relevant to the area of the student’s proposed research and provide evidence of continuing and active involvement in research.
The Principal Supervisor must normally hold a qualification at least equivalent to the level of qualification being supervised and normally will have previously supervised a research higher degree student to successful completion at this or another recognised tertiary institution. The Principal Supervisor must be an employee of this University or hold formal adjunct, emeritus or honorary research fellow status. The Principal Supervisor must reasonably expect to hold a University appointment for the duration of the student’s candidature.
- One of the supervisors must be designated as the Coordinating supervisor. This is the supervisor who takes primary responsibility for the academic management of the student’s candidature and ensuring that all administrative and reporting requirements of the supervision are met. This person must be an employee of this University.
The Coordinating Supervisor will receive all correspondence relating to the candidature. The Coordinating Supervisor takes responsibility for communication with and between the other supervisors and, where this person is not also the Principal Supervisor, they will closely coordinate the student’s individual research training program with the Principal Supervisor.
- In cases where the Principal and Coordinating Supervisor are the same person, they will be designated as the Principal and Coordinating Supervisor. In such cases a Co-supervisor must be appointed.
- A Co-supervisor will have specific expertise that is useful to the student’s research program and will be available as an independent person from whom the student may seek advice during the course of the candidature. They will also serve as backup for the Principal and/or Coordinating Supervisor. This person need not be an employee of this University but will be expected otherwise to hold adjunct, emeritus or honorary research fellow status.
- One or more external supervisors may be appointed. External supervisors are not employees of the University and they do not hold formal adjunct, emeritus or honorary research fellow status. They will have specific expertise of relevance and use to the student’s research program.
- Joint supervision across Schools or from outside the University is permissible. There is no limit to the number of supervisors a student may have but it must be possible to ensure that all parties are able to meet regularly and agree on the direction of study and that each supervisor’s role in relation to the project and candidature is well defined. Where a student is jointly enrolled across two Schools (or centres), a Principal and Coordinating supervisor must be appointed from School 1 and a Coordinating supervisor from School 2.
- When a student is permitted to enrol as an external student, a supervisor must be appointed at the location at which the student will be studying and appropriate access to facilities and resources must be arranged. The Graduate Research School may waive the requirement for appropriate external supervision if electronic or other methods of remote supervision have been arranged and approved by the Graduate Research School.
- All supervisors must have the necessary knowledge, time, commitment and access to resources to undertake the supervision roles and responsibilities at this University.
- Supervision must be free of actual or perceived conflicts of interest. Supervision by, or co-supervision with, close relatives or those in close personal relationships is generally not appropriate. All such cases must be declared at the time that supervisors are nominated. In cases where approval is given on academic grounds for supervision by, or co-supervision with, close relatives or those in close personal relationships, additional supervisors who are free of an actual or perceived conflict of interest must be appointed.
- A member of staff who is also a higher degree by research student enrolled at this University must not supervise another student at the same level.
- Where a change of supervision is required the Graduate Research Coordinator must nominate supervisors to the Graduate Research School for approval, in accordance with this and other relevant university policies.
- Supervisors who are new to the University or have not previously supervised are expected to attend an approved workshop on the requirements for supervision at UWA.
1While continuity cannot be guaranteed, schools are asked to confirm that they reasonably expect that at least two of the UWA supervisors nominated will remain at UWA for the duration of the student's candidature.
Relevant policies and rules