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Higher Degree by Research Supervision Policy

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Policy outlines the qualifications, responsibilities and requirements of the University's Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Supervisors, and defines accountability for HDR supervision at Victoria University in order to ensure quality supervision of HDR candidates. 

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Section 2 - Accountability

Key Decision-making powers under the Policy

(Delegated) Power Role
Power to approve a Higher Degree by Research Supervisor exceeding the permitted maximum supervisory load. Dean, Graduate Research
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Section 3 - TEQSA/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) HESF: 4.1 Research; 4.2 Research Training; 3.2 Staffing.

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Section 4 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to:

  1. Higher Degree by Research students/candidates;
  2. Supervisors of Higher Degree by Research students/candidates;
  3. Those involved in the administration of Higher Degree by Research students/candidates.
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Section 5 - Definitions

(4) Principal Supervisor

(5) Associate Supervisor

(6) External Supervisors

(7) Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student

(8) Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Candidate

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Section 6 - Policy Statement

(9) This Policy is written to ensure that Victoria University’s supervision of research students/candidates meets the required standards of the relevant governing bodies:  

  1. TEQSA Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 (Cth), Standard 4;
  2. Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018) (Cth) (including additional Supervision notes).

(10) Victoria University is committed to developing a vibrant and flourishing research culture. One of the mechanisms to achieve this is by offering higher degrees by research (HDR), specifically research Masters and Doctoral degrees. The provision of appropriate and high-quality supervision to HDR students/candidates is essential to this process.

(11) All HDR Supervisors must be registered on the VU Research Supervisor Register before supervising students/candidates. Approval of supervisors for registration is the responsibility of the Associate Director, Research Training, Research Institute (or nominee) and the Dean, Graduate Research.

(12) All HDR applicants/students/candidates must have at least two supervisors, on application for admission and from the point of admission to classification. One of the supervisors will be designated as the Principal Supervisor who is internal to the University and responsible for ensuring that the HDR student/candidate meets all administrative and academic requirements of their course. All HDR students/candidates must also have at least one Associate Supervisor, who may be an External Associate Supervisor.

(13) HDR supervisors will have the qualifications and experience required, including discipline-specific knowledge, to direct the work of the HDR student/candidate and to provide training in the planning and execution of research. Supervisors are required to ensure that their HDR students/candidates receive adequate and timely support throughout their candidature.

(14) The supervision of HDR candidates is complex, with many competing priorities and requirements. To provide high-quality supervision of HDR students/candidates requires induction to supervision at Victoria University, ongoing training and development in the practice of supervision and research training, as well as active engagement with the research community of the relevant discipline.

(15) HDR Supervisors and students/candidates will hold regular meetings to monitor and facilitate satisfactory academic progress as prescribed in the Higher Degrees by Research Policy and procedures. Supervisors must guide the student/candidate in making satisfactory academic progress.

(16) HDR Supervisors will ensure that provisional supervision arrangements are made if they are to be on extended leave. The Associate Director, Research Training, Research Institute (or nominee) is responsible for ensuring the continuity of supervision of students/candidates enrolled in their Institute, and for minimising disruption to their progress in the event of unplanned changes to supervisory arrangements.

(17) A registered HDR supervisor may be deactivated or deregistered through the processes outlined in the Higher Degrees by Research Supervision - Supervisor Registration and Professional Development Procedure. Detailed information regarding supervisor registration requirements, application and approval processes, changes to supervisor arrangements, review processes, training and development, deactivation and deregistration are outlined in the Higher Degrees by Research Supervision - Supervisor Registration and Professional Development Procedure.

(18) All HDR supervisors regardless of their contractual arrangement with VU must abide by the principles as set out in the Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy.   

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Section 7 - Procedures

(19) Higher Degrees by Research Supervision - Supervisor Registration and Professional Development Procedure