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Supervision - Supervisor Registration and Development Procedure

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) Victoria University (VU) has a policy relating to the registration of HDR supervisors. The University has the principles and procedures outlined below to provide a framework for the registration of HDR supervisors and the development that they are required to undertake to remain registered at VU.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This procedure applies to the registration and development of all supervisors of HDR students at Victoria University.

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Section 3 - Definitions

(3) External Supervisors

(4) Research-intensive

(5) Research

(6) TEQSA

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Section 4 - Policy

(7) Supervision Policy

(8) Higher Degrees by Research Policy

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Section 5 - Procedures

Part A - Roles and Responsibilities of Supervisors

(9) Graduate Research supervisors are appointed to provide guidance and support to each graduate research Candidate in the conduct of their research project and in their development as a professional and ethical researcher. They have a special role, outlined in Section 3 of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, towards the research trainee/s they are supervising.

(10) In line with the TEQSA Standards, each research student is supported by continuing supervisory arrangements as outlined in the TEQSA standards document, including:

  1. A principal supervisor who holds a doctoral degree, or has equivalent research experience, and who is active in research and publishing in, or otherwise making original contributions to, a relevant field or discipline.
  2. At least one associate supervisor with relevant research expertise; and
  3. The principal supervisor is a member of staff of the higher education provider, or has a relevant adjunct appointment, or is otherwise formally contracted and accountable to the provider for supervisory duties.

(11) The specific role and responsibilities of Graduate Research supervisors are to:

  1. Assist Candidates to devise, undertake and complete an independent research project within the allotted time by providing appropriate direction, guidance, feedback and support, including, but not limited to:
    1. Providing advice on the theoretical basis of the project;
    2. Suggesting appropriate reading;
    3. Providing guidance on research methods and methodology;
    4. Providing guidance and modelling of research communication in written, spoken and visual genres relevant to the discipline;
  2. Generally assisting with planning and conducting the research and preparing the thesis.
  3. Provide opportunities for the broad research education of the Candidate, and act as a general guide and advisor for the progress of the project and for the Candidate's professional and career development;
  4. Be available for regular consultation and to provide timely critical feedback (written and verbal) on the thinking, writing and research of the Candidate's work;
  5. Introduce the Candidate to scholarly networks and encourage them to participate in the activities of the research community outside of the actual thesis preparation, including scholarly publishing and conference presenting;
  6. Remain up-to-date in relation to the policies, procedures and guidelines governing the conduct of research and research degrees at VU;
  7. Guide, monitor, review and oversee research Candidates to ensure compliance with external bodies and internal regulations and policies for the conduct of research including ethics and integrity, health and safety, sanction laws and Defence Export Controls

(12) Supervision at VU is valued as a specialist form of postgraduate teaching, which requires regular, ongoing interaction and formal meetings between a designated graduate researcher and their supervisors. Supervision is expected to be provided throughout the year (including during the first year of the PhD program coursework component), other than in periods of approved leave for the supervisors and/or the graduate researcher. Formal supervision meetings should take place at least fortnightly for full-time Candidates and monthly for part-time Candidates at a location mutually agreed on by all parties.

(13) Detailed arrangements about supervisory contact and meetings are negotiated during the first two months of enrolment and are finalised at the time of Candidature Confirmation in the formal Graduate Research Supervision Agreement in order to maximise transparency and a shared understanding of expectations. The Supervision Agreement is to be reviewed as part of the annual progress report.

Part B - Appointment of Supervisors

(14) Every Candidate must have two supervisors from the time their candidature is confirmed until the completion of their research degree. While the supervision team may not be finalised during the provisional candidature period (which includes any period of required coursework), graduate research Candidates (with the exception of those enrolled in Professional Doctorates) must have a Principal Supervisor from the point of enrolment. Some Candidates may have more than two supervisors appointed to assist with a particular aspect of their research.

(15) Supervisors are not normally appointed for Professional Doctorate Candidates until after the completion of the coursework phase of the degree.

(16) At the time of Candidature Confirmation, supervisory arrangements for the Candidate are approved by the College Director, Research Training (RT) (or nominee). The arrangements must include a nominated Principal Supervisor and at least one person who will be appointed as an Associate Supervisor. Normally the Provisional Supervisor/s appointed at the time of enrolment will be nominated as the Principal and Associate Supervisor at the time of Candidature Confirmation.

Principal Supervisors

(17) Further to the roles and responsibilities outlined in Clause 10-11, the nominated Principal Supervisor for a graduate research Candidate is recognised as the academic leader of the Candidate's supervisory support team. In addition to academic responsibilities the Principal Supervisor has official responsibility for the overall management of the Candidate's candidature from enrolment to final thesis classification, including:

  1. Progress milestones (e.g. Candidature confirmation, Mid-candidature and Towards submission);
  2. Other progress-related requirements (such as interim progress reports; marginal or unsatisfactory progress processes and timely thesis submissions);
  3. Nomination of the membership of the candidature confirmation and other candidature milestone panels;
  4. Administrative processes linked to variations in enrolment and leave;
  5. Monitoring eligibility to maintain scholarship entitlements, such as regular attendance and timely completion of required work;
  6. Nomination of examiners;
  7. Review of thesis prior to submission and classification;
  8. Thesis lodgment in VU Research Repository.

(18) Only supervisors registered at Levels 2 and 3 (see Part C, Clause 45 and Table 1 below) can be appointed to the role of Principal Supervisor to lead the supervisory team for a Candidate.

(19) A Principal Supervisor must be a doctorally qualified member of staff or honorary appointment who is engaging in the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies, understandings, inventions and applications of this knowledge, demonstrated via publishing in, or otherwise making original contributions to, a relevant field or discipline to the candidate’s research. 

(20) Research activity for Principal Supervisors can be demonstrated via a number of ways including at least one of the following: a minimum authorship of one published high quality paper per year during the last three years; one major high quality scholarly work such as a book or creative performance during the last three years; securing of a patent/invention during the last three years; or securing externally funded grants totaling $45,000 or more during the last three years, in a field or discipline relevant to the higher degree research applicant/candidate’s research.

(21) Appointment as a Principal Supervisor for a Candidate in the pre-confirmation period is provisional. The provisional Principal Supervisor will engage with the graduate researcher to ensure that there is mutual agreement on the proposed supervisory arrangement and the topic.

(22) Final approval of the appointment of a Principal Supervisor must be made by the Director, Research Training of the relevant College (or nominee).

Associate Supervisors

(23) Associate Supervisors provide the Candidate with access to a broader range of skills and knowledge (disciplinary and methodological), and must be registered and appointed by the time candidature is confirmed.

(24) An Associate Supervisor is a member of staff or honorary appointment who is engaging in the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate concepts, methodologies, understandings, inventions and applications of this knowledge, demonstrated via relevant research expertise to the candidate’s research.

(25) Research activity for Associate Supervisors can be demonstrated via a number of ways including at least one of the following: a minimum authorship of one published high quality paper per year during the last three years, one major high quality scholarly work such as a book or creative performance during the last three years; securing of a patent/invention during the last three years; securing externally funded grants totaling $45,000 across the three years, not necessarily in a field or discipline relevant to the higher degree research applicant/candidate’s research.

(26) For new doctoral graduates, completion of their degree in the previous year to their initial registration is sufficient research activity for initial registration as an Associate Supervisor.

(27) Associate Supervisors may be added or removed throughout the duration of candidature as the project becomes more defined.

(28) Associate Supervisors should maintain a level of communication with the Candidate and Principal Supervisor to allow adequate use of their specialised supervision skills. Their involvement in the project and the supervisory team also should facilitate them in developing the necessary skills in due course and with sufficient experience to meet the criteria to apply for progression to Principal Supervisor.

External Supervisors

(29) Graduate research Candidates may have external supervisors, especially where industry or specialist research expertise, not available at VU, is required for their research project.

(30) External supervisors are usually appointed as Associate Supervisors.

(31) The Deputy Director, Research Institute will inform the Office for Researcher Training, Quality and Integrity (ORTQI) when a current supervisor is departing from the University's employment, including whether that supervisor is willing and has been approved to continue to supervise a Candidate. The supervisor concerned may continue on the supervisory team, as an external Associate Supervisor.

(32) In certain circumstances, a departing Principal Supervisor may be approved to continue to act as Principal Supervisor. This can occur when:

  1. The Deputy Director, Research Institute determines, after consultation with the Candidate and supervisor, that this is in the best interests of the Candidate; and
  2. The arrangements negotiated with the supervisor satisfy the Deputy Director, Research Institute and the Dean, Graduate Research that the supervisor is in a position to continue to exercise their principal supervisory responsibilities. (NB: where the external supervisor is to be remunerated, the Deputy Director, Research Institute is required to approve the proposed conditions of appointment).

(33) In the circumstances described in Clause (28) above, the Candidate's Principal Supervisor must be a member of staff of the University, and the Deputy Director, Research Institute will be expected to oversee the supervisory arrangements.

(34) It may be necessary or desirable to appoint an external supervisor outside Australia where a Candidate:

  1. Is conducting extended fieldwork overseas (for a year or more);
  2. Has changed residence to another country for the remainder of their research degree;
  3. Is enrolled in a research degree at VU in partnership with an overseas university or industry or professional organisation;
  4. Is an international Candidate required to return home for visa, personal or health reasons, but who needs to continue their studies.

(35) External supervision arrangements are reviewed on an annual basis through the progress report and overseen and approved by the Deputy Director, Research Institute.

(36) All external supervisors must be registered according to the provisions in Part C below and officially appointed to be a member of the designated supervisory team.

(37) External supervisors will have access to the following training and development programs:

  1. The research and research training activities of the relevant Research Institute; for example, seminars, workshops and other Research Institute research activities and events;
  2. Research training and researcher development programs offered by ORTQI, including supervisor development programs.

(38) Participation of external supervisors in VU Research or Research Institute research activities is highly valued. However, it is recognised that their participation will be dependent on the availability of the external supervisor at the time/s programs are offered.

(39) External supervisors who do not already hold an official appointment (for example as an adjunct or sessional staff member) will normally be issued with an (e7) identification number in order to provide them with access to VU Library and online research and supervision support services and resources. The Researcher Professional Development team, ORTQI will organise this following the official appointment as an External Supervisor.

(40) External supervisors are appointed by the College through the Director of Research Training. The process involves completion of the Application for Registration or Upgrade as a Graduate Research Supervisor.

Remuneration of External Supervisors

(41) External supervisors are normally not remunerated. Their involvement in contributing to research at VU is seen as part of their own professional outreach and collaboration with the University in research. They are encouraged to maximise their involvement in VU's research community and to access VU's researcher development and research support resources as part of their professional relationship with the University and their Research Institute.

(42) A remunerated external supervisor may be appointed where a Research Institute believes that remuneration is warranted by the nature of the supervisor's engagement. Such employment is managed by the Research Institute under the terms and conditions of related University policies, usually either as a casual academic appointment or an Independent Contractor, and negotiated at Research Institute level.

(43) Any remuneration should reflect the level of supervisory contribution in relation to the Research Institute’s agreed supervisory workload allowances and should be pro rata depending on the agreed split of supervisor responsibilities and the actual ongoing level of involvement maintained by the external supervisor. The level of remuneration may be varied from year to year throughout the duration of candidature.

(44) For shared programs or those offered via an agreed shared teaching arrangement with an overseas university, the remuneration arrangements for supervisors from the partner university will normally be negotiated as part of the business arrangements between the parties when the program is established. In such cases remuneration of supervisors falls outside the scope of 42 and 43 above.

Part C - Registration of Supervisors

Registration Process

(45) All individuals providing supervision to graduate research Candidates must be registered. In order to be able to be considered for registration the individual must meet the requirements under the TEQSA Higher Education standards for registration as a supervisor of research training.

(46) A person seeking to become a registered supervisor or to upgrade their level of supervisor registration must complete the Application for Registration or Upgrade as a Graduate Research Supervisor, and provide a resume with evidence of relevant qualifications and their research, research training and supervisor professional development experience. Currently enrolled VU graduate researchers are unable to register to supervise at Higher Degree by Research level.

(47) Applications are submitted to the Researcher Professional Development team, ORTQI, which will forward the application to the relevant Research Institute for review by the Deputy Director (or nominee). The Deputy Director will be asked to make a recommendation on the application, with the following options available:

  1. Not to register;
  2. Register at a designated level (see Table 1 below);
  3. Upgrade registration to a higher level (see Table 1 below).

(48) The Dean, Graduate Research reviews all recommendations by Deputy Directors, Research Institutes, and makes the final determination on whether an applicant is to be registered and at which level.

(49) In cases where an application is unsuccessful, the applicant will be advised by the Deputy Director, Research Institute of the reason/s for their registration application not being supported. This should include feedback to assist them in undertaking relevant professional and researcher development in order to be able to meet the requirements in a future application.

(50) Where an application is approved, the person is added to the Supervision Register with the designated supervisory registration level by the Researcher Professional Development team, ORTQI, and the applicant is informed by email of the outcome of their application. External supervisors are required to participate in an online induction to Supervision at Victoria University.

Supervisor Registration Levels

(51) Supervisor registration level guidelines stipulate the role that a supervisor may be permitted in a supervisory team, as well as the maximum EFT load of Candidates that the supervisor is qualified to supervise (see Table 1 below). The specific supervisory role of the supervisor for a given Candidate is distinct from their level of registration. For example, for a given Candidate, a supervisor who is registered as a Principal Supervisor may have a role as either Associate Supervisor or Principal Supervisor (Level 2 or 3) depending on their role in the Candidate's project.

(52) Progression of Registration from one level to the next is not automatic. In order to be considered for an upgrade the supervisor will complete and submit to the GRC the Application for Registration or Upgrade as a Graduate Research Supervisor form and provide documentation to demonstrate that they have fulfilled the requirements for the level proposed.

(53) For progression from Level 1 (Associate) to Level 2 (Principal) all initial supervisor development must have been completed. In addition, satisfactory completion of the 'Step Up to Principal' Development program is required. After at least two years as an Associate Supervisor with satisfactory performance, following approval of the Deputy Director, Research Institute, an Associate Supervisor can apply to enter the 'Step Up' program. The program is usually expected to be completed in the year prior to the formal application for the upgrade, but must be completed no later than 12 months following the upgrade to Level 2 being approved. Failure to complete the 'Step Up' program within this timeframe will lead to registration reverting to Level 1 (Associate).

(54) All Level 2 supervisors are expected to have a designated mentor Level 3 supervisor until they have supervised at least one Candidate to completion. This arrangement will be organised by the Supervisor's Research Institute.

(55) The research activity minimum expectations will change over time in line with amendments to University policy on research activity.

Table 1 - Supervisory Levels

Requirements to Qualify for Registration at the Designated Level Level 1 Associate Supervisor Level 2 Principal Supervisor Level 3 Experienced Principal Supervisor
Description of level Able to act as Associate Supervisor for both Master and Doctoral Candidates Able to act as a Principal Supervisor for a limited number of Candidates An experienced Principal Supervisor
Academic qualification level AQF Level 10 or equivalent (as determined officially by institute panel) AQF Level 10 or equivalent (as determined officially by institute panel) AQF Level 10 or equivalent (as determined officially by insititute panel)
Research activity
At least one of the following: a minimum authorship of one published paper per year during the last three years, one major scholarly work such as a book or creative performance during the last three years; securing of a patent/invention during the last three years; securing externally funded grants totaling $45,000 across the three years, not necessarily in a field or discipline relevant to the higher degree research applicant/candidate’s research.
OR
For new doctoral graduates, completion of their degrees in the year previous to their initial registration.
 
At least one of the following: a minimum authorship of one published paper per year during the last three years, one major scholarly work such as a book or creative performance during the last three years; securing of a patent/invention during the last three years; securing externally funded grants totaling $45,000 across the three years, in a field or discipline relevant to the higher degree research applicant/candidate’s research.
At least one of the following: a minimum authorship of one published paper per year during the last three years, one major scholarly work such as a book or creative performance during the last three years; securing of a patent/invention during the last three years; securing externally funded grants totaling $45,000 across the three years, in a field or discipline relevant to the higher degree research applicant/candidate’s research.
 
Supervisory experience No previous graduate research supervisory experience, although desirable to have experience with undergraduate, honours or Master's minor theses projects. At least 3 years' experience as a graduate research supervisor with evidence of positive appraisal of performance (eg. Candidate feedback on supervision). At least 5 years experience as a graduate research supervisor with evidence of positive appraisal of performance (eg. Candidate feedback on supervision) and at least two timely completions.
Supervisory professional development None required, but expected to complete, at minimum, the new Supervisor Induction program and at least one intensive initial supervisor development program (e.g. Demystifying the Thesis - Supervision Intensive (or equivalent) across the first two years of registration. Must have completed initial supervisor development training under Level 1 and mandatory attendance at the Supervisors Refresher program; record of engagement in other supervisory skills development. Must complete 'Step Up to Principal' program by the end of the first year of being upgraded. Must have completed initial supervisor development training and Supervisor’s Refresher program (see Level 1 and 2 requirements); record of engagement in and contributions to other supervisory skills development (including evidence of leadership in developing others).
Supervisory load expectations A maximum supervision load no greater than 3.0 EFT, all in the role of Associate Supervisor for Candidates. A maximum supervisory load of 4.0 EFT with no more than 2.0 EFT as a Principal Supervisor for Candidates. A supervisory load up to the University maximum (6.0 EFT), although the normal recommended maximum supervisory load is 4.0 EFT, other than if holding a research intensive/research only appointment.

Limits on Supervision

(56) The limits on supervisory load, linked to the level of supervisor registration, have been developed to support the delivery of timely and effective supervision as part of a balanced academic workload. These suggested maximums are summarised in Table 1 above. Supervisor loads will be reviewed annually by the Deputy Director, Research Institute (or nominee). In exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be permitted to exceed the maximum load. However, the case for exceeding the permitted maximum supervisory load will need to be endorsed by the Deputy Director, Research Institute (or nominee) and a rationale provided to the Dean, Graduate Research for consideration and, if deemed appropriate, for approval.

(57) The maximum supervisory load for an individual supervisor registered as Level 3 Principal Supervisor, who has a strong record of successful completions is 6.0 (six) EFT. However, these maximums would normally only be supported where the Principal Supervisor is working in a research-intensive or research-only environment within the University.

Transition Arrangements (Academic Staff Registered Prior to 2016)

(58) Staff who were registered prior to 2016 will be automatically transitioned from their existing registration status to their new registration level as per Table 2 below:

Table 2: Transition Arrangements for those registered prior to 2016

Pre 2016 Registration Status New Registration Level
Principal Supervisor - Doctoral and Masters Candidates Level 2 if less than five years experience as a Principal Supervisor (from registration date). Level 3 if more than five years experience as a Principal Supervisor (from registration date).
Associate Supervisor - Doctoral and Masters Candidates Level 1
Associate Supervisor - Doctoral and Principal Supervisor - Masters Candidates Level 1
External Associate Supervisor - Doctoral and Masters Candidates Level 1

(59) Supervisors that are not able to be automatically transitioned will be dealt with on a case by case basis and notified accordingly of the outcome.

Supervisor Development

(60) All internal supervisors are required to maintain current knowledge of supervisory practice and an awareness of VU research and research training policies through attendance at a Supervisor’s Refresher program every two years from their anniversary date or re-registration date. Supervisors are expected to check the ORTQI Researcher Professional Development website and/or email bulletins regularly to determine when this program will be offered.

(61) All internal supervisors are expected to develop supervisory skills and contribute to the development of others, including through attendance at Supervisor Development Programs offered by the University. Supervisors will be expected to check the ORTQI Researcher Professional Development website and to register to the research-info email list in order to be aware of upcoming workshops.

(62) All external supervisors will be required to undertake an External Supervisor Induction program which will be online.  All external supervisors are encouraged to engage in supervisory skill development or activities appropriate to their role. External supervisors will have access to the VU Supervisor Development Program (also see Clauses 29 and 30).

Maintaining the Supervisor Register

(63) Researcher Professional Development, ORTQI will maintain the Supervisor Register.

(64) To ensure that the Supervisor Register is up-to-date and accurate, the Researcher Professional Development team will review and update the supervisor listings on an annual basis, with the Deputy Directors, Research Institutes (or nominees) to take into account staffing changes.

Review of Supervisor Registration

(65) All supervisor registrations will be reviewed every three years, commencing 2017.

(66) Supervisors will be required to apply for re-registration submitting the required documentation to Researcher Professional Development, ORTQI. The following criteria will be taken into account when considering the renewal of a supervisor's registration:

  1. Research engagement — evidence of ongoing involvement in and outcomes from research in their field, such as grants, publications, or other relevant reportable research outcomes;
  2. Supervisor development programs attended — attendance at internal and/or external programs;
  3. Personal record of supervisory performance, including the history of supervisions and completions — number of enrolments, involvement as a supervisor, EFT to submission for completions (including timely and non-timely) and other relevant data captured by ORTQI. This statement is to be supplied by the Manager, Candidature and Admissions, ORTQI.

(67) In addition to the data used in in Clause 62 above, supervisors may wish to provide other supporting evidence (maximum two typed double sided pages), in relation to a, b, and/or c. above. For example, recent research engagement/activity (not reflected in most recent MORA), record management of Candidates, timeliness in relation to milestones, evidence of performance as a supervisor, engagement in supervisor development activities and contributions to the development of others as supervisors.

(68) Reviews of Supervision Registration will be conducted up to two times per year. Review Panels will be comprised of:

  1. Dean, Graduate Research;
  2. Deputy Director, Research Institute (or nominee);
  3. Senior academic (usually Level D/E) with demonstrable experience and success as a supervisor nominated by the Deputy Director, Research Institute.

Recommendations from the Review Panel

(69) Recommendations from the Review Panel will be one of the following:

  1. Re-registration — a positive appraisal on all three criteria will lead to re-registration for the next four years. Re- registration may include endorsement for an upgrade in the supervisor's registration level where the data presented justifies this and an upgrade recommendation is supported by the Deputy Director, Research Institute;
  2. Conditional re-registration — when a supervisor is judged to be performing satisfactorily for their level in relation to two out of the three criteria, they may be given a conditional re-registration with the Panel stipulating the conditions to be met within a designated period (normally no longer than two years). Registration after this period will only continue if the condition/s have been met;
  3. Insufficient documentation supplied. More documentation and/or specific questions to be addressed;
  4. Registration not renewed and supervisor deregistered.

(70) In cases where registration is not renewed, the Panel will be asked to recommend whether the supervisor should be permitted to supervise until completion current Candidates, assuming the Candidates wish to continue with that supervisor. A deregistered supervisor has the opportunity to apply for re-registration (through completing the Application for Registration or Upgrade as a Graduate Research Supervisor form) should their circumstances change and they can provide evidence of capacity to supervise at the required level.

(71) All supervisors will be notified of the Review Panel's recommendation by Researcher Professional Development, ORTQI.

Appeals Against Registration Decisions

(72) Supervisors who wish to appeal the outcome of the registration decision, may only do so only on the following grounds:

  1. procedural fairness in the registration process;
  2. evidence of prejudice or bias in the registration process.

(73) A Supervisor Registration Appeals Panel (SRAP) will be formed comprising:

  1. Vice-President (Research) or nominee (Chair);
  2. College Dean (or nominee);
  3. A Deputy Director, Research Institute who was not a part of the original Review Panel.

(74) The decision of the SRAP is final and binding and there is no further avenue for appeal within Victoria University.

Part D - Deregistration Procedures

(75) In addition to the three-yearly review of the Supervisors' Registrations, deregistration of a supervisor may be initiated at any time when the Dean, Graduate Research is made aware of concerns about the suitability of a supervisor to remain registered.

(76) A panel will be convened to provide the Vice-President (Research) with advice and recommendations on all issues regarding deregistration of a supervisor of graduate research Candidates. This panel will consist of:

  1. The Dean of Graduate Research, or nominee;
  2. The relevant Executive Director of the Research Institute or nominee;
  3. One of the Deputy Directors, Research Training of the supervisor's Research Institute; and
  4. One of the Deputy Directors, Research Training of the other Research Institute.

(77) Administrative assistance will be provided by Researcher Professional Development, ORTQI.

(78) The grounds for deregistration of a graduate research supervisor are as follows:

  1. Research Misconduct (refer to the Research Misconduct Policy;
  2. Failure to meet supervisor obligations as outlined in the Supervision or Higher Degrees by Research Policy and their related procedures (refer to policy.vu.edu.au);
  3. Repeated failure to adhere to the approved Graduate Research Supervision Agreement;
  4. Failure to adhere to any determination or direction by the Research Institute or ORTQI in relation to supervisory responsibilities;
  5. Any other issue raised by the Dean, Graduate Research or relevant Deputy Director, Research institute that impacts on the capacity to offer effective supervision.

Steps in Deregistration

Step 1: Preliminary Investigation

(79) The Dean, Graduate Research should be informed in writing by the relevant Deputy Director, Research Institute of the case for deregistration. The information to be provided is as follows:

  1. The supervisor's contact details;
  2. Contact details of all Candidates being supervised;
  3. The grounds proposed for deregistration;
  4. Any other relevant information.

Step 2: Preparation of Documentation

(80) The Dean, Graduate Research (through the Researcher Professional Development team, ORTQI), will arrange for specific documentation pertaining to this matter to be assembled.

(81) The documentation prepared must be capable of verification. In certain circumstances it may be necessary for the Dean, Graduate Research to be able to attest to the veracity of the documentation without the proponent's details being openly available.

Step 3: Commencement of the Deregistration Process

(82) The Dean, Graduate Research will then inform the supervisor in writing that a review of their current supervisory arrangements has commenced and make available all pertinent documentation to the supervisor.

(83) At this point, the Dean, Graduate Research will try to resolve the issue by discussion with the supervisor and their Deputy Director, Research Institute. The supervisor has the right to have a representative with them at any meeting, however this is not normally legal representation. In this case, the supervisor will need to meet any requirements outlined by the Dean, Graduate Research to recommence supervision duties or may opt to withdraw themselves from the register. All parties with proper interest in the matter will be informed of the outcome by the Researcher Professional Development team, ORTQI.

Step 4: Contesting Deregistration

(84) If the supervisor wishes to contest the matter of deregistration rather than fulfil any requirements as outlined above, the Dean, Graduate Research will immediately convene the deregistration panel. During this period, interim supervision arrangements may be put in place depending on the circumstances.

Step 5: Convening the University Deregistration Panel

(85) The Dean, Graduate Research will convene an appropriately constituted Panel (see Clause 80) and oversee the proper conduct of the Panel's deliberations with regards to the potential deregistration of the supervisor. The panel hearing should normally be within 20 working days from the notification of the commencement of the process.

(86) The supervisor will be given the opportunity to be heard on any material that may influence the Panel's decision.

Step 6: Outcomes of Deliberations

(87) At the conclusion of the Panel's deliberations, the Panel, through the Dean, Graduate Research, will recommend to the Vice-President (Research) one of four outcomes:

  1. That the supervisor maintain their supervisory registration status;
  2. That the supervisor remains as a registered supervisor but with a downgrade in their supervisory status;
  3. That the Dean, Graduate Research inform the staff member that their registration as a supervisor has been withdrawn by the University, stating the reasons for this action;
  4. That the matter should be referred to a University Grievance Committee for further investigation.

(88) A staff member facing deregistration will have access to the appeals process as outlined in Clauses 73-75 above.

Part E - Changes in Supervision

Absence of Supervisors

(89) If one member of the supervisory team is absent from their duties through approved leave for three months or less, the remaining member of the supervisory team is expected to maintain supervisory oversight and minimise disruption for the Candidate.

(90) If all members of a supervisory team are expected to be simultaneously absent from the University and not able to provide supervision, then the Deputy Director, Research Institute should be informed by the Principal Supervisor, so that an Acting Principal Supervisor can be appointed for the duration of the period.

(91) When a Principal Supervisor is expected to be absent and unable to provide supervision for an extended period (more than three months), then an Acting Principal Supervisor should be formally appointed. This may be the Associate Supervisor if they have appropriate experience. In these circumstances the College should consider appointing another experienced supervisor to the team to provide support.

Requested Changes in Supervision

(92) It is recognised that in some cases, the supervisory arrangement is not optimal and a change may need to be considered. In such cases, the Deputy Director, Research Institute should be informed of the proposed change/s and asked to assist in resolving the situation.

(93) A requested change is one initiated either by the graduate research Candidate, one or more of the current supervisors, the Deputy Director, Research Institute or the Dean, Graduate Research.

(94) The person initiating the change request is encouraged to discuss the proposed change in person with those involved in the current supervisory arrangements.

Addition of a Supervisor

(95) A request can be made for an additional Associate Supervisor to be appointed in circumstances where it is considered by the Deputy Director, Research Institute that an additional supervisor is required for the graduate researcher to supplement the supervision team with an additional official supervisor.

Variations to Supervision

(96) Data relating in relation to supervisory roles and percentages will be deemed to be correct for the forthcoming year/semester as it is recorded on the Research Management System as at the 1st January and the 1st July of each year. 
(93) Supervision is a mutually agreed relationship, so either the graduate researcher or one or more supervisors may exercise their right to withdraw from the relationship. Reasons for change in the supervisory team can include:

  1. Additional supervisor/s may be appointed to assist with a particular aspect of the research;
  2. The research topic may change and this may result in the appointment of an alternative supervisor/s;
  3. The initial supervisor/s may no longer be able to supervise the research for a number of reasons, including their leave or employment arrangements;
  4. A replacement or change in the level of appointment of a supervisor.

(97) Changes to supervisory teams and loads during a semester (1st January to 30th June/1st July to 31st December) will only be considered in extenuating circumstances. Adjustments to supervision can be only made to the roles and percentages during a semester with the approval of the Director of the Flagship Institute. 

(98) In all cases where an ongoing change in supervision is requested, the Application for Change in Supervision form must be completed. All supervisors on the graduate researcher's supervision team are normally required to consent to the new arrangement through signing the form or through email consent. However, where the Deputy Director, Research Institute is satisfied that the proposed change of supervisory arrangements is in the best interest of the graduate research Candidate then their approval will enable the change to proceed regardless of whether all supervisors have consented and of the timing.

Part F - Conflicts

Procedures for Managing Conflicts

(99) In accordance with Part E of the Supervision Policy , the University has developed procedures to manage conflicts.

(100) In the event that a conflict arises, an informal meeting will take place at the earliest opportunity between the Candidate and all supervisors to ensure that the Candidate has a clear and consistent understanding of what is expected of them.

(101) If there is still no resolution after this meeting, the Candidate or supervisor(s) shall have the right to ask for a further meeting with the relevant Deputy Director, Research Institute.

(102) Failing resolution through any of the informal means outlined above, then the Candidate may ask for a change in the persons providing supervision (see 91 above). Similarly, one or more supervisors may elect not to continue to be a supervisor for the Candidate, or there may be a mutual agreement to cease the arrangement. Such requests will be subject to the availability of adequate replacement supervision (refer to HDR Procedure 7 - Supervision), and only after receiving the endorsement of the appropriate Deputy Director, Research Institute. In the event that the Deputy Director is supervising the Candidate, then the responsibility will fall to the appropriate alternative Deputy Director or Executive Director (or nominee) for that Research Institute.

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Section 6 - Guidelines

(103) Development of Graduate Research Supervisors Guidelines

(104) Good Practice in Research Supervision Guidelines