Supervision responsibilities policy process

Purpose

To define the responsibilities of and requirements for registered HDR Supervisors.

Exclusions

Supervisors of Honours and postgraduate coursework students.

Process steps

1. Supervisory responsibilities

1.1. Good practice in the conduct of higher degrees by research and in supervisor-candidate relations are further elaborated in the Code of Practice for Higher Degrees by Research (PDF).

1.2. The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research applies to the HDR candidate and supervisor relationship and supervisors are responsible for guiding the professional development of candidates in all matters relating to research conduct.

1.3. There should be no potential or actual conflict of interest between members of supervisory teams or between the supervisor and candidate, nor should any line management relations exist within the supervisory relationship if the candidate is an ongoing member of staff at RMIT. Examples of the types of conflict of interest which must be avoided in supervision can be found in the ACGR Conflict of Interest Guidelines (PDF).

2. Recognition of exemplary HDR supervision practice

2.1. Supervisors demonstrating exemplary supervision practice may be eligible for one of the annual RMIT supervision awards.

3. Review of HDR supervision performance

3.1. Deans and Heads of School/Centres must include a review of HDR supervision performance as part of annual workplan discussions. Consideration should be given to the outcomes of current and recent candidates including timeliness of completions, satisfactory progress and milestone reviews, publications, conference presentations and other indicators.

3.2. The performance and compliance of individual supervisors will also be reviewed on an ad hoc basis where potential unsatisfactory performance is identified.

3.3. Section 8 provides assistance in identifying and managing unsatisfactory supervision performance. Poor performance is to be addressed using an intervention strategy, for example: augmentation of the supervisory team with another supervisor, provision of a mentor, or review of the supervisor’s workload, re-allocation of current supervisions, withholding approval for any new supervisions until performance has been improved etc.

4. Supervisor registration

4.1. The Supervisor Register is owned and maintained by the School of Graduate Research.

4.2. Registration eligibility, categories and roles are detailed in Schedule 4 of the Higher Degrees by Research Policy: Supervisor Registration Requirements (PDF).

4.3. Any departure from this Schedule must be recommended by the Dean/Head of School/Centre (or nominee) and approved by the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Training and Development.

5. Research activity requirements for HDR supervision purposes

5.1. Research active requirements specific to HDR supervision are detailed below and may differ from other requirements or expectations of research activity at RMIT.

5.2. In order to be registered as Category 1 on the RMIT supervisor register RMIT staff members will need to have achieved at least two of the following research outputs during the three years prior to the one in which they are applying to be registered:

5.2.1. Option 1

    a) an ERA eligible research output (including publications and creative works);

    b) an external research grant; and/or

    c) an HDR supervision to completion (as either Senior/Joint Senior or Associate supervisor), or

5.2.2. Option 2

    a) the generation of more than 6 ERA eligible research outputs.

5.3. The Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Training and Development may propose a variation to research activity requirements for supervision for endorsement by Research Committee and approval by VCE.

6. Maintenance of registration

6.1. All supervisors who are RMIT staff members (excluding those who have adjunct, emeritus professor, professorial fellow or research associate appointments) will be required to meet annual professional development requirements with respect to HDR supervision. Failure to meet these requirements will be considered in the review of supervisory performance at the time the supervisor register is reviewed (refer section 7).

6.2. SGR will administer and oversee the HDR Supervisor Professional Development Program.

7. Review of register

7.1. SGR reviews the eligibility of all registered supervisors every two years.

7.2. Supervisors who no longer meet the eligibility criteria will not be approved for any new supervisions until any requirements have been met. Category One supervisors may also be reclassified as Category 2 under certain circumstances.

8. Identifying unsatisfactory supervision performance by an HDR supervisor

8.1. One or more of the following indicators may lead to a review of a supervision performance:

Unsatisfactory performance indicators

Category 1

Category 2

Supervisor has failed to meet the annual professional development requirements for maintenance of supervisor registration

May have load capped or be downgraded from the current category of registration

May have load capped

Supervisor has had a disproportionate number of candidates request transfer to another supervisor

May have load capped or be downgraded from the current category of registration

May have load capped

Supervisor has had a disproportionate number of candidates withdraw from RMIT

May have load capped or be downgraded from the current category of registration

Candidates of the supervisor regularly cannot demonstrate satisfactory performance in milestone reviews

May have load capped or be downgraded from the current category of registration

Candidates of the supervisor are regularly overtime in a way which demonstrates lack of effective progress monitoring

May have load capped or be downgraded from the current category of registration

Completion rate for the supervisor is low

May have load capped or be downgraded from the current category of registration

Supervisor has been identified as ineligible to supervise due to not meeting one or more of the eligibility criteria

May be downgraded

or deregistered

May be deregistered

Supervisor has had an allegation of serious breach or research misconduct upheld against them

May be deregistered

May be deregistered

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