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Higher Doctorates procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure was approved by the Academic Board on 11 November 2014.

(2) This Procedure is pursuant to Regulation 5.2(5) - Higher Doctorates.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This Procedure outlines the processes for the University in admitting, assessing and examining candidates for the award of Higher Doctorate.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Procedure applies to candidates for Higher Doctorates, their supervisors, faculties and University administrators.

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) Refer to Regulation 5.2(5) - Higher Doctorates.

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Section 5 - Procedure

Admission

(6) An applicant for candidature in a higher doctorate must submit an application to the Executive Officer, Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) for consideration by the Research and Research Training Committee.

(7) An application must be in writing and contain:

  1. a detailed curriculum vitae and the candidate's connection to Deakin University;
  2. a complete list of the body of published works which is to be assessed as the basis of the application for the award;
  3. an assessment and detailed explanation of the significance of the body of published works, its impact and contribution to the field;
  4. a statement addressing the extent of the contributions by the applicant where any of the published works have been prepared or written in collaboration with another person or persons;
  5. a supporting statement from a senior Deakin University academic who is knowledgeable in the relevant field addressing why, in their view, the applicant would be worthy of a higher doctorate. The statement must cover the applicant's background, their standing in the field, their connection to the University, and the strategic value to the University of awarding this degree.

(8) The Executive Officer, HDR will refer the application to the Research and Research Training Committee to consider and determine whether there is a prima facie case for candidature.

(9) Where the Research and Research Training Committee determines that a prima facie case for candidature does not exist, the applicant will be notified in writing of the determination giving the reasons.

(10) Where the Research and Research Training Committee determines that a prima facie case for candidature exists, the Executive Officer HDR will advise the Executive Dean of the relevant faculty or Director of the relevant institute and provide a copy of the application for evaluation.

(11) The Executive Dean of the faculty or Director of the Institute will make an evaluation of the application for candidature and recommend to the Research and Research Training Committee whether candidature should be offered and, if recommending candidature will:

  1. provide evidence of external advice from a senior academic at an Australian university that awards higher doctorates that the applicant would be likely to be successful in an examination;
  2. name three possible examiners;
  3. nominate at least one staff member who can assist the candidate through the submission for examination process.

(12) Additional information may be sought from the applicant at any stage of the admission process, and the Research and Research Training Committee may seek any other advice as it considers necessary prior to determining whether to offer candidature.

(13) The Research and Research Training Committee is responsible for:

  1. determining whether or not to offer candidature, and any applicable conditions of candidature;
  2. determining a due date for presentation of the portfolio by the candidate for examination, normally within one calendar year;
  3. approving examiners who can assess whether the submission makes an internationally recognised original contribution to knowledge so as to give the candidate authoritative standing in that field;
  4. appointing at least one staff member to assist the candidate through the submission for examination process.

(14) An unsuccessful applicant for candidature for a higher doctorate will be notified in writing giving the reasons but has no right of review or appeal about admission and may not reapply for three years from the date their application was declined.

Assessment/examination

(15) The candidate must in accordance with the conditions of candidature and any other requirements specified by the University present for examination an electronic copy of their submission for assessment for a Higher Doctorate award by the University consisting of:

  1. a copy of the published works that are to be assessed as the basis for seeking the award;
  2. an exposition on the significance, impact and standing of the published works that have been included;
  3. a signed statement describing the contribution of the candidate to works with more than one author.

(16) The examination process will be administered by Deakin Research on behalf of the Research and Research Training Committee.

(17) Each examiner provides an independent assessment report addressing whether they support the award of the Higher Doctorate.

(18) A candidate who is not successful in the examination may not re-submit for a subsequent examination and may not reapply for candidature for three years from the date of their unsuccessful examination outcome.

Award of the degree

(19) The Research and Research Training Committee will recommend to the Academic Board that the award of a Higher Doctorate be conferred on a candidate, only if the Research and Research Training Committee:

  1. has received unanimous reports from three examiners certifying that the submission portfolio meets the requirements of the award; and
  2. is satisfied that the candidate merits the award.

(20) On recommendation from Academic Board that the candidate has met all requirements of the award, University Council may confer a Higher Doctorate as listed in Regulation 5.2(2) - Higher Education Award Courses - General.

Appeals

(21) A candidate may appeal the decision of the Research and Research Training Committee to the University Appeals Committee by lodging a notice of appeal with the Secretary to the Academic Board within 20 working days of being notified of the decision. The grounds of appeal will be confined to one or more of the following:

  1. procedural irregularities in the examination process;
  2. evidence of prejudice or bias in the examination process.

(22) Grounds for appeal do not include the academic assessment of the merit of the work.

(23) The University Appeals Committee will convene as soon as practicable following receipt of the notice of appeal and will follow the appeal proceedings set out in the Academic Progress procedure.

(24) Decisions of the University Appeals Committee are final and binding and there is no further avenue for appeal within the University.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(25) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Applicant: a person who has submitted an application for higher doctorate candidature.
  2. Candidate: a person whose application to enrol in a higher doctorate has been accepted by the Academic Board.