(1) On receipt of an application, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) shall request the Academic Board to constitute a Higher Doctorate Committee and shall appoint two or more internal assessors to determine whether the candidate is acceptable for admission. The choice of internal assessors shall be appropriate to the status of higher doctorates as among the most prestigious of university degrees. The internal assessors shall normally be chosen from academic staff at not less than Level D and, if possible, from among holders of higher doctorates.
(2) Upon receipt of the internal assessors' reports the Higher Doctorate Committee shall decide whether or not to admit the applicant to candidature. In exceptional circumstances, admission may be recommended for an applicant who does not meet the requirements set out in clause 3 of the policy but such a recommendation will require a very strong supporting case.
(3) Upon admission to candidature, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) shall notify the Chair of the Higher Doctorate Committee of the admission and forward all details of the admission (including if relevant, the supporting case for admission under exceptional circumstances) to the Directorate of Research Services.
(4) Upon receipt of the draft version or plan of the candidate's Submission, the Higher Doctorate Committee will consult relevant sources of expertise, as needed, to ensure the Submission will be in a form suitable for examination
(5) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) shall indicate to the candidate whether or not their Submission will be suitable for examination.
(6) If the proposed form is not suitable, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) will advise the candidate with respect to changes needed to make the form suitable.
(7) If the form of the Submission is deemed subject to negotiation with the candidate because of its proposed non-standard nature, the negotiation will be managed by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) and will result in a written record of what has been agreed.
(8) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) shall formally advise both the candidate and the Directorate of Research Services to confirm that the Submission will be in a suitable form and what that form will be.
(9) The Directorate of Research Services will receive and record copies of all correspondence between the candidate and the University
(10) Upon arrival of the Submission, the Directorate of Research Services shall inform the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) of its receipt.
(11) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) in conjunction with the Higher Doctorate Committee shall, after suitable consultation with relevant UNE academic staff and with the candidate:
(12) Each examiner shall be asked to submit a separate written report on the merits of the Submission and will be reminded to provide his or her report within two months of receipt of the Submission.
(13) If an examiner fails to provide their report (after appropriate reminders) within a maximum of three months, the Higher Doctorate Committee, after consultation with the relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), may notify the examiner that his or her services are no longer required and the reserve examiner may then be activated as a replacement.
(14) The Directorate of Research Services shall coordinate the examination process and shall receive the reports from all examiners to place before the Higher Doctorate Committee.
(15) The Higher Doctorate Committee must look for unanimity in the examiners' recommendations before reaching its recommendation either to award or not award admission to the higher doctorate degree. If it cannot be achieved the degree will not be awarded.
(16) If the candidate appeals the decision of the Higher Doctorate Committee in accordance with clause 21of the policy, the Chair Academic Board shall immediately refer the appeal and all associated materials to the Standing Committee of the Academic Board for its review and final decision.
(17) Examiners' reports and recommendations are to be made available to candidates without a Freedom of Information application but, unless the examiner consents, the papers are not to be released in a form by which the examiner is identifiable.