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HDR - Higher Degree Research Show Cause Policy

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) The Higher Degree Research (HDR) Show Cause Policy and Procedures provide the framework with which to manage HDR candidature where an HDR Student is believed to have made insufficient academic progress in their higher degree studies. This Policy outlines the formal process required in inviting a HDR student to show cause as to why their candidature should be continued. This Policy must be read in conjunction with the HDR Show Cause Procedure, which supports this Policy.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This Policy applies to all Students:

  1. enrolled under the Doctor of Philosophy Rules, Doctor of Education Rules, Doctor of Industry/Professions Rules, Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) Rules;
  2. enrolled in HDR programs at the University of New England including jointly managed programs with institutional partners where a UNE HDR award is the final outcome;
  3. who have completed Confirmation of Candidature where relevant.
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Section 3 - Policy


(3) The administration of this Policy and associated Procedures is governed by the following principles:

  1. fairness and equity
  2. principles of natural justice
  3. procedural fairness and transparency
  4. confidentiality

Progress during Candidature

(4) This Policy applies only to Students who have completed Confirmation of Candidature.

(5) The Confirmation of Candidature process is the initial progress monitoring tool. Successful completion of Confirmation of Candidature marks the end the Student's probationary candidature status.

(6) After Confirmation of Candidature, Students are required to participate in the University's formal HDR Progress Reporting process. This provides the chief means by which the University monitors progress of Students between Confirmation of Candidature and completion.

(7) Continuation of candidature post Confirmation of Candidature is conditional on the maintenance of satisfactory progress. Where satisfactory progress is not being made, the Principal Supervisor is required to invoke the Show Cause Procedures.

Insufficient Academic Progress

(8) All HDR Students are expected to maintain sufficient academic progress so as to complete their course of study within the designated period of candidature. Students who have made insufficient academic progress (see Definitions section) in their course of study are required to show cause as to why their candidature should be continued.

(9) A Student whose show cause response is either not provided or deemed an inadequate justification for continuance, will have their candidature terminated.


(10) At the School level, Principal Supervisors, the Head of School and the School HDR Coordinators will be required to administer this Policy, with advice provided by Research Services, the UNE International and other departments of the University as required.

(11) Research Services will be responsible for administering the show cause procedure after the School has made a recommendation that an HDR candidate be asked to show cause.

(12) All actions taken under the auspices of this Policy and associated Procedure must be reported to the Graduate Research Committee.

Confidentiality and Record-Keeping Requirements

(13) All records of any show cause proceeding conducted under this policy and the procedures must be retained in the University's record management system in accordance with the Records Management Rule.

(14) All information generated during the course of such a proceeding must be managed in accordance with the Privacy Management Rule.


(15) A Student who wishes to appeal a decision made under this Policy and associated Procedures should refer to the appeals process provided in the Higher Degree Research Show Cause Procedures.

Policy Administration

(16) Authorities:

  1. Amendment or revision of this policy and related procedures and guidelines must be approved by Academic Board.

(17) Communication and Implementation:

  1. Research Services is responsible for ensuring that the related Communication and Implementation Plan is followed.

(18) Quality Assurance:

  1. The Graduate Research Committee will monitor that the effectiveness of this policy is measured through:
  2. benchmarking the University's standards with those adopted elsewhere;
  3. feedback from staff and HDR Students on the implementation of this policy.
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Section 4 - Definitions

For the purposes of this Rule the following definitions apply.

(19) 'Insufficient academic progress' will usually be defined as one or more of the following:

  1. failure to attain the required levels of pass in any required coursework units;
  2. failure to fulfil the conditions of any mandated practicums or internships;
  3. failure to produce research outputs of the required standard after sufficient notice and guidance;
  4. repeated lack of contact with supervisors and/or failure to respond to requests for contact;
  5. repeated failure to attend scheduled meetings after sufficient notice;
  6. repeated failure to take responsibility for the research project and its outcomes;
  7. failure to carry out critical research activity, after sufficient notice and guidance;
  8. repeated failure to submit written work as required;
  9. repeated failure to respond to supervisors' feedback;
  10. repeated failure to achieve project milestones or timelines;
  11. failure to complete HDR Progress Reporting;
  12. failure to meet any conditions of candidature, as required by the University;
  13. failure to comply with University rules;
  14. failure to return from an approved period of suspension;
  15. failure to return from an approved period of fieldwork or research external to the University; and/or
  16. failure to submit thesis, or complete degree requirements in a timely fashion.