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HDR - Higher Degree Research Show Cause Procedures

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) These Higher Degree Research Show Cause Procedures must be read in conjunction with the Higher Degree Research Show Cause Policy and the relevant course rules. 

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) These Procedures are to be applied to Higher Degree Research Students who fail to make sufficient academic progress as outlined in the HDR Show Cause Policy.

(3) These Procedures apply from the commencement of Trimester 1, 2014.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Meeting between Principal Supervisor and the HDR Student

(4) The Principal Supervisor will chair a meeting with the HDR Student and the School HDR Coordinator to discuss the Student's unsatisfactory progress and to seek reasons for this situation.

(5) The Student will be advised in writing at least ten (10) Working Days prior to the meeting of:

  1. the purpose of the meeting along with a copy of any documentation and statements relevant to the matter including the HDR Show Cause Policy and Procedures;
  2. the time, date and place for the interview;
  3. the right to be accompanied by another University member for advice and support, and that the person will not be an HDR Student with the same Principal Supervisor nor have the right to speak at the meeting;
  4. the right to access disability assistance as per the University Policy if appropriate;
  5. the right to seek to have the interview rescheduled.

(6) The Student may negotiate with the Principal Supervisor to bring an interpreter to the meeting.

Intervention(s) in Response to Unsatisfactory Progress

(7) Within ten (10) Working Days from the date of the interview, the Student will be advised in writing of the intervention(s) to be implemented, including clearly stated objectives, outcomes and timeframes for milestones. A copy will be provided to the co-supervisor(s) and the School HDR Coordinator.

(8) Intervention(s) may include one or more of the following:

  1. specific skills training in technical and academic competencies;
  2. referral to academic support services on campus;
  3. referral to personal support services on campus;
  4. structured reading program; and/or
  5. enrolment in a coursework program.

(9) Upon completion of the intervention(s), at an agreed date, the Principal Supervisor will inform the Student in writing, with a copy to the School HDR Coordinator and co-supervisor(s), of their assessment of the effectiveness of the intervention(s) implemented under Paragraph 8a-e.

  1. Where the intervention(s) have been successful, a plan for the next stage of work on the thesis will be provided.
  2. Where the intervention(s) have not been successful, there will be advice that a show cause procedure will be implemented by Research Services.

(10) In the case of Paragraph 9b, the School School HDR Coordinator will forward a summary report to Research Services outlining the School's actions and evaluation and request that a show cause procedure be implemented.

Show Cause Procedure

(11) Within ten (10) Working Days of receipt of the School's summary report, Research Services will write to the Student with a copy to the School School HDR Coordinator and Principal Supervisor asking the HDR Student to show cause as to why their candidature should not be terminated.

(12) The letter will include the following information:

  1. the rules under which the Student is being asked to show cause;
  2. a copy of the HDR Show Cause Policy and Procedures;
  3. the reason(s) why the Student is being asked to show cause;
  4. clear instructions regarding what the Student must do including advice as to available support;
  5. a timeframe of 20 Working Days for the Student to respond In Writing and show cause as to why termination of candidature should not happen.

(13) The Graduate Research Committee will consider the matter:

  1. at the first available meeting after receipt of the Student's response, or
  2. in the absence of a response from the Student at the first available meeting after the deadline for the Student's response.

(14) The Graduate Research Committee will be provided with the following information prior to this meeting:

  1. the summary report from the School outlining the intervention(s) implemented and why the Student is regarded as not making progress;
  2. a copy of the letter asking the Student to show cause;
  3. the Student's response if available.

(15) The Graduate Research Committee will make a decision regarding termination of the HDR Student's candidature.

  1. Research Services will advise the Student in writing of the decision of the Graduate Research Committee.
  2. Where the decision is to allow the Student to continue candidature in the degree the Graduate Research Committee will provide the School with detailed reasons as to why it has made this determination as well as a rigorous plan for managing the progress issues.
  3. Where the decision is to terminate candidature this outcome will be reported to Research Committee.

Appeal Process

(16) HDR Candidates may appeal the decision of the Graduate Research Committee to the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research decision will represent the final institutional determination of the matter. Candidates must be advised of any avenues of appeal to external agencies; and the opportunity to appeal matters of process to the NSW Ombudsman, per (19) below.


(17) The primary responsibility for monitoring compliance with this Procedure lies with Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, who may use an Issues Log (available on the UNE policy page) as a basis for management of compliance monitoring.

(18) Internal assessment of compliance of the Procedures by the Education Quality and/or the Internal Audit may also be used if deemed necessary.

Administrative Review of the HDR Show Cause Procedures and the Appeal Process

(19) Where a Student considers that there has been a procedural error with respect to the administration of the HDR Show Causes Policy and/or these procedures, the student may seek an administrative review by the NSW Ombudsman.

Records Management

(20) The records management requirements under the HDR Show Cause Policy must be met for all correspondence, notes, meeting minutes and reports arising from the application of the Policy and these Procedures.

  1. The School will be responsible for records management under Paragraph 7 - 10.
  2. Research Services will be responsible for records management under Paragraph 11 - 15.
  3. A copy of correspondence with a Student who has lodged an appeal must be retained on that Student's file.
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Section 4 - Definitions

(21) For the purposes of this document the following definition applies:

  1. 'Co-supervisor' means additional members of the supervisory team.