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Terms of Reference (PDVC approved) Faculty Research Committee

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Section 1 - Overview

Faculty Research Committee

(1) A Faculty Research Committee (FRC) is established as a Committee of the Faculty and had delegated authority to discharge relevant research delegations as prescribed in the Academic Delegations Register.

(2) These Terms of Reference for the FRC prescribe the following:

  1. the members of the FRC and the members' method and term of appointment;
  2. the functions of the FRC; and
  3. other matters in connection with the FRC and its operation.

Objectives

(3) The primary role of the FRC is to promote and lead research development and innovation in the Faculty and advise the Dean on all matters related to research and innovation activity in the Faculty. The FRC:

  1. Leads the Faculty in identifying research issues and potential opportunities relevant to the Faculty's areas of expertise, industries and communities.
  2. Promotes a culture that is supportive of high quality research that is multi-disciplinary and attractive to Australian and international research partners, enhances the University’s academic reputation and has impact with end-users.
  3. Supports the Faculty's achievement of high quality research outcomes including:
    1. the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment.
    2. publications and Higher Degree Research (HDR) completions.
    3. greater external research income.
    4. demonstrable engagement and impact with communities, industry and governments.
  4. Provides support to collaboration between research areas.
  5. Supports the mentoring of early and mid-career researchers to maximise mutual opportunities for professional and Faculty success.
  6. Supports the development of leadership skills among HDR students and all staff engaged in research.
  7. Provides support to strengthen post-graduation networks.
  8. Advises the Dean, the Academic Board Research Committee and the Graduate Research Subcommittee on the quality and integrity of the Faculty's research and research training.
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Section 2 - FRC Membership

Membership

(4) The FRC members are:

  1. Chair
    1. Associate Dean Research (or delegate)
  2. Members
    1. Up to eight academic staff members in the Faculty with excellent and current research trajectories (relevant to experience) who demonstrate leadership and attitudes consistent with the objectives of the FRC to drive the Faculty research priorities.
    2. Deputy Associate Dean Research.
    3. Research Services Representative.
    4. Two current HDR students enrolled in the Faculty and appointed by the Chair after consultation with a relevant student representative body/ies.
    5. One industry or government representative with significant relevant research experience.
    6. One member of the full-time professional staff in the Faculty appointed by the Chair whose normal duties entail research and/or research training matters.
  3. Members (non-voting) advice and discussion only
    1. Dean of Faculty (or nominee)

In attendance

(5) The FRC can co-opt members with relevant experience and leadership in order to achieve or maintain gender balance, where the membership does not include at least two women and two men. At the discretion of the Chair, the committee can also invite non-voting individuals as observers to attend regular or individual meetings, provide appropriate expertise as necessary and contribute to discussion.

Appointment procedure for appointed members

(6) When a vacancy of an appointed member occurs, a new appointment will be made.

(7) Appointed members who are employed on fixed-term contracts are required to have sufficient service remaining to fulfill their period of office.

Appointments

(8) Appointment of committee membership will be conducted in line with these Terms of Reference and may be through consultation and invitation and/or through an expression of interest process.

Automatic vacancy by an appointed member

(9) An appointed position becomes vacant automatically if:

  1. the appointed member is absent without prior leave from three consecutive FRC meetings, or
  2. the appointed member loses his/her original qualification for appointment.

Acting ex officio members

(10) An ex officio member of the FRC includes a person who has been appointed by the chair on an 'acting' basis to the role and will not have voting rights.

Terms of office

Ex officio members

(11) The term of office of an ex officio member will be while they hold their primary office.

Appointed members

(12) The term of office of an appointed member is two years. Appointed members may stand for re-appointment.

Gender representation objectives

(13) Gender representation shall accord with the Gender Representation on Decision-Making and Advisory Committees Policy.

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Section 3 - Functions of the Committee

Functions

(14) The functions of the FRC are to develop, drive and promote research and research culture that supports the Faculty strategic plan; and to approve or make recommendations about the Faculty’s research, research training, HDR courses, HDR student affairs and graduate outcomes and their improvement.

Approval/Advice functions

(15) Approval of Faculty-specific academic procedures and guidelines relating to research, research training and HDR student matters within the Faculty, as prescribed in the Academic Delegations Register, and in consultation with the Dean.

(16) Provision of advice to the Dean on matters related to the promotion, quality and management of research and research training, the governance and management of HDR student matters and graduate outcomes within the Faculty, and the Faculty’s Research and Research Training Plan and Strategies.

Monitoring functions

(17) FRC is responsible for monitoring and reporting to the Dean on:

  1. Research quality and productivity;
  2. HDR training, progression and completions;
  3. Research income; and
  4. Measures of engagement and research impact.

Communication functions

(18) Effective consultation, exchange and representation of ideas between the Schools and other Faculties.

(19) To serve as a forum for the discussion of ideas, issues and opportunities that concern research, research training and HDR student welfare within the Faculty.

General

(20) The FRC may form working groups from time to time to undertake specific projects and tasks related to their functions.

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Section 4 - Conduct of FRC Business

Reporting

(21) The Chair of the FRC reports to the Dean on operational and management matters.

(22) The Committee will refer matters to the Academic Board Research Committee for either noting and approval as prescribed in the Academic Delegations Register.

(23) The Committee may refer other matters to Academic Board and its standing committee as required.

Meetings

(24) The FRC will meet six times a year or more often if required.

Business papers

(25) Unless the Chair directs otherwise, FRC business papers will be distributed to members and official attendees at least seven days prior to the meeting, or such shorter period as is practicable in the circumstances.

(26) Public disclosure of business papers, minutes and other information received by the FRC should only be made via the Chair or Secretary to the Committee.

Quorum

(27) At any meeting of the Committee, one half of the voting membership plus one constitutes a quorum.

Use of technology

(28) For its business papers, meetings and otherwise to conduct its business the FRC and its members may use technology including telephone, video-conferencing, telepresence, email and internet as arranged by the Chair and/or Secretary to the Committee.

Resolutions

(29) The FRC may pass a resolution by 'flying minute' provided that the resolution has been approved by the Chair

Confirmation of minutes

(30) Draft minutes will normally be circulated to members for comment promptly after each meeting. Next, the minutes (with any necessary changes) will be circulated for adoption by the FRC. The minutes will be finalised and adopted when they have been approved by a majority of the members that were present at the relevant meeting. Alternatively, the minutes may be included in the business papers for the next Committee meeting and considered and adopted by the Committee at that meeting.

Self-review

(31) Once annually the FRC will devote part of one meeting to the review of its business, policies, practices and procedures over the preceding twelve months.

Secretary to FRC

(32) The Faculty will provide secretarial and administrative support to the FRC.

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Section 5 - Definitions and Interpretation

(33) Words and phrases used in this document have the following meanings, unless the context requires otherwise:

  1. Current Student means a person who is at the time a Student and who is enrolled in one or more units.
  2. Student is an admitted student or an enrolled student, at the relevant time:
    1. an admitted student is a student who has been admitted to a UNE course of study and who is entitled to enrol in a unit of study or who has completed all of the units in the UNE course of study;
    2. an enrolled student is a student who is enrolled in a unit of study at UNE.

Interpretation

(34) This document should be interpreted using the following principles:

  1. This document does not override or otherwise affect:
    1. the Authority Retained by Council Rule; or
    2. the Functions of the Vice-Chancellor Rule.