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Candidature Progress Management - Confirmation & Non-Confirmation Procedures

Parent Policy

Candidature Progress Management Policy

These procedures describe steps involved in confirming candidature for Doctoral and Master's Degrees by Research candidates (hereafter referred to as 'candidates') following a period of probationary candidature; and action to be taken following identification of and provision of assistance to those candidates who are at risk of not making satisfactory progress in the probationary period of their research degree. Where intervention proves unsuccessful, a decision of non-confirmation of candidature will be made.

The relevant Dean (or nominee) is to support a decision for non-confirmation of candidature only where due process for confirmation of candidature has been followed within the academic unit and faculty, as specified by the Graduate Research Committee ('GRC') and outlined in these procedures.

1. Probationary candidature

Research candidates who are admitted to probationary candidature are required to satisfy the requirements for confirmation of candidature to continue in the degree.

1.1 Length of probationary candidature

1.1.1 Doctoral candidates

Except where the GRC in any particular case otherwise determines the first 12 months full-time (or equivalent) of a doctoral degree is a period of probationary candidature. For doctoral candidates enrolled in the Doctor of Psychology (Clinical and Neuropsychology) and the Doctor of Juridical Science the first 18 months full-time (or equivalent) is a period of probationary candidature.

A minimum period of nine months of full-time probationary doctoral candidature (or equivalent) should normally be completed before confirmation of candidature is granted. In exceptional circumstances, earlier confirmation of candidature may be considered after six months of full-time (or equivalent) candidature. A strong supporting case is required from the relevant faculty and approval will be granted by the GRC on a case-by-case basis.

1.1.2 Master's Degree by Research candidates

Except where the GRC in any particular case otherwise determines, the first six months full-time (or equivalent) of a research master's degree (where there is no coursework component) is a period of probationary candidature.

For master's degree by research candidates who are undertaking a coursework component, the first nine months full-time (or equivalent) is a period of probationary candidature. Confirmation of candidature can be deferred until 12 months of full-time candidature (or equivalent) where an upgrade to doctoral candidature is anticipated.

Responsibility

Monash University Institute of Graduate Research ('MIGR')
Faculty Research Training Administrative Staff
Supervisors
Graduate Coordinator (or nominee) / Head of Academic Unit

1.2 Initial notice

At least eight weeks prior to the due date for confirmation of candidature, the candidate, supervisor and academic unit should be advised in writing of the candidate’s requirement to confirm candidature. This written notification will:

  • stipulate the date when confirmation of candidature is due;
  • advise the approved processes for confirmation of candidature; and
  • include the required documentation to be submitted when the confirmation is finalised.

The MIGR will be responsible for sending the initial notification to the candidate, supervisor and academic unit.

A candidate’s supervisor or the Graduate Coordinator of the relevant academic unit may request a pre-confirmation extension to the candidate’s probationary period of up to 10 weeks, where delays beyond the candidate’s control have occurred in the research project and it is not possible for the candidate to confirm candidature in the given timeframe. In exceptional circumstances an extension beyond the 10-week period may be approved.

All requests for a pre-confirmation extension should be submitted to the MIGR prior to the due date of confirmation.

Responsibility

MIGR
Supervisors
Graduate Coordinator (or nominee) / Head of Academic Unit

1.3 Evidence of satisfactory progress

As a minimum requirement to establish satisfactory progress and confirm candidature, a higher degree by research candidate must meet the following requirements. (Faculties may have additional requirements that must be met before candidature can be confirmed.

1.3.1 Oral presentation

An oral presentation of at least 20 minutes on the research project should be given at either a departmental seminar and/or viva voce. Members of the Confirmation Review Panel (hereafter referred to as the 'Review Panel', see Section 1.4) must be in attendance for the oral presentation. The oral presentation should explore the research undertaken to date and the anticipated future directions of the research program. There should be an opportunity for members of the audience and the Review Panel to ask questions and provide feedback.

1.3.2 Written submission

A research proposal, progress report and publication list (if applicable) should be submitted by the candidate. A suggested format for the report is as follows:
  • Title of research report/thesis
  • Statement of the research problem(s)
    (i) introduction
    (ii) research question or hypothesis
    (iii) subsidiary questions
    (iv) review of relevant research and theory
  • The Procedure
  • (i) theoretical and conceptual framework
    (ii) analytical techniques and research design
  • Timetable for completing research report/thesis and statement of progress to date
  • Brief bibliography
  • List of publications produced during probationary candidature (if applicable).
The progress report should be a minimum of 1000 words but some faculties have additional requirements.

Candidates should discuss the academic unit and faculty requirements for confirmation with their supervisor and/or Graduate Co-ordinator before commencing the written report.

1.3.3 Other course requirements

Where the degree regulations specify a coursework, practical or performance component, candidates may be required to satisfactorily complete some or all of these components prior to confirmation of candidature.

Responsibility

Candidates
Supervisors

1.4 Role and composition of the Review Panel

When a candidate is required to confirm candidature, the Graduate Coordinator in the relevant academic unit must constitute a Review Panel to:

  • read and assess the candidate’s written proposal;
  • attend the candidate’s oral presentation, ask questions and provide verbal feedback;
  • discuss with the candidate the written submission and oral presentation and provide feedback to the candidate on the standard of his/her research project; and 
  • consider the evidence presented and make a recommendation in relation to the confirmation of doctoral candidature by way of a review panel report.

The Review Panel should comprise at least three senior academic staff members with extensive experience in supervising graduate research candidates. The independent panel member may be someone external to the University with relevant and equivalent expertise or may be drawn from the candidate’s academic unit, faculty or from another academic unit or faculty within the University.

The Review Panel should include:

  • the Graduate Coordinator/Head of the Academic Unit or nominee who must be independent of the candidate’s research (panel chair);
  • the candidate's supervisor or supervisory team; and
  • one or more independent members conversant with the general area of research but not directly involved with the candidate's specific project.

The Chair may appoint other members to the Review Panel, where it is deemed appropriate – for example some faculties include a doctoral candidate in their final year of research on the Review Panel, or some multidisciplinary studies may require independent experts from two or three different areas of research.

The Chair of the Review Panel must be independent of the candidate’s work and cannot be or have been the candidate's supervisor. Where the Graduate Coordinator or Head of the Academic Unit is the candidate’s supervisor, another academic staff member within the Academic Unit must be nominated to convene and chair the Review Panel.

Where more than one supervisor is present on the Review Panel, the second supervisor cannot replace the third panel member, who must be independent from the candidate's research. In these circumstances, a fourth panel member is required. The recommendation to confirm candidature will be based on the decision of the majority of the Panel. Where a majority cannot be reached, the final decision should rest with the Chair. Where the recommendation is not unanimous, this should be detailed in the Review Panel report.

Responsibility

Graduate Coordinator
Review Panel Chair

1.5 The Initial Review Panel report

The Chair of the Review Panel will prepare a comprehensive report from the Review Panel which will include:

  • an assessment of the candidate’s achievements during the period of probationary candidature including any required coursework or training;
  • the Review Panel’s feedback and directions to the candidate;
  • any changes to the research proposal which are required and if these have been completed to the satisfaction of the Review Panel or if they are still to be completed;
  • an unequivocal statement of the Review Panel’s recommendation with regard to confirmation of candidature for endorsement by the Faculty;
  • where the Review Panel is not supporting confirmation of candidature, the report should detail the specific requirements the candidate must meet to confirm candidature; and
  • where the Review Panel is recommending a further period of probationary candidature to finalise confirmation, the Review Panel may determine that only a revised written submission is required, or, if another oral presentation is required, that it may be limited to the original panel.

In some instances where amendments are very minor, a Review Panel may recommend confirmation after such amendments have been completed to its satisfaction.

Responsibility

Review Panel Chair

1.6 Outcome of the candidate’s first presentation for confirmation of candidature

The Review Panel Report, once signed by the student, must be submitted to the Faculty for endorsement.

The Chair of the recommendation of the Review Panel, will make one of the following determinations:

  • the candidate has satisfied the requirements for confirmation of candidature and the candidature will be confirmed; or
  • the candidate has not met the requirements for confirmation of candidature and will be granted an extension to probationary candidature.

Where candidature is confirmed, a copy of the endorsed Review Panel Report should be submitted by the Panel Chair to the Dean (or nominee). Once endorsed by the Dean (or nominee), a copy of all relevant documentation should be forwarded to MIGR. MIGR, on behalf of the Dean (or nominee), will advise the candidate that their candidature is confirmed, and will update the student record and electronic student file accordingly.

Where candidature is not confirmed, a candidate will be given an opportunity to revise his/her research project and/or presentation in order to meet the requirements for confirmation during a specified extension to probationary candidature.

Responsibility

Review Panel Chair
Dean or nominee
MIGR

1.7 Post-confirmation extension to the period of probationary candidature

Where candidature cannot be confirmed at this time, an extension may be granted. The duration of the extension period will be at least 12 weeks, but may be longer where the Review Panel determines that additional time is required to achieve the targets established for the candidate. Candidates may also elect to choose a shorter extension period where appropriate.

The Chair of the Review Panel with authority delegated from GRC under Section 3.1 and 9.5 of the Candidature Progress Management Regulations) will notify the candidate in writing of the following with a copy to MIGR and the Faculty:

  • they have not yet met the requirements for confirmation of candidature and the reasons;
  • the areas identified as those where the candidate’s performance is not satisfactory;
  • they have been granted an extension to probationary candidature and the date when confirmation must be finalised;
  • the process established to make a determination on the confirmation of candidature;
  • they are required to achieve an established set of targets within a specified timeframe as detailed in the Review Panel Report;
  • the appropriate support services available to the candidate (eg Monash Postgraduate Association, Health and Wellbeing); and
  • in the event of failure to meet these requirements, candidature will not be confirmed.

Upon receipt of the relevant documentation, MIGR will update the student record and electronic student file.

Responsibility

Review Panel Chair
MIGR

1.8 Second confirmation submission

When the specified extension to probationary candidature has passed, the candidate will be given a further opportunity to satisfy the requirements for confirmation of candidature. This will normally involve another oral presentation, submission of a revised written submission and meeting again with the Review Panel. In some cases the Review Panel may determine that only a revised written submission is required, or, if another oral presentation is required, that it may be limited to the original panel.

The Chair of the Review Panel will prepare a comprehensive report from the Review Panel which will include:

  • an unequivocal statement of the Review Panel’s recommendation with regard to confirmation of candidature for endorsement by the Faculty;
  • an assessment of the candidate’s achievements with regard to the specific targets set for the candidate during the period of extension to probationary candidature; and
  • where the Review Panel is not supporting confirmation of candidature, the report should detail the specific shortcomings of the candidate in meeting the requirements for confirmation.

The Review Panel’s recommendation is forwarded to the Faculty Office for final approval by the Dean (or nominee).

Where the Dean (or nominee), on the recommendation of the Review Panel:

  • is satisfied that the candidate has met the requirements for confirmation of candidature, the candidature will be confirmed; or
  • determines that the candidate has not met the requirements for confirmation of candidature, the candidature will not be confirmed.

Where the Dean (or nominee) approves confirmation, a copy of all relevant documentation is forwarded to MIGR. MIGR, on behalf of the Dean (or nominee), will advise the candidate that their candidature is confirmed, and will update the student record and electronic student file accordingly.

Responsibility

Review Panel Chair
Candidates
Dean or nominee
MIGR

1.9 Written notice of non-confirmation of candidature

Following a decision not to confirm candidature and within 10 working days of receiving advice from the Review Panel, the Dean (or nominee) should notify the candidate in writing of:

  • the Review Panel’s recommendations and the decision not to confirm candidature and the reasons for this decision;
  • the candidate’s right of appeal to a Confirmation Appeal Panel;
  • the requirement to lodge a written appeal to the Chair of the GRC, directed to the Director of MIGR, within 20 working days of service of the non-confirmation notice;
  • the means by which the candidate can be heard – personally or by way of a written submission or both;
  • the right to be accompanied and assisted at the hearing by another person (this person may support but not represent or advocate for the candidate and may not be a legal representative); and
  • the appropriate support services available to the candidate (eg Monash Postgraduate Association and Health and Wellbeing)

Copies of this correspondence are to be sent to the relevant academic unit and MIGR. MIGR will update the student record and electronic student file

Responsibility

The Dean or nominee
MIGR

1.10 Candidate's status following a notice of non-confirmation of candidature

Following a written notice of non-confirmation of candidature, the candidate’s enrolment will be maintained until either:

  • 20 working days have expired from the date of service of this notice; or
  • if the candidate appeals the decision for non-confirmation of candidature, until the appeal hearing has occurred and the process is complete. If the appeal is dismissed, the candidate will be excluded from the degree.

While enrolment will continue for the period of the appeal notice, or where an appeal is lodged, until the appeal is determined learning opportunities will not be provided and the candidate will not be permitted to pursue their program of research. Any further progress on the research program should be put on hold until the appeal is determined. It is anticipated that the candidate will take this time to prepare for the appeal. The candidate will maintain access to university facilities such as email and computer access to assist with the preparation of the appeal.

If the candidate does not lodge an appeal in the specified timeframe, the GRC will proceed with the Dean (or nominee’s) decision not to confirm candidature and exclude the candidate from the degree.

Responsibility

MIGR
Candidate

2. Appeals of decisions not to confirm candidature

2.1 Candidate's notice of appeal against the decision not to confirm candidature

If the candidate wishes to appeal the decision not to confirm candidature, he/she is required to lodge an appeal with the Chair of the GRC, by written notice directed to the Director of MIGR (or nominee) within 20 working days of service of the above notice (Section 1.9). This written notification should address the following:

  • the grounds on which the candidate makes the appeal;
  • the candidate’s intention to be accompanied and assisted at the hearing by another person (this person may support but not represent or advocate for the candidate and may not be a legal representative); and
  • the means by which the candidate wishes to be heard – personally or by way of a written submission or both.

Within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal, the Director of MIGR (or nominee) should acknowledge on behalf of the Chair of the GRC, by email, receipt of the candidate's appeal against the decision not to confirm candidature. The email is to include confirmation that the candidate’s appeal has been forwarded to the Chair of the GRC and provide information about university support services.

Following receipt of a candidate's appeal, the Chair of the GRC may determine that the appeal is frivolous, vexatious, misconceived or lacking in substance and on that basis decide that the appeal should not be heard.

In such cases, the Director of MIGR (or nominee), acting on behalf of the Chair of the GRC, should advise the candidate in writing by email of this decision and the reason/s for it within 20 working days of the receipt of the candidate's appeal. The email is to inform the candidate of their opportunity to request internal review of the decision by the University Student Ombudsman and external review of the decision by the Victorian Ombudsman.

Responsibility

Candidate
Chair, GRC
Director, MIGR (or nominee)

2.2 Constitution of a Confirmation Appeal Panel

Where the Chair of the GRC does not dismiss the appeal as frivolous, vexatious, misconceived or lacking in substance, the Chair (or nominee) should constitute a Confirmation Appeal Panel (hereafter referred to as the 'Appeal Panel'), within 20 working days of the receipt of the candidate's appeal, to consider the matter. Membership must include:

  • the Chair of the GRC (or nominee) who will chair the Appeal Panel;
  • an academic representative of the faculty concerned having no earlier direct involvement in or in relation to the confirmation of candidature process;
  • an academic representative of the GRC not being from the candidate’s faculty; and
  • a research candidate not being from the candidate’s faculty and not being a member of the GRC.

The Chair of the GRC may co-opt any other additional members of the Appeal Panel as he/she deems appropriate. In determining membership of the Appeal Panel, compliance with university policies regarding gender balance and the avoidance of any potential conflict of interest is required.

In particular the following persons cannot be members of an Appeal Panel. A person who:

  • the Chair determines is affected by a reasonable apprehension of bias;
  • was a member of the Confirmation Review Panel; or
  • was previously involved in the confirmation process.

If, at any time, an Appeal Panel member becomes unavailable, unable or unwilling to fulfil his or her duties as a panel member, the Chair may substitute that panel member with another person.

The Appeal Panel has the authority to take written submissions or hear from any persons it deems appropriate. As standard practice, the Appeal Panel will provide an opportunity for the candidate and representatives from the academic unit and/or faculty to be heard when considering an appeal against non-confirmation of candidature.

The Chair of the Appeal Panel, after taking into consideration the candidate’s preference, shall determine whether the hearing will be in person or based on written submissions. Where the Chair of the Appeal Panel determines that the hearing will be based on written submissions, representatives of the academic unit will only appear before the Appeal Panel if the Appeal Panel calls them.

The candidate’s enrolment is to continue until the final determination on the appeal is reached by the Appeal Panel. The candidate will not be provided with learning opportunities and must not pursue his/her research during this period.

Responsibility

Chair, GRC (or nominee)

2.3 Notice of membership of the Confirmation Appeal Panel

2.3.1 Notice to candidate

Following the constitution of the Appeal Panel and within 20 working days of receipt of the candidate’s notice of appeal, the Director of MIGR (or nominee) should write to the candidate on behalf of the Appeal Panel Chair, to inform him/her of the following:
  • that the Chair of the GRC has constituted a Confirmation Appeal Panel and the membership of the Appeal Panel;
  • the candidate’s right to object to a panel member on the ground of a reasonable apprehension of bias, and the process for lodging such an objection;
  • whether the hearing will be in person or based on written submissions;
  • the date, time and place for the panel hearing, (which must be at least 15 working days from the date of the hearing notice (or sooner) with the consent of the candidate);
  • where the candidate wishes to make a written submission to the Appeal Panel and has not yet done so, a possible structure for the written submission (e.g. executive summary, detailed chronology, reasons for unsatisfactory progress, mitigating circumstances, possible solutions);
  • notice that all written submissions and substantiating documents must be lodged with the Director of MIGR (or nominee) at least five working days prior to the date set for the panel hearing;
  • representatives from the academic unit and/or faculty will also be provided an opportunity to present their case to the Appeal Panel;
  • the Appeal Panel has the authority to take written submissions, or hear, from other persons it deems appropriate; and
  • the appropriate support services available to the candidate (e.g. Monash Postgraduate Association, Health and Well Being).
A copy of the relevant regulations and procedures is to be enclosed with the letter to the candidate.

Responsibility

Director, MIGR (or nominee)

2.3.2 Notice to academic unit and/or faculty

At the same time as the above notice (Section 2.3.1) is sent to the candidate, written notice of the following should be given to the staff in the academic unit and/or faculty who were directly involved in the recommendation not to confirm candidature:
  • that the candidate has appealed the decision not to confirm candidature;
  • that the Chair of the GRC has constituted a Confirmation Appeal Panel and the membership of the Appeal Panel;
  • the candidate’s right to object to a panel member on the ground of a reasonable apprehension of bias;
  • whether the hearing will be in person or based on written submissions;
  • the date, time and place for the panel hearing;
  • the opportunity for the academic unit and/or faculty to make further submissions (beyond the initial advice and documented case for non-confirmation of candidature) to the Panel;
  • notice that all written submissions and substantiating documents must be lodged with the Director of MIGR (or nominee) at least five working days prior to the date set for the panel hearing;
  • the opportunity for a representative or representatives from the academic unit and/or faculty to be present at the hearing and to present the case for non-confirmation of candidature. The academic unit and/or faculty is to nominate a relevant staff member or members best placed to provide evidence and answer questions in relation to the candidate’s case. Nominations should be made, in writing, to the Director of MIGR (or nominee) at least five working days prior to the date set for the panel hearing; and
  • the Appeal Panel has the authority to take written submissions, or hear, from other persons it deems appropriate.
A copy of the relevant regulations and procedures is also to be provided to the academic unit and/or faculty staff, who were directly involved in the recommendation not to confirm candidature.

Responsibility

Director, MIGR (or nominee)

2.3.3 Objection by candidates to the notice of membership of the Confirmation Appeal Panel

Within 10 working days of receipt of the above notice (Section 2.3.1), the candidate is to advise the Chair of the Appeal Panel, by written notice directed to the Director of MIGR (or nominee), whether he/she wishes to object to a proposed member of the Appeal Panel. Such notice should include full particulars of the reasonable apprehension of bias.

The Director of MIGR (or nominee) will acknowledge receipt of the objection on behalf of the Chair of the Appeal Panel and advise the candidate how the Chair of the Appeal Panel intends to proceed on the matter.

On receipt of an objection to a panel member, the Chair of the Appeal Panel will:
  • without making a finding, cause a substitute panel member belonging to the same category of appointment to be appointed, unless the objection is made in relation to the Chair of the Appeal Panel, in which case the GRC can appoint a substitute chair; or
  • notify the Dean of the Faculty of Law, who must appoint a hearing officer to review and determine the objection. A hearing officer must be a member of the teaching staff of the Faculty of Law, who holds a position at the University that is no less senior than the panel member against whom the objection has been raised.
A hearing officer, who is bound by the rules of natural justice but is not bound by the rules of evidence, must consider the objection and may, subject to the regulations:
  • make enquiries and inform him or herself in any manner thought fit; and
  • determine his or her own procedure.
After considering an objection a hearing officer may:
  • dismiss the objection if satisfied that it is not substantiated, in which case the Appeal Panel must be convened as originally appointed; or
  • uphold the objection if satisfied that there is a reasonable apprehension of bias, in which case the responsible officer must cause a substitute panel member belonging to the same category of appointment to be appointed.
A decision of a hearing officer is final and must be determined prior to the day of a hearing. Where this is not possible, the hearing date must be rescheduled.

The Director of MIGR (or nominee) will write to the candidate on behalf of the Chair of the Appeal Panel, to advise the outcome of his/her objection.

Responsibility

Director, MIGR (or nominee)
Dean, Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law-appointed Hearing Officer

2.3.4 Candidate’s written submission

At least five working days prior to the hearing date, the candidate is required to lodge all written submissions and substantiating documents with the Chair of the Appeal Panel by written notice directed to the Director of MIGR (or nominee).

The Director of MIGR (or nominee) should acknowledge receipt of the above item/s on behalf of the Chair of the Appeal Panel, by email.

Responsibility

Candidate
Director, MIGR (or nominee)

2.3.5 Academic unit and/or faculty response to the notice of membership of the Confirmation Appeal Panel

At least five working days prior to the established hearing date, the academic unit and/or faculty is to:
  • advise the Chair of the Appeal Panel, by written notice directed to the Director MIGR (or nominee), of the nominated representative or representatives to attend the hearing; and
  • lodge any further written submissions and substantiating documents with the Chair of the Appeal Panel by written notice directed to the Director of MIGR (or nominee).
The Director of MIGR (or nominee) should acknowledge receipt of the above item/s on behalf of the Chair of the Appeal Panel, by email.

Responsibility

Relevant staff in the academic unit
Relevant staff in the faculty
Director, MIGR (or nominee)

2.4 Notice of final Panel membership and scheduled hearing

As soon as possible after receipt of the candidate’s response under Section 2.3.4 and the response of the academic unit and/or faculty under Section 2.3.5, and at least three working days prior to the hearing date, the Director of MIGR (or nominee) on behalf of the Chair of the Appeal Panel should provide the panel members, the candidate and the academic unit and/or faculty representative/s with:

  • written confirmation of the proposed time, date and location of the Appeal Panel hearing and the final membership of the Appeal Panel constituted to hear the matter;
  • a written Order of Proceedings for the hearing; and
  • copies of all written submissions for consideration, including the original documentation in support of the decision not to confirm candidature.

The candidate will be responsible for providing copies of this documentation to his/her support person.

Responsibility

Director, MIGR (or nominee)
Candidate

2.5 Confirmation Appeal Panel hearing

The Appeal Panel will meet to consider the candidate’s appeal against non-confirmation of candidature and the academic unit and/or faculty’s case in relation to this. The candidate, academic unit and/or faculty representative/s and any other parties invited by the Chair of the Appeal Panel to present information will be given an opportunity to do so.

The Director of MIGR (or nominee) is to provide the Chair of the Appeal Panel with guidelines to assist in the coordination of proceedings and to help ensure procedural fairness.

Responsibility

Chair, Confirmation Appeal Panel
Confirmation Appeal Panel
Director, MIGR (or nominee)

2.6 Final determination of the Confirmation Appeal Panel

The Appeal Panel is to make a final determination on a candidate’s appeal against non-confirmation of candidature based on the information and evidence presented.

The Appeal Panel may:

  • uphold the candidate’s appeal against non-confirmation of candidature and confirm the candidature;
  • uphold the candidate’s appeal against non-confirmation of candidature and permit the candidate a further period of probationary candidature in which to meet the requirements for confirmation; or
  • uphold the decision of the Faculty not to confirm the candidature.

Where a candidate’s appeal is upheld, the Appeal Panel may determine certain conditions which must be met by the candidate and/or academic unit and/or faculty. The Chair of the Appeal Panel will prepare a written report, documenting the Appeal Panel’s decision and the reasons for it.

Should the appeal be upheld, and a candidate is granted a further period of probationary candidature, the relevant academic department and faculty will make suitable arrangements to support the candidate through the additional period of probationary candidature. At the end of any further period of probationary candidature granted, the Appeal Panel, following advice from the Confirmation Review Panel, will make a final decision as to whether candidature will be confirmed.

Responsibility

Confirmation Appeal Panel members and Chair

2.6.1 Where the Confirmation Appeal Panel upholds the candidate’s appeal

If the Appeal Panel upholds the candidate’s appeal against the non-confirmation of candidature, the candidate will be permitted to remain in candidature and resume his/her research. Time elapsed during the process of the Appeal will be added to the length of candidature.

The Appeal Panel may determine certain conditions which must be met by the candidate and/or academic unit and/or faculty.

Where candidature is to continue, the academic unit and/or faculty is expected to make suitable arrangements to support the candidate going forward, either as a confirmed candidate or as a probationary candidate for a further specified period.

The Dean of the relevant faculty (or nominee) will advise the proposed arrangements to support the candidate, including:
  • supervision arrangements;
  • processes established to improve the candidate’s academic progress or to assist the candidate to comply with the regulations relevant to the candidate's work for the degree;
  • where the candidate is to continue in probationary candidature for a specified period, detailed targets set for the candidate in order to achieve confirmation; and
  • processes established to monitor the candidate’s ongoing progress.
Should the appeal be upheld, and a candidate is granted a further period of probationary candidature, the Director of MIGR (or nominee), on behalf of the Chair of the Appeal Panel, is to advise the candidate in writing of the following:
  • the approved period of extension to probationary candidature;
  • the arrangements made within the academic unit and faculty to support him/her through the additional period of probationary candidature;
  • the process established to make a final determination on the confirmation of candidature;
  • the requirement, within the time specified, to comply with a set of established targets for confirmation of candidate; and
  • that the failure to satisfactorily meet the requirements for confirmation will result in non-confirmation of candidature.
At the end of any further period of probationary candidature granted, the candidate will be given an opportunity to demonstrate how they have met the requirements for confirmation of candidature.

The Appeal Panel, following advice from the Confirmation Review Panel, will make a final determination on the matter.

Responsibility

Confirmation Appeal Panel
Academic unit/faculty
Dean
Director, MIGR (or nominee)
Confirmation Review Panel

2.6.2 Where the Confirmation Appeal Panel upholds the decision not to confirm candidature

If the Appeal Panel has determined to uphold the Faculty’s decision not to confirm candidature, or following a further period of probationary candidature detailed in Section 2.6.1 has determined not to confirm candidature, the candidate is to be notified in writing of the exclusion from candidature and the reasons for it. The candidate is also to be advised of his/her right to request internal review of the decision by the University Student Ombudsman and external review by the Victorian Ombudsman.

Where the candidate is excluded from the degree, the candidate will normally not be readmitted to candidature within four years of the exclusion date. The GRC will only approve re-admission following this period where suitable facilities and effective supervision are available to support the candidate and where the Committee is satisfied that the candidate is now in a position to undertake research towards a successful thesis completion. Where health issues have impacted on the candidate’s original enrolment, this may take the form of certification from a medical practitioner.

Responsibility

Director, MIGR (or nominee)
GRC

2.7 Notice of Confirmation of Appeal Panel’s final determination

The Appeal Panel’s final determination together with the reasons for it is to be reported, in confidence, to the GRC.

The Director of MIGR (or nominee) on behalf of the Chair of the Appeal Panel is to advise the following of the Appeal Panel’s final determination on the matter and reasons for it:

  • the candidate; and
  • the academic unit and/or faculty staff directly involved in the initial recommendation not to confirm candidature.

The candidate will be responsible for providing advice on the Panel’s final determination to his/her support person.

Responsibility

Chair, Confirmation Appeal Panel
Director, MIGR (or nominee)

2.8 Order of hearings in relation to Higher Degree by Research candidature

Candidature matters are normally heard by the GRC in the order in which they are received.

Non-confirmation of candidature procedures are considered to commence from the written notice of non-confirmation of candidature, as detailed in Section 1.8.

Should a candidate lodge:

  • a grievance after receipt of the written notice of non-confirmation of candidature, the grievance will not be considered until the conclusion of the non-confirmation of candidature process; or
  • an application to withdraw from candidature following the written notice of non-confirmation of candidature from MIGR, as stipulated in Section 1.8 of these procedures, the decision not to confirm candidature will stand.

A written record of any non-confirmation appeal proceedings must be retained in the University’s central Records Management Office for a minimum period after the last action date regarding the matter, in accordance with the University policy on retention and disposal of records.

Responsibility

Chair, GRC (or nominee)
Chair, Confirmation Appeal Panel (or nominee)
Director, MIGR (or nominee)

Content Enquiries: Policy Mrgs

University Policy Use Only:

Version Number: 1.2Effective Date: 29-July-2011Contact: adm-PolicyBank@monash.edu