7.6 Appointment of examiners

7.6 Appointment of examiners

7.6.1 PhD

It is expected that as a matter of normal practice, the head of the academic unit will first consult with the supervisors with regard to the names of possible examiners. Students are entitled to participate in informal discussions regarding potential examiners and supervisors should ensure that students are consulted. Students should also be invited to name individuals whom they do not wish appointed as examiners. After considering the recommendation of the head of academic unit, the Graduate Research Committee (GRC) appoints two examiners.

Choice of examiners is made with regard to their knowledge and standing in the field of study involved, but qualities such as reputation and experience in thesis examination should not be overlooked. A person who has had involvement in the student's research should not be nominated. In addition to their scholarly standing, speediness in completing the examination and submitting a report, clarity of the examiner's report and a reasonable expectation about the standard required of a doctoral thesis are important qualities to seek in potential examiners.

To ensure independence of the examination process, an examiner should not be nominated to examine a thesis if there is the potential for a conflict of interest with the student, a supervisor, the University, subject matter or with another examiner. There are a range of circumstances which can lead to a conflict of interest. Consult the Conflict of interest guidelines for the nomination of higher degree by research thesis examiners for further information.

Both examiners must be approached informally before the thesis is submitted and asked whether they are willing to examine. It is also appropriate at this stage to ask whether an examiner will be able to complete the examination within eight weeks from the estimated date of receipt of the thesis. A template examiner invitation is available for guidance.

Potential examiners should also be informed that it is University practice to advise students of the names of the examiners at the time the thesis is sent for examination. In nominating examiners, the head of the academic unit is indicating that the nominated examiners have informally agreed to act. Where culturally sensitive material may have been reported in the work or where a patent-worthy discovery or invention arises from the research described in the thesis, it should be indicated to potential examiners that a formal confidentiality agreement may need to be completed before the thesis can be sent to them. Examiners should also be told if the thesis exceeds the word limit.

The thesis is forwarded to an examiner in confidence. An examiner is under an obligation to maintain confidentiality, and in no circumstances should they discuss the thesis or any part of the examination process with a third party without the prior approval of GRC.

As a condition of their appointment examiners are asked to agree to students being advised of their identity. After the thesis has been submitted and subsequently dispatched for examination the names of the appointed examiners are formally advised to the student.

Unedited copies of examiners' reports are provided to the examinee at the same time as they are released to the head of the academic unit and any Monash supervisors.

7.6.2 Specialty degrees

Degree

Examiner requirements

PhD in the specialty of Visual Arts

Two external examiners are appointed, at least one of whom must be of international standing and one of whom must reside outside Victoria.

The two nominated examiners must not be employed by the same institution and at least one of the two nominated examiners must have had previous experience in doctoral thesis examination.

Normally at least one examiner should have a close affiliation with a recognised university. Where this is not so, the committee would need to be presented with a very persuasive case which would include a statement that the proposed examiner:

  • understands the PhD process (the standards expected of a doctoral thesis); and
  • is the only suitable person available (perhaps because the field is a specialist one; others have been approached but have declined).

7.6.3

EdD

In the case of examiners of the EdD thesis, it is required that of the two external examiners nominated, one is an academic and the other an appropriately qualified professional practitioner.

7.6.4

PhD in the specialty of Music Performance

Three persons, each external to the University, shall be nominated.

Two nominees will be appointed as examiners and will attend the live music performance and undertake the examination of the full work (music performance and written exegesis). The third nominee will attend the live music performance but will hold their report on file, to be used only should the appointment of an adjudicator or replacement examiner become necessary in the examination process.

The nomination of examiners must be submitted to Monash Graduate Education at least six weeks prior to the scheduled live music performance. This time frame is important to ensure the attendance of the examiners at the performance. The supervisor(s) and/or School of Music must provide the examiner nominees with the details of the live performance event when requesting their agreement to act as an examiner or reserve examiner.

Examiners must have qualifications equivalent to a PhD, be experienced in the examination of performance theses and be active in their field.

7.6.5

PhD in the specialty of Theatre Performance

Three persons, each external to the University, shall be nominated.

Two nominees will be appointed as examiners and will undertake the examination of the full work (performance project and written dissertation). The third nominee will attend the live presentation of the performance, if appropriate for the examination of the creative project, but will hold their report on file, to be used only should the appointment of an adjudicator or replacement examiner become necessary in the examination process.

The nomination of examiners must be submitted to Monash Graduate Education at least six weeks prior to the scheduled live presentation of the performance. This time frame is important to ensure the attendance of the examiners at the performance. Supervisors and/or academic units must provide the nominees with the details of the live performance event when requesting their agreement to act as an examiner or reserve examiner.

Examiners must have qualifications equivalent to a PhD, be experienced in the examination of performance theses and be active in their field.

7.6.6

PhD in the specialty of Translation Studies

Two examiners both of whom must be external to the University must be appointed.

Examiners must have qualifications which are equivalent to a PhD research degree, be experienced in the supervision and/or examination of practice-based theses and be active in the field of Translation Studies as accredited professionals and/or researchers.

7.6.7

PhD in the specialty of Journalism

Two examiners both of whom must be external to the University must be appointed.

Examiners must have qualifications which are equivalent to a PhD research degree, be experienced in the supervision and/or examination of practice-based theses and be active in the field of journalism as accredited professionals and/or researchers.

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