5.2 Graduate research roles and responsibilities

5.2 Graduate research roles and responsibilities

1 Introduction


1.1 This document outlines over-arching institutional responsibilities relating to graduate research at Monash, as well as the roles and responsibilities of specific individuals and entities within the graduate research context.

1.2 It is to be read in conjunction with the Graduate Research Supervision Policy, Appointing and Changing Graduate Research Supervisors Procedure and Graduate Research Supervisor Accreditation and Re-Accreditation Procedure, which separately outline the responsibilities of graduate research supervisors and students.

2 Institutional roles

University


2.1 The University is responsible for establishing and maintaining a research culture consistent with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018, developing policies and procedures applicable to all graduate research students, irrespective of the course in which they are enrolled (PhD, joint PhD, etc.) and where they are located (off-campus, off-shore etc.).

2.2 The University must:

    a. induct all graduate research students, ensuring that they receive adequate training on academic and research integrity, Occupational Health and Safety, Intellectual Property (IP), and on any other matters relevant to their research.
    b. provide a safe working environment for the conduct of research, free from discrimination, intimidation, harassment (including sexual harassment), bullying, abuse, vilification and victimisation.
    c. facilitate and promote principles of social inclusion.
    d. provide students with accurate, reliable and timely information and advice on all aspects of their enrolment, including their right to seek independent advocacy from the Monash Postgraduate Association.
Graduate Research Committee


2.3 The Graduate Research Committee (GRC) is constituted under the Monash University (Vice-Chancellor) Regulations.

2.4 Under the general direction of the University’s Academic Board, the GRC is responsible for the academic content of graduate research courses, ensuring that these courses align with the learning outcomes and graduate attributes specified under relevant government regulations.

2.5 Operationally, GRC is responsible for:

    a. approving the admission of a student into a graduate research course.
    b. administering scholarships within the scope of the RTP Scholarship Policy, as well as administering student enrolments from admission to completion.
    c. terminating a student’s enrolment in accordance with functions designated to it under relevant Monash regulations.

2.6 Strategically, GRC is responsible for:

    a. developing University-wide training programs relevant to graduate research students.
    b. training and accrediting graduate research student supervisors.
    c. supporting the University’s strategic agenda, in particular its commitment to inclusiveness and the admission of talented students, irrespective of social or economic circumstances.
    Monash Graduate Research Office (MGRO)

2.7 Under delegation from the GRC, the role of the Monash Graduate Research Office within the University is to support the operational functions of the GRC as listed above, including but not limited to: issuing letters of admission and completion; processing enrolment variations and scholarship applications; and coordinating annual re-enrolment.

2.8 MGRO staff also:

    a. support the GRC’s strategic objectives, regularly reviewing policies, procedures, guidelines and business practices and recommending changes to GRC where required.
    b. deliver training to supervisors, administer the University’s supervisor accreditation and re-accreditation processes in line with the Graduate Research Supervisor Accreditation and Re-Accreditation Procedure.
    c.deliver training to students and participate in faculty/academic unit inductions.
    d. provide advice to students, supervisors and other key stakeholders in line with University policies and procedures, case-managing complex student matters where required.
    e. undertake responsibilities assigned to them under other University policies, for example, undertaking the role of grievance or deputy grievance officer for the purposes of a student grievance.

2.9 Monash Graduate Research Office contact details can be found on the Monash intranet.

Faculty

2.10 All graduate research students are allocated a managing faculty or institute.

2.11 Where a faculty is divided into academic units, students are enrolled into the academic unit which most closely aligns with their research or disciplinary focus.

2.12 Each Faculty must ensure it appoints an appropriately qualified Associate Dean (Graduate Research) or equivalent to provide oversight of the faculty’s graduate research student cohort and research training priorities. In the case of single-school faculties or institutes, responsibilities at faculty level and academic unit level may be the same.

2.13 Faculties play a key role in promoting the University’s responsibilities as outlined under paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 above.

Academic Unit

2.14 In accordance with the Monash University (Academic Board) Regulations, academic unit is a term that encompasses a number of different entities within a faculty as follows:

    a. a sub-faculty, school, department, centre, institute or other unit into which a faculty is divided;
    b. a school, department, centre or institute established as a separate entity from a faculty.

2.15 Academic units are expected to:

    a. implement the University’s responsibilities as outlined under paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 above.
    b.appoint an appropriately qualified, senior and experienced academic staff member as Graduate Research Coordinator/Program Director to support graduate research students.
    c.ensure that the Graduate Research Coordinator/Program Director is sufficiently resourced to undertake their role.
    d.induct students, ensuring that they are provided with information relevant to their studies, as well as information on academic unit facilities, resources, funding and any business processes and practices specific to the academic unit.

3 Individual roles

Vice-Provost (Faculty and Graduate Affairs)


3.1 The Vice-Provost (Faculty and Graduate Affairs) chairs the Graduate Research Committee, ensuring the GRC meets its terms of reference as specified under the Monash University (Vice-Chancellor) Regulations.

3.2 Strategically, the Vice-Provost (Faculty and Graduate Affairs) provides leadership over academic performance, graduate research and the alignment of the University’s institutes and centres.
Academic Director, Monash Graduate Research Office

3.3 The Academic Director is deputy chair of the Graduate Research Committee, providing academic leadership over the day-to-day operations and activities of the Monash Graduate Research Office, including, but not limited to, decision-making relating to complex student matters and cases, and supervisor accreditation, re-accreditation, training and supervision over-load applications.

3.4 The Academic Director is also convenor of the GRC Steering Committee and chairs other sub-committee or working groups of the GRC as required.

Faculty Associate Dean (Graduate Research) or equivalent

3.5 Operationally, the Associate Dean (Graduate Research):

    a. is a member of the Graduate Research Committee and chairs the faculty’s graduate research committee.
    b. serves on, and contributes to, the activities and functions of GRC’s various sub-committees and working groups as required.
    c. provides guidance, leadership and training to the faculty’s Graduate Research Coordinators/Program Directors, ensuring that any decisions made by the Graduate Research Committee are communicated to them.
    d.oversees the development of Monash Doctoral Program training to support students within their faculty.
    e. where relevant and required, visits academic units located at Monash’s international campuses, as well as faculty off-campus teaching locations and affiliate institutions.
    f. facilitates a positive culture within the faculty and its academic units/programs for the benefit of all students, founded on a commitment to diversity and inclusion and the promotion of access and equity for students who: have a disability (including ongoing medical and mental health conditions); are studying part-time; are pregnant; or who have carer responsibilities.
    g. liaises with students and their representative body/ies, ensuring effective communication between the faculty and its graduate research cohort.

3.6 Strategically, the Associate Dean (Graduate Research):

    a. monitors and responds to national and institutional research training performance developments, fostering a culture of sustained performance improvement and responsiveness to change.
    b. supports the Vice-Provost (Faculty and Graduate Affairs) in establishing research training quality metrics, reporting regularly to the Dean and Vice-Provost (Faculty and Graduate Affairs) on research training performance and progress against agreed plans and strategies as required.
    c. develops risk management strategies in relation to research training, including compliance with OH&S, sanction laws and other external requirements.

3.7 Contact details of Faculty Associate Deans (Graduate Research) can be found on the Monash Graduate Research Office intranet.

Head of academic unit

3.8 Either directly or via delegation to an academic staff member within the academic unit  - for example, to the Graduate Research Coordinator/Program Director – the head of academic unit must ensure that students are appropriately inducted into their course in accordance with Monash’s OH&S Policy and procedures and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018.

3.9 Contact details of heads of academic units can be found on the Monash Graduate Research Office intranet.

3.10 In relation to the admission of graduate research students, the head of academic unit must be satisfied that Monash’s Admission Standards and Criteria have been met and that the academic unit is able to provide the student with sufficient research facilities and equipment for their research, based on the following recommended minimum standards:

    a.work space, such as a desk, and access to appropriate laboratory or studio space as required.
    b.mail box and secure storage space.
    c.computer access (sole use for full-time, on-campus students).
    d.appropriate level of access to photocopying, printing and stationery, software and internet access and IT support.
    e.access to unlimited local and internal telephone and facsimile calls for work purposes, and access to interstate and international calls as determined by the academic unit / program.

3.11 In relation to supervisors, the head of academic unit:

    a. is required to appropriately manage supervision workload within their academic unit, ensuring that all supervisors have the workload capacity to undertake their role, and will not exceed supervision load limits as defined under the Graduate Research Supervisor Accreditation and Re-accreditation Procedure.
    b. actively performance manage, mentor and develop supervisors within their academic unit in accordance with clause 64 of the Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and Professional Staff) 2014 (or equivalent provisions at Monash offshore campuses/teaching locations) and supporting Monash policies and procedures.
    c. provide supervisors with adequate opportunity to undertake professional development in support of their roles and responsibilities as required under this procedure, taking into consideration the workload in meeting their commitments under this procedure.

3.12 When considering endorsing a supervisor for appointment to a student’s supervisory team, the head of academic unit will consider the following:

    a. Will the appointment lead to any actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest, as defined by Monash’s Conflict of interest (including conflict of interest in research) procedure.
    b. Has the supervisor's increment been withheld under clause 64 of the Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and Professional Staff) 2014 (or equivalent provisions at Monash offshore campuses/teaching locations) or a finding of misconduct or unsatisfactory performance been made against the supervisor in accordance with clause 53 or 55 of the Enterprise Agreement (or equivalent provisions at Monash offshore campuses/teaching locations) to the extent that such withholding of an increment or finding (and any consequences) denies or may adversely impact on the supervisor's capacity or ability to undertake their supervisory role as required under this procedure?
    c. Is it appropriate for the supervisor to be appointed to the student’s supervisory team (Refer to guidance and final check on ethical decision-making as outlined in Monash’s Ethics Statement Policy?
Graduate Research Coordinator


3.13 The head of academic unit may undertake the functions of the Graduate Research Coordinator directly, or delegate all or part of these functions to another academic staff member within the academic unit.

3.14 It is common practice for the Graduate Research Coordinator to be someone other than the head of academic unit.

3.15 Depending upon the specific configuration of the academic unit, the role of Graduate Research Coordinator may include the responsibilities of a Program Director, who provides overall academic leadership to a Monash Doctoral Program. It may also be held by the Associate Dean (Graduate Research) or equivalent in institutes or single-school faculties.

3.16 Contact details of Graduate Research Coordinators/Program Directors can be found on the Monash Graduate Research Office intranet.

3.17 In relation to governance matters, the Graduate Research Coordinator:

    a. serves as a member of the Faculty or School Graduate Research Committee (or equivalent) where appropriate.
    b. provides guidance to supervisors on determining whether a proposed student project is feasible in relation to available facilities, equipment, technical and resource staff, source materials and funding.
    c. provides guidance to graduate research students, supervisors and staff on relevant policies and procedures as required.

3.18 In relation to operational matters, the Graduate Research Coordinator:

    a. must be willing and able to make themselves known and available to students on a regular basis. This may require them to communicate their availability to students via email, newsletter or via notice on office doors etc.
    b. facilitates the development and delivery of research training activities within the academic unit which are customised to the specific needs of the cohort.
    c. where appropriate and they have been delegated the function, chairs and convenes graduate research progress milestones in accordance with the Graduate Research Progress Management Procedures.
    d. endorses applications for admission and variations to enrolment where required, undertaking any other functions delegated to them by the head of academic unit. (For example, undertaking the role of Chair of Examiners in accordance with the University’s Graduate Research Thesis Examination Policy and supporting procedures, ensuring that the examination complies with the University’s Conflict of interest guidelines for the nomination of higher degree by research thesis examiners.

3.19 In relation to student well-being, the Graduate Research Coordinator:

    a. plays a key role in ensuring that students feel they are an integral part of the life of the academic unit, promoting a positive culture within the academic unit for the benefit of all students, including, but not limited to, students who have a disability, who are experiencing ongoing medical and mental health conditions, are studying part-time, who are pregnant; or who have carer responsibilities.
    b. provides advice to graduate research students who are experiencing difficulties with any aspect of their enrolment and supervision, supporting efforts to provide a solution where conflicts arise, in accordance with the provisions outlined under the Appointing and Changing Graduate Research Supervisors Procedure.
    c. provides advice to students on accessing the University’s health and well-being resources, including, but not limited to: medical, counselling, dental, mindfulness, and mental health/well-being support, and accessing advocacy support services (for example, the services of the Monash Postgraduate Association), ensuring appropriate duty of care to students who have disclosed health issues, and seeking advice if unsure what care is required/appropriate. (Resources include, but are not limited to: the University counselling service, Disability Support Services; and the Safer Community Unit).
    d. makes all reasonable efforts to follow up with a student where that student is unexpectedly absent or where concerns are raised about the student’s welfare and well-being, informing the student of support services available to them as outlined on the Monash website. (Monash University Australia, Health & Wellbeing; Monash University Malaysia, Health, Wellbeing and safety; and Monash South Africa, Wellness Centre).
    e. contacts the Safer Community Unit and the Monash Graduate Research Office for advice where concerns are raised about a student’s welfare, well-being or behavior.
Supervisors and students

3.20 Roles and responsibilities of supervisors and students are outlined in the Graduate Research Supervision Policy and associated procedures.

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