Supervisor roles

The Higher Degree Research Supervision Policy details the roles, responsibilities and the composition requirements of supervisory panels for ACU graduate research candidates. An ACU staff member who has been accredited as a supervisor (Full or Provisional) via the prescribed process may be appointed to the role of Principal Supervisor, Co-Supervisor or Research Advisor on a graduate research candidate’s supervisory team.

The Principal Supervisor is an ACU staff member who is accredited as a supervisor (Full or Provisional) and has been appointed to lead a team of two or more supervisors in the provision of guidance and assistance to a candidate in the undertaking of the relevant degree requirements. The Principal Supervisor is the academic leader of the supervisory team and has official responsibility for the overall management of the candidate's candidature from enrolment to final thesis examination.

The Co-Supervisor is an ACU staff member who is accredited as a supervisor (Full or Provisional) and is appointed to the graduate research candidate’s supervisory team to support the Principal Supervisor in the provision of guidance and assistance to the candidate.

The Research Advisor is an ACU staff member who is accredited as a supervisor (Full or Provisional) and is appointed to a graduate research candidate who is enrolled in the Doctor of Education or Master of Education (Research) for the duration of the candidate’s coursework component. The Research Advisor is responsible for fulfilling the duties required by the particular degree of enrolment.

An Associate Supervisor is a specialist in the discipline from outside ACU who can provide expertise to the supervision of the graduate research candidate. The Associate Supervisor is appointed to the candidate’s supervisory team to supplement the supervision provided by the Principal Supervisor and Co-Supervisor.

An Associate Supervisor (End-user) is a specialist from an end-user (organisation) external to ACU who can provide expertise to the supervision of a graduate research candidate and who will directly use or directly benefit from the research. An Associate Supervisor (End-user) supplements the supervision provided by the ACU Principal Supervisor and Co-Supervisor.

Principal Supervisors are encouraged to consider the value of including an Associate Supervisor (End-user) on a panel. Many of the graduate research projects carried out at ACU are conducive to, and would benefit from, end-user associate supervision.

Learn more

Accreditation

In keeping with Section 10 of the Higher Degree Research Regulations, graduate research candidates shall be supported by staff who are accredited ACU supervisors.

There are two levels of accreditation at ACU:

  • Staff who have supervised at least one graduate research candidate to completion can apply to be accredited as Supervisor (Full).
  • Staff who have not yet supervised at least one graduate research candidate to completion can apply to be accredited as Supervisor (Provisional).

Supervisors who are external to ACU, do not need to complete ACU accreditation.

To be eligible for accreditation as a supervisor (Full or Provisional), an ACU staff member must:

  • Have an appointment of at least 0.4 FTE; and
  • Meet the ACU criteria for being classified as research active as assessed by the University’s Research Active Definition Policy; and
  • Have completed the ACU HDR Supervisor Training Course, or a similar program at another higher education institution, or provide evidence of relevant professional experience; and
  • Have an appropriate qualification
    • Supervisors of a Masters or Doctoral student will normally hold a PhD;
    • Supervisors of a professional doctorate will normally hold a PhD, or an equivalent research degree;
    • Holding a professional doctorate would not normally enable a staff member to be a supervisor of a PhD student, unless it was the accepted practice of the discipline.

Before submitting an accreditation request, staff should:

 
Faculty of Education and Arts fea.hdr@acu.edu.au
Faculty of Health Sciences fhs.adr@acu.edu.au
Faculty of Law and Business lawbusinessresearch@acu.edu.au
Faculty of Theology and Philosophy adres.ftp@acu.edu.au

 

Requests for accreditation should be submitted via the Supervisor Accreditation Request ‘SupReq’ e-form in Orion.

Go to Orion

An online student's hands are hovering over a laptop. An iced coffee also sits on the table.

Training

The HDR Supervisor Training Course is now available in the Staff Learning Hub. Staff who have not completed supervisor training at ACU or at another institution should self-enrol and complete the modules.

Begin training

Contact us for further information or support

res.cand@acu.edu.au
Page last updated on 13/06/2024

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