Who can be an Associate Supervisor (End-user)?

An end-user is an individual, business, community or community organisation, government or government organisation, or non-government organisation.

An end-user is not another higher education provider or an organisation that is an affiliate, controlled entity or subsidiary (such as a Medical Research Institute) of a higher education provider. Anyone employed by these types of organisations, even if only on a part-time or honorary basis, is not eligible to be an Associate Supervisor (End-user) and would instead need to be considered for inclusion on an HDR candidate’s supervisory panel in the category of 'Associate Supervisor'.

Examples of Associate Supervisor (End-user)
  • A person with lived experience
  • A member of the leadership team of a primary or secondary school, e.g, a principal
  • A health practitioner, e.g, a dietician, nurse or physiotherapist
  • A specialist from an advocacy or charitable organisation, e.g., a policy manager
  • A specialist from a government or government organisation, e.g., the head of a regulatory body
  • A specialist from a business, e.g., an accountant or lawyer

What are the benefits of end-user associate supervision?

The ACOLA Review of Australia’s Research Training System (PDF) and the Engagement and Impact Assessment 2018-19 National Report refer to the important role that HDR training plays in improving industry-university collaboration and research translation.

  • Gain insight into the value of research to industry
  • Could realise a solution to an industry problem
  • Receive courtesy membership to the ACU Library
  • Co-author publications arising from the HDR project in accordance with ACU’s Research Authorship policy*
  • Help shape the investigation
  • Offer an end-user’s perspective to the research as it progresses
  • Mentor the HDR student on industry practices
  • Provide access to research participants and specialist equipment for the project
  • Encourage industry collaboration at the early stages of a researcher’s career
  • Facilitate exposure to board meetings, networking occasions and employment opportunities
  • Assist with research translation and commercialisation plans
  • Provide feedback on thesis chapters and milestone documents*
  • Provide industry expertise to the supervisory panel
  • Share the supervisory load

* If the Principal Supervisor considers it appropriate for the Associate Supervisor (End-user) to be involved in these activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. However, Principal Supervisors are encouraged to consider the value of including an Associate Supervisor (End-user) on a panel. Many of the HDR projects carried out at ACU are conducive to and would benefit from end-user associate supervision.

An Associate Supervisor (End-user) is not required to hold academic qualifications, although s/he may. An Associate Supervisor (End-user) should have expertise in the area of the HDR student’s project.

No. The role of Associate Supervisor (End-user) is voluntary and is based on reciprocity; that is, both the end-user and ACU benefit from the association.

There is no right or wrong time in an HDR student’s candidature to appoint an Associate Supervisor (End-user). It depends on the role you want the person to play. An Associate Supervisor (End-user) can be appointed during the admission process, or if the candidate is already enrolled, through completion of the Change of Supervision form (available in Orion).

The Principal Supervisor is responsible for defining and managing the contribution of an Associate Supervisor (End-user). ACU’s Higher Degree Research Regulations, Higher Degree Research Supervision Policy, Research Authorship, Intellectual Property and any other relevant policies must be observed.

The Dean of Graduate Research is delegated to approve an HDR supervisory panel, including the appointment of an Associate Supervisor (End-user).

Questions about end-user associate supervision should be directed to hdr.projects@acu.edu.au.

Page last updated on 13/06/2024

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