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Higher Degrees by Research Posthumous Awards Procedure

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Section 1 - Context

(1) This procedure supports the implementation of the Higher Degrees by Research Posthumous Awards Policy and must be read in conjunction with that document.

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Section 2 - Procedure

(2) Where a Higher Degree by Research candidate dies before the thesis is submitted:

  1. the Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) of the Faculty responsible for the program will establish if, at the time of death, the candidate had substantially completed the requirements of the award. If there is evidence that all substantive chapters have been drafted and minimal additional work would need to be undertaken for the thesis to be considered ready to submit, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) will provide this evidence to the the Research Training Sub-Committee, a sub-committee of the Research Committee (hereafter referred to as ‘the Committee’) and propose that the candidate be considered for a posthumous award.
  2. The Committee may elect to invite an independent assessor to review the work in order to confirm the view that the thesis had been substantially completed.
  3. The supervisor/s or such other suitable person as considered appropriate by the Dean of Graduate Research would normally be invited to compile the work into a format suitable for examination in accordance with the Thesis Preparation and Submission Guidelines. The supervisor/s may be invited to provide supplementary and/or explanatory material to assist the examiners in assessing the work. Any additional work undertaken must be clearly identified to the examiners, and in the thesis.
  4. Before proceeding to examination, permission from the next of kin of the candidate must be obtained and the examination process and possible outcomes explained.
  5. The examiners are to be informed that the candidate is deceased, advised of the arrangements undertaken to prepare the submission, and reminded that examiners’ reports will be inserted in the library copy of the thesis. Examiners should then be asked whether they wish to participate in the examination process.

(3) There are three possible outcomes: Award, Require or Fail. 

(4) In the event that the examiners recommend the outcome of ‘Require’ the Committee must determine whether it is reasonable taking into account the nature and extent of the changes required, to invite the supervisor or a suitable person to make the amendments. 

(5) When amendments are made a statement must be inserted into the thesis explaining the amendments, along with a copy of the examiners’ comments. The latter must be inserted in a pocket inside the back cover of the thesis to inform readers.

(6) Where the candidate submits the thesis and dies before an outcome is received and the subsequent outcome is ‘Require’ or ‘Revise and Resubmit’:

  1. the Committee will make a determination as to whether it is reasonable taking into account the nature and extent of the changes required, to invite the supervisor/s or other suitable person to make the required amendments. 
  2. Before proceeding with any action, permission from the next of kin of the candidate must be obtained and the examination process and possible outcomes explained.
  3. When amendments are made a statement must be inserted into the thesis explaining the amendments, along with a copy of the examiners’ comments. The latter must be inserted in a pocket inside the back cover of the thesis to inform readers.

(7) Where the candidate submits the thesis and receives a ‘Require’ or ‘Revise and Resubmit’, and dies prior to completing the amendments or resubmitting:

  1. the Committee will make a determination as to whether it is reasonable taking into account the nature and extent of the changes required to invite the supervisor/s or other suitable person to make the required amendments. 
  2. When amendments are made a statement must be inserted into the thesis explaining the amendments, along with a copy of the examiners’ comments. The latter must be inserted in a pocket inside the back cover of the thesis to inform readers.
  3. Before proceeding with any action, permission from the next of kin of the candidate must be obtained and the examination process and possible outcomes explained.

(8) If the degree is awarded the next of kin shall be invited to attend the Graduation Ceremony to accept the award. UON Graduate Research will advise Graduation of the circumstances of the awarding of the degree.