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The supervisor’s role is to facilitate your research and provide ongoing advice and guidance. They will also challenge you to achieve research and personal goals.

The School Honours Coordinator will assist you in the selection of an appropriate supervisor.

Appointment of supervisors

A Nomination of Supervisors form should be completed, signed by you, your supervisor and the Dean of School and forwarded to the School Honours Coordinator.

The role of the supervisor at this stage will include:

  • discussing the research proposal;
  • having some input into the development of the proposal; and
  • providing preliminary specialist assistance and guidance relating to the research topic

When a supervisor is appointed, they will agree on the mode and frequency of contact with you.

What should you expect from a supervisor?

The duties and responsibilities of supervisors will vary according the field of study being undertaken and the level of degree. For general guidelines, see the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

What should a supervisor expect from you?

The duties and responsibilities are outline in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

In addition to these responsibilities, you should also:

  • identify and refine the specific area of research;
  • ensure that regular meetings are scheduled with the supervisor and prepare an agenda;
  • prepare, with the assistance of the supervisor, a budget estimate of both personal and University costs associated with the research; and
  • prepare, with the assistance of the supervisor, a timetable for the achievement of research goals and the completion and presentation of the thesis as part of the student’s research management plan.

Presentations and publications

Your supervisors should advise you about conference presentations and publications that might be produced from your research activities and the completed thesis or project.

It is normal practice within many research disciplines that supervisors who work with Honours students in the preparation of publications become co-authors of those publications. Issues of publication and ownership of authorship should be discussed by students and supervisors early in the research project to avoid misunderstandings.

Intellectual property and research

When there is significant intellectual property arising from your research, you and your supervisors should read the University’s Intellectual Property Development Policy and, if appropriate, sign an intellectual property licence so that your interests are protected.

Requesting a change of supervisor

Illness, leave, appointment to another institution or other events may result in the unavailability of a supervisor.

Or the relationship between a student and supervisor could prove to be unsatisfactory.

If one of these situations arises, you should discuss the matter with your supervisor to make an alternative arrangement.

If you feel unable to talk directly with your supervisor, you should discuss the matter with the School Honours Coordinator or the Dean of School.

Grievance procedures

If you are experiencing difficulties with your supervisor, you should initially seek to resolve the problem through discussion with your supervisor.

If this is not satisfactory, or if you do not feel you can discuss it with your supervisor, you should discuss the matter with the School Honours Coordinator who may refer you to the Dean of School.

If the problem cannot be resolved through discussion at these levels, you may lodge a written complaint with the Associate Dean (Research). Following the investigation of the matter by the Associate Dean or nominee, a decision in writing will be provided to you.

If you are still dissatisfied with the decision, you may appeal against that ruling to the Committee of Review.

Complaints regarding supervision should be resolved as early as possible and in accordance with Part VI Rule 49 (A) of the Edith Cowan University Rules (Admission, Enrolment and Academic Progress).

Following submission of the thesis for examination, the candidate may appeal against aspects of the examination process or outcome of the examination but not against aspects of supervision.

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