1. Context of procedures
These procedures describe the implementation of the Jointly Conferred Academic Awards - Academic Policy as it relates to Doctor of Philosophy programs, and must be read in conjunction with this policy.
The key aim of these procedures is to ensure that the roles, responsibilities and authorities specified in the Academic Policy are reliably and consistently operationalised. The parties to whom these roles, responsibilities and authorities relate are:
- the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)
- the Research Degrees Committee
- the Office of Research
- Associate Deans (Research)
- Executive Deans
- USC International
2. Application of Procedures
This procedure applies to all Jointly Conferred Doctor of Philosophy programs at the University.
Jointly Conferred PhD is any Dual Award or Jointly Badged single award PhD program in which the University is a partner.
Jointly Conferred PhD Partnership Agreement (Partnership Agreement) is a signed agreement between USC and a partner institution which incorporates detail stipulated in the Jointly Conferred Awards Legal Checklist.
Jointly Conferred PhD Student Agreement (Student Agreement) is a document which sets out the arrangements agreed upon by both institutions for an individual research student undertaking a Jointly Conferred PhD, including but not limited to:
• Candidate details
• Supervision details at each institution
• Funding arrangements
• Admission to and enrolment with the institutions including determination of home/host institution
• Thesis details (research topic, description, language)
• Submission and examination of thesis
Home Institution is the institution designated as the primary coordinating institution of a student undertaking a jointly conferred PhD, normally on the basis that it invites the student to apply for the program and provides a greater share of resources throughout the candidature, and is the institution at which the student intends to spend the greater period of time.
Host Institution is an institution other than the home institution of a student undertaking a jointly conferred PhD, to which the student will travel to undertake part of their research program.
Register of Strategic Research Training Partners is a list of approved partner institutions, maintained by the Office of Research.
Strategic Research Training Partner institution is another research degree awarding institution, either overseas or within Australia, which has been approved for inclusion in the Register of Strategic Research Training Partners. The Register is a list of institutions which have been approved as partner institutions for joint research training purposes, and is managed by the Office of Research.
- Dual Award is a jointly conferred PhD program whereby a PhD student is jointly supervised by USC and another institution, enrolled at both institutions, and receives two testamurs acknowledging one award. Each Dual Award PhD candidature is governed by a Partnership Agreement between the partnering institutions and an individual Student Agreement. The USC testamur must have inscribed that the degree was undertaken under a jointly conferred PhD partnership arrangement and must include the name of the other institution. It is preferred that the other institution's testamur should contain similar information.
- Jointly Badged PhD is a jointly conferred PhD program whereby a PhD student is jointly supervised by USC and another institution, enrolled at both institutions and receives one award, made jointly by USC and the other institution. Each Jointly Badged PhD candidature is governed by a Partnership Agreement between the collaborating institutions and an individual Student Agreement. One testamur will be provided, to be prepared by the home institution. The rules for the testamur are outlined in Policy section 3.3.
Part B: Procedures
A jointly conferred PhD program should only be established when:
- the partnership has demonstrated strategic value to the University
- the other institution is on the Register of Strategic Research Training Partners
- the partnership will contribute to the creation of a sustainable research relationship
2. Admission to the Register of Strategic Research Training Partners
2.1 Members of academic staff at USC wishing to establish a jointly conferred PhD program should discuss the matter with the relevant Associate Dean (Research) in the first instance. Wherever possible, the standard agreement provided by the Office of Research will be used. If necessary, modifications to the standard agreement will be made.
2.2 The Associate Dean (Research) recommends admission to the Register of Strategic Research Training Partners to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) who will seek authorisation by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). The Register is maintained by the Office of Research, and is published on the Portal.
3. Development of the Partnership Agreement
3.1 Following admission to the Register of Strategic Research Training Partners, the Office of Research will draft the Partnership Agreement in consultation with the relevant ADR, in accordance with the Legal Checklist for Jointly Conferred Higher Degree by Research Awards. The Associate Dean (Research) is responsible for the negotiation of the Partnership Agreement to conclusion.
3.2 The Partnership Agreement must be approved by both institutions prior to enrolment of any students and prior to the development of the Student Agreement. USC International must be included on the signatory list for Partnership Agreements with international institutions.
4. Admission to jointly conferred PhD candidature
4.1 After a Partnership Agreement has been approved by both institutions, individual candidates will apply for admission to PhD candidature in accordance with USC’s Higher Degrees by Research - Academic Policy and the associated Higher Degrees by Research Procedures.
4.2 The Associate Dean (Research) is responsible for alerting the Office of Research that any applicant intends to apply for admission to candidature under a Partnership Agreement as part of the admission process.
5. Development of the Student Agreement
5.1 Upon acceptance of the applicant through standard procedures, the Higher Degrees by Research Coordinator in the Office of Research will draft the Student Agreement based on information provided in the application for admission and the Supervisor’s feedback, including specification of candidature milestones to be achieved at each partner institution.
5.2 The Higher Degrees by Research Coordinator in the Office of Research will coordinate approval of the Student Agreement by relevant parties.
5.3 The final Student Agreement will be included with USC’s standard offer for admission to candidature documentation.
6. Admission and enrolment
6.1 The student must satisfy entry and admission requirements for admission to the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at both institutions.
6.2 The student will be enrolled concurrently at both institutions for the duration of the candidature.
7. Supervision and the appointment of supervisors
7.1 At least one supervisor from each institution will be appointed.
7.2 USC supervisors shall carry out the duties and responsibilities as described in the USC Responsibilities of Supervisors and Candidates.
8. Candidature Management
8.1 Candidates must satisfy the program requirements of both institutions (e.g. confirmation of candidature where such a milestone exists).
8.2 Candidature milestones will be specified in the Student Agreement.
8.3 The Office of Research coordinates candidature progression at USC in accordance with the HDR Procedures, and ensures that special requirements stipulated in the Partnership Agreement and the Student Agreement is adhered to.
8.4 The faculty maintains responsibility for candidature management as stipulated in the HDR Procedures.
9.1 The examination process will be conducted as specified in the Partnership Agreement which will be consistent with the policy at each partner institution.
9.2 The thesis shall be examined by a minimum of two external, independent and internationally recognised examiners, agreeable to the supervisors from both institutions.
9.3 Examiner reports must be accepted by both institutions prior to the conferral of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Where there is a conflict, the Deputy Vice- Chancellor (Research and Innovation) (or equivalent) at the Home Institution will make the final determination.
9.4 A copy of the final thesis will be submitted to each institution.
10. Withdrawal from candidature
10.1 A student may withdraw from a jointly conferred PhD program at any time prior to thesis submission.
10.2 Where the student's home institution is USC, he or she may be permitted to continue the enrolment in the USC PhD program subject to the applicable academic program rules.
11.1 In the case of a Dual Award PhD (available with international Partner institutions only where Jointly Badged testamurs are not available):
11.1.1 The student will receive one award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, which will be evidenced by an award testamur from each institution.
11.1.2 The USC award testamur and Australian Higher Education Graduate Statement (AHEGS) will contain the following expression: 'conferred as a single degree under a Jointly Conferred PhD program between the [name of Home Institution] and the [name of Host Institution]'. It is preferred that the other institution's award testamur (and or relevant graduation documentation) should contain similar information.
11.1.3 All documentation related to the award will state that it is a single PhD.
11.2 In the case of a Jointly Badged PhD:
11.2.1 The student will receive one award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, made jointly by USC and the partner institution, which will be evidenced by one testamur issued by the home institution. USC’s name and logo must be placed equally with the other institution's name and badge (emblem, logo, coat of arms etc.) on the award testamur.
11.2.2. Conferral of the award at USC will be in accordance with the Higher Degrees by Research - Academic Policy, and at the other institution in accordance with that institution's policy.