Doctoral Candidature Intervention Policy and Procedures

Application

Doctoral candidates and their supervisors, and staff members involved in the candidature intervention process.

Doctoral candidates governed by programme regulations that came into effect prior to 2020 are not subject to this policy and associated procedures.

Purpose

To detail the formal intervention process that may apply where concerns about candidature arise.

Policy

1. Where concerns arise regarding candidature, the supervisor/s or Academic Head may propose that intervention take place. This facility applies regardless of whether the candidature is already subject to milestones.

2. Intervention consists of the imposition of conditions on candidature by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate).

3. Failure to satisfy conditions imposed by way of intervention may result in the termination of candidature.

4. Candidature may be subject to intervention as detailed in this policy and associated procedures (below) at any time, provided that the period of intervention is scheduled to conclude at least one month prior to the due date for a review process under the Doctoral - Confirmation of Candidature Policy and Procedures or the Doctoral - Continuation of Confirmed Candidature Policy and Procedures.

5. Clause 1 of this policy notwithstanding, the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) may prescribe intervention as the outcome of any termination (of candidature) proceedings initiated under this or any other doctoral policy, regulation or procedures, or as part of the outcome of an application for an extension of enrolment. The Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) may consult with the supervisor/s and/or Academic Head as to the details of conditions and will act in accordance with clause 13 or clause 14 of this policy.

6. Conditions must include the completion of one or more clear and measurable tasks related to the candidate’s progress in their programme to the satisfaction of a designated party by an appropriate date. Conditions may include, but are not limited to, provisions pertaining to engagement with supervision and/or use of equipment/resources and/or reporting, provided they are deemed relevant by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) to a candidate’s progress in their programme.

7. The standard period of intervention is 3 months.

8. Periods of intervention longer or shorter than 3 months may be deemed appropriate by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate), subject to clause 4.

9. Periods of intervention longer than 3 months may include a requirement for a series of conditions to be satisfied by a series of designated dates, where failure to satisfy any one or more condition/s by a designated date may result in termination of candidature during, and prior to conclusion of, the overall period of intervention.

10. The decision as to whether intervention will take place, and as to the conditions that apply where it is determined that intervention will take place, will be made by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate).

11. Subject to clauses 13 and 14 of this policy, a candidate will have right of response in accordance with clause 17 of the procedures below prior to any decision being made under clause 10 of this policy.

12. Before the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) makes any decision regarding the termination of candidature pursuant to clauses 3 or 9 of this policy, the candidate will be allowed 14 calendar days to make a submission for the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) to take into account in making that decision.

13. Where a candidate has exercised their right of response to notification of termination proceedings pursuant to this or any other doctoral policy or procedures, and the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) determines that candidature should not be terminated but that candidature intervention should take place, a candidate’s further right of response is limited to comment (within 7 calendar days of notification) on the detail of individual conditions. Such comment will be considered by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) prior to finalization of the intervention under clause 5 of this policy.

14. Where the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) prescribes intervention as part of the outcome of an extension application, a candidate shall be allowed 7 calendar days to comment on the detail of individual conditions. Such comment will be considered by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) prior to finalization of the intervention under clause 5 of this policy.  

Procedures

15. The powers of Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate), and the processes detailed, under clauses 5, 13 and 14 of the above policy exist independently of, and are not subject to, clauses 16-18 of these procedures.

16. Where a supervisor and/or Academic Head regard/s intervention as appropriate, they will provide a recommendation and rationale as to the imposition of conditions on candidature and propose the conditions that should apply.

17. The candidate will be allowed 7 calendar days to respond to the recommendation from the academic unit.

18. The Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research), as delegate of the Board of Graduate Studies under this clause, will consider all material supplied under clauses 16 and 17 of these procedures and make the decision as to whether intervention will take place, and as to the conditions that apply where it is determined that intervention will take place.

19. Conditions must be consistent with clause 6 of the above policy.

20. During the period of intervention, the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) may, where such an amendment would favour the candidate and the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) regards it as appropriate, approve an amendment to conditions with the support of the supervisor/s and Academic Head.

21. At the conclusion of the intervention period, or part thereof where the intervention is structured in accordance with clause 9 of the above policy, the party responsible for the assessment of the candidate’s fulfilment of the condition(s) will report to the School of Graduate Studies as to whether the student has satisfied conditions.

22.   Where the party responsible for the assessment of conditions reports to the School of Graduate Studies that conditions set under clause 5 of the above policy or clause 18 of these procedures and/or conditions as amended under clause 20 of these procedures (excepting any conditions that are no longer considered relevant by the party responsible for the assessment of conditions) have not been satisfied, the doctoral termination policy applies and the candidate will be given notice of termination proceedings and allowed 14 calendar days to make a submission for the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) to take into account in making the decision as to termination of candidature.

23. The Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) will consider all material supplied in accordance with these procedures and, where relevant, with the doctoral termination policy, and determine the outcome of the intervention process.

For the avoidance of doubt: where termination of candidature is recommended under clause 22, the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) decision under the doctoral termination policy is the determination of the intervention process under clause 23. 

Definitions

The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic Head refers to the head of the academic unit in which the candidate is enrolled or their nominee.

Academic unit may refer to a faculty, Large Scale Research Institute (LSRI), school or department.

Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research) normally refers to the person holding that role (or equivalent) in the faculty or Large Scale Research Institute (LSRI) in which the candidate is enrolled, or to that person’s nominee in the case of an LSRI or one-department faculty, but the role may also be carried out by the person holding that role in another faculty or LSRI or by a person holding another Associate Dean/Director role within the same faculty or LSRI.

Doctoral candidate is a candidate for a doctoral degree at the University (see doctoral candidature).

Doctoral candidature refers to a person’s status as a candidate for a doctoral degree at the University; it commences upon enrolment in the doctoral programme and concludes when the requirements for the degree are met or confirmed as not having been met, except where candidature is terminated or expires or a candidate withdraws prior to completion of the degree.

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis.

Supervisor/s refers to main supervisor, or one or both joint supervisor(s), or co-supervisor.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Content manager: School of Graduate Studies
Owner: Dean of Graduate Studies
Approved by: Board of Graduate Studies, Senate and Council
Date approved: October 2021
Review date: October 2024