Doctoral Confirmation of Candidature Policy and Procedures

Application

Doctoral candidates with provisional candidature status and their supervisors, and staff members involved in the confirmation review process.

For the avoidance of doubt, this policy and associated procedures do not apply to:

Purpose

To specify the confirmation of candidature policy and procedures that apply to doctoral candidates, their supervisors and staff members involved in the confirmation review process.  

Policy

1. Candidature is provisional until confirmed.

2. The time limit for provisional candidature is 13 months of full-time equivalent (FTE) enrolment, unless extended by up to 6 months under clause 17.

3. A review of provisional candidature, in accordance with the procedures below, must take place by the 13 month FTE anniversary of the initial date of programme enrolment, excluding any periods of suspension approved by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate).

4. The Confirmation Review Committee must be comprised of 2 to 4 academic staff members appointed by the Academic Head.

5. The Academic Head must appoint one member of the Confirmation Review Committee to act as Chair.

6. The Confirmation Review Committee will usually be drawn from the academic unit in which the candidate is enrolled, but may include members from the wider faculty/LSRI or University.

7. Neither the Academic Head nor any member of the supervision team, other than an adviser, may be a member of the Confirmation Review Committee.

8.

a) For a candidate to be confirmed in the programme, they must achieve, in accordance within the time limit for provisional candidature under clause 2:

i) the confirmation milestones prescribed at clause 9

and

ii) subject to the provisions for alteration and removal at clause 16, any additional confirmation milestones prescribed by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) pursuant to clauses 11, 13 and 16 of this policy,

and

iii) comply with the University’s confirmation procedures.

b) In addition to satisfying the requirements at 8(a)(i-iii), candidates presenting scholarly creative work as part of the thesis requirement must also satisfy clauses 29-30 of the  PhD Including Scholarly Creative Work Policy and Procedures  in order to be confirmed in the programme.

9. The following confirmation milestones are required for all candidates:

a) Approval of the full thesis proposal by the Confirmation Review Committee.

b) A substantial piece of written work, completed to the satisfaction of the supervisors and the Confirmation Review Committee.

c) Discussion with the Confirmation Review Committee of the full thesis proposal, written work, research plan and other thesis-related work, to the satisfaction of the Committee.

d) An oral presentation on their doctoral work to the satisfaction of the Confirmation Review Committee.

e) Ethics approval and/or permissions, if required for the initial period of candidature.

f) Completion of the central University induction, within the first 2 months of candidature.

g) Diagnostic English Language Needs Assessment (DELNA) online screening, within the first 2 months of candidature and 

i) completion of full diagnostic test where prescribed and

ii) completion, with at least a B result, of any language course prescribed by the DELNA Language Adviser, and 

iii) participation in any language enrichment prescribed by the DELNA Language Adviser 

h) Successful completion of the University’s academic integrity training.

i) A training and development needs analysis, within the first 6 months of candidature.

j) Completion of a health and safety risk assessment and training for any laboratory/studio/field and related work, if required for the initial period of candidature.

10. The same document cannot satisfy the full thesis proposal and the substantial piece of writing, except where the Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research) has approved the submission of a single extensive and cohesive written submission as the academic norm for the subject area in which the candidate is enrolled.

11.

a) Additional confirmation milestones must be prescribed for named doctorate candidates where specified in the relevant named doctorate programme regulations.

b) The DClinPsy literature review and methods milestone, as prescribed in the programme regulations, specifies the programme requirements for, and is not additional to, the substantial piece of writing required under clause 9b above.

12. The Confirmation Review Committee is at liberty to disagree with the assessment of the thesis proposal and or substantial piece of writing within named doctorate coursework components. In the event of conflict, the Confirmation Review Committee’s assessment takes precedence over the relevant course examination and/or assessment.

13. Confirmation milestones, in addition to those prescribed under clause 9, may be proposed by the supervisor/s and/or by the Academic Head(s) and/or by the Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research) for approval by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) up to the time of enrolment. Confirmation milestones must be:

  • clear and measurable
  • appropriate to the timeframe for provisional candidature
  • directly related to progress within the doctoral programme

Note: the  PhD Including Scholarly Creative Work Policy and Procedures  require the establishment, under this clause, of one or more confirmation milestone(s) pertaining to the progress of creative practice research (for candidates presenting scholarly creative work as part of the thesis requirement for the PhD).

14. Subject to clauses 13 and/or 16 of this policy, the supervisor/s may propose, for approval by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate), the inclusion of up to 60 points of University of Auckland course/s as a confirmation milestone for the PhD. The total points value of courses prescribed as confirmation milestones for the PhD under clause 9g (ii) and pursuant to this clause 14 must not exceed 60 points. 

15. Course/s included under clause 14 will normally be at postgraduate level. Candidates will normally be required to pass any topic-related course with a grade of at least B+. Candidates will normally be required to pass any generic skills course with a grade of at least B.

16. Confirmation milestones (other than those required under clause 9) may be altered, supplemented or removed with the approval of the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) during the period of provisional candidature.

17.

a) For doctoral candidates other than DClinPsy candidates, an extension of provisional candidature, up to a maximum of 6 months FTE, may be approved by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate), subject to clause 17b and the procedures below.

b) There is no entitlement to an extended time limit for provisional candidature; extensions will be approved only where a candidate has demonstrated, in the view of the Confirmation Review Committee and Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate), sufficient progress towards the achievement of prescribed milestones to merit an extension.

18. Where an extension to provisional candidature is approved, a candidate may be required to meet with the Confirmation Review Committee a second time for the purposes of assessment under clauses 9a-d of this policy.

19.

a) Post-confirmation milestones must be prescribed by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) as required by programme regulations.

b) Independent of clause 19(a), candidature may be confirmed with milestones, as approved by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate). Post-confirmation milestones must be:

  • clear and measurable
  • appropriate to the specified timeframe
  • directly related to the candidate’s programme

i) Failure to satisfy the post-confirmation milestones prescribed within the DClinPsy programme regulations may result in termination of candidature.

ii) Subject to 19(b)(i), performance in relation to post-confirmation milestones will inform assessment of progress in the continuation of candidature review and/or may result in a candidature intervention process in the period between prescribed candidature review dates. 

20. Where the requirements for confirmation of candidature are not met, the Confirmation Review Committee, Academic Head or the Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research) may recommend termination of candidature or termination of candidature and enrolment in another degree.

21. Where the requirements for confirmation of candidature are not met, the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) may terminate candidature.

22. The outcome of the confirmation review will be determined by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) in accordance with the procedures below.

Procedures

23.  No more than 2 months and no less than 2 weeks before the 12 month FTE anniversary of enrolment, the candidate must submit the candidate confirmation review report, and their full thesis proposal and substantial piece of written work.

24.  The main or  joint supervisor* must normally complete the supervisor confirmation review report within 1 week of the candidate’s submission of the candidate confirmation review report, full thesis proposal and substantial piece of written work. The supervisor confirmation review report will normally include a recommendation as to the confirmation of candidature.

25.  Additional members of the supervisory team (excluding advisers) may comment on the review reports normally within 1 week of the main or joint supervisor’s completion of the Supervisor Confirmation Review report.

26.  The completed reports, full thesis proposal and substantial piece of written work must be provided to the Confirmation Review Committee, who must review the material and meet with the candidate normally within 14 days of receipt of the material.

27.  The meeting with the Confirmation Review Committee must commence with an oral presentation by the candidate on their progress, which will normally be approximately 20 minutes in duration.

28.  The presentation section of the meeting may be conducted in a public forum. 

29.  Up to 2 members of the supervisory team may attend the meeting between the candidate and the Confirmation Review Committee and may participate only to the extent invited by the Chair.

30.  The Confirmation Review Committee must discuss with the candidate:

  • the full thesis proposal
  • the substantial piece of written work 
  • the candidate’s oral presentation
  • the candidate’s progress to date
  • each of the candidate’s confirmation milestones

31.  The Confirmation Review Committee’s discussion with the candidate may also include, but is not limited to, the candidate’s plans through to submission and any current or envisaged obstacles to successful, timely submission.

32.  In the course of the meeting, the Confirmation Review Committee must have a discussion with the candidate in the absence of members of the supervision team. 

33.  In the course of the meeting, the Confirmation Review Committee may have a discussion with the supervisor/s (where in attendance) in the absence of the candidate.

34.  Neither the candidate nor any supervisor may be present while the Confirmation Review Committee makes its deliberations. 

35.  Within 1 week of the meeting with the candidate, the Chair of the Confirmation Review Committee must complete the confirmation review committee report and recommend either that candidature be:

i)   Confirmed 

or

ii)   Confirmed with milestones

or

iii)   Subject to clause 36, extended on a provisional basis for a period of up to 6 months FTE, where the total duration of provisional candidature must not exceed 19 months FTE

or

iv)   Terminated and the candidate enrolled in another programme

or

v)   Terminated

36.  Candidature may not be extended on a provisional basis for the Doctor of Clinical Psychology.

37.  Review of candidature may include consideration and/or comment and/or recommendation by the Academic Head and/or the Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research). 

38.  Where termination of candidature is recommended by the Confirmation Review Committee and supported by the Academic Head and/or Associated Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research), or where termination of candidature is recommended by the Academic Head and/or Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research), the doctoral termination proceedings 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.

39.  The Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) will consider all reports, recommendations and material supplied in accordance with these procedures, where relevant, with the doctoral termination proceedings policy, and then determine the outcome of the confirmation review.

For the avoidance of doubt: where termination of candidature is recommended under clause 35 and/or 37, the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) decision under the doctoral termination proceedings policy is the determination of the confirmation review.

40. The Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) can only approve the candidate’s enrolment in another programme where the candidate is eligible for enrolment in another programme.

* In exceptional circumstances, the supervisor confirmation review report may be completed by another member of the supervision team.

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 candidates, for the purposes of this policy and procedures, refers to people who are currently enrolled or currently suspended from enrolment in a doctoral programme at the University.

Candidature refers to a person’s status as a candidate for a doctoral degree at the University.

Confirmation milestones are the activities that a candidate must complete, to the satisfaction of the named party or at the required standard, in order to be confirmed in their doctoral programme.

DELNA refers to Diagnostic English Language Needs Assessment and is a compulsory confirmation milestone for all doctoral candidates.

Doctoral candidates are students who are enrolled in doctoral degrees at the University.

FTE is an abbreviation for Full Time Equivalent.

Joint supervisor refers to the joint supervisor with primary responsibility for administrative requirements.

Main supervisor is the lead supervisor who takes primary responsibility for the supervision of a candidate.

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.

Thesis is a substantial presentation of the outcome of an original and coherent doctoral research project. It situates the research in the broader framework of the disciplinary field(s), and entails a cohesive written document.

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