Doctoral Off-campus Research Policy and Procedures

Application

Doctoral candidates who seek to undertake research off-campus for periods of one month or more.

Purpose

To specify the policy and procedures that must be satisfied in order for off-campus research to be approved during doctoral candidature.

Policy

General Provisions

1.   Research, for the purposes of this policy and associated procedures, encompasses all activity towards the completion of the doctoral degree.

2.   Off-campus research may entail temporary off-campus research of less than 12 months’ duration or long-term off-campus research of 12 months or more in duration. 

3.    Except as permitted under clauses 5 and 6, any period of off-campus research of one month or more during doctoral candidature requires the approval of the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) and is subject to this policy and associated procedures.

4. Approval for off-campus research will not be granted for any period where the candidate is required by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) to undertake campus-based coursework, training, examination, assessment or review.

5.   Approval for off-campus research may be rescinded where information that was not available to the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) at the time the approval decision was made, and which would have resulted in a different decision being made, becomes available, or where off-campus research is no longer appropriate on health and safety grounds.

6.   A doctoral candidate may work on their thesis from home within the wider vicinity of the relevant University of Auckland campus without permission from the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate), provided the supervisor/s is/are satisfied that the candidate’s research project does not require greater periods of time on campus.

7.   Where a supervisor is not satisfied under clause 6 above, the Academic Head will determine the matter upon consultation with both candidate and supervisor. 

8.   A candidate must remain enrolled for the duration of any period(s) of off-campus research approved under this policy and associated procedures.

9.   Doctoral candidates must pay University fees in accordance with the programme regulations and University Fees Statute whether they are on or off-campus.

10.   Doctoral candidates who are not New Zealand citizens and who wish to conduct their entire doctorate overseas are required to pay international tuition fees for the duration of their enrolment.

Note: Doctoral candidates who are not New Zealand citizens will lose their eligibility to pay domestic tuition fees if the duration and/or nature of their absence is not compliant with the PhD Domestic Tuition Fees Policy.

11.   Candidates must have access to appropriate resources during any period(s) of off-campus research.

12.   The University is not responsible for the costs associated with the candidate travelling to the University or with the supervisor travelling to meet with the candidate at their off-campus research.

13.  There must be an appropriate supervision plan for any period(s) of off-campus research longer than one month, including a regular schedule of electronic and video-conferencing meetings.

14.   Occupational health and safety training relevant to the research location must be undertaken by the candidate.

15.   Appropriateness, where invoked in this policy and associated procedures, is determined by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate).

Temporary off-campus research

16.   Candidates who are intending to undertake off-campus research for less than 12 months are subject to the general and scholarship provisions of this policy.

Off-campus research for first year of enrolment and/or long-term off-campus research

17.   Candidates who are intending to undertake the first year of doctoral research off-campus, and/or long-term off-campus research of 12 months or more, are subject to clauses 18-27, as well as to the general and scholarship provisions, of this policy.

18.   If the first year or more of the doctorate is intended to be conducted off-campus, this must be indicated by the applicant at the time of application for programme admission.

19.   If an applicant under clause 18 is required by their academic unit to present their full thesis proposal in person and/or to present a research seminar in person and/or meet with their provisional year or confirmation review committee in person, this must be made clear to the applicant by the academic unit at the time the academic unit supports the application for programme admission.

20.   If an applicant under clause 18 is required to undertake any campus-based coursework or training during their candidature, this must be made clear to the applicant by the academic unit at the time the academic unit supports the application for programme admission.

21.   Candidates must undertake DELNA within the first two months of programme enrolment, and satisfy all confirmation milestones and/or provisional year goals as prescribed by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate), regardless of any period of off-campus research approved under this policy and associated procedures.

22.   Candidates conducting long-term off-campus research must be located/working in an environment conducive to their area of research (e.g. a research-oriented institution or company, another university or an archive repository etc.) and ideally will have a co-supervisor or an adviser at their off-campus location.

23.   There must be an agreed academic development plan for the candidate. This may involve the candidate being required to spend time at the University in order to participate in face-to-face workshops, seminars and other activities.

24.   Candidates may be required to travel to the University to meet with their confirmation review committee and/or to attend their oral examination.

25.   Candidates must not use their PReSS account to fund travel related to supervision or on-campus activities pursuant to clause 23, or to meet with their provisional year or confirmation review committee or to attend their oral examination.

26.   Financial arrangements regarding in-person supervisory sessions and campus attendance must be established before off-campus research can be approved.

27.   Where a candidate intends to be based at the institution of a co-supervisor, outside of joint/dual PhD agreement or joint graduate school, clauses 29-34 also apply.

Research at a partner institution (under a joint/dual PhD agreement or joint graduate school)

28.   Candidates who are intending to undertake the first year of doctoral research, or long-term off-campus research, at a partner institution under a joint/dual agreement or joint graduate school are subject to clauses 18-34, as well as to the general and scholarship provisions, of this policy.

29.   There must be an agreed, regular schedule of electronic and/or face-to-face contact between the main or joint supervisors and the co-supervisor/adviser who is located at the off-campus location.

30.   If a candidate is required to undertake one or more English language courses during their period of provisional candidature, the candidate must either be enrolled in a course or courses at the University of Auckland, or enrol in an approved language course or courses at another New Zealand university or at an approved partner institution. The costs associated with approved non-University of Auckland language courses will not be met by the School of Graduate Studies.

31.   At the time of enrolment for the doctorate, there should be a discussion between members of the supervisory team (located on and off-campus) and the candidate about ownership of any intellectual property arising from the project.

32.   In the event that the intellectual property is not deemed the property of the candidate, or if the candidate has waived such a right, the main supervisor or joint supervisors and off-campus co-supervisor/adviser must discuss the ownership, protection and any exploitation of any intellectual property generated as a result of the research project in good faith – see Intellectual Property Created by Staff and Students Policy and Intellectual Property: A Guide for Students. The candidate will normally be included in the discussion. 

33.   If necessary, the conditions for the rights of ownership and use of results obtained during the thesis or of work done are to be specified by jointly agreed protocols or specific documents.

34.   Candidates must consult their supervisor/s regarding any additional ethics requirements of their host institution/off-campus location, and must abide by those requirements as well as those of the University of Auckland.

Scholarships

35.   Candidates are responsible for the scholarship implications of any period(s) of off-campus research approved under this policy and associated procedures.

36.   New Zealand citizens who are awarded a University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship may hold that scholarship off-campus.

37.   Non-New Zealand citizens may hold a University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship at an approved off-campus location within New Zealand.

38.   Non-New Zealand citizens may retain a University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship provided that, during their doctoral candidature, they are out of New Zealand for no more than 12 months in total (excluding allowed annual leave) and only for the purposes of research that cannot be conducted at the same level in New Zealand. If non-New Zealand citizens lose their eligibility for domestic fees, they forfeit their University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship.

39.   Holders of scholarships other than the University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship must consult the regulations of their scholarship to ascertain whether they are eligible to receive the scholarship when they are off-campus.

Right of review

40.   A candidate subject to the PhD Statute that came into effect on 1 October 2020 may request review of a decision by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) as to off-campus research in accordance with the provisions at clause 45 of the procedures below.

Note: all other candidates are subject to the appeals provisions of the applicable programme regulations.

Procedures

Application

41. If the first year or more of doctoral research is intended to be conducted off-campus, this must be indicated by the applicant in the application for admission to the doctoral programme.

42. Where a prospective supervisor wishes to support an applicant under clause 40, the supervisor must, in consultation with the applicant, supply for consideration:

  • the rationale for the proposed period of off-campus research
  • details of resource access at the proposed off-campus location
  • a proposed supervision plan as agreed with the applicant
  • the proposed candidate development plan, including details of time on campus and arrangements for the confirmation review
  • a proposed contingency plan in the event that the applicant is required to undertake one or more English language courses during their period of provisional candidature, including financial arrangements
  • details of health and safety training arrangements
  • the financial arrangements for any in-person meetings with the supervisor and/or any campus attendance required during the proposed period of off-campus research
  • acknowledgement by applicant and supervisor of the above policy limitations on PReSS expenditure and confirmation that the requirements of the above policy have been discussed

43. Applicants who have already been admitted to their doctoral programme must apply for any period(s) of off-campus research via Wahapū (or via a Doc 6 where a candidate has not been granted access to Wahapū). The application must include:

  • the rationale for the proposed period of off-campus research
  • details of resource access at the proposed off-campus location
  • a proposed supervision plan
  • details of the proposed candidate development plan, where such a plan is not already in place or where the off-campus research requires modification of the plan
  • the financial arrangements for any in-person meetings with the supervisor/s and/or any campus attendance required during the proposed period of off-campus research
  • a statement of support from the supervisor

44. All applications for off-campus research will be determined by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate).

Right of review

45.  A candidate subject to the PhD Statute that came into effect on 1 October 2020 or who commenced a named doctorate after 1 January 2022 may, within two weeks of notification of the decision, request review of a decision as to an application for off-campus research. Upon request, the School of Graduate Studies will advise the candidate as to the decision-making party and the candidate will direct their appeal in accordance with the following:

a) Where the decision was made by the supervisor as delegate of the Board of Graduate Studies, the review will be conducted by the Academic Head who will make the final decision.

b) Where the decision was made by the Academic Head as delegate of the Board of Graduate Studies, the review will be conducted by the Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research) who will make the final decision.

c) Where the decision was made by the Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research) or by the School of Graduate Studies as delegate of the Board of Graduate Studies, the review will be conducted by the Dean or Deputy Dean of Graduate Studies who will make the final decision.

d) Where the decision was made by the Dean or Deputy Dean of Graduate Studies as delegate of the Board of Graduate Studies, the review will be conducted by whichever of the two parties did not make the original decision (or by their nominee), and that party will make the final decision.

Definitions

The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic Head refers to the Head of the relevant academic unit or their nominee(s) for the purposes of doctoral matters.

Academic unit refers to the faculty, large scale research institute, school or department in which the candidate is enrolled.

Applicant refers to an applicant for admission to a doctoral programme at the University.

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.

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.

Confirmation Review Committee refers to the committee formed for the purposes of the confirmation review for candidates subject to the PhD Statute that came into effect on 1 October 2020.

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

Doctoral candidate refers to a person who is a candidate for a doctoral degree at the University.

Doctoral candidature 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.

Long-term off-campus research is off-campus research of 12 months or more in duration.

PReSS account refers to the research support funding provided by the University to doctoral candidates during their doctoral candidature, up to a maximum of 4 years FTE.

Provisional Year Review Committee refers to the committee formed for the purposes of the provisional year review for candidates who are subject to the 2016 PhD Statute.

Supervisor/s: Main supervisor, or one or both joint supervisor(s), or co-supervisor.

Temporary off-campus research is off-campus research of less than 12 months in duration.

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.

Wahapū is the University’s online doctoral candidature management system.

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