Doctorate Posthumous Award Procedures


Introduction


This document relates to the award of a posthumous doctorate in the event of the death of a doctoral candidate prior to the completion of their degree. It does not apply to higher doctorates

 

Enquiries about these procedures must initially be directed to the Dean of Graduate Studies. It is important that a discussion with the Dean of Graduate Studies takes place before any discussions about the posthumous award of a doctorate are held with family, friends or colleagues of the departed

Purpose


To outline the circumstances in which the award of a posthumous doctorate at the University will be considered and the procedures which must be followed

Background


The posthumous award of a doctorate to a candidate who has died when close to completion of their degree may be considered in the following circumstances:

  • If the oral examination has been held, but the final thesis has not been submitted
  • If the thesis has been submitted for examination but the examiners’ reports have not yet been received and/or the oral examination has not yet been held
  • If a draft of the complete thesis, which may require routine editing, is available
  • If the above criteria are not met but the Vice-Chancellor, on the advice of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Dean of Graduate Studies, considers that extraordinary circumstances warrant consideration of the award of the degree

Content


Procedures

  • Where the oral examination has been held, but the final thesis has not been submitted
  • Where the thesis has been submitted for examination, but the examiners’ reports have not yet been received and/or the oral examination has not yet been held
  • Where a complete draft of the thesis is available
  • Third party editing of the thesis
  • Deposit of thesis in the University Library
  • Extraordinary circumstances

Procedures


Where the oral examination has been held, but the final thesis has not been submitted

 

1.    The Examination Committee must make a recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Studies as to whether:

  • the thesis may be accepted in its current form
  • a third party should be requested to edit the thesis according to guidelines established by the Examination Committee
  • the award of another degree should be considered
  • the thesis is not suitable for the award of a degree

 

Where the thesis has been submitted for examination but the examiners’ reports have not yet been received and/or the oral examination has not yet been held

2.    The examination of the thesis is to proceed according to the process outlined in the regulations for the degree, with the exclusion of the oral examination

3.    The examiners must not be advised of the circumstances of the examination until the examination process has been completed

4.    The Examination Committee must make a recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Studies based on the examiners’ reports and the supervisor’s comment (if provided) as to whether:

  • the thesis may be accepted in its current form
  • a third party should be requested to edit the thesis according to guidelines established by the Examination Committee
  • the award of another degree should be considered
  • the thesis is not suitable for the award of a degree

Where a complete draft of the thesis is available

5.    The Associate Dean (Postgraduate) of the relevant faculty must establish a committee comprising the academic head, the candidate’s main or joint supervisor and a senior member of the faculty who has not been involved in supervision of the student

6.    The committee is to be chaired by the Associate Dean

7.    The committee must recommend one of the following to the Dean of Graduate Studies:

  • that the thesis be examined in its existing form
  • that a third party be requested to edit the thesis, according to guidelines established by the committee, before the thesis is examined
  • that the thesis is not sufficiently advanced to be submitted for examination

8.    The committee must take into account the supervisor’s comments on the complete draft, noting in particular whether the supervisor suggested that additional experimental work or research was required

9.    If a recommendation that the thesis be examined is accepted, the committee must arrange for a suitable version of the thesis to be submitted for examination

10. The examination of the thesis is to proceed according to the process outlined in the regulations for the degree, with the exclusion of the oral examination

11. Examiners must not be advised of the circumstances of the examination until the examination process has been completed

12. On the basis of the examiners’ reports and the supervisor’s comment (if provided), the Examination Committee must make a recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Studies as to whether:

  • the thesis may be accepted in its current form
  • a third party should be requested to edit the thesis according to guidelines established by the Examination Committee
  • the award of another degree should be considered
  • the thesis is not suitable for the award of a degree

 

Third party editing of the thesis

13. If third party editing is recommended, it must conform to the Third Party Editing and Proofreading of Theses and Dissertations Guidelines  

14. Where the award of the degree is approved subject to editing of the thesis by a third party, the academic head must make arrangements for, and ensure satisfactory completion of, such editing

 

Deposit of thesis in the University Library

15. Where a thesis has been completed by a third party, this must be noted in copies of the thesis provided to the University Library

16. Where the award of the degree is approved, the academic head must arrange for final copies of the thesis (for the University Library) to be deposited with the School of Graduate Studies according to the requirements outlined in the PhD Statute

Note: The posthumous degree will not be awarded until final copies of the thesis have been deposited

 

Extraordinary circumstances

17. The Dean of Graduate Studies and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) are to consider:

  • the evidence available of the research work completed by the candidate
  • any independent evidence of the significance of the research (reviews of submitted papers, statements from end-users etc)

Note: Normally such evidence will be submitted by the candidate’s supervisor, who will also provide a report on the candidate’s work

18. The academic head is to provide a written recommendation regarding the recommendation of the award of the degree through the faculty dean

19. The following criteria must be satisfied:

  • the candidate must have been registered for a minimum of 3 years full-time or equivalent
  • enough of the thesis must have been completed to allow a proper assessment of the scope of the work
  • the candidate must have completed all experimental work (if applicable)
  • the completed work must evidence the standard required for a doctorate and the candidate’s mastery of the subject
  • the material available (draft chapters, published work, work prepared for publication, presentations to conferences/seminars, progress reports etc) must demonstrate the candidate’s ability to complete a thesis to the required standard

20. If consideration for the award of the degree on the grounds of exceptional circumstances is approved by the Vice-Chancellor, two external examiners must be appointed

21. The examiners are to be advised of the circumstances of the examination

22. The assembled material is to be provided to the examiners and they will be asked to advise whether they consider that a sufficient amount of work has been completed of a standard equivalent to the requirements of a doctorate or for the award of another degree

23. The examiners’ reports are to be considered by the Dean of Graduate Studies who will then make a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor as to whether or not the posthumous degree is to be awarded

24. If the award of a degree is approved, the material submitted for examination is to be lodged with the School of Graduate Studies

Note: The material submitted for examination will not be deposited in the University Library, whether or not award of a degree is approved

Definitions


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic head is the head of the academic unit in which the candidate was registered

Doctoral candidates are students enrolled in a doctoral degree at the University

Higher doctorates include the Doctor of Engineering (DEng), Doctor of Laws (LLD), Doctor of Literature (LittD) and Doctor of Science (DSc)

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries
 

Document management and control


Owner: Dean of Graduate Studies

Content manager: School of Graduate Studies

Approval date: July 2015

Review date: July 2018