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Higher Degree Research Office

Macquarie Framework for Higher Degree Research Supervision


In 2007 Academic Senate approved (PDF file) the establishment of a Macquarie Supervisor Register (MQSR). Senate approved eligibility requirements for both initial and continuous registration, as well as the conditions for deregistration.  It has also approved a number of related higher degree research policies.  Appointment and de-registration are the primary responsibility of Executive Deans of Faculty.  The Code of Higher Degree Research Practice, incorporating the Code of Supervisory Practice was noted by Senate in February 2007 and updated in 2008.  It incorporates key elements outlined in Section 3.1 of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Strategic Planning

The paper to Academic Senate highlighted the linkage between the improved research performance goal outlined in the Macquarie @50 strategy, the Research Strategic Plan 2009-2011 in relation to the expansion of research active staff and the need to maintain a continuous improvement framework for postgraduate research training.  Senate also noted AUQA recommendations in relation to systematic university-wide supervisor training and support for HDR candidates, and the need for developing and maintaining supervisor registers.  


The Supervision Enhancement Program, in operation since 2005, has been an important tool in facilitating the achievement of enhanced supervisory performance and provides a mechanism for Principal Supervisors.  The Supervision Enhancement Program provides an online, compulsory orientation Module (called the Initial Supervision Enhancement Program). It also provides continuing professional development (called the Annual Update) for HDR Supervisors that complements Faculty-based training.

The Macquarie Supervisor Register lists Macquarie staff members who are eligible to be listed as Principal Supervisors. One of these requirements is completion of the Supervision Enhancement Program. For other requirements, see the HDR Supervision Policy. Co-Supervisors and Adjunct Supervisors are also required to complete supervision training, and are provided with a Statement of Completion by the Convenor of the Supervision Enhancement Program. All HDR supervisors are expected to annually update their supervisory training. 

Staff members will be able to update discretionary data via IRIS.

Evaluation and Reporting

The focus on supervisory roles, training and expectations is believed to have resulted in substantial improvements in Macquarie’s management of HDR training. Improvements in the candidature withdrawal rate have been noted; there is greater transparency regarding support funding for HDR training and supervision; annual completions planning is now an accepted mainstream activity; on-line feedback from Supervision Enhancement Program attendees has revealed positive outcomes in relation to increased knowledge of requirements and suggestions for website improvements have been made by attending staff members.  Evaluation of these activities will be undertaken via PREQ and other internal Macquarie student feedback instruments and reported to the Higher Degree Research Committee.