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Decide on examiners

One of the most important issues that needs to be considered before submitting your thesis for examination is the selection of examiners. After all the effort of completing the thesis the last thing you want is for the examination to be delayed because the examiners have not been recommended and invited to examine your thesis. There may be delays of up to two months in your examination process if examiners are not finalised before submitting your thesis.

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Process for recommending examiners

In order to avoid any delays, at least three months before you anticipate submission of your thesis your supervisor (on behalf of the Faculty) should initiate negotiations with potential examiners.

You can discuss potential examiners with your supervisor at this stage but you must not contact any potential examiners. Once your supervisor has obtained the names of three examiners for a Masters or four for a PhD a Recommendation for Appointment of Examiners form is completed by your supervisor, signed by the Dean or delegate, the supervisor and you, and submitted to the Director Postgraduate Research Studies for approval. At this stage you will also have to sign an agreement not to contact or attempt to influence the examiners during the examination period.

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Who can be an examiner?

In selecting examiners the University will consider the following criteria:

  1. An examiner shall normally hold a degree that is at least the equivalent of that which he or she is appointed to examine a candidate for.
  2. An examiner shall have a proven track record of research and/or scholarship in a field of study relevant to the subject matter on which the thesis to be examined is based.
  3. An examiner shall be active in research and/or scholarship at the time of acting as an examiner.
  4. An examiner shall be experienced in supervising postgraduate students by research and/or be experienced in examining PhD and Masters by Research theses.
  5. In the case of internal examiners, such persons shall be full time employees of the University at the time of appointment of examiners.
  6. In the case of external examiners, such persons shall not be employees of the University at the time of appointment of examiners.
  7. An examiner shall not have interests in common with either the candidate, the supervisor or the thesis project which could result in a conflict of interests or bias during the examination process.

Administrative requirements

Lodge the Recommendation of Examiners form well prior to submission (preferably around 3 months prior to submission).

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Examiners: tips from advisors

Supervisors and Students
When in the process do you think is the best time to think about examiners?

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CDU related links:

Rules for Examination of Theses Submitted for a Professional Doctorate or Higher Degree by Research

Recommendation of Examiners' Form are available on contacting the Research Degrees and Scholarships Officer

Powerpoint presentation on examination procedures

'It's a PhD, not a Nobel Prize!' how experienced examiners assess research theses' by Gerry Mullins






















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