This information is for external examiners of an HDR thesis.
Examiners make a critical contribution to assessing and upholding the quality of HDR research at Flinders University. Flinders University respects the expertise and time of external examiners and greatly appreciates their service to the scholarly community.
Examiners are asked to review the following information before commencing examination of a Flinders University thesis.
Flinders University engages two examiners for HDR theses. Examiners are external to the University, have no real, potential or perceived conflicts of interest. They are research active experts of international standing in the discipline and have appropriate qualifications.
As with many Australian universities, the examination is based on the written thesis. An oral defence is not required. Travel to Adelaide is not required.
Examiners are kindly requested to return their recommendation within 6 weeks.
All students are required to put their thesis through Turnitin before examination. The Turnitin report is used as an education tool for the student and supervisor.
If an examiner has concerns relating to academic integrity these should immediately be raised by contacting us.
The HDR examination process is managed by Flinders University online candidature management system - Inspire
Examiners will be sent an email with login details and will be required to login as an external user.
The thesis will be made available for examiners in Inspire. Once an examiner is ready to finalise their report, they can upload their written comments and make a recommendation for a grade in Inspire.
Please note that emails from inspire are system generated. Please do not reply to these emails. If you have questions please contact us.
We request that examiners do not contact the supervisors or students in relation to any material that is under examination.
If an examiner requires clarification or has questions, they can contact the HDR Examinations Coordinator.
All students are required to demonstrate:
Examiners are asked to review the course rules for the specific thesis they are examining. The type of thesis will be indicated in Inspire.
Flinders University encourages students to publish their work. Publications benefit the student’s career and contribute to knowledge. Students may include publications completed during their candidature in their thesis if they follow the guidelines as set out in the HDR thesis rules. However, our students are not required to publish their work in order to obtain an HDR.
We consider that a standard thesis is a different form of scholarship than academic publications.
Multi-author papers may be included within a thesis, provided:
Examiners will be provided with a copy of co-authorship approval for student publications that are included in the main body of the thesis.
If a student is enrolled in a PhD by Prior Published Work, this will be highlighted in the student details in Inspire.
The PhD by Prior Published Work is only for individuals who have already generated a range of high-quality publications that form a substantial contribution to knowledge, that is, publications completed prior to the commencement of the degree.
The maximum duration of candidature is one year from approval of enrolment.
In addition to the relevant publications intended for examination, and all the items listed in Rules 3. to 5. in the HDR Thesis Rules, the thesis must include:
Multi-author publications may be included within a thesis, provided:
Publications where the student is not the primary author may be included within a thesis if a clear justification for the publication’s inclusion is provided, including the circumstances relating to production of the publication and the student’s position in the list of authors. However, it is preferable to include such publications as appendices, rather than in the main body of the thesis.
For more information about the PhD by prior published work refer to the Course Information Page.
A Cotutelle Degree refers to a doctoral degree program that is undertaken jointly at Flinders University and an international higher education institution. If students are managed under a Cotutelle agreement this will be highlighted in the student details in Inspire.
The examination process may vary for students enrolled in Cotutelle degrees. Examiners will be notified if there are any changes to the standard Flinders University process.
All theses submitted for examination must have a high standard of presentation. Students are required to adhere to Flinders HDR thesis rules when laying out their thesis.
Students are permitted to use the services of a professional editor for formatting, grammar and style only. Students are encouraged to acknowledge the editor’s assistance in the thesis.
The following word limits are provided as guidelines to students:
|Masters by research||35,000||50,000|
|Masters by research with an artefact and exegesis*||*15,000||*30,000|
|PhD with an artefact and exegesis*||*40,000||*60,000|
|PhD by Prior Published Work (Contextual statement)||10,000||40,000|
|PhD (Clinical Psychology)||60,000||100,000|
Flinders University examination rules permit a student to submit the thesis to examiners, even if this is against the advice of the supervisor.
Examiners will not be informed at any stage whether the thesis submission was supported by the supervisor.
If examiners have questions or concerns during the examination, we ask that you contact the HDR exams team and not the supervisors.
Important information for examiners is summarised on this webpage. Examiners are also encouraged to refer to the:
Examiners will be asked to write and upload a written report on the quality of the thesis and recommend one of the following grades in Inspire:
|A:||Award: that the degree should be awarded, subject to satisfying any coursework requirements (if applicable);|
Award: that the degree should be awarded, subject to the completion of minor amendments to the thesis (specified by the examiner) to be carried out to the satisfaction of the supervisor, college HDR coordinator and the Dean of Graduate Research and subject to satisfying any coursework requirements (if applicable);
Note: Minor amendments may include the correction of spelling or typographical errors and small changes to the text.
Award: that the degree should be awarded, subject to the completion of major amendments to the thesis (specified by the examiner) to be carried out to the satisfaction of the supervisor, college HDR coordinator and the Dean of Graduate Research and subject to satisfying any coursework requirements (if applicable);
Note: Major amendments apply when an examiner is assured that the thesis is sound, but the amendments suggest changes to the structure and/or substance of some chapters of the thesis to improve the thesis without re-examination.
|D:||Resubmit: that the degree should not be awarded but the student should be permitted to revise and resubmit the thesis for re-examination. A thesis may be resubmitted for examination only once;|
|E:||Award alternate degree: that in the case of a student who has submitted a thesis for the degree of PhD or professional doctorate an appropriate masters degree or designated exit award should be awarded;|
|F:||Non Award: that the degree should not be awarded and the student should not be allowed to present for the degree again.|
In order to preserve the integrity and independence of the examination process, the identities of examiners are not revealed to students until both examiner’s reports have been received and approved for release to the student.
If an examiner wishes to remain anonymous, they can indicate this when they submit their report in Inspire. However, please note that the student may receive the entire report upon request under the provisions of Freedom of Information Legislation.
Examiners will be asked to indicate if they believe a student should be considered for the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence in Inspire.
When determining awardees the University will consult both examiners’ reports and a nomination from a supervisor. The following will also be taken into consideration:
Further information is available at Awards for Academic Excellence.
Flinders University sincerely appreciates the expertise of examiners and time spent in examining a thesis for our students.
You will be required to upload a written commentary on the thesis, provide an assessment of the thesis against an academic framework and recommend a grade.
Results will be released to student after we have received both examiners' reports. The next stage of the examination process depends on the combination of examiners' results.
Students who receive any combination of A, B, C will be required to make amendments to their thesis based on the examiners' recommendations. Amendments to the thesis must be approved by the supervisor, the college HDR coordinator and the Dean of Graduate Research.
Students who are required to revise and resubmit their thesis will be re-enrolled in their degree, make amendments to improve their thesis and submit it for a second examination. Re-examination is only permitted once.
When examiner reports are significantly divergent the case will be referred to the University HDR Committee. The committee can make a determination on the grade or choose to engage a third examiner to provide additional expertise.
Students are required to submit a final electronic copy of their thesis to the library. There may be some theses that are embargoed for a period of time for various reasons, such as confidentiality or future publications.
In accordance with current Universities Australia guidelines Flinders University pays an honorarium to external HDR examiners of $A517 for a doctoral level degree or $A291 for a masters by research.
In cases where an examiner is required to re-examine a thesis, they will receive an additional honorarium.
Note: Examiners from United Nations or Australian sanctioned countries may be asked to provide bank details in a third country.
All forms once completed should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2020 Flinders University migrated the HDR examination process into the online system, Inspire. As this is a new system, we welcome your feedback and any suggestions for future improvements.
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