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'Higher Degree by Research Committee' - Membership and Terms of Reference

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Section 1 - Establishment


(1) Charles Sturt University (the University) is required to exercise academic governance oversight of its research and research training activities, through the Academic Senate and its sub-committees.


(2) The Higher Degree by Research Committee shall undertake the duties as listed under Section 4 below, to ensure the academic governance oversight of higher degree by research courses of the University.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(3) For the purpose of this document:

  1. Committee – means the Higher Degree by Research Committee.
  2. Higher degree by research (HDR) – means a masters or doctorate course of which at least 66% is research.
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Section 3 - Membership

(4) The committee shall comprise:

  1. the Dean, Graduate Research (Chair)
  2. the Director of Research Services
  3. one Sub Dean (Graduate Studies) from each faculty
  4. two higher degree by research students, nominated by the Student Senate, who are not also a full-time members of staff, and
  5. the Graduate Research Manager will have right of audience and debate.

(5) The members appointed by the Student Senate shall have a term of office for two years.

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Section 4 - Functions and responsibilities

Committee responsibilities

(6) The Higher Degree by Research Committee shall advise the University Research Committee on all matters relating to higher degree by research quality and performance and the academic governance of research training activities of the University, and the administration of higher degree by research candidature.

(7) The Higher Degree by Research Committee will:

  1. advise the University Research Committee on matters pertaining to research higher degree programs
  2. establish standing committees and working groups as may be required for the conduct of the committee's business
  3. monitor the administration of research higher degree programs at the faculty level in order to maintain appropriate commonality of procedures and standards
  4. provide advice and recommendations to the faculties, the University Research Committee and Academic Senate in relation to the administration of higher degrees by research
  5. address any matters concerning higher degrees by research which are referred to it by the University Research Committee, Academic Senate or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
  6. review admissions, progress, attritions and completions detail and provide annual summary reports to the University Research Committee
  7. monitor and provide annual summary reports to the University Research Committee on scholarship applications and awards, research training scheme allocations and other matters of financial support relating to higher degree by research candidatures
  8. develop a framework to ensure quality in research by higher degree courses and subjects;
  9. monitor compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021, receive and consider reports on this relevant to the committee and ensure appropriate actions are recommended to the University Research Committee, and
  10. receive and review course review reports for higher degree by research courses, and make appropriate recommendations to the University Research Committee.
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Section 5 - Meetings


(8) A quorum for a meeting of the committee shall be a majority of the membership, i.e., half of the entire membership, plus one.


(9) Meetings will be published by the committee secretary in an annual schedule of meetings, approved by the committee chair.

Agendas and minutes

(10) Agendas and minutes for the meetings of the committee will be prepared by the committee secretary.

(11) Meetings shall be conducted a minimum of four times per year, with the frequency and timing to align with supporting the business of the University Research Committee.

(12) Minutes or summary thereof of the Higher Degree by Research Committee meetings will be submitted to the agenda of the next University Research Committee meeting.

Conflicts of interest

(13) Where a member has a perceived or material conflict of interest, they must declare this to the chair and at the committee meeting before the item of business is discussed.


(14) Variations to the terms of reference and/or membership of the committee must be approved by the University Research Committee.