Thesis Examining Panel

The panel that is appointed prior to submission of the thesis and comprises the Chairperson of the Thesis Committee (ex officio) acting as Chair, and two Examiners both of whom shall be external to the University. Persons who are external to the University will not hold or have held an employment contract with the University within three months of nomination as an examiner or at any time during the examination process, nor will they be an Emeritus Professor of the University.

Thesis Examining Panel

The Curtin Malaysia Graduate School Committee (CMGSC) shall, on the recommendation of the Head of Enrolling Area, appoint a Thesis Examining Panel, comprising:

  1. the Chairperson of the Thesis Committee (ex officio) acting as Chairperson; and
  2. two Examiners both of whom shall be external to the University.

No person who is or has at any time been a member of a candidate’s Interim Thesis Committee or Thesis Committee shall be eligible for appointment as an Examiner.

In recommending a Thesis Examining Panel, the Head of Enrolling Area shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that Examiners are free from bias with respect to the candidate, the Supervisor or the University, and shall preserve the integrity and independence of the examination process.

Examiners shall possess a Doctoral qualification or be deemed by the CMGSC to be of equivalent status with recognised standing in the field of study.

Examiners are requested to examine a thesis within six weeks of receipt. If any Examiner is unable to complete the examination within three months, the Head of Enrolling Area may recommend a replacement Examiner to the CMGSC for approval.

The Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Training may, upon recommendation by the CMGSC, appoint a replacement Examiner, or Adjudicator as appropriate, in the following circumstances:

  1. where an Examiner, or Adjudicator, is unable to continue an examination for any reason;
  2. where an Examiner, or Adjudicator, is unable to re-examine for any reason;
  3. where an Examiner, or Adjudicator, demonstrates bias with respect to the candidate, the Supervisor or the University in their examination report.

Names of Examiners shall not be released unless the Examiner(s) specifically approves the release of his/her identity, subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Only the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Training (or nominee), the Chairperson of Graduate Committee and the Chairperson of the Thesis Committee may communicate with the Examiners regarding the examination process while the thesis is under examination.

Conflict of Interest between Nominee Examiners, Supervisors and Students

No person shall be eligible for appointment as an Examiner due to conflict of interest as stated below:

Personal and/or legal relationships between the potential examiner and the supervisor which would constitute a conflict of interest:

  • the examiner is related to the supervisor;
  • the examiner is a friend of the supervisor or has a social relationship (e.g. co-trustee of a Will, god-parent, etc.) with the supervisor which could give rise to a conflict of interest;
  • the examiner has a personal relationship of enmity with the supervisor;
  • the examiner and the supervisor have an existing or a previous emotional relationship of de facto, are co-residents or are members of a common household;
  • the examiner is or was married to the supervisor;
  • the examiner is legally family to the supervisor (e.g. step-mother, brother-in-law, etc.);
  • the examiner is a legal guardian of, or has power of attorney for the supervisor;
  • the examiner is a legal dependent of the supervisor;
  • the examiner has had personal contact with the supervisor that could be perceived to cause the examiner to deal with the student in a less than objective manner.

Working and/or professional relationships between the potential examiner and the supervisor which would constitute a conflict of interest:

  • the examiner has co-authored a paper with the supervisor in the last 5 years*;
  • the examiner was a student of the supervisor in the last 5 years;
  • the examiner holds a current grant with the supervisor**:
  • the examiner has co-supervised with the supervisor in the last 5 years;
  • the examiner holds a patent with the supervisor granted no more than 8 years prior and which is still valid;
  • the examiner is, has been in the past 5 years, or is negotiating to be in the future, the supervisor’s direct employer or employee;
  • the examiner is or has been in a business relationship with the supervisor in the last 5 years (e.g. business partners);
  • the examiner has a professional relationship with the supervisor (e.g. shared membership of a Board Committee).

Before the thesis is submitted, the supervisory team is advised to nominate at least two (2) examiners. The  Nomination of Examiners form, the Case for the Nomination of Examiners  for HDR Student form and CVs for all examiners need to be submitted to the Graduate School for approval.

Approximately three months before the anticipated date of completion, Thesis Examining Panel Members will be nominated by the supervisory team.

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