Higher Degree by Research Supervisors

Each Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student will be assigned a main supervisor and one or more co-supervisors and/or associate supervisor(s).

It is mandatory that Curtin staff have current registration on the Register of Supervisors in order to be appointed as chairpersons, supervisors, co-supervisors or associate supervisors of HDR students. For External Associates, Emeritus and Adjunct staff, registration on the Register of Supervisors is voluntary.

Three (3) major Levels of Supervisor

  • Main Supervisor (Must be a Registered Level 1 Supervisor)
  • Co-Supervisor (Either a Register Level 1 or Level 2 Supervisor)
  • Associate Supervisor (If applicable)


Supervisors are very important in

  • Maintaining links with the professional and/or practice base of the discipline
  • Providing a role model and/or mentor role to students
  • Providing a mentor role to newer supervisors
  • Maintaining quality for Curtin in research training


  • Provide advice and assistance on student’s research project
  • Meet / contact regularly with students
  • Provide constructive feedback on progress (Milestones)
  • Facilitate training in techniques as needed
  • Complete Annual Progress Report (APR)for each student (milestones into the future)
  • Read carefully all written work and provide feedback
  • Be alert to full-time scholarship students overloading with paid work
  • Engage in conversations regarding research integrity

1. To be eligible for entry onto the Register of Supervisors, a staff member shall satisfy the following conditions:

  1. Be an academic staff member of the University.
  2. Be actively engaged in research, within the University, as demonstrated by at least one relevant publication in the last two years (including research reports/creative works/patents)
  3. Have successfully completed the online University Research Integrity professional development course
  4. Agree to supervise HDR students in accordance with Curtin’s Rule 10 made pursuant to Statute No. 12 – Enrolment: Degree of Doctor by Research and Rule 11 made pursuant to Statute No. 12 – Enrolment: Degree of Master by Research and with the University Policies relating to Research
  5. Have a recognised tertiary qualification equal to or above that of the course of study being supervised or have equivalent professional experience.
  6. Have taken steps within the last three years to develop and maintain good supervisory skills and knowledge of Curtin’s policies, guidelines and rules as they pertain to higher degrees by research. This may include attendance at relevant workshops/seminars offered by the Graduate Research School (GRS), Faculties, Enrolling Areas or other areas of the University, or attendance at appropriate supervisory skills development conferences/workshops external to the University, or participation in established online programs. This may also include a staff member’s designated role as a School (or equivalent) Director of Graduate Research. Active membership of the University Graduate Studies Committee or a Faculty Graduate Studies Committee also fulfils this criterion.

2. Criteria

2.1. Level 2

To qualify for Level 2 Registration, a staff member must satisfy all of the criteria in item 1.

2.2. Level 1

To qualify for Level 1 Registration, a staff member must satisfy all of the criteria in item 1; and

Have successfully supervised a research masters or doctoral student to completion.

3. Upgrade from Level 2 to Level 1

Staff who are Level 2 registrants and who subsequently meet requirements for Level 1 registration through successful completion of a higher degree by research student, shall contact a Graduate Studies Officer to arrange for approval by the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Training or nominee to upgrade their registration to Level 1. The University Graduate Studies Committee shall note these approvals accordingly.

Where the staff member has not supervised a student to completion, the requirement for 3.3.1 may be waived for Doctoral Level 1 Registration, provided that the staff member has:

Engaged in co-supervision of a research masters or doctoral student for a minimum of two years; and

Completed a minimum of two HDR professional development activities in the last three years, as outlined in 3.2.1 (f), where one of these activities relates to the Thesis Examination Process.

4. Application

To apply as a new Registered Supervisor (Level 2 and 1 only), renewing or updating application, please click this link.

To apply as an Associate Supervisor, please submit ‘Registration of a University Associate for the Purposes of Supervision of Higher Degree by Research Students‘ form to the Curtin Malaysia Graduate School.

The full list of registered supervisors can be found at Register of Supervisors page.

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