Postgraduate assessment is achieved entirely by external examination of a thesis by two External Examiners, overseen by a Chair of Examiners.
Having worked very hard for 3-4 years to carry out the research documented in a thesis, its only appropriate that every care be taken to ensure that each candidate's thesis is examined by internationally acclaimed experts in the field, experienced in postgraduate education, training and examination. This is not as straightforward as it might seem, as there may only be a handful of suitable individuals, each with many demands on their time. To achieve the best possible outcome, we encourage the Principal Advisor to identify and make direct representations to the very best prospective examiners. In many cases this will require that the Principal Advisor personally convince prospective examiners of the merits of taking on the role of examiner. Even when convinced, the timing may not work for some examiners, as they are simply not available and cannot meet the deadlines imposed by the UQ Graduate School.
Once the Principal Advisor has identified two suitable, willing and available examiners;
- The Principal Advisor nominates the examiners (via Pebbles Senior).
- The IMB Postgraduate Office reviews the nominations, contacting the nominees to confirm that they have no Conflicts of Interest (COI).
- The IMB PG Coordinator then endorses (or not) the nominations, and forwards endorsed nominations to the UQ Graduate School for approval.
- The UQ Graduate School re-assesses and approves (or not) all nominated examiners.
- If a nominated examiner is not endorsed/approved, the Principal Advisor is required to nominate a replacement.
In due course the UQ Graduate School approves two examiners and:
- The thesis is sent out to both examiners for examination.
- Examiners are given six weeks to examine a PhD thesis (four weeks for an MPhil).
- Each examiner provides a detailed written report to the UQ Graduate School, with a recommendation to pass/fail, and to undertake such revisions as are deemed necessary.
IMB Chair of Examiners
- The CoE is the relevant IMB Division Head, unless there is a Conflict of Interest (COI) in which case the task falls to the Deputy Division Head.
- The role of the CoE is to oversee the candidate's response to the examiner reports.
- The CoE does not act as a third examiner, and cannot request revisions not identified by either of the approved examiners.
- The CoE notifies the IMB PG Office that they endorse or do not endorse the candidate's response.
- The IMB PG Coordinator reviews and forwards the CoE response to the UQ Graduate School.
- The IMB PG Coordinator can adjudicate where there are strongly conflicting opinions between the candidate and the CoE.