The role of Postgraduate Coordinators is not one governed specifically by Rule 10: Degree by Doctor by Research and Rule 11: Degree of Master by Research. Consequently it will vary between Enrolling Areas.
Invariably however, the Postgraduate Coordinator is the primary contact for postgraduate students at the Enrolling Area level. As such, you should ensure that all research students, as soon as possible after enrolment, are made aware of your role and how this can be of assistance to them.
You are the first point of reference for students with problems that cannot be resolved by their thesis committee.
You contribute to the development of the research culture in your Enrolling Area by facilitating contacts between Higher degree by research students and staff, beyond the student’s thesis committee.
In your role you may also assist the Head of Enrolling Area, as directed, on matters relating to Admission and Enrolment, selection of Supervisors, Ethics, Intellectual Property, Candidacy, Annual Progress Reports, Leave of Absence and Examination (see the Guidelines for Heads of Enrolling Areas). It is not uncommon for the Postgraduate Coordinators to take the role of Chairperson of thesis committees.
As the administrative contact for Higher degree by research students, your role will involve duties such as;
- Making students aware of Rule 10: Degree of Doctor by Research and Rule 11: Degree of Master by Research and the guidelines for research students. These guidelines cover the research degree process from admission to graduation;
- Making students aware of the essential facilities requirement with respect to the financial, physical, library and computing resources to which research students are entitled at the Enrolling Area, Faculty and University level (see the document outlining Essential Facilities);
- Ensuring that students obtain appropriate ethics clearance by assisting them in identifying the appropriate Ethics Committee to which they may need to submit applications for approval of their research. It is important to stress to the student that ethics approval processes can take longer than the student may expect and therefore they should submit any applications as soon as possible after candidacy has been approved;
- Advising students of their responsibilities as researchers under the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. (Also refer Section 4 of the Higher Education Standards Framework relating to Research and Research Training);
- Liaising where necessary, on behalf of students, with Graduate Research School staff;
- Liaising with faculty library staff to optimise the access to the library and its services and facilities by Higher degree by research students in your area;
- Encouraging students to apply for scholarships and other forms of financial support from both inside and outside the University for which they may be eligible;
- Advising students of the various University services which provide assistance for specific needs, including the Curtin University Postgraduate Students’ Association (CUPSA), the Student Guild, University Counselling and health services and other potentially useful contacts.