Finding the right examiners for your candidate is a crucial part of being a supervisor. In the final months before thesis submission, you and your candidate will draw up a long list of potential examiners. You will then cut this down to a final list, which your candidate is not to see. Once you have decided, you should submit the list via the Nomination of Examiners form, which can also be downloaded as a PDF or DOC.
MRes students are not involved in nominating examiners at all.
Before submitting the Nomination of Examiners form, contact the examiners and confirm they will examine the thesis. You should be prepared for some to be unavailable due to other commitments or a clash with the Nomination of Examiner's Policy. Often, you may find yourself sacrificing expertise for experience – strive to find the most suitable examiners possible while still conforming to Macquarie's policy.
You should not contact the examiners during examination.
When examiner reports are received, they will be sent to you for comment. Your response will then be considered by the Program and Examination Sub-Committee (PESC) of the HDR Committee. Your comments, along with the examiner reports and the Associate Dean (HDR)’s recommendation will be considered by the Dean of HDR. This process will dictate what minor or major conditions (if any) your candidate must make to receive their degree.
If an examiner has recommended that your candidate revise and re-submit their thesis for re-examination, or that the degree not be awarded, you must provide a full and frank response. The committee looks to supervisors for feedback and guidance in these cases, while still upholding the highest academic standards in the examination process.
In responding to examiners' reports, think through their comments and weigh up the arguments before making a recommendation. It is not your responsibility to advocate on behalf of your candidate or discredit the examiner. The majority of candidates are asked to make corrections.
Corrections and re-examination
If your candidate has been asked to make major or minor corrections, it is your responsibility to identify how to achieve them. You must ensure you respond to all suggestions for correction, either dictating changes, or explaining why changes are unnecessary. Once your candidate has complete these corrections, a written report must be submitted to the Dean HDR.
If your candidate has been asked to revise and re-submit their thesis for re-examination, they must re-enrol for a period of up to one year and then re-submit. The thesis will generally be sent to the original examiners if they are willing and able to re-examine. Extensions for candidates revising their thesis are normally not allowed.
Examining a thesis
As part of your profession as a researcher, you will be asked to examine theses from other universities. This is a professional obligation, as well as a way to develop a better understanding of the kind of theses being produced globally, which will help you become a better supervisor.
Before accepting an offer to examine a thesis, you should consider if there is a conflict of interest, if you can complete your examination in the requested timeframe, and whether you have the necessary expertise.
When examining, you should pay attention to the criteria of the institution, provide reasons for your assessment (with examples) and most importantly, examine the thesis you have read, not the one you would like to have.