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Changes to supervision

Sometimes there can be a need for a change of supervisor during your candidature. For example, an illness, leave, appointment to another institution or other events may result in the unavailability of a supervisor.

Alternatively, the relationship between you and your supervisor could prove to be unsatisfactory. If one of these situations arises, you should discuss the matter with your supervisor first and make an alternative arrangement.

If you feel unable to talk directly with your supervisor, you can discuss the matter with your Postgraduate Coordinator or Dean of School, Associate Dean (Research) or Graduate Research School.

Requesting a change of supervisor

Changing or adding supervisors to your team can be done by completing a Nomination of Supervisors form. The form must be initiated by a staff member through the Online Forms and Workflow application, accepted by all new supervisors and approved by your Dean of School. For more information about the process staff should refer to the Nomination of Supervisors web page. 

Find a supervisor

While the final allocation of a supervisor will be confirmed by your school, it’s in your interests to take an active role in identifying a supervisor you would like to work with.  Use the Find a supervisor tool to identify potential supervisors.

Close personal relationships

Your supervisor cannot be a member of your family or someone who is in or was in a close personal relationship with you.

In many cases, only you and/or your supervisor(s) will be aware of the close personal relationship or potential conflict of interest. It is a joint responsibility to advise a senior member of staff if a potential or actual conflict of interest occurs.

More information about personal relationships and conflict of interest can be found in the ECU Code of Conduct.

Grievance procedures

If you’re experiencing difficulties with supervision you should initially try to resolve the problem through discussion with your supervisor. If this is unsatisfactory, or not possible, you should discuss the matter first with your Postgraduate Coordinator, then, if necessary, with your Dean of School or Associate Dean (Research).

If the problem can’t be resolved through discussion at these levels, you can lodge a written complaint with the Dean of the Graduate Research School. If you’re still dissatisfied with the decision after an investigation by the School, you may appeal against that ruling to the Committee of Review.

Following submission of your thesis for examination, you may appeal against aspects of the examination process or outcome of the examination, but not against aspects of supervision. Therefore, it is essential to attempt to resolve supervision issues as early as possible.

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