Your Responsibilities as a Research Student

A research degree is not just about the development of your thesis - it is also about the development of you as a researcher.

As a research student you have responsibility for managing both yourself and your work and within the research degree programme to:

  • ensure you are familiar with the University's requirements
  • satisfactorily complete formal reviews of your progress
  • develop an appropriate range of research and other skills
  • submit on time a thesis of an appropriate standard 

The formal responsibilities that you have as a research student are described below. If you have any questions about any aspect of these, you should discuss these with your supervisory team as early as possible.

Managing Yourself
  • complete initial registration and any subsequent re-registration as required and, in the case of international research students, comply with all relevant immigration requirements
  • make yourself familiar with relevant policies and procedures – in particular, with the Senate Regulations and the Code of Conduct for Research
  • make time at the start of the research degree programme to discuss with the supervisory team the nature of research, the standard of work expected of research students, and the respective roles and responsibilities you and your supervisory team have
  • confirm with the supervisory team how supervision will work in practice and clarify your own preferences with respect to the type of supervisory guidance needed and the ways in which this might be provided
  • undertake appropriate skills and career development training
  • maintain a record of completed skills and career development activities and review and revise your training plan as appropriate
Managing Your Work
  • develop an appropriate research plan that will enable submission of your thesis for examination within the relevant maximum registration period
  • manage and sustain progress in accordance with the agreed research plan, including the submission to the supervisory team of interim work as required
  • recognise when you need help and take the initiative in raising any concerns and problems as early as possible with the supervisory team or the Postgraduate Tutor
  • comply with all relevant requirements with respect to intellectual property
  • maintain regular contact with the supervisory team and take the initiative in agreeing with the supervisory team a mutually acceptable schedule for formal supervisory meetings
  • attend formal supervisory meetings as scheduled and make appropriate arrangements if it is not possible to attend a scheduled supervisory meeting
  • reflect on and respond to feedback and guidance provided by the supervisory team at formal supervisory meetings
  • prepare and keep an agreed written record of each formal supervisory meeting
  • comply with the University’s requirements for formal progress reviews
  • provide the supervisory team with a complete final draft of the thesis by a mutually acceptable date in sufficient time before the required submission date for the supervisors to read and comment on
  • reflect on and respond to feedback and guidance provided by the supervisory team with regards to the final draft of the thesis
  • ensure that the thesis complies with all relevant regulations, including those on word length, format, and binding
  • make appropriate preparations for the viva voce examination and attend the examination as required by the examining team
  • comply with all thesis final submission requirements – submission of one hard bound copy of the thesis to the Graduate School Office and one electronic copy of the thesis to the University Library
Academic Honesty

Finally, all research students have a responsibility to demonstrate academic honesty in their work and conduct.

The University’s primary functions of teaching and research involve a search for knowledge and the truthful recording of the findings of that search. Any action that is knowingly taken by the research student which involves misrepresentation of the truth shall be considered as academic dishonesty and as such is an offence which the University believes should merit the application of very severe penalties.

Offences in this category include, but are not confined to:

  • cheating in examinations
  • copying work from or using work written by another student
  • copying from published authorities, including online sources, without acknowledgement
  • making work available to another person for copying
  • soliciting or commissioning work
  • pretending ownership of another’s ideas
  • falsifying results
  • undertaking research without appropriate ethical approval

If a research student is deemed to have been guilty of academic dishonesty, the Head of Department is authorised to apply penalties as specified in the Regulations Governing Research Degree Programmes and this can include the termination of the student's registration.

If you have any questions about what constitutes academic dishonesty, you should discuss these with your supervisory team as early as possible. If you are unsure what may constitute plagiarism you may also like to consult our online guide Avoiding Plagiarism in Your Research Degree.

You and Your Supervisors - Making Supervision Work for You

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