Chapter 1: Introduction
1.4 Responsibilities of the Schools
Before a candidate is admitted to a research degree, the Faculty needs to find a School that takes on the responsibility for ensuring that the candidate receives adequate support throughout the period of candidature. Every research candidate is assigned to a School that has the responsibility for overseeing the candidate's progress. Ultimately, responsibility for the degree of PhD rests with the Monash Research Graduate School (MRGS) and the Research Graduate School Committee (RGSC), while responsibility for Masters degrees resides with the Arts Research Graduate School Committee and the Faculty, but normal day-to-day responsibility resides with the School.
One key responsibility of a School is to ensure candidates receive adequate supervision. Before candidates are admitted into a research degree, all prospective candidates need to discuss their proposed research topic with an academic member in their proposed School to establish that the research falls within the School's research strength. It is important for candidates to receive supervision from supervisors who have the appropriate expertise. All research candidates are normally required to have a main and an associate supervisor. It is also the responsibility of the School to ensure candidates receive adequate supervision prior to a staff member going on leave. Indeed, the head must ascertain that adequate supervision can be sustained before giving authority for a staff member to take leave.
Schools also have a responsibility to find ways of facilitating the kinds of intellectual exchange that are best suited to fostering productive research in their disciplines. This commonly includes the organisation of seminar series and the scheduling of lectures by visiting speakers. Research candidates are urged to make a concerted effort to attend such functions, even when the topic appears unrelated to their own research.
One way intellectual exchange is fostered is by the provision of space within the Faculty where people meet and talk informally. The Faculty finds it impossible to do what it would dearly like to do - supplying such space. Instead the Faculty contributes strongly to the Monash Research Graduate School (MRGS), which offers outstanding facilities to research candidates - see the section on 'Facilities and Services' in this 'Research Survival Guide'.
Photocopying, electronic access, and other such things are important infrastructure for research, and candidates should expect reasonable support from Schools in making such infrastructure available to them. It is important that candidates familiarise themselves with the in-house rules developed by their School for access to such facilities. Research candidates can approach their Graduate Coordinator for a handout on facilities supplied to research candidates.
Menzies Research Graduate Centre
The Menzies Research Graduate Centre has been developed as a shared project between the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Business and Economics. From the perspective of the Faculty of Arts this facility has been built as a base for 16 of our full time post-graduate research students so that they can have well-equipped, secure and comfortable surroundings in which to complete their research.
The Centre has 14 student offices (each accommodating 2 students) of which 8 are for Arts students. Each office contains two workstations, each comprising a desk, ergonomic chair, bookcase, set of drawers, rubbish bin, notice board, telephone, new computer, etc. The Centre also has a "facilities/social room" comprising kitchen, microwave, refrigerator, sofas and photocopier/printer.
Students gain a place in the Centre through a fair nomination process. When a place comes up the Schools are informed and students' Supervisors put forward a nomination. A selection is made based on the students' need for space.