Doctoral Research Committee

The Doctoral Research Committee will advise Academic Board on matters relating to doctoral degrees at Massey University. Its membership, terms of reference and accountability are as follows:

Terms of Reference

1.0 Statement of Intent and Purpose

1.1 Legislative Authority

Academic Board is a Board established pursuant to Section 182(2) of the Education Act 1989. The Academic Board may convene sub-committees to undertake specific duties on behalf of the Board. For the avoidance of doubt, all sub-committees constituted by the Academic Board are hereby deemed to be Committees of Council appointed pursuant to Section 193 of the Education Act 1989. All delegations by the Academic Board to its sub-committees are hereby deemed to be delegations by Council to its Committees. Those sub-committees may further delegate to staff.

The Doctoral Research Committee is a subcommittee of the University Research Committee, a subcommittee of Academic Board.

1.2 Purpose

The Doctoral Research Committee is established to exercise academic governance across the doctoral research activities of the University, to effectively engage the University community in academic decision-making, and to develop an academic community committed to scholastic excellence through the training and development of researchers, including doctoral candidates.

1.3 Role and Functions

The role and functions of the Doctoral Research Committee are:

  • 1.3.1 to identify, promulgate, and monitor the deployment of best practice across the University with regard to supervision and examination of Doctoral candidates.
  • 1.3.2 to ensure the University’s doctoral qualifications are fit for purpose and align with international standards.
  • 1.3.3 to design, provide guidance on, and to specify, where appropriate, processes and services for doctoral research students, and to ensure the student experience is conducive to the successful conduct of research.
  • 1.3.4 to advise the Massey University Research Committee and Academic Board on doctoral research matters, including but not limited to the promotion of research programmes, and matters relating to student research.
  • 1.3.5 to monitor and evaluate the contribution of the University to positive Māori development in accordance with the Treaty of Waitangi, University policy, and strategy, particularly in relation to the engagement of Māori students in doctoral research.

2.0 Specific Delegations

Council delegates the following powers to the Doctoral Research Committee:

2.1 Approve procedural and implementation guidelines and procedures to support the adoption of doctoral research policies, including matters such as supervision, examination, resourcing, equivalence, academic integrity in research student work, in accordance with international standards.

2.2 Design, oversee, and monitor the implementation of strategies and services to support doctoral student research in collaboration with Colleges, service units, stakeholders, and local communities.

2.3 Monitor student success and retention and work with Colleges and service units to design, implement, and monitor the success of, interventions as appropriate.

2.4 Monitor student satisfaction and work with Colleges and service units to design, implement, and monitor the success of interventions as appropriate.

2.5 Receive, review and approve student engagement in Doctoral degrees as appropriate:

  • 2.5.1 Approve pre-approval applications, provisional registration and confirmation of registration subject to requirements being met
  • 2.5.2 Approve suspensions and extensions of candidature
  • 2.5.3 Approve withdrawals and terminations of candidature
  • 2.5.4 Approve the appointment of examiners
  • 2.5.5 Receive Doctoral Examination reports
  • 2.5.6 Approve the award of the University Doctoral Degrees where the Committee is satisfied that the University’s academic requirements and regulations have been met
  • 2.5.7 Approve failed Doctoral examination results

2.6 Approve changes to regulations for Doctoral Degrees other than those requiring CUAP approval.

2.7 Receive, review and make recommendations to Academic Board regarding:

  • 2.7.1 proposals for new Doctoral degrees, deletions of Doctoral degrees, and changes to regulations for Doctoral Degrees requiring CUAP approval
  • 2.7.2 proposals for changes to University Doctoral regulations, policy and procedures for doctoral programmes at Massey University including the:
    • Doctor of Philosophy degree
    • Named Doctorates
    • Higher Degrees (DLit, DSc)

    2.8 Consider matters referred to the Committee by the University Research Committee, Academic Board and other relevant committees and advise accordingly.

    2.9 Exercise other powers delegated to it by the Massey University Academic Board.

    3.0 Membership

    3.1 The membership of the Doctoral Research Committee shall be comprised as follows:



    Number to Attend

    Ex Officio Members



    Vice Chancellor



    Dean, Research



    Assistant Vice-Chancellor with portfolio responsibilities for research


    Appointed Members



    Nominee of Assistant Vice-Chancellor with responsibilities for Māori



    Up to 2 academic representatives from each College with responsibilities for Doctoral students



    Up to 3 academic staff members appointed by Academic Board


    Elected Members



    One member who is a fully registered full-time doctoral student



    One member who is a fully registered part-time doctoral student


    In Attendance

    Manager, Graduate Research School


    Total Membership


    3.2 Appointments

    Appointed positions shall be for a term of three years with the option for re-appointment. Appointments shall be made as follows:

    • College academic staff members are appointed by the relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor
    • Academic Board representatives are nominees of the Board

    3.3 Elections

    Elected positions shall be for a period of two years with the option of re-election. The election of student members to the Committee shall be managed by the Committee Administrator and will include a call for nominees from the relevant constituency and a secret ballot. Relevant constituencies are:

    • a fully registered full-time doctoral student shall be elected by the full-time doctoral students.
    • a fully registered part-time doctoral student shall be elected by the part-time doctoral students.

    3.4 Dismissal of Members

    Doctoral Research Committee may, by resolution, dismiss a member of the Committee as a member if the member fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the Committee without having given the Chair prior notice of their inability to attend. In the event of dismissal of an elected member, a by-election will be held; otherwise, the vacancy will be appointed by the relevant Assistant or Pro Vice-Chancellor.

    4.0 Meetings and Protocols

    4.1 Chair

    The Chair of the Doctoral Research Committee shall be the Dean, Research, or nominee of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor with portfolio responsibilities for research.

    The Chair will preside at all meetings at which they are present. If the Chair is absent, a member of the Committee shall be nominated by the Chair to preside.

    4.2 Quorum

    No business shall be transacted at a meeting unless at least a majority of the members currently holding office are present. For the avoidance of doubt, the quorum shall be half the current members plus one.

    4.3 Timing and Frequency of Meetings

    The Committee shall meet monthly at least 10 times per year on a regular date and time agreed by its members, and at such other times as the Chair shall decide.

    If so requested by written notice by no fewer than five members of the Committee, the Chairperson shall convene a special meeting of the Committee.

    4.4 Standing Orders

    The conduct of the business of the meeting shall be subject to the Guidelines for the Conduct of Council and Council Committees 2014 as amended from time to time. Where procedures are not specified they shall be determined by the Chair with reference to established meeting practice and procedure.

    4.5 Agenda, Administration, and Minutes

    The Committee shall be serviced by a Committee Administrator furnished to the Committee by the Graduate Research School, or as otherwise provided by the Assistant Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for the Research portfolio.

    The Committee may set its own deadlines for agenda items, noting any University policy or agreed deadlines and required formats for matters affecting the academic offer or regulations of the University.

    In conjunction with the Chair, the Committee Administrator will make available the agenda and the documents for the Committee, and shall record the proceedings, in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government, Official Information, and Meetings Act 1987.

    All records of the meetings, including the minutes, shall be retained in accordance with the Public Records Act 2005.

    The Committee Administrator shall be responsible for ensuring disseminating correspondence and decisions made by the Committee are available to relevant individuals or bodies.

    5.0 Reporting to Academic Board

    Annually, and as otherwise required by the Academic Board, the Committee shall furnish a report on its activities and the exercise of its delegations, to the Academic Board.


    Current Doctoral Committee Members


    Associate Professor Tracy Riley

    Committee Secretary:

    Janene de Ridder

    Vice Chancellor:

    Professor Jan Thomas

    Representative of Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research, Academic & Enterprise):

    Associate Professor Leigh Signal

    College Representatives:

    Professor Tim Bentley (CoB)
    Professor Heather Galbraith (CoCA)
    Professor Marlena Kruger (CoH)
    Associate Professor Beth Greener (CoHSS)
    Associate Professor Bryan Walpert (CoHSS)
    Distinguished Professor Gaven Martin (CoS)
    Professor Georg Zellmer (CoS)

    Nominees from Campus RCEs:

    Professor Ian Fuller (Manawatu)

    Nominees from Academic Board:

    Professor Barry Borman
    Professor Jenny Carryer (Deputy Chair)
    Professor Vicki Karaminas

    Nominee from Academy for Māori Research and Scholarship

    Dr Bevan Erueti

    PhD Student Representative (Fulltime):

    Aniek Hilkens

    PhD Student Representative (Part-time):

    Jo Ross

    Graduate Research School Manager:

    Dr Julia Rayner

    The Doctoral Office can be contacted at

    Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey