Termination of your research program

If it looks like your candidature needs to be terminated you will have received an indication of this prior to formal notification. For this reason we strongly recommend PhD students monitor their ANU email address and maintain contact with their supervisor on a regular basis.

The following is the process of formal termination and your appeal options:

Stage 1 - Recommendation and Notification of termination

A Delegated Authority (on the advice of your supervisor) can recommend to their ANU College Associate Dean that a research student's program be cancelled under the Research Awards Rule 2021 (Rule) on the following grounds:

  • failure to pursue the program to the satisfaction of the Delegated Authority; and/or
  • non-compliance with the Rule; and/or
  • where a condition imposed on their admission to the program is not met.

The Associate Dean will advise you of this recommendation in writing and provide you with an opportunity to make a written and/or oral representation. 

After taking into account your representations, the Associate Dean decides whether there are sufficient grounds to terminate your program.  

If the decision taken is to terminate your program, the Associate Dean advises the Registrar, who will write to you informing you of the decision and your appeal rights. 

Stage 2 - Appeal the decision - all grounds

Prior to appealing we encourage you to seek advice from an independent person knowledgeable about the process and aware of potential outcomes such as the Dean of Students or the Postgraduate and Research Student Association (PARSA).

If you wish to appeal the decision to terminate your program, you must submit your appeal in writing within 20 working days to appeals@anu.edu.au.

Your appeal must include:

  • the grounds of the appeal; and
  • any evidence in support of these grounds.

An Appeal Committee will be appointed to consider your appeal.  The Appeal Committee may conduct inquiries, and have regard to anything, on any matter in relation to the appeal that it considers appropriate.

You will be given the opportunity to make written and/or oral representations to the Appeal Committee.  Where an oral representation is to be made, you will also be able to bring a support person with you, who can observe but not an advocate without the approval of the Appeal Committee.

The Appeal Committee may:

  • Confirm the decision appealed against (termination of candidature); or
  • Set aside the decision and refer the matter to the Associate Dean for reconsideration; or
  • Set aside the decision and substitute another decision that the Associate Dean could have made.

You will be advised in writing of the Appeal Committee's decision.

Stage 3 - Appeal the decision - procedure not followed

The final appeal within the University is an appeal to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor. This appeal can only be made on the grounds that procedures outlined in University Rules, policies or procedures were not followed.

Please note that the merit of your thesis or other relevant information provided to the appeals committee will not be reconsidered. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor may conduct inquiries and have regard to anything they consider appropriate but will only be looking to determine whether procedure was followed.

If you wish to appeal on procedural grounds you will need to submit your appeal within 20 working days to appeals@anu.edu.au. You will need to include:

  • the Rule, policy or procedure you believe was not followed; and
  • any evidence in support of these grounds.

Please note that if you do not include detail of a procedure not followed, your appeal may not be accepted and/or is unlikely to be successful.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor will endeavour to make a decision within 20 working days. If this is not possible you will be notified of a date by which the appeal will be decided.

Stage 4 - External Appeal

Students who have appealed unsuccessfully to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor may appeal the decision to an external agency. Commonly students appeal these decisions to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Students have 20 working days from the date of the internal appeal outcome letter. Students must follow the lodgement instructions provided by the external agency.

Important: You must advise Office of the Registrar (OTR) that you have lodged your appeal and provide the appeal lodgement number. Failure to do so may result in the termination of your enrolment or ECoE in error.