Criteria for the appointment of examiners

In appointing Boards of Examiners, the Doctoral College will consider the overall composition of the Board in order to achieve an appropriately qualified, experienced and independent set of examiners.

External Examiner

The external examiner MUST:

  • (i) have acknowledged expertise in the candidate’s field of study
  • (ii) be research active in a relevant field, or have previously made a significant contribution to knowledge of that field
  • (iii) be available to attend a meeting of the Board of Examiners, normally within three months of receipt of the thesis by The Doctoral College
  • (iv) not have acted previously as the candidate’s supervisor
  • (v) not have been a member of a department or school of the University during the previous three years. NB Visiting Professors may exceptionally by appointed if they meet criteria (iv) and (xi)
  • (vi) be prepared to sign a confidentiality agreement if required by the nature of the work and endorsed by the Doctoral College Board
  • (vii) declare any conflict of interest with regard to examination of the candidate (e.g. emotional or family relationship) or the research topic (e.g. commercial interest in a related project where clause (vi) applies)
  • (viii) not have published with any of the candidate’s supervisors in the preceding three years

In addition the external examiner MUST NORMALLY:

  • (ix) have previous experience of examining (externally or internally) at the corresponding research degree level, preferably within the United Kingdom
  • (x) must normally not have acted as external examiner for an Ulster University research degree more than three times in the previous five years
  • (xi) have the ‘right to work’ in the UK and be based in the European Economic Area (EEA). Where a Faculty wishes to appoint and External Examiner who does not meet this criterion, the Faculty and/or Examiner must meet the additional costs accrued in terms of visas and travel Internal Examiner

Internal Examiner

The internal examiner MUST:

  • (i) have sufficient knowledge of the field of study to judge the suitability of the methods adopted and to appreciate the context of the work and the significance of the outcome
  • (ii) not have acted as the candidate’s supervisor at any point
  • (iii) be research active
  • (iv) be available to attend a meeting of the Board of Examiners, normally within three months of receipt of the thesis by The Doctoral College
  • (v) be prepared to sign a confidentiality agreement if required by the nature of the work and endorsed by the Doctoral College Board
  • (vi) declare any conflict of interest with regard to examination of the candidate (e.g. emotional or family relationship) or the research topic (e.g. commercial interest in a related project where clause (vii) applies)

In addition, the internal examiner MUST NORMALLY

  • (vii) have acted as an assessor on both Initial Assessment and Confirmation panels
  • (viii) have supervised a successful candidate to completion at the corresponding research degree level

Chair

The Chair of the Board of Examiners is not an examiner, and MUST:

  • (i) not have acted as a supervisor or adviser for the candidate
  • (ii) be available to attend a meeting of the Board of Examiners, normally within three months of receipt of the thesis by the Doctoral College
  • (iii) be prepared to arbitrate between examiners in instances where there is disagreement; and, must be prepared to draw together a final report on the thesis including provision of details of revisions amendments required by the examiners or the deficiencies of the thesis.

In addition the Chair MUST NORMALLY:

  • (iv) have past experience of supervision and examining at the corresponding research degree level
  • (v) be a member of the same Faculty as the candidate
  • (vi) be a senior member of the academic staff (Senior Lecturer or above)
  • (vii) be experienced in the role and/or have received appropriate be prepared to arbitrate between examiners in instances where there is disagreement; and, must be prepared to draw together a final report on the thesis including provision of details of revisions amendments required by the examiners or the deficiencies of the thesis.

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