Supervisors and Higher Degree Researchers

UNSW expects all researchers practice responsible research conduct. This aligns with UNSW’s strategic priority A: Academic Excellence.UNSW%20Principles%20RCR_New2019.png

The Supervisor’s role

Primary Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that HDR candidates understand and meet their obligations under relevant UNSW policies as well as the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Supervisors have a responsibility to their candidates and are expected to provide support and guidance for candidates by:

  • Ensuring new candidates understand that successful completion of the RI module and short quizzes is required in order to receive a satisfactory outcome in their first Research Progress Review (see further details below on Online Research Integrity Course)
  • Inviting discussion or clarification in early candidature meetings on RI topics, policies and expectations of all research candidates.
  • Discussing with your candidate whether their research will require ethical and other related approvals and ensure they are in place prior to research commencing.
  • Maintaining an environment that promotes responsible research conduct
  • Discussing “up front” authorship publication strategies and recognition of contributions that are expected to apply to the candidate’s project.
  • Discussing how they plan to collect, store and use the research data and records generated by their research and develop together a Research Data Management Plan (RDMP) to manage their project.
  • Providing any additional faculty or school policy or guidelines pertaining to the conduct of research.
  • Keeping familiar with key policy in order to provide clear guidance to candidates - see related links or click here.  
  • Seeking guidance relating to clarification of policy from key contacts to provide the best possible support to Candidates. 

Online Research Integrity (RI) Course 

It is important researchers fully understand what UNSW expects from RI and this course is a must.  Below outlines key information you need to know:

New candidates - automatically enrolled

Candidates are automatically enrolled in the online Research Integrity Moodle course. Candidates are sent an email with a link to their UNSW email address after their Postgraduate Induction with simple access instructions. Induction is currently scheduled after Census dates (T1 17 March; T2 30 June; T3 25 September)

Candidates commencing at UNSW after the Postgraduate Induction date(s) may also be enrolled later in the term providing there is sufficient time to complete the module and short quiz component. Where there is insufficient time to complete the course, candidates are automatically enrolled in the following term.

Successfully completing the Research Integrity online course, is an expectation for all new HDR candidates.

Research Integrity online course objectives

In Term 3 2019, the Epigeum Research Integrity, Second Edition (Australian version) will be rolled out to all HDRs.

This new RI course consists of 8 modules:

  • The Responsible Conduct of Research
  • When Things Go Wrong: Breaches of Code
  • Planning your Research
  • Managing and Recording your Research
  • Data selection, Analysis and Presentation
  • Scholarly Publication
  • Professional Responsibilities
  • Communication and Social Responsibility

Refer to the module overview and detailed descriptions here

Course structure
  • Each of the 8 modules has a short quiz, consisting of 4 questions. 
  • Overall pass mark is 75%, with maximum of 3 attempts (Note: The previous version pass mark was 85% for one overall quiz). 
  • In order to gain an overall pass mark of 75%, candidates must answer at least 3 of 4 questions correctly in each quiz.

Additional support for candidates is available in the form of training FAQs and a Quick Navigation Guide

Successfully completing the course

Successfully completing the online course involves candidates achieving an overall score of 75% across all 8 module short quizzes. This must be achieved within an eight week period with a maximum of three attempts per short quiz. 

Candidates need to successfully complete the online UNSW Research Integrity course prior to their Confirmation Review (PhD candidates) or first Research Progress Review (Masters by Research candidates). 

Results of completion are added to a candidates' Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS) record at the end of their research qualification, recognising this achievement. 


Progress reporting of HDR course completions is sent to key Faculty and RDU staff. This allows for better tracking and support of HDRs to completion. Should a Supervisor have a specific query about a HDR completing the RI course, please contact the relevant Faculty ADRT.

What happens if a candidate does not complete the online course?

Candidates are expected to complete the Research Integrity course in order to receive a satisfactory outcome at their first Research Progress Review. If a candidate fails the training, or makes no attempt to complete it, they will have another opportunity to complete the course next time it is offered. Where a candidate does not successfully complete the training after two opportunities, they will be referred to the relevant Faculty ADRT, who will investigate further. 

Advice for Supervisors

Where a Supervisor has questions regarding their supervision responsibilities and/or are uncertain about the application of the UNSW Research Code of Conduct (and any relevant policies and procedures), advice should be sought from:

• Your Supervisor and /or

• Your Faculty Research Integrity Advisor (Staff and students are free to speak with any one of the 9 Advisors across UNSW confidentially) and/or: 

The Graduate Research School; and/or

The Research Integrity Unit.