Examinations and Boards

Contents of this section:

[Note. An asterisk denotes a reference to a previously published or recurrent entry.]

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Biological Sciences

Official Member

P. HARVEY, Professor of Zoology

Ordinary Member

D.A. HARRIS, MA, D.PHIL., Fellow of St Anne's

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Literae Humaniores

Ordinary Member

A. MORPURGO-DAVIES, Professor of Comparative Philology

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Mathematical Sciences

Official Member

L.N. TREFETHEN, Professor of Numerical Analysis

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Social Studies

Ordinary Member

M. GREGORY, MA, D.PHIL., Fellow of St Hilda's

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For one year

1. O.R. DARBISHIRE, MA, Fellow of Pembroke

2. D.F. FEENEY, MA, Fellow of Templeton

For two years

3. P. JOHNSON, MA, D.PHIL., Fellow of Balliol

4. S.E. DOPSON, MA, Fellow of Templeton

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The following change in regulations made by the General Board will come into effect on 14 August.

General Board of the Faculties

Memorandum of Guidance for Research Students and their Supervisors

With immediate effect

In Examination Decrees, 1997, delete from p. 847, l. 39, to p. 850, l. 18 and substitute:


Responsibilities of the student

1. The student must accept his or her obligation to act as a responsible member of the University's academic community.

2. The student should take ultimate responsibility for his or her research programme and endeavour to develop an appropriate working pattern, including an agreed and professional relationship with the supervisor(s). The student should discuss with the supervisor the type of guidance and comment which he or she finds most helpful, and agree a schedule of meetings.

3. He or she should make appropriate use of the teaching and learning facilities available within the University.

4. It is the student's responsibility to seek out and follow the regulations relevant to his or her course, including faculty/departmental handbooks/notes of guidance, and to seek clarification from supervisors and elsewhere if this is necessary.

5. The student should not hesitate to take the initiative in raising problems or difficulties, however elementary they may seem. He or she should ensure that any problems regarding the project are drawn to the attention of the supervisor so that appropriate guidance may be offered.

6. The student should seek to maintain progress in accordance with the plan of work agreed with the supervisor, including in particular the presentation of the required written material in sufficient time for comment and discussion before proceeding to the next stage. As groundwork for the thesis, the student should as soon as possible write rough drafts of possible chapters. Students in the sciences should keep a systematic record of all that has been attempted and accomplished. Both the student and the supervisor will want to keep a record of all formal, scheduled meetings. They may well want to agree a record of what has been discussed and decided.

7. The student should recognise that a supervisor may have many competing demands on his or her time. The student should hand in work in good time to the supervisor and give adequate notice of unscheduled meetings. The need for adequate notice also applies to requests for references from the supervisor.

8. The student should be aware that the provision of constructive criticism is central to a satisfactory supervisory relationship, and should always seek a full assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of his or her work.

9. If the student feels that there are good grounds for contemplating a change of supervision arrangements, this should first be discussed with the supervisor or, if this seems difficult, with the appropriate head of department, director of graduate studies or their deputies, or the college adviser.

10. Where problems arise, it is essential that a student gives full weight to any guidance and corrective action proposed by the supervisor. 11. The student should provide regular reports on his or her progress to the faculty board in accordance with the requirements of the Committee for Graduate Studies of the General Board. The student must satisfy the supervisor on his or her progress at least once a year and should inform the supervisor at once of any circumstances that might require his or her mode of study to be modified or his or her registration as a graduate student to be extended, suspended or withdrawn. 12. The student should ensure that the standard of his or her English is sufficient for the presentation of a thesis. Students whose first language is not English should take advice on this. 13. The student should make full use of the facilities for career guidance and development, and should consult their supervisor for advice and encouragement where appropriate. 14. The student should ensure that he or she allows adequate time for writing up the thesis, taking the advice of the supervisor. Particular attention should be paid to final proof-reading. 15. It is the student's responsibility to decide when he or she wishes to submit the thesis for examination, after taking due account of the supervisor's opinion, though this is only advisory. It is in the student's interests to ensure that the final version has been made available to the supervisor in good time before the intended date of submission.

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Responsibilities of the supervisor

1. In considering an invitation to supervise a research student, the supervisor must recognise and accept the responsibilities both to the student and to the relevant faculty board or committee implicit in the supervisory relationship.

2. Where practicable, the supervisor should assign the student some directed reading before arrival. This might be of a general background nature so as to put the student in a position to discuss the topic with the supervisor soon after arrival, or it might form the start of a literature survey. The supervisor is required to make an appointment for a meeting with the new student not later than the first week of Full Term.

3. The supervisor is responsible for giving early advice about the nature of research and the standard expected, and about the planning of the research programme. The supervisor should ensure that, where the student's research forms part of a funded research programme, sufficient financial support will be available for the duration of the student's period of study; if there is any doubt, he or she should agree with the student an alternative fallback project at an early stage. The supervisor is also responsible for advising the student about literature and sources, attendance at classes, and requisite techniques (including helping to arrange instruction where necessary). The supervisor should discuss with the student the lecture list for his or her subject and related lecture lists. The supervisor should identify with the student any subject-specific skills necessary for the proposed research.

4. Where during his or her first year of research a student wishes, in addition to contact with his or her supervisor(s), to have limited consultation with one or two other academics the supervisor should try to identify (in conjunction with the Director of Graduate Studies for the faculty, sub-faculty or department) such colleagues and to arrange for an approach to them by the student.

5. Where a supervisor operates as a co-supervisor or as a part of a supervisory team, it is important to clarify the responsibilities of each supervisor and to co-ordinate advice and guidance.

6. Where the thesis is likely to involve statistical analysis or tabulation of numerical results, the supervisor should arrange for the student to obtain advice, at an early stage, about the design of any experiment or the collection and storage of data, and about its subsequent analysis.

7. The supervisor should ensure that the student works within a planned framework which marks out the stages which the student should be expected to have completed at various points in his or her period of study. The nature of the framework will of course vary widely from subject to subject, but in all subjects the formulation of the topic, planning and careful management of time should begin at an early stage. Particular attention should be given to the selection and refinement of the research topic, which in the case of the D.Phil. should be one which a diligent student may reasonably be expected to complete within three (or at most four) years of full-time study.

8. The supervisor should meet with the student regularly. Times should be fixed to ensure that a busy supervisor does not inadvertently find that meetings are less frequent than the student would like, and to give sufficient time for the student to discuss the work and for the supervisor to check that certain things have been done. Informal day-to-day contact should not be seen as a substitute for formal scheduled meetings. The supervisor should also be accessible to the student at other appropriate times when advice is needed. The supervisor should also request written work as appropriate and in accordance with the plan discussed with the student. Such work should be returned with constructive criticism and in reasonable time.

9. The supervisor should tell the student from time to time how well, in the supervisor's opinion, work is getting on, and try to ensure that the student feels properly directed and able to communicate with the supervisor. It is essential that when problems arise, corrective action is clearly identified and full guidance and assistance are given to the student.

10. The supervisor is required to report to the faculty board on the student's work three times a year, once at the end of each term. Each report should state the nature and extent of recent contact with the student, and, if there has been none, state why this is so. The report should also make clear whether the student is making satisfactory progress, bearing in mind that a D.Phil. thesis should normally be completed within three (or at most four) years of full-time research. Any student who has not satisfied his or her supervisor on at least one occasion in an academic year that he or she is making progress will be liable to have his or her name removed from the register. 11. The supervisor should aim to ensure that by the end of the first year the topic or goal of the student's research is clearly defined, that the student has the necessary background information, and that the required resources are available. The supervisor must have ascertained by then that the student can write a coherent account of his or her work in good English. 12. The supervisor should try to ensure that unnecessary delays do not occur. These have been known to arise, for example, for reasons such as the following:

(a) insufficient effort at the outset in choosing and formulating the research topic;

(b) a slow start because of the time taken to adjust to research work;

(c) distractions from the main line of inquiry;

(d) superfluous attempts to tie up every loose end;

(and mainly in the sciences)

(e) inadequate and delayed planning and assembly of apparatus and equipment;

(f) insufficient collection or recording of data at an early stage, so that work has to be repeated in the later stages. 13. The supervisor should arrange for students to have the opportunity to discuss their research with other staff and students in their subject area (see also (3) above) and to communicate to others in the wider academic community, both orally and in writing, his or her research findings. 14. Where a student undertakes research as part of a team or group the supervisor should ensure that this is in full awareness of the way in which the student's own contribution fits into the work of the remainder of the group. 15. The supervisor should not be absent on leave unless appropriate temporary supervision has been arranged for the student.

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Responsibilities of faculties and/or departments

1. Faculties and/or departments should provide information about:

(i) any induction provided on a departmental, faculty or University basis;

(ii) welfare arrangements within the University, eg. the Counselling Service, Student Hardship and Access funds, the provisions for support offered by the Proctors and the Assessor;

(iii) any general transferable skills from which the student is likely to profit during the course of his or her research, and the available provision at departmental, faculty and university level.

2. Faculties and/or departments should ensure that there is appropriate monitoring of a student's work and progress and that reports are submitted on a termly basis in accordance with the University's requirements.

3. Faculties and/or departments should endeavour to provide opportunities for a student to:

(i) defend his or her findings to appropriate research seminars and respond to potentially critical questioning;

(ii) at an appropriate stage to present his or her findings to national, and if appropriate, international conferences;

4. Faculties and/or departments should

(i) help the student to present work in a clear and professional manner;

(ii) help the student to develop his or her communication skills, especially for different audiences;

(iii) provide some guidance in oral examination techniques.

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Safety and Health

Supervisors of all students, whether in the arts or in the sciences, should consider carefully the safety implications of their students' research. Those supervising students (particularly those in the sciences) are responsible for all aspects of safety under their control, and in particular for the safe conduct of all experiments carried out in the course of their students' research. In the event of an accident, inadequate supervision may render the supervisor liable to prosecution. Supervisors should also ensure that their students are made aware that in the event of injury to other persons as a result of their negligence, the student could be subject to civil claims for damages. Advice on the legal responsibilities for safety may be obtained from the University Safety Officer. For their part, students must carry out research with proper regard to good health and safety practices. Supervisors and students should be aware of the need for adequate health insurance and health precautions when travelling abroad. In case of doubt, reference should be made to the University Medical Officer.'

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The examiners appointed by the following faculty boards give notice of oral examination of their candidates as follows:

Biological Sciences

V. EVETTS, St Hugh's: `Carboxylate transport at the vacuolar membrane of the cam plant Kalanchoë daigremontiana'.
Department of Plant Sciences, Thursday, 6 August, 2 p.m.
Examiners: M.D. Fricker, L.E. Williams.

J. KENYON, St Catherine's: `An analysis of upstream regulatory regions of retinal specific genes'.
Lady Margaret Hall, Friday, 14 August, 10.30 a.m.
Examiners: S. Povey, G.K. Brown.

Clinical Medicine

S. SHEPPERD, Green College: `A randomised controlled trial of hospital at home compared with hospital care'.
Nuffield, Thursday, 27 August, 2 p.m.
Examiners: R. Fitzpatrick, J. Roberts.

English Language and Literature

D. LEE, Somerville: `A rival protest: the life-work of Richard Rive, a South African writer (1931–89)'.
St John's, Monday, 3 August, 2 p.m.
Examiners: J.S. Kelly, E. Gunner.

G. TAYLOR, Wadham: `Talking women: H.D. and the public sphere of modernist women writers, 1913–61'.
Worcester, Thursday, 1 October , 2.15 p.m.
Examiners: J.D. Bradshaw, J. Radford.

Literae Humaniores

K. KONUK, St Edmund Hall: `The coinage of the Hekatomnids of Caria'.
St Peter's, Tuesday, 25 August, 2.30 p.m.
Examiners: J.P. Barron, O. Picard.

Mathematical Sciences

S.V. MUNIANDY, Lincoln: `Wavelet–Galerkin modelling of the two-dimensional Navier–Stokes equations'.
Computing Laboratory, Wednesday, 12 August, 10 a.m.
Examiners: D.C. Handscomb, M. Farge.

Medieval and Modern Languages

P.E. KERRY, St John's: `The idea of tolerance in the writings of Goethe'.
Lady Margaret Hall, Friday, 31 July, 10 a.m.
Examiners: P. Currie, E. Sagarra.

Modern History

A.J. HEGARTY, Merton: `The corporate university in the age of Olivares: Salamanca, 1620–40'.
Oriel, Thursday, 10 September, 3 p.m.
Examiners: J. Elliott, A.D. Wright.

Physical Sciences

P.M. BLOMERUS, Brasenose: `The application of distributed dislocations to modelling plane plasticity'.
Engineering and Technology Building, Wednesday, 19 August, 10 a.m.
Examiners: F.P.E. Dunne, A.C.F. Cocks.

Social Studies

G.C. SCARSI, St Antony's: `Electricity distribution in Italy: microeconomic efficiency analysis of local distributing units with methodological cross-checking'.
St Antony's, Wednesday, 23 September, 2.15 p.m.
Examiners: J.S. Foreman-Peck, M.G. Pollitt.


T. GRDZELIDZE, Pembroke: `The concept of place/space in the writings of Maximus the Confessor'.
Oriental Institute, Monday, 31 August, 2.15 p.m.
Examiners: S.P. Brock, R.D. Williams.

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