Academic guidance of Higher Doctorate candidates


The Department must offer the higher doctorate candidate the allocation of an academic adviser who can provide appropriate guidance on the development of the critical appraisal and, provided that it is presented within a reasonable and agreed timeframe, can read and comment on the whole of the final draft of the critical appraisal before it is submitted for examination. The higher doctorate candidate shall decide whether or not to accept the offer of an allocated academic adviser.


The academic adviser must be one of the following:

  • a member of the University’s academic staff
  • a research fellow of the University
  • a clinical or scientific member of staff of the National Health Service, or an academic member of staff of the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, holding an honorary position with the University

Other honorary and emeritus staff of the University shall not be appointed as academic advisers.


The academic adviser must have expertise relevant to the higher doctorate candidate’s area of research and appropriate experience of the supervision of research students.

Conflicts of interest


Academic advisers should not be allocated to, or be allowed to remain allocated to, a higher doctorate candidate with whom they have or have had a close personal or professional relationship.


The academic adviser must declare to the Head of Department or their nominee any close personal or professional relationship that they have or have had with the higher doctorate candidate. The Head of Department or their nominee shall be responsible for making alternative academic adviser arrangements.

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