Registration of Thesis/Project Topics
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The Postgraduate unit of the department requires all its postgraduate students to register their dissertation topics and sign the MoU with their supervisors. In this regards, template for registration of dissertation topic is available as downloads on the website.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE RESEARCH PROPOSAL MUST BE FINALISED FOR RATIFICATION BY THE DEPARTMENT DEGREES COMMITTEE WITHIN SIX MONTHS. Download Proposal Templates and Checklist from the website
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN POSTGRADUATE STUDENT AND SUPERVISOR
The purpose of this MOU is:
- to provide a clear outline of what each party to the student-supervisor relationship may expect from the other,
- to clarify, from the start, the agreed roles and responsibilities of both candidate and supervisor, and
- to ensure that the supervision experience is as mutually productive as possible.
- It is intended to promote the development and maintenance of a sound and productive relationship between the two parties. The resolution of any disputes that might arise between postgraduate students and their supervisors will be strongly informed by the content of this document.
For this reason, this document extends – and does not replace – any other agreements between the University and its students or staff, and should therefore be read in conjunction with the general rules governing enrolment of students and the conditions of employment for staff.
The MOU must be completed and signed by masters and doctoral candidates within six weeks of initial registration, (or within the first two weeks of the term in which the student starts the dissertation/project in course-work masters degrees).
Both supervisor and candidate are strongly urged to read the Guide to Postgraduate Studies prior to completing this agreement.
Four copies of the MOU should be made: one for the candidate, one for the supervisor; one for the Coordinator; and the original must be sent to the Departmental Office with the Registration form.
Code of Practice
This section defines the expected behaviour and attitude of all members of the university involved in postgraduate education and research. Students and staff should uphold the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct, in particular, relating to:
Academic standards: All parties must be committed to the relevant study and research programmes, striving for excellence. For students this requires attendance at, and contribution to, all the forms of learning (lectures, tutorials, laboratories, seminars, field trips etc) which make up their programme. Staff, in turn, are committed to creating learning and research environments which encourage such scholarship.
Interpersonal Behaviour: All individuals should treat others with respect and no-one should be subjected to unfair discrimination.
University Rules and Guidelines: All individuals should commit themselves to obeying all University rules and regulations.
Safety and Security: Staff and students must commit themselves to acting responsibly, safely, and with consideration for the welfare of all others with whom they come in contact, and to ensuring that security, both of people and property, is not compromised by their actions or inattentiveness.
Assessment and Examinations: Staff have the responsibility to treat all students fairly and impartially when assessing their work. Students must behave with integrity and absolute honesty. Incidents of plagiarism or cheating must be reported and dealt with appropriately.
Use of Resources: All parties must use institutional resources responsibly and diligently, accepting the necessity for accountability.
GUIDELINES FOR SUPERVISOR-STUDENT WORKING RELATIONSHIPS
Students and supervisors working together:
The completion of the research is primarily the responsibility of the student. The supervisor should ensure that the necessary facilities to carry out the project are made available to the student for a reasonable time, such time being sufficient to enable the project to be completed. Any changes to the research programme must be agreed between the student and the supervisor. The supervisor and the student must agree to meet regularly, with an agreed programme of meeting times (which may be flexible), and the supervisor will give timely feedback on the student’s progress and will return any work submitted by the student within a reasonable time, normally three weeks.
Research outputs and intellectual property:
Intellectual property generated in the course of postgraduate programmes normally belongs to the University. It may also be subject to confidentiality based on contracts and agreements pertaining to the research. The student must be made aware of such conditions by the supervisor and both must adhere to them.
The research project may produce novel research outcomes and the student may be required to assign intellectual property (IP) generated in the course of the project to the University or, if requested by the University to do so, to a third party designated by the University, including but not limited to a research sponsor. The student and supervisor will be entitled to share in any financial benefits which may accrue to the University and/or the Department as a result of exploitation of project IP by the University, according to guidelines specified in the KNUST Intellectual Property Policy (ie if there something of that exist).
The student must undertake not to enter into any agreement with a third party concerning the project (including but not limited to intellectual property agreements and/or secrecy agreements), without obtaining prior consent from the supervisor and, where necessary, the university authorities.
Bearing in mind such issues of intellectual property or confidentiality, the student must discuss any proposed publication or presentation on the project with the supervisor prior to submission or presentation, and the supervisor will in turn discuss any proposed publication or presentation with the student.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF SUPERVISORS and POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS
Responsibilities of the supervisor
The supervisor should:
- have sound theoretical background and experience in the subject field in which the candidate wishes to conduct research;
- assist the student to select a topic which is appropriate, taking cognisance of the level of the degree, the specified time allowed for its completion, the expected scope of the work and the extent to which the research should embody new knowledge;
- provide academic guidance to the student to ensure the development of research skills, and mastery of the research discipline and the field of specialisation, give guidance in respect of planning the candidate’s research programme, relevant literature and sources, requisite skills in research methods, and writing the research proposal so that this mastery is demonstrated by the relevant dissertation or thesis;
- clarify the respective roles of the supervisor and co-supervisor(s) (if appointed), and communicate these clearly to the student;
- together with the Head of Department and/or Dean of the faculty and/or other responsible University official, ensure as far as reasonably possible that the student is provided with the basic infrastructure and necessary resources to undertake the research; such as the library, laboratories and equipment, chemicals and consumables;
- ensure that where applicable the student obtains ethics approval for their research from the faculty ethics committee, (at the time of submitting the proposal and HDC 1.2), and guide the student in ethical issues with regard to academic integrity, plagiarism, and ethics requirements of the research work;
- ensure that the candidate understands relevant safety regulations and procedures at the outset of the research programme and receives appropriate training and supervision before embarking on any course of action or technique that might be hazardous or dangerous;
- comply with university guidelines with regard to numbers of students supervised so as not to diminish his/her effectiveness as a supervisor or ability to fulfil other academic functions;
- encourage the student to seek external financial support for his/her studies;
- agree with the student on a meeting schedule, and then meet with the candidate no less often than once a month to discuss research progress (unless the candidate is off campus, in which case specific arrangements must be made whenever possible) In addition, electronic contact should be maintained, especially where the candidate is not routinely on campus;
- provide and inform the student of alternative advisors who can assist with the research in the absence of the supervisor, or in areas beyond the capability of the supervisor;
- ensure that the student has an average of one hour per week of supervisory input during semesters;
- Inform the student of any planned absences (such as sabbatical leave) and put in place an alternative supervisor for this period
- together with the candidate negotiate a schedule and time lines for the conduct of the research, and request submission of written work on a regular basis from the student;
- provide timely, constructive, critical assessment of the candidate’s work, preferably in writing;
- provide feedback on each chapter of a dissertation/thesis, before the candidate embarks on the next stage of the research or a new chapter;
- furnish the departmental research committee and the Board of Postgraduate Studies with regular (twice annually) progress reports in respect of candidates’ progress;
- within reason, be accessible for consultation when required;
- encourage the candidate to contribute to seminars, conferences and research publications, in accordance with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s policy on intellectual property and subsidy credits, and with due recognition of the candidate’s and supervisor’s contribution to published work in respect of authorship/co-authorship. In normal circumstances the candidate will be the senior author of publications arising directly from a dissertation/thesis;
- inform the candidate of completion dates to ensure that the dissertation/thesis is submitted within the specified time and within the specified word limit (bearing in mind the exigencies of editing, printing, binding and external examining) to qualify for the graduation ceremony;
- write a report on the student’s research and thesis for submission to the Faculty Research Committee at the time of submission of the thesis;
- after examination, oversee any recommended corrections to the dissertation/thesis and reports, such that these have been satisfactorily effected to the BPGS prior to the candidate’s graduation, and write a report on the thesis corrections for submission to the BPGS.
Responsibilities of the student
The student should, diligently and sincerely, and in consultation with his/her supervisor/s:
- plan and conduct the agreed research programme or project and strive earnestly to successfully complete all the academic outputs required in the study programme;
- find appropriate literature and then study, assess and understand that literature so as to complete a review that organises and makes clear that understanding;
- write the research proposal in the time stipulated (normally within 6 months of registering for a full time student);
- prepare all documents required for ethics approval, where applicable;
- adhere at all times to all general academic ethics with regard to academic integrity and plagiarism, and ethics requirements relating to the research work;
- attend regular appointments with the supervisors as agreed and communicate with the supervisor regularly with respect to results achieved and general progress in the research project
- inform the supervisor/s immediately of any administrative or academic difficulties arise in the study programme in order that the supervisors may advise in respect of timely corrective action;
- pay attention to the supervisor’s guidance with respect to how the research should be conducted, including research approach, methodology and materials to be used, and interpretation of results;
- participate in research projects and programmes as determined by the supervisors, including attending symposia, seminars and conferences;
- assist where appropriate in the drafting of funding applications;
- plan and communicate to the supervisor his/her work plans and schedules;
- conduct the required data gathering, field work, laboratory experimentation, data processing and statistical or other) analyses. any assistance received from persons or institutions should be clearly stated in the Acknowledgements;
- write and proofread his/her dissertation or thesis, including, if necessary, obtaining professional assistance with the linguistic editing of the dissertation or thesis;
- attend to any revisions of the dissertation or thesis required by the supervisors, or internal or external assessors, (Note that while an examiner may call for resubmission and re-examination of a thesis, a thesis cannot be submitted for re-examination more than once).
- complete the production of the final bound hard and electronic copies and submit them to the Department before Graduation;
- if necessary, purchase items that may be required to complete the production of the dissertation or thesis;
- in the case of research master’s or doctoral students, produce at least one manuscript of a research paper in a format that is ready for submission to an accredited research journal by the time the faculty research committee considers the assessment results;
- renew their annual registration with the KNUST at the stipulated times until the degree is awarded. Please note that continued registration is dependent upon a favourable supervisor’s progress report. Candidates who consistently fail to make progress may be deregistered.