Appointing examiners for research degrees

It is the supervisor's responsibility to recommend both internal and external examiners who meet the eligibility criteria using the examination entry form

How are examiners nominated?

At least three months before the submission of their thesis, the candidate must enter for examination by completing the examination entry form. Students are advised to start thinking about this process and discuss arrangements with their supervisor well in advance of this deadline as it may take time to find suitable examiners who are available to examine the thesis. Students may be asked by their supervisor(s) for their views on individuals who might act as Examiners but the supervisor(s), in consultation with the Postgraduate Research Tutor, is responsible for recommending examiners to be appointed, to the examinations group of the graduate board. The examinations group will then make the final decision about the appointments.

Who is eligible to be an examiner?

The University has strict criteria for the appointment of examiners , which can be read in full in the criteria for the appointment of examiners. In summary:

The internal examiner should normally:

 

  • be a member of the academic or academic related staff
  • hold a permanent appointment of the University of at least 0.3 FTE
  • have completed any relevant probationary period
  • in the last 5 years, have either completed the SDDU course/briefing or acted as internal examiner at Leeds
  • not have been involved in the supervision of the candidate.

The external examiner should normally:

 

  • be a senior member of staff of a university or higher education establishment
  • have prior knowledge and experience of UK research degree examinations and standards through previous UK examination experience.

Between them, the proposed team should have a balanced level of seniority and previous research degree examination experience in the UK. If a team of examiners cannot be found with the expected balance of seniority and experience then the University may require the appointment of an independent chair. Please refer to the criteria for the appointment of examiners for further guidance.

Training for internal examiners

The internal examiner assures fairness and consistency of the examination by ensuring the University’s procedures, processes and criteria are followed. For this reason the Graduate Board requires all internal examiners to complete an SDDU training course/briefing before acting as Internal Examiner. This includes those new to the role and those who are experienced examiners at other Institutions but are new to Leeds, or have not acted at Leeds in the last 5 years.

The training forms part of the University’s quality assurance processes as an alternative to the practice of appointing an independent chair. Two courses are available:

For those new to the role:

 

  • The Role of the Internal Examiner (half day course delivered by academic members of staff who are current or former members of the Examinations Group).

For experienced examiners (but are new to Leeds or  have not acted at Leeds in the last 5 years):

 

  • Update for experienced internal examiners (on-line briefing).

For further information and booking details please see the SDDU website.

Appointing examiners for candidates registered at York St John University

There are separate criteria for appointing examiners for research degree candidates based at York St John University. If you have any questions about this, please contact the thesis submission and examination team

How much does an external examiner get paid?

An external examiner is eligible for a fee which will be paid by the Postgraduate Research and Operations team. All other expenses will be covered by the school.  For further information, please contact the thesis submission and examination team on 0113 343 4003.