The Policy Documents of the School of Computing, DCU are detailed below:
Welcome to the School of Computing in Dublin City University. You have joined a community of students (undergraduate and postgraduate), researchers and academic and non-academic staff. In order to function as a community we have certain expectations of each other.
What you can expect from us.
What we expect from you.
1. The transfer process described herein both codifies existing practice, and institutes
changes to existing practice with regard to the examining panel aimed to make the
process more efficient with the large number of research students currently registered
in the school.
2. The transfer process applies to all postgraduate research students intending to complete
a PhD, including those directly enrolled on the PhD register.
(a) Registry form PGR3/11 (‘Application for Transfer to the PhD Register or Confirma-
tion on the PhD Register’) will only be submitted after successful completion of the
(b) Research students registering for the award of the degree of PhD will generally be
required to have successfully completed the transfer process by the end of their
21st month of registration (pro rata for part-time students).
(c) For students enrolled in graduate schools, further progression requirements may
3. The purpose of the transfer process is:
• to ensure quality of doctoral research by requiring research students to achieve a
satisfactory level of maturity in presenting, evaluating and defining their research
before allowing admission to the PhD register, and
• to encourage quality by providing a forum in which research students obtain feed-
back on their work from the broader research community roughly midway through
their doctoral studies.
4. The transfer process is managed by the school’s research convenor.
5. The student’s supervisor is responsible for proposing examiners, for scheduling arrange-
ments for the student’s transfer presentation and the completion of paperwork subse-
quent to successful examination.
6. The research convenor is responsible for approving examiners, and ensuring that the
process outlined herein is operated effectively.
7. Candidates must demonstrate their suitability to transfer to the PhD register through
the submission of a written transfer report and the defence of their report at a transfer
8. To complete the process successfully, a candidate must demonstrate:
(a) that they have developed a suitably-detailed research plan,
(b) that that research plan, if executed successfully, is likely to produce research that
would satisfy the university’s requirements for the award of the degree of PhD, and
(c) that they have the ability to execute the proposed research plan.
9. The outcome of the transfer process will be determined by two approved examiners.
10. The two examiners will be proposed by the supervisor and must be approved by the
research convenor in advance of the transfer examination process beginning. The role
of the examiners will be as follows:
Report examiner. One examiner will be appointed to read the candidate’s transfer re-
port in detail, and report to the other examiner regarding the quality of the work
described and any concerns raised by the report.
The report examiner must be experienced in the candidate’s area of research. He
or she will typically be an academic from the school, but may if necessary be an
academic from another school within the university.
If the report examiner is significantly dissatisfied with the report in any regard
they can request revision and resubmission prior to the student being permitted
to advance to the transfer presentation stage. Generally candidates will be asked
to address minor problems in the transfer report as part of their oral presenta-
tion. Note that it may be the case that issues raised during the oral presentation
and questioning can mean that the examiners require the report to be revised and
resubmitted following the oral examination.
Second examiner. The second examiner will be a member of the school of computing
from outside the student’s research grouping. This examiner must be either or both
have supervised successful PhD candidate or acted as examiner for PhD disserta-
The objective in using a second examiner from outside the student’s grouping is
to promote consistency in examining practice and standards across the different
research groupings within the school.
The second examiner should familiarize themself with the written transfer report
prior to the transfer presentation with sufficient scrutiny to form a professional
academic opinion on whether the work conducted to date appears to meet the crite-
ria for transfer to the full PhD register. For example, whether clear hypotheses are
stated, whether a careful literature review has been conducted, whether the candi-
date shows evidence of independent work of an appropriate standard (e.g algorithm
development, code development, experimental work and results), whether there is
a technical plan for completion of the work.
11. In the transfer report the candidate should:
(a) identify their central hypothesis or hypotheses,
(b) provide a concise critical review of existing related research, including if appropriate
that of other researchers in DCU,
(c) place their specific research topic within the context of this existing work,
(d) describe their work and results to date, and clearly identify the current and expected
contribution of their doctoral research, and
(e) propose a research plan that has the potential to lead to a dissertation at the doc-
12. The transfer report must be scientific in style. It must be no more than thirty pages in
length (including abstract, references, timeline, publication/presentation list) and use
the type of single-column formatting that is typical of technical reports. In particular,
the formatting should not render the report so dense as to make it difficult to read.
Specifically it must be a in a minmum of 10pt font with page borders of reasonable
13. A candidate must submit their transfer report to the two examiners and the research
convenor in electronic form. Hard copy should be provided to the examiners if requested.
14. The purpose of the transfer talk is to afford the candidate the opportunity to defend
their hypothesis or hypotheses, their work and results to date, and their research plan
as presented in their transfer report.
15. The transfer talk will be scheduled and announced by the supervisor or research con-
venor. At least one week’s notice will be given to all interested parties of the candidate,
title, abstract, date, time and place of a forthcoming transfer talk.
16. Transfer talks will be chaired by the research convenor or their nominee.
17. At least one of the examiners or the chair must be of the same gender as the candidate.
18. If requested by the candidate, the report examiner will provide informal, oral feedback
to the candidate at least one week in advance of the transfer talk. This will allow the
candidate to address the examiner’s concerns during the talk itself.
19. The audience for the transfer talk must include the two examiners and the candidate’s
supervisor or supervisors, and additionally any other staff or postgraduate research
students who choose to attend.
20. The candidate must deliver a transfer talk of approximately thirty minutes, and expect a
five- or ten-minute public question-and-answer session. Subsequently, all but the can-
didate, supervisor, chair and examiners will leave, and the candidate will be questioned
in detail by the examiners. The entire defence will usually last approximately one hour.
21. The chair will manage proceedings of the oral examination. They may ask questions and
comment on the candidate’s work, but do not contribute to determining the output of
Recording of Transfer Talks
22. It is school policy to make recordings of transfer talks. These recordings may be used by
DCU for educational purposes. They may also be made available publicly on the DCU
web site. The school will not sell, profit from or otherwise publish these recordings.
23. The work presented by a candidate may, in some cases, be sensitive. For example, it
may not yet have been submitted or accepted for publication, or there may be intellectual
property issues. In such cases, the candidate must draw the matter to the attention of
the chair. The chair will then arrange recording of only those parts of the talk which the
supervisor and the student agree may be published. All work which is recorded should
be regarded as publicly disclosed.
24. A candidate may, at any time, withdraw their consent to DCU’s usage of their recording.
Outcome of the Transfer Process
25. Following the transfer talk, the outcome of the process will be determined by the ex-
aminers through private deliberation. The supervisor will usually be present for the
examiners’ deliberations, but should volunteer or may be asked to leave if the examin-
ers feel that that would be helpful.
26. If the examiners are unable to reach consensus, the report examiner will have the cast-
ing vote in determining the output of the examination.
27. The examiners must decide upon one of the following two outcomes.
Pass. The candidate will be recommended for transfer to the PhD register.
Resubmit. The candidate will not be recommended for transfer to the PhD register at
this time. The examiners must identify the reasons for not recommending transfer
and communicate these to the candidate and the supervisor.
28. The examiners will appoint one of their number to minute the decision of the panel,
any reasons justifying or explaining that decision, and any appropriate guidance to the
candidate going forward. In addition, in the case of resubmission, the minutes must
also explain clearly what the candidate must demonstrate in order to be successful
upon subsequent resubmission.
All unsuccessful candidates will be offered the opportunity for resubmission at most one.
In the case of resubmission, the following guidelines apply.
29. The panel must decide whether the candidate:
• must resubmit a revised transfer report, and/or
• must re-present a revised transfer talk (re-presentation talks will generally be held
For any particular candidate, the actual process of resubmission and examination will
depend upon the subset of these requirements demanded by the panel. The require-
ments and process decided upon by the examiners must be made clear to the candidate.
30. The same examiners should generally evaluate the resubmission. If one or both exam-
iners is unavoidably not available to examine the submission suitable replacement(s)
should be agreed in advance with the supervisor and the research convenor.
31. For resubmissions, the examiners must decide on an outcome of either pass or fail.
Candidates will be permitted only to resubmit once. In the case of pass the candidate
is recommended for transfer of the full PhD register without penalty. In the case of
fail the candidate will not be recommended for transfer to the PhD register, and will
not be allowed to resubmit to the transfer process. In the case of failure very clear
and unambiguous reasoning must be communicated in writing to the candidate and the
supervisor. Candidates not recommended for transfer will generally be expected to write
up for an MSc by the end of year 2, but should consider with their supervisor whether
they wish to follow this path.
32. Candidates who fail the transfer process will be entitled to appeal the outcome to the
school research committee. Appeals should be submitted in writing to the school’s
research convenor, and include any necessary substantiating documentation.
33. Valid grounds for appeal are:
(a) that the candidate’s performance was adversely affected by illness or other factors
which he or she was unable or for valid reasons unwilling to divulge before the
(b) that the transfer talk or deliberations were not conducted in accordance with the
current process as prescribed by this document, or
(c) that there was a substantial error of judgement on the part of the examiners with
the result that the outcome was totally at variance with previous performance.
34. As with any process governing student progression, candidates who remain dissatisfied
may appeal to the university appeals board.
The Transfer Process: Declarations
Declaration by student:
I have read the guidelines on the transfer process in the School of Computing and
am aware of the requirements for transfer to the PhD register.
Student signature: Date:
Declaration by student (videoing of transfer talk):
I do/do not grant permission to the school to video my transfer talk and use the
resulting recording, as described in these guidelines:
Student signature: Date:
Declaration by supervisors:
The above named student is being presented for transfer to the PhD register in the
School of Computing with my consent. I am satisfied that s/he is aware of the
requirements for transfer.
Supervisor signature: Date:
This form must be completed prior to the transfer talk and submitted to the school’s research
Approved by school: 6/6/2012
The limited licence to copy materials on these pages, set out above, does not permit the incorporation of the material, whether documentation or software, or any part thereof, in any other work or publication, whether in hard copy, electronic, or any other format. In particular, but without limitation, no part of these pages may be copied or distributed for any commercial purpose. No part of these pages may be reproduced or transmitted on, or to, or stored in, any other web site or other form of electronic retrieval system.
This document addresses the ownership of intellectual property arising from work completed by undergraduate and taught postgraduate students as part of student projects in the School of Computing at Dublin City University.
The University's research policy states that the "University shall have no vested interest in inventions developed by students who are not employees unless commitments to sponsoring agencies are involved." (see http://www.dcu.ie/research/research_policies.shtml). This means that in general, students are in ownership of any exploitation rights arising from their own projects.
However, within the School of Computing there is a sliding scale of involvement of Academic Staff in devising, developing, guiding and otherwise contributing to project work, especially projects in the final year of degree programs and as part of taught Masters. This can vary from the case where
(a) the idea for the project comes from the staff member, the background information is provided by the staff member and the way in which the project is developed and implemented is closely monitored by the the staff member;
to the case where
(b) the idea for the project comes from the student who gathers all the background material and who receives little guidance from any member of staff.
Both of these extremes are common and acceptable to the School of Computing, although we do encourage students to avail of the experience and the expertise of our staff as much as possible.
Accordingly, and to encourage Academic Staff to contribute wholeheartedly to undergraduate projects it is fair that the contribution of such staff in cases where staff make a significant contribution to a project, be acknowledged through their own part-ownership of intellectual property arising from that project.
Where student and staff member are in agreement about such division of potential intellectual property then the following form (in PDF) should be completed and signed by both student and staff, ahead of the commencement of the project. One signed copy should be retained by the student, one signed copy should be retained by by the staff member. In the case of joint projects (with more than one student involved) then one of the collaborating students should sign and retain on behalf of all students involved.
In order to prevent unauthorised use of source code from student projects, the School undertakes henceforth not to make source code for student projects generally available on the WWW, except for the purposes of assessment and examination, and for subsequent use in follow-on project project work within the school. Unless it is expressly agreed otherwise, in advance of the commencement of a project, students agree to their project code and documentation being made available for this purpose. This is in line with our policy on copyright for such matters.
This document applies to undergraduate and taught postgraduate students only. Under the section entitled "Invention Rights of Students" the University policy (see http://www.dcu.ie/research/research_policies.shtml) states
"Students employed by the University in any capacity are covered by the terms of this [University] policy. In addition, where a student receives financial aid or remuneration under a sponsored research, training or fellowship programme, his/her rights in any invention are limited by the terms of the University agreement with the sponsoring agency."
|IP Agreement Form||4.74 KB|
Copying another person’s work and presenting it as your own is a very serious offence.
These regulations are additional to the rules laid out by ISS on the use of computers in the University.