Candidature milestones

Candidature progress is formally monitored through a combination of regular meetings between candidates and supervisor/s, and the panel based assessment of progress through three candidature milestone reviews. Supervision meetings serve as a regular mechanism for supervisors to assess progress against the research plan. Milestone reviews are used to assess the candidate’s overall progression towards the timely completion of the degree.

The HDR Coordinator in the school (or equivalent) is the person designated by the Dean/Head of School to monitor the general progress and welfare of research degree candidates.

The milestone reviews are:

  • Confirmation of candidature
  • Mid candidature review
  • Completion seminar

Each of the three milestone reviews will be undertaken by a Review Panel. It will comprise:

  • a Chair, who will be the School HDR Coordinator or equivalent position or their delegate. The review panel chair will normally be a member of the School Research Committee;
  • up to two supervisors including the Senior or Joint Senior supervisor/s;
  • a member who is independent of the supervisory team (this member of the panel must be registered as a Category 1 supervisor), and;
  • a member from the industry partner associated with the research project (optional)

Failure to demonstrate satisfactory performance in any candidature milestone review or as part of regular candidate/supervisor meetings may lead to a candidate being deemed to be ‘at risk of unsatisfactory progress’ or in subsequent termination of candidature if the candidate is deemed to have ‘established unacceptable academic progress’.

Please refer to the Higher Degree by Research - Candidate progress management procedure and Higher Degree by Research – Candidate progress management instruction.

Confirmation of candidature

This milestone review will include the candidate submitting a written component of the research in progress, and delivering a presentation of the research. The presentation will be made to a duly constituted Review Panel and will consist of a summary of the research in progress and provide details of the research progress achieved since the last milestone review. The candidate will be expected to take questions from Review Panel members and the wider audience.

For Master by research candidates, confirmation must be between 3 - 4 months after the research commencement date, or part time equivalent.

For PhD candidates, confirmation must be between 9 - 12 months after the research commencement, or part time equivalent.

Candidates are probationary until they have successfully completed their confirmation of candidature review as outlined in the Higher Degrees by Research candidate progress management procedure.

Mid candidature review

The Mid candidature review provides candidates with an opportunity to present their research to a panel of academics and receive feedback on their progress when they are midway through their degree.

For Master by research candidates, mid candidature review should be 9 -12 months after the research commencement date, or part time equivalent.

For PhD candidates, mid candidature review should be 21 - 24 months after the research commencement, or part time equivalent.

The milestone review form (DOCX 266KB 8p) should be used to formally record progress.

Completion seminar

All research candidates are required to make a public presentation of the near final version of their research in the form of a seminar; this completion seminar is a hurdle requirement for submission for examination.

For Master by research candidates, the completion seminar will be between 2 and 4 months before the maximum duration of candidature for the Masters or part time equivalent

For PhD candidates, the completion seminar will be between 33 and 36 months after the research commencement date or part time equivalent.