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Higher Degree by Research Progress and Milestones Procedure
1. Purpose:
  1. These procedures have been developed to guide stakeholders in the processes relating to the rules and requirements set out in the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Progress and Milestones Policy.
2. Scope:
  1. These procedures apply to candidates enrolled in Higher Degree by Research (HDR) courses at the University of Canberra, and to the staff involved in supervision, administration and management of HDR students at the University.
3. Procedure:
Target submission dates
  1. Doctoral candidates are encouraged to submit their thesis 12 months prior to their maximum course completion date (equivalent full-time), and Masters by Research candidates are encouraged to submit their thesis four months prior to their maximum candidature period (equivalent full-time), to allow for the examination process to be undertaken within the maximum course completion period.
  2. If a candidate exceeds their maximum period of candidature before submitting their thesis for examination, tuition fees may be charged.
  3. Course completion dates are recalculated when research candidates alter their study load (full-time or part-time) or in some circumstances, when leave is taken.
Milestones
  1. Below is a table of the required milestones for Higher Degree by Research candidates of the University.
Doctor of Philosophy courses
Degree length = 1460 days
Milestone Due date based on full-time enrolment Due date based on part-time enrolment
Mid-semester review
(for Standard entry PhD candidates only)
First 7-8 weeks of enrolment in the Skills Portfolio Unit First 7-8 weeks of enrolment in the Skills Portfolio Unit
Coursework requirements 6 months 12 months
Introductory seminar 6 months 12 months
Confirmation of candidature 12 months 24 months
Research plan review Developed in the first 6 months, then March each year Developed in the first 6 months, then March each year
Annual Progress Report 1-30 September each year 1-30 September each year
Work-in-progress seminar 2/3 into course 2/3 into course
Pre-submission seminar 3-6 months prior to submission 3-6 months prior to submission
Thesis submission (target) 36 months (3 years) 84 months (7 years)
 
Professional Doctorate courses
Degree length = 1460 days
Milestone Due date based on full-time enrolment Due date based on part-time enrolment
Coursework requirements 12 months 24 months
Introductory seminar 6 months 12 months
Confirmation of candidature 12 months 24 months
Research plan review Developed in the first 6 months, then March each year Developed in the first 6 months, then March each year
Annual Progress Report 1-30 September each year 1-30 September each year
Work-in-progress seminar 2/3 into course 2/3 into course
Pre-submission seminar 3-6 months prior to submission 3-6 months prior to submission
Thesis submission (target) 36 months (3 years) 84 months (7 years)

Masters by Research courses
Degree length = 730 days
Milestone Due date based on full-time enrolment Due date based on part-time enrolment
Coursework requirements In the first 6 months In the first 12 months
Introductory seminar 4 months 8 months
Confirmation of candidature 7 months 14 months
Research plan review Developed in the first 6 months, then March each year Developed in the first 6 months, then March each year
Annual Progress Report 1-30 September each year 1-30 September each year
Pre-submission seminar 3-6 months prior to submission 3-6 months prior to submission
Thesis submission (target) 20 months 40 months

PhD Clinical Physiotherapy course
Degree length = 1642 days
Milestone Due date based on full-time enrolment Due date based on part-time enrolment
Coursework requirements As specified in the course outline As specified in the course outline
Introductory seminar 6 months 12 months
Confirmation of candidature 12 months 24 months
Research plan review Developed in the first 6 months, then March each year Developed in the first 6 months, then March each year
Annual Progress Report 1-30 September each year 1-30 September each year
Work-in-progress seminar 2/3 into course 2/3 into course
Pre-submission seminar 3-6 months prior to submission 3-6 months prior to submission
Thesis submission 48 months (4 years) 102 months (8.5 years)
 
PhD Clinical Psychology course
Degree length = 1642 days
Milestone Due date based on full-time enrolment Due date based on part-time enrolment
Coursework requirements As specified in the course outline As specified in the course outline
Introductory seminar 6 months 12 months
Confirmation of candidature 12 months 24 months
Research plan review Developed in the first 6 months, then March each year Developed in the first 6 months, then March each year
Annual Progress Report 1-30 September each year 1-30 September each year
Work-in-progress seminar 2/3 into course 2/3 into course
Pre-submission seminar 3-6 months prior to submission 3-6 months prior to submission
Thesis submission 42 months (3.5 years) 96 months (8 years)
 
Milestone procedures

Mid-semester review (Doctoral Research Skills Portfolio unit) for PhD (Standard Entry)
  1. The progress of Doctoral students undertaking the coursework component in the standard entry PhD will be formally reviewed at the Mid-Semester Review meeting in Weeks 7 – 8 of the semester in which coursework units are being undertaken. The Primary Supervisor is responsible for ensuring the meeting occurs. The candidate and the Primary Supervisor must attend the meeting. Other panel members are also encouraged to attend.
  2. The objective of the Mid-Semester Review is to establish whether the candidate is progressing towards:
    1. Successful completion of the portfolio unit to the level of achievement required by the host Faculty or Research Institute;
    2. Successful completion of the other coursework units to the level of achievement required by the host Faculty or Research Institute; and
    3. “Research readiness” in terms of progressing to the thesis component of the course and successful completion of the Confirmation of Candidature process in the next semester of full time equivalent study.
  3. The candidate’s progress will be assessed against the criteria outlined on the Doctoral Research Skills Portfolio Mid-Semester Review Form (available as part of the unit outline). The Primary Supervisor will record the outcome of the review on the form. Possible outcomes will be "highly satisfactory", "satisfactory" and "not yet satisfactory".
  4. A review outcome of “highly satisfactory” or “satisfactory” indicates that the supervisory panel is confident that the candidate will successfully complete the coursework units to the level of achievement required and that the candidate will be ready to progress into the thesis units in the next semester (FTE).
  5. Where the review outcome is “not yet satisfactory”, the Primary Supervisor will specify against the review criteria the issue/s in the progress of candidature and initiate the activation of the Progress Support Strategy. See Section 5 for information on activating the Progress Support Strategy.
  6. The Primary Supervisor is responsible for forwarding the completed Doctoral Research Skills Portfolio Mid-Semester Review form electronically to Graduate Research (GraduateResearch@canberra.edu.au).
Completion of Coursework – Standard PhD
  1. Upon successful completion of the prescribed 12 credit points of coursework to at least the level of a Pass grade, candidates in the standard entry PhD will be eligible to enrol into thesis units.
  2. If a candidate fails to complete the coursework component successfully they cannot enrol in thesis units, and will be discontinued from the course.
  3. If a candidate fails up to six credit points of coursework he or she may repeat the unit/s failed. To repeat the unit/s, the candidate will be discontinued from the PhD course, and be issued a new offer letter for the Graduate Certificate in Research Methods and Design. Upon accepting an offer of place the candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Research Methods and Design course as a full fee-paying postgraduate student. International students will require an amendment to their Confirmation of Enrolment upon transfer to ensure compliance with visa requirements.
  4. If a candidate fails more than six out of the possible 12 credit points in the coursework component, he or she cannot retake the failed units and will be discontinued from the PhD for failure to make satisfactory progress.
Introductory seminar
  1. The Introductory seminar is organised and promoted to the public by the Primary Supervisor. The candidate and the supervisory panel are expected to have discussed and agreed on the content of the presentation.
  2. The Introductory Seminar is a compulsory, non-assessable milestone. 
  3. The seminar provides an opportunity for the candidate to introduce their research topic, research question/s, supporting literature, proposed methodology and timeline for the project. Disciplinary standards will dictate the format and length of the seminar.
  4. The intended objectives of the Introductory seminar are to:
    1. introduce the candidate and his/her research to the University research community;
    2. welcome the candidate into that community;
    3. provide an avenue for the candidate to receive feedback from academics in the field;
    4. provide an early opportunity for the candidate to test the feasibility of the research project; and
    5. provide an opportunity to implement Progress Support measures if appropriate.
  5. All members of the supervisory panel should attend the seminar. Attendees will be invited to provide verbal and written feedback to the candidate. The seminar and feedback received should be discussed in a follow up panel meeting.
  6. The host Faculty or Research Institute staff and members of the wider research and professional communities (as applicable to the project) should be invited to attend.
  7. The Primary Supervisor is responsible for completing and submitting a Non-Assessable Seminar Report to the HDR Support team (hdrsupport@canberra.edu.au ) for processing, or noting the milestone as completed in the candidate’s next Annual Progress Report.
Confirmation of Candidature
  1. Confirmation involves the candidate’s:
    1. Submission of a written research proposal; and
    2. Presentation of a Confirmation seminar.
  2. Both the written research proposal and seminar are formally evaluated by a panel of disciplinary experts, who are not members of the candidate’s supervisory panel.
  3. Candidature must be confirmed within the first 12 months of candidature (FTE) for Doctoral candidates and within the first 7 months (FTE) for Masters by Research candidates.
  4. Confirmation Seminar is a compulsory, assessable milestone. Enrolment in HDR courses remains provisional until a candidate has successfully completed Confirmation of Candidature.
  5. The intended objectives of Confirmation of Candidature are to:
    1. facilitate timely completion of the research project by assisting candidates to find a focus and to plan their research early;
    2. increase the quality of postgraduate research by providing candidates with public feedback during the planning stage of their research;
    3. facilitate the acquisition of skills essential to effective researchers:
      1. seminar presentation;
      2. proposal writing; and
      3. scholarly writing appropriate to the discipline; and
  6. ensure that adequate infrastructure, supervision arrangements and funds are in place for the candidate to complete the thesis in a timely, safe and ethical manner.
Research proposal
  1. Each candidate is required to prepare a research proposal describing the research project. The proposal will further develop the structure of the research project presented in the Introductory seminar. The proposal:
    1. assists the candidate to define and plan the research by identifying its aims, outcomes, methodology and value;
    2. enables the host Faculty or Research Institute to assess the content and quality of the proposed research and resources required (including supervision) and to judge whether the intended project can be realistically and successfully carried out in the degree timeframe; and
    3. provides an opportunity for early feedback.
  2. The content, format and length of the research proposal will be subject to the specific requirements of the discipline area. Candidates should seek advice from the Primary Supervisor and follow Faculty or Research Institute guidelines, as applicable.
  3. As a minimum, the research proposal will include the following aspects of the research project:
    1. proposed title of thesis;
    2. research aims, including research questions, problems or issues to be investigated, the scholarly context and justification for the research;
    3. comprehensive literature review;
    4. research methodologies and how they will be applied;
    5. expected resources and conditions required to complete the research, including a project budget, as applicable;
    6. evidence of ethics consideration appropriate to the stage of development of the project; and
    7. updated project timeline.
  4. Where it is intended that the product of the research be in a form other than a thesis, such as published works or a creative work, the candidate may be required to include other material in the research proposal in addition to, or instead of, the requirements above.
Confirmation seminar
  1. The Confirmation seminar is organised by the Primary Supervisor upon the development of the research proposal to the satisfaction of the candidate and the supervisory panel.
  2. The Primary Supervisor is responsible for scheduling the seminar into the Faculty or Research Institute’s seminar timetable and for ensuring that the seminar is held. Except in special circumstances (e.g. information that is commercial-in-confidence), the seminar is considered a public presentation and should be advertised as such.
  3. The Primary Supervisor, in consultation with supervisory panel members, will appoint a panel of assessors consisting of at least two disciplinary experts who meet the following requirements:
    1. not a current or previous member of the candidate’s supervisory panel;
    2. at least two must hold a research degree at the level sought by the candidate;
    3. research active in the field of scholarship in which the candidate is also engaged; and
    4. at least one assessor will be a member of academic staff at a tertiary institution.
  4. The use of assessors from outside the host Faculty or Research Institute is encouraged. When a candidate is also a member of academic staff, assessors must be from outside the host Faculty or Research Institute.
  5. At least two weeks prior to the scheduled date of the Confirmation seminar, the Primary Supervisor will provide the panel of assessors with the Assessment of HDR Confirmation Seminar and Research Proposal Form and the candidate’s research proposal.
  6. The panel of assessors will attend and assess the Confirmation seminar in conjunction with the research proposal, and report back using the Assessment of HDR Confirmation Seminar and Research Proposal Form. The supervisory panel and Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director (or respective delegates) will also attend the seminar.
  7. The content of the Confirmation seminar will draw upon the material developed in the research proposal. Requirements for the content, format and length of the Confirmation seminar will be as per disciplinary standards. Candidates should consult their host Faculty or Research Institute’s guidelines on the Confirmation seminar and seek advice from the Primary Supervisor in the first instance.
  8. The University requires all candidates, including off campus candidates, to present the Confirmation seminar in person. If exceptional circumstances (e.g. care commitments, a health condition that makes travel impractical) mean that a candidate is unable to deliver the seminar in person, the Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director may approve for the seminar to be delivered via video conference. Teleconference alone is not permissible.
  9. The panel of assessors will meet with the candidate, the supervisory panel and the Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director (or delegate) following the seminar to provide feedback. Following this meeting, the Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director (or delegate) will chair closed discussions with the candidate and the supervisory panel separately to ensure appropriate supervisory and infrastructures are in place.
  10. After the seminar, each assessor will complete an Assessment of HDR Confirmation Seminar and Research Proposal Form and return the form to the Primary Supervisor. Recommendations made by the assessors will be considered by the Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director (or delegate) who will, in turn provide a final recommendation to the candidate. The recommendations are as follows:
    1. that candidature be confirmed and the candidate proceed with the course;
    2. that the candidate proceed with the program subject to conditions to be met as specified; or
    3. that the candidate not proceed in the course.
  11. Unless otherwise specified, the candidate must meet any conditions specified in a recommendation of Confirmation of Candidature within three months following the date of the Confirmation seminar. The Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director will assess whether these conditions have been met. If conditions are not satisfactorily met within the approved timeframe, the candidate will be counselled to discontinue enrolment in the course.
  12. Upon Confirmation of Candidature, the Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director will forward all assessors’ reports and other relevant documentation to the HDR Support team. HDR Support will formally confirm the candidate via email and record this milestone.
  13. If the Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director recommends that a candidate proceed with the program subject to conditions:
    1. the Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director will notify HDR Support of the outcome of the seminar;
    2. HDR Support will notify the candidate and Primary Supervisor that candidature is confirmed subject to the satisfaction of the conditions set by the Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director;
    3. Conditions must be met within three months of the Confirmation seminar;
    4. The Primary Supervisor will notify the Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director that the conditions have been met and provide supporting evidence, as required;
    5. The Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director will review the assessors’ reports, research proposal and supporting documentation and notify HDR Support of the outcome; and
    6. HDR Support records the outcome and notifies the candidate, the supervisory panel and the Faculty/Research Institute of the outcome.
  14. A candidate who is unsuccessful at a Confirmation of Candidature will usually be permitted to undertake a second attempt. A candidate will not be allowed to re-attempt the process more than once.
  15. If a doctoral candidate has failed to meet the conditions required for Confirmation of Candidature following a second attempt, he or she may be counselled to transfer to an appropriate Masters by Research course, conditional upon the satisfactory completion of a research proposal for a Masters by Research degree. If this option is not available, the candidate will be discontinued on grounds of failing to make satisfactory progress.
  16. Masters by research candidates who fail to meet conditions for Confirmation of Candidature will be discontinued on grounds of failing to make satisfactory progress.
Work in progress seminar (doctoral candidates only)
  1. The University requires all doctoral candidates to present a Work-in-Progress (WIP) seminar within the first two thirds of the total period of candidature (i.e. by 24 months in a 36 month candidature period or 32 months in a 48 month candidature period). The Primary Supervisor is responsible for scheduling the seminar into the Faculty or Research Institute’s seminar timetable and for ensuring that the seminar is held.
  2. The WIP seminar is not formally assessed but is recorded. It provides an opportunity for the candidate:
  • to seek feedback and direction on the research before the final write-up of the thesis; and
  • to test and defend major results and conclusions emerging from the research.
  1. Requirements for the content, format and length of the WIP seminar will be as per disciplinary standards. Candidates should seek advice from the Primary Supervisor and consult their host Faculty or Research Institute’s guidelines, where applicable, on the WIP seminar.
  2. The supervisory panel and the Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director (or delegate) will attend the seminar.
  3. The host Faculty or Research Institute staff and members of the wider research and professional communities (as applicable to the project) should be invited to attend.
  4. The supervisory panel and the candidate will meet as a group after the WIP seminar to discuss suggestions and feedback from the presentation. The panel will recommend action in accordance with the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Progress and Milestones Policy if it has concerns about the candidate’s progress, and activate the Progress Support Strategy, if required.
  5. The Primary Supervisor is responsible for completing and submitting a Non-Assessable Seminar Report to HDR Support (hdrsupport@canberra.edu.au) for processing, or noting the milestone as completed in the candidate’s next Annual Progress Report.
Pre-submission seminar
  1. The University requires all HDR candidates to present a pre-submission seminar. The pre-submission seminar shall normally take place three to six months prior to submission of the thesis.
  2. The objectives of the seminar are to:
    • provide an opportunity for the candidate to present the research outcomes;
    • identify potential forms and channels of dissemination;
    • celebrate the achievements of the candidate; and
    • promote the University and its research by showcasing the project.
  3. The Primary Supervisor is responsible for scheduling the seminar into the Faculty or Research Institute’s seminar timetable and for ensuring that the seminar is held.
  4. The supervisory panel and the Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director (or delegate) will attend the seminar.
  5. Host Faculty or Research Institute staff and members of the wider research and professional communities (as applicable to the project) should be invited to attend.
  6. The Primary Supervisor is responsible for completing and submitting a Non-Assessable Seminar Report to HDR Support (hdrsupport@canberra.edu.au) for processing, or noting the milestone as completed in the candidate’s next Annual Progress Report.
Progress Reporting
  1. The Annual Progress Report (APR) and the Research Plan Review (RPR) are important tools for the University and the Faculties/Research Institutes to monitor and evaluate each HDR candidate’s progress. Participating in this bi-annual reporting process and completion of these reports are mandatory. A candidate’s continuing enrolment in the HDR course is contingent on complete and satisfactory reports. If the reporting processes are not completed, candidates may face discontinuation from the course of study.
  2. The APR process and the RPR provides an opportunity for the candidate and supervisor to critically reflect on the progress of the research work during the current year and on the intended directions in the year ahead so as to ensure a quality thesis and timely completion of the degree.
  3. When requests for extensions to candidature or scholarships are made by candidates, progress reports are reviewed before approval by the Faculty/Research Institute to determine whether delays were noted and discussed at the time, and what action was taken.
Indicators of unsatisfactory progress
  1. Potential indicators that a candidate may be at risk of not making satisfactory progress in their course include, but are not limited to:
    1. fail result on an assessment item in a coursework unit;
    2. overdue milestones, including overdue Confirmation Seminar and Confirmation of Candidature;
    3. failure to meet the conditions of Confirmation of Candidature at first attempt;
    4. persistent failure to meet deadlines (e.g. submission of drafts) agreed by the Primary Supervisor and the candidate;
    5. persistent failure to keep appointments with the supervisory panel or to maintain an agreed level of email contact;
    6. repeated requests to change topics;
    7. repeated requests to change supervisory panels.
    8. inadequate English language skills in relation to the level required to complete the research project; and
    9. ongoing impact of personal situation on progress of candidature (illness, work commitments, family commitments).
  2. Candidates who do not maintain an agreed and regular level of contact with the Primary Supervisor are at risk of not making satisfactory progress. The Primary Supervisor will advise the Faculty ADR or Research Institute Director (or delegate) if a candidate fails to make contact without prior notice for two months or more.
Annual Progress Report (APR)
  1. The Annual Progress Report (APR) form is available online from 1 September each year to all eligible candidates who are required to complete an APR.
  2. It is the responsibility of the candidate to complete the appropriate section of the APR form and submit the form via the online system to the Primary Supervisor and review the Primary Supervisor’s comments by the 30 September. The Supervisory Panel and the candidate should meet to discuss progress and the completion of the candidate’s and Primary Supervisor’s sections before submission. In the event that the candidate feels concerned about this procedure, then the candidate should consult with the Faculty Associate Dean or Faculty Dean/Research Institute Director.
  3. As well as detailed feedback, the Primary Supervisor will provide the candidate with an overall progress assessment grade of 1 to 5 (with 5 indicating exemplary progress and 1 indicating unsatisfactory progress).
  4. After the candidate and Primary Supervisor complete their sections of the form, the candidate must review the form and is able to respond to the Primary Supervisor’s comments before submitting the form via the online system. The Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director (or delegate) will review the report and make a recommendation concerning the candidate’s progress. Once this process is complete, the report is forwarded to HDR Support for processing, the candidate is enrolled and the candidate is informed that the process is complete via an email.
  5. It is the candidate’s responsibility to log into the APR and read the finalised APR to ensure that no further action is required from the APR e.g. Progress Support Strategy or Academic Probation.
Research Plan Review (RPR)
  1. The Research Plan Review (RPR) is recorded by the candidate and Primary Supervisor at a meeting to discuss progress in March each year. 
  2. The supervisory panel and the candidate should meet to discuss progress and to formally document any issues impeding progress at that stage. In the event that the candidate feels concerned about this procedure, then the candidate should consult with the Faculty Associate Dean or Faculty Dean/Research Institute Director.
  3. As well as detailed feedback at the meeting, the Primary Supervisor will provide the candidate with an overall progress assessment grade of 1 to 5 (with 5 indicating exemplary progress and 1 indicating unsatisfactory progress) and document this outcome during the meeting, providing a record for both candidate and Primary Supervisor.
  4. It is the Primary Supervisor’s responsibility to record the Research Plan Review milestone as achieved in the candidate’s Annual Progress Report.
  5. It is the candidate’s responsibility to record and upload the Research Plan Review on RGrad.
  6. If the candidate’s progress has been assessed as marginally satisfactory (2) or unsatisfactory (1), the Primary Supervisor notifies Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director and HDR Support of the outcome. The Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director confirms the activation of the Progress Support Strategy and notifies the candidate. Please see procedures under Progress Support Strategy (3.80).
Report Outcomes
 
Satisfactory
  1. If the outcome of the report is a ‘5’, ‘4’ or ‘3’, the candidate is approved to progress.
Marginally Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory
  1. Where the result of a review of progress is an assessment of ‘2’ (marginally satisfactory) or ‘1’ (unsatisfactory) for the first time in candidature, the host Faculty or Research Institute must specify the problems in the progress of candidature and activate Progress Support Strategy.
  2. Where a candidate’s progress has been reviewed as marginally satisfactory or unsatisfactory for a second time during the period of candidature, the host Faculty or Research Institute should activate a period of Progress Support (for a second time) or a period of Academic Probation.
Progress Support Strategy
  1. The Progress Support Strategy has been developed as a formal avenue to assist research candidates who are not progressing as expected, as identified by their supervisory panel. A candidates’ progress can be assessed on their completion of milestones as well as assessing progress against their Research Plan.
  2. The Progress Support Strategy can be formally activated through the Research Plan Review and/or Annual Progress Report process. The host Faculty or Research Institute will activate Progress Support if a candidate’s progress is assessed for the first time in their candidature as marginally satisfactory (overall assessment of 2 on the scale of 1 to 5) or unsatisfactory (overall assessment of 1 on the scale of 1 to 5) through these progress reviews.
  3. The Progress Support Strategy can also be formally activated through the Doctoral Research Skills Portfolio Mid-Semester Review (for candidates enrolled in Standard Entry PhD - course codes 254LC and 254HC). The candidate will be notified of this action during or shortly after the review meeting.
  4. The Progress Support Strategy may also be activated outside the formal review process for candidates recognised through other means as at risk of not making satisfactory progress.  Indicators of poor progress might include overdue milestone, failure to submit drafts as arranged, or self-identification by a candidate seeking assistance (more indicators detailed at clause 3.64).
  5. If the Progress Support Strategy is activated outside of the formal review process:
    1. The Primary Supervisor discusses the candidate’s progress with the supervisory panel and Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director with supporting evidence of unsatisfactory progress.
    2.  The Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director notifies the candidate of the activation of the Progress Support Strategy.
  6. The Progress Support Strategy requires formal intervention by the supervisory panel and Faculty Associate or Research Institute Director who together with the candidate determine a Course of Action, with specific conditions or outcomes to be achieved over a period of three months.
  7. If a candidate is identified as being at risk of unsatisfactory progress, the Primary Supervisor will organise a meeting between the candidate and Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director to discuss issues that have been raised with regard to progress. This meeting must occur within 21 days of the candidate being notified of the Progress Support Strategy. A Course of Action Plan will be developed as a result of this meeting.
  8. If a period of intermission or leave is approved following the recommendation that the candidate be placed on Progress Support Strategy, the candidate is placed on Progress Support upon return from intermission or leave.
  9. If the candidate is approved leave during the Progress Support Strategy, Progress Support is extended based on the period and type of leave approved, at the discretion of the Faculty/Research Institute.
  10. Upon the candidate’s re-enrolment or return from leave, the Primary Supervisor will arrange a meeting between the candidate and Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director to discuss issues that have been raised with regard to progress.
  11. Part A of the Progress Support Strategy Report must be completed within eight weeks of the candidate’s re-enrolment or return from leave and submitted to HDR Support for recording and processing.
  12. The Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director is responsible for ensuring the Progress Support Strategy is activated and monitored.
  13. See Progress Support Strategy Workflow for responsibilities and procedures for activating and monitoring the Progress Support Strategy.
Progress Support: Courses of Action
  1. A Course of Action plan with realistic and achievable outcomes must be developed following the activation of the Progress Support Strategy.
  2. Possible courses of action may include:
    1. A prescribed program of work including, e.g. the submission of a revised Research Plan or methodology for assessment, the setting of specific goals, schedule meetings and timelines/milestones, including the submission of written work, provision of specific training or support for aspects of the project;
    2. Attendance at specific workshops provided by UC Researcher Development or other training providers to develop skills required to progress with research;
    3. Attendance at specific workshops provided by the UC Library;
    4. Referral to University support services, e.g. counselling and health service, International Student Support Service, UC College for English language support, Student Inclusion and Engagement;
    5. Changes to candidature, e.g. change to part-time enrolment, modification of supervisory arrangements, intermission (within visa requirements for international candidates); and/or
    6. Audit University of Canberra units or attend units available from other universities on online as appropriate.
Progress Support Strategy Report
  1. The Progress Support Strategy will be monitored in each case via the candidate’s submission of a Progress Support Strategy Report. The Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director will inform HDR Support of the conditions and time frames for delivery of the Progress Support Strategy by completing and returning Part A of the report. HDR Support will notify the candidate based on this report which will:
    1. explain why the candidate is considered at risk of poor progress;
    2. specify the conditions of the Progress Support Strategy and the consequences of not meeting them;
    3. indicate support services available to the candidate;
    4. specify a level of contact between the candidate and the supervisory panel during the time conditions are imposed;
    5. provide a reasonable deadline (21 days) for the candidate to respond/request reconsideration of the decision if he/she wishes, and
    6. provide information on means of appeal including the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Progress and Milestones Policy
  2. HDR Support will forward the Progress Support Strategy Report to the candidate to complete the relevant sections by the end of the Progress Support Strategy period.
Review of progress
  1. A review at the end of the Progress Support Strategy period results in either:
    1. Progress Support Strategy as satisfactorily completed and therefore continuation of candidature; or
    2. Progress Support Strategy not satisfactorily completed due to outcomes not having been achieved or progress issues still present.
  2. If Progress Support Strategy is not satisfactorily completed and progress issues are still present, the Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director may provide a recommendation for the candidate to:
    1. Be placed on extended Progress Support Strategy (duration of 3 months);
    2. Be placed on Academic Probation (duration of 3 months);
    3. Be counselled to transfer to a Masters by Research (if appropriate); or
    4. Be counselled to voluntarily withdraw from the course.
  3. The Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director may also provide the following recommendations, if they believe it may assist the candidate towards timely completion:
    1. Change enrolment to part-time (if full-time)
    2. Take intermission or leave from candidature 
    3. Make changes to supervisory panel as required
  4. International candidates can only be recommended to take intermission or change enrolment load if the recommendation does not result in a breach of Government regulations or the candidate’s visa requirements.
Academic Probation
  1. If a candidate fails to comply with conditions or complete a program of work as required as part of the Progress Support Strategy, the host Faculty or Research Institute can recommend the candidate be placed on Academic Probation. Academic Probation is defined as the imposing on a candidate, conditions of continuation in a course when a review has found the progress of the candidate not to be of an acceptable standard.
  2. A candidate cannot be placed on Academic Probation without first having been on Progress Support Strategy.
  3. If a candidate is placed on Academic Probation, the Primary Supervisor will arrange a meeting between the candidate, supervisory panel and Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director to discuss the candidates’ failure to comply with conditions of the Progress Support Strategy. This meeting must occur within 21 days of the candidate being notified of the Academic Probation. A Course of Action Plan will be developed as a result of this meeting.
  4. If a period of intermission or leave is approved following the recommendation that the candidate be placed on Academic Probation, the candidate is placed on Academic Probation upon return from intermission or leave.
  5. Upon the candidate’s re-enrolment or return from leave, the Primary Supervisor will organise a meeting between the candidate and Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director to discuss issues that have been raised and agree upon the conditions of the Academic Probation.
  6. Part A of the Academic Probation Report must be completed within eight weeks of the candidate’s subsequent re-enrolment or return from leave and submitted to HDR Support for recording and processing.
  7. The Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director is responsible for ensuring the Academic Probation is activated and monitored.
  8. See Academic Probation Workflow for responsibilities and procedures for activating and monitoring Academic Probation.
  9. The Faculty or Research Institute will inform HDR Support of the conditions of Academic Probation by completing and returning Part A of the Academic Probation Report. HDR Support will notify the candidate based on this report which will:
    1. explain why the candidate’s progress is considered unsatisfactory;
    2. specify the conditions of Academic Probation and the consequences of not meeting them;
    3. indicate support services available to the candidate;
    4. specify a level of contact between the candidate and the supervisory panel during the time conditions are imposed;
    5. provide a reasonable deadline (21 days) for the candidate to respond/request reconsideration of the decision if the candidate wishes; and
    6. provide information on means of appeal including the Student Grievance Resolution Policy
  10. HDR Support will forward an Academic Probation Report to the candidate to complete before the period of Academic Probation has expired.
  11. Before the date on the notice of Academic Probation, a candidate may request that the Faculty or Research Institute reconsider the imposition of Academic Probation if the candidate believes the circumstances on which the notice is based are incorrect. 
  12. A review of progress at end of the Academic Probation period, in the form of an Academic Progress Report, results in either:
    1. Conditions of Academic Probation are achieved and satisfactorily completed and therefore continuation of candidature; or
    2. Conditions of Academic Probation are not achieved and not satisfactorily completed, and therefore, candidate has failed to make satisfactory progress.
  13. If Academic Probation is not satisfactorily completed, the Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director may provide a recommendation for the candidate to:
    1. Be counselled to transfer to a Masters by Research course (if appropriate);
    2. Be counselled to voluntarily withdraw from the course; or
    3. Be discontinued from the course.
  14. The Faculty Associate Dean or Research Institute Director may also provide the following recommendations, if they believe it may assist the candidate towards satisfactory progress:
    1. Change enrolment to part-time (if full-time);
    2. Take intermission or leave from candidature;
    3. Make changes to supervisory panel as required; and/or
    4. Be referred to UC or other support services, e.g. counselling, health.
  15. International candidates can only be recommended to take intermission, leave or change enrolment load if the recommendation does not result in a breach of Government regulations or the candidate’s visa requirements.
  16. No extension to Academic Probation will be granted unless the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the candidate.
Grievances and Appeals
  1. As outlined in the Student Grievance Resolution Policy, an appeal or grievance relating to progress or milestones should in the first instance, be handled informally where possible, between the candidate and Primary Supervisor or other panel member as appropriate.
  2. If informal resolution is not possible, the procedures outlined in the Student Grievance Resolution Policy should be applied. 
  3. Where an international candidate has chosen not to access the appeals process within the 21 working day period, withdraws from the appeals process or the appeal process is completed and confirms the decision to discontinue, the University will notify the relevant Government department of the candidate’s status, as soon as practicable.
4. Governing Policy and Legislation:
  1. This Procedure are governed by the Academic Progress Statute 2015 and the Academic Progress Rules 2009.
  2. This document also ensures compliance with relevant sections of the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (the National Code 2007) established under the Educational Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (the ESOS Act 2000). The National Code 2007 sets out specific principles for registered providers to follow when supporting and monitoring course progress of international candidates on student visas.
5. Supporting Information:
  1. Commonwealth and Territory governing framework and legislation
    • Educational Services for Overseas Students Act 2000
    • National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007
    • Higher Education Support Act (HESA)
  2. University statutes and rules
    • Academic Progress Statute 2015
    • Academic Progress Rules 2009
  3. University policy and procedures
    • Higher Degree by Research Progress and Milestones Policy
    • Higher Degree by Research Enrolment and Changes to Candidature Policy
    • Student Grievance Resolution Policy