Reviews of Progress
Academic regulations for research degrees state that a research degree student 'must make satisfactory progress in the research to obtain approval for re-enrolment in the program'.
Reviews of Progress monitor and report your progress to Research Degrees Committee and must be completed by you, your supervisors and your local Research Degree Coordinator or Research Education Portfolio Leader
- Planning and reviewing your progress
- Why a Review of Progress?
- Organising meetings
- What to discuss?
- How to report
UniSA has designed a planning and review cycle for research degrees to monitor the progress of each student's research project. This regular cycle assists students, supervisors and Research Degree Coordinators or Research Education Portfolio Leaders to identify and discuss any issues or problems that arise, and enables students to plan their progress over the following six months, working towards submitting their thesis.
You must make satisfactory progress during candidature to obtain approval for continued enrolment in the program (see the academic regulations relevant to your degree).
The planning and review cycle also assists you to identify how you will develop and achieve the Research Degree Graduate Qualities (RDGQs). The RDGQs define what a research degree student achieves through undertaking a research thesis. They identify competencies that are transferable to the workplace, and therefore increase your employment potential within the higher education sector, government, industry or the professions.
Academic regulations governing research degrees specify that at least two documented planning and review sessions must occur in each calendar year.
The purpose of a Review of Progress discussion is to review the student's progress over the previous six months and to discuss a plan of work for the coming six months. The academic regulations state that students are responsible for arranging separate times to discuss progress with supervisors and, if required, the Research Degree Coordinator or Research Education Portfolio Leader. These meetings may be face-to-face, by telephone or by email.
A report of satisfactory progress is required by November each year so that the Graduate Research Centre can re-enrol you for the following year and continue any scholarship payments. If you fail to complete a review you will not be re-enrolled
Academic regulations specify the procedures to be followed if the outcome of a student's review report is unsatisfactory or there are problems impeding progress.
The Graduate Research Centre will send you a reminder email when the planning and review sessions are due so make sure you check your emails regularly
It is your responsibility to ensure that the planning and review takes place on time by making appointments with your supervisor/s and the Research Degree Coordinator or Research Education Portfolio Leader.
Changing your project
Because of the nature of research, your project may change direction. For example, information that your research uncovers may not be what you expected when you wrote your research proposal, and may have implications for the entire direction of your project.
This is not a bad thing (it would be a rather boring research program if all the results were completely as expected) but it may mean you have to alter your proposed activities for the following months. For example, you may need to plan additional field or laboratory work, or arrange to visit an interstate or overseas library or gallery to examine other works you have discovered. If you are adding research activities to your planning, you may need to delete others so that you can keep to your time commitment.
Revisiting your research proposal and Statement of Agreement
Refer to your approved research proposal and Statement of Agreement. Do you need to:
- modify it
- add or delete from the literature review
- alter the methodology?
Maintaining your proposal as a working document will help it function as an early draft of the thesis.
Due to changes to your project, or for other reasons, you may also need to change your program
If you need to branch out in a different direction, you may be moving into areas not quite so central to your supervisor's area of expertise, in which case it may be useful to seek guidance from experts in other fields, even with different methodological approaches. Your supervisor may be able to suggest people to approach, or you might need to tap into research networks to find academic staff elsewhere in UniSA or other universities (local, interstate or international).
Networking acts as a useful progress check because your contacts may be the ones who examine your thesis. If you establish good networking contacts, these people can give you informal feedback on the depth of your work and appropriateness of your methodology.
The Graduate Research Centre requires a satisfactory report of your progress in second semester to re-enrol you the following year and continue your scholarship payments (if applicable). Requirements for the Review of Progress are in the academic regulations for your degree.
Should the outcome of your review be considered unsatisfactory, the Divisional Research Degrees Management Committee will review your progress to ascertain whether:
- special requirements should be put in place
- any grievance procedures have been appropriately dealt with
- candidature and/or scholarships should be terminated.
Regulations covering unsatisfactory progress procedures and appeals are in the relevant academic regulations for your degree.
Reporting forms and information
- Requirements, reporting cycle timelines and procedures - RTF (for pcs) and Word (for Macs)
- Review of Progress Report - includes separate sections for students, supervisor(s) and Research Degree Coordinators / Research Education Portfolio Leaders to complete