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Reviews of Progress

To maintain enrolment in your research degree, you need to demonstrate satisfactory progress in your research.

From January 2016 Reviews of Progress will be submitted online. Before you log onto your student portal and complete your Review of Progress you will need to meet with your supervisors and discuss your progress.

To help you plan six months ahead and work towards your final thesis submission, the University has a twice-yearly planning and review cycle to monitor the progress of each student's research project. This regular cycle assists students, supervisors and Research Education Portfolio Leaders (REPL) (or equivalent) to identify and discuss any issues or problems that arise.

Therefore, students are required to undertake at least two Reviews of Progress each year, no more than six months apart. Reviews must be completed by the student, the supervisor and the appropriate REPL (or equivalent)

You must make satisfactory progress during candidature to obtain approval for continued enrolment in the program (see the academic regulations relevant to your degree). All research degree students must undertake their Reviews of Progress, including students who are on leave. Students that fail to participate in the Reviews of Progress may be administratively withdrawn (refer Clause 8.9 Academic Regulations).

The planning and review cycle also helps you 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 attractive to future employers.

Note: Students enrolled in a Professional Doctorate that is recognised as a higher degree by research will undertake this planning and review process in the research phase of their degree. Re-enrolment information will be sent separately to research professional doctorate students in their coursework phase.

The information below is important for meeting the requirements of this milestone.

You might need:

Further information about this milestone is available below.

Before you start

From January 2016, Reviews of Progress will be submitted online.

Before you log onto and complete your review of progress you need to meet with your supervisors and discuss your progress.


What's involved?

Academic regulations governing research degrees specify that at least two documented planning and review sessions must occur in each calendar year, no more than six months apart. The dates that the reviews are due will depend on the Research Period enrolment pattern determined at the time of initial enrolment. You will be advised of you Research Period enrolment pattern in your enrolment letter and will be sent email reminders when your reviews are due to be completed.

Note: From January 2016 students will either be enrolled in a Research Period 1 and Research Period 3 enrolment pattern, or a Research Period 2 and Research Period 4 enrolment pattern. This will depend upon their initial enrolment date.


Research Period

Due Date for Major Review of Progress

Research Period 1

May 31st

Research Period 2

August 31st

Research Period 3

October 31st

Research Period 4

February 28th


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. You should meet with your supervisor approximately 1-2 months before your Review of Progress is due to be submitted

Academic regulations specify the procedures to be followed if the outcome of a student's review report is unsatisfactory or if there are problems impeding progress.


Organising meetings

You will receive an email to your student email account approximately 2 months prior to when your Review of Progress is due to be submitted as a reminder that you should make an appointment with your supervisor to discuss your progress.

You need to ensure that the planning and review takes place on time by making appointments with your supervisor/s and your REPL (or equivalent), if required.


What to discuss?

You should, at a minimum, discuss the following with your supervisors:  

  • The current state of your research and/or thesis, including any concerns you have with your progress
  • Any ethics approvals required or obtained
  • Your milestones for the next 6 months, including training activities
  • Your statement of agreement and whether this needs updating

Your supervisor/s should provide you with feedback on your progress and, if necessary, discuss any concerns they may have.

If there are concerns then together you must develop a strategy for getting back on track. This needs to be documented and discussed with your Research Education Portfolio Leader (or equivalent). The supervisor will also include it when completing their section of the online review of progress.

Changing your project

Sometimes research projects 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, 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 new 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 outside your supervisor's area of expertise. If so, 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 the University 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.



Exemptions from the Review of Progress

In exceptional and compelling circumstances, where you are unable to complete a review of progress, an exemption can be made by your supervisor and REPL. The following are not valid reasons for exemption:

  • Student is not in contact with the University
  • Unavailability of the Supervisor. Alternative (arrangements need to be made in this case)
  • Student not meeting Review of Progress timelines

If an exemption from a Review of Progress has been approved, your REPL (or equivalent) will need to complete an ‘Exemption from Review of Progress’ template and submit it to Graduate Research to be recorded on your student file.


Unsatisfactory Progress

Should the outcome of your review be considered unsatisfactory, the Divisional Research Degrees Management Committee will review your progress to ascertain whether:

  1. special requirements should be put in place
  2. any grievance procedures have been appropriately dealt with
  3. candidature and/or scholarships should be terminated.

Refer to Clause 9 of the Academic Regulations for additional information on Unsatisfactory Progress.

Now it's time to complete your online Review of Progress (available from January 2016)

Once you and your supervisor have met you will need to log into your myResearch portal and update your current outstanding review under the Student Reviews tile with the details discussed in the meeting with your supervisor.

You may then submit the review online to your Principal Supervisor for assessment and approval. The Review of Progress will then be submitted online to your REPL (or equivalent) for assessment and approval. Once the review process has been completed you will receive notification and may view the final outcome in your portal.