All Research Higher Degree Candidates are required to complete an annual progress report in November each year. Some candidates will also be required to complete a mid-year progress report in May/June.
The report is an opportunity for you to reflect on and measure your progress, your supervision, the resources that are available to you and to identify any barriers to meeting your completion targets.
A mid-year progress report will be required if:
- Concerns were expressed with regards to your previous annual progress report.
- Your Research Training Scheme (RTS) entitlement has expired.
- You are an international student (this is a requirement of the Australian Government).
- You have applied for leave of absence in the next semester. (The mid-year report will replace the annual report).
As the completion of the report is a requirement of your candidature, if you do not complete a report when requested you may be asked to show cause as to why your candidature should not be terminated.
There are three parts to the report:
Section A - Candidate's Report: This is a confidential report which will not be shown to your supervisor.
Section B - Supervisor's Report: This is a confidential report which will not be shown to your candidate.
Section C - Joint Report from candidate and supervisor on completion targets.
Please answer questions candidly, as the identification of difficulties will allow problems to be addressed. You are welcome to seek advice from the staff of the Office of Graduate Studies before completing the report, if required.
Comment will be sought on such matters as:
- The extent to which progress in terms of the research program agreed with the supervisor has been achieved;
- The extent of the interaction with the supervisor in terms of the agreed program of consultation;
- Status of ethics clearances;
- Presentation of research (seminars, publications);
- Any factors which are affecting the progress of work adversely or otherwise;
- Anticipated completion time, and reasons for changes to the anticipated date from previous reports on progress;
- Availability of training and support.
RHD Academic Progress Reports Procedure
The Progress Report procedure allows for independent candidate and supervisor reports and a joint report identifying progression and completion targets.
Summary of Requirements
The candidate is responsible for:
- Completing Section A and returning it directly to OGS by the date requested on the form.
- Jointly completing Section C with their supervisor and returning it to OGS by the date requested on the form.
The supervisor is responsible for:
- Completing Section B and returning it directly to OGS by the date requested on the form.
- Jointly completing Section C with the candidate, in time for the report to be submitted to OGS by the date requested on the form.
The Office of Graduate Studies is responsible for receipting and collating each section of the report. The Dean of Graduate Studies reads every report, notes any issues of concern and then forwards the reports to the relevant Head of School (or nominee) and Assistant Dean (Research Training) for comment and response to any issues raised. The Assistant Dean sends the report back to the Dean, where any outstanding issues are further investigated.
The blank reports are available to download from the Forms web page.
The University of Newcastle requires Research Higher Degree candidates to undertake a confirmation process within twelve months of commencement of candidature on a full-time basis (or part-time equivalent).
Candidates are required to satisfy the following requirements:
1. Present to the Confirmation Committee a written document containing at least:
- A critical review of recent work in the field,
- An updated research proposal,
- An updated plan of research,
- An updated timetable for completion of the thesis,
- A comprehensive statement of the resources required to complete the project within the funded period.
2. Deliver an oral presentation to the Confirmation Committee,
3. Provide a verbal defence of the research proposal before the Confirmation Committee.
In addition, the issue of ethics and safety approvals, intellectual property and data retention and management must also be considered.
Further information is available at the Confirmation Year Requirements web page.
Where your progress is assessed as less than satisfactory, the Assistant Dean Research Training may place conditions on your candidature. Typically, a structured program of study will be established with set goals, and timelines against which the goals can be monitored. Failure to meet these set goals against timelines may result in your candidature being referred to the Research Training Sub-Committee for consideration.
An intervention strategy must be implemented for International students at risk of not meeting course progress requirements. Other students may also be subject to intervention strategies.
Strategies for assisting students at risk could include, but are not limited to, the student:
- attending academic skills programmes;
- receiving individual case management;
- attending counselling;
- receiving assistance with personal issues which are influencing progress;
- receiving mentoring;
- being placed in a suitable coursework module; or
- a combination of the above.
An intervention strategy may be activated by:
- a letter to the student;
- personal contact with the student by a suitably authorised staff member (Office of Graduate Studies, Head of School, research convenor, supervisor)
The Research Training Sub-Committee may place further conditions on your candidature and may consider terminating your candidature.
Where the Research Training Sub-Committee has received a recommendation that your candidature be terminated, and before reaching a final decision, you will be given the opportunity to make representation to the Committee both in writing and in person. The Committee shall decide the matter, after reviewing all information available, including written and oral presentations from you, your supervisor and your Head of School.