As a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student, you will undertake 3 performance appraisals in the course of your research thesis. The University of Queensland calls these ‘milestones’. The 3 milestones are Confirmation, Mid-Candidature Review, and Thesis Review. Each milestone takes place at a set time in your candidature. See HDR milestone timelines.

Your next milestone due date is visible in your student portal and it is your responsibility to monitor and meet your milestone commitments. If you have questions or are having any trouble preparing for your milestones, reach out to your advisory team, the Research and Research Training (RRT) Advisor in your discipline, the School’s Director of Research Training, or your School’s HDR Liaison Officer (HLO) hdr.hapi@enquire.uq.edu.au.

Purpose

Milestones help you to write the best possible HDR thesis and to finish it on time. Performance appraisals test whether your research project continues to be viable and whether you are employing an appropriate method. Milestones assist you in refining your project design and your arguments. They encourage you to work steadily on your research thesis instead of leaving all the writing to the last minute. Your milestone is also a chance for you to reflect appropriately on the professional development that you could do before your next milestone or the submission of your thesis.

Process

To organise your milestone, see the Graduate School’s website ‘How to organise a milestone’. You should begin this process at least two months before your milestone is due.

Your milestone committee will normally consist of your advisory team, the discipline’s RRT Advisor as Chair and, at Confirmation, an additional staff-member or honorary member of the School. With your committee, arrange a suitable date, time, and venue for your milestone. You are encouraged to arrange milestones to fit into your discipline’s seminar series and your RRT Advisor can help with this.

Each milestone will consist of 3 components: written work, an oral presentation, and an interview. Some milestones will require that you deliver a public presentation of your research. For specific requirements for each milestone, see the sections below: Confirmation, Mid-Candidature Review, and Thesis Review. On the basis of your milestone components, committee members will decide whether or not you meet the milestone’s specific performance criteria. You will be told the outcome of your milestone in a letter from your milestone committee.

If you do not meet the performance criteria for a given milestone, the letter from your committee will advise what you need to do in order to pass and you will be given a date when the milestone will run again. You will need to submit an online request for a milestone extension through your student portal. Upload the feedback letter from your milestone committee as evidence that you need more time for research related reasons.

Once you attain your milestone, you will need to submit an online request for attainment of milestone through your student portal. Upload the feedback letter from your milestone committee as evidence that you have passed.

If you have questions about the milestone process or milestone extensions, talk to your HDR Liaison Officer (HLO) hdr.hapi@enquire.uq.edu.au. If you have questions about the academic expectations and content of your milestone materials or what to expect in your milestone interview, it is best to discuss this with your advisory team or RRT Advisor.

Consult the information below detailing Confirmation, Mid-Candidature Review, and Thesis Review. Know that once you pass your Thesis Review, you are expected to submit your thesis for examination within 3 months if you are doing a PhD full-time or within 6 weeks if you are doing an MPhil full-time. If you are enrolled part-time, you are expected to submit your PhD thesis 6 months after thesis review or your MPhil thesis 3 months after thesis review. See the Graduate School’s website on preparing your thesis for submission and examination.

Information and resources

 

Contact

For further information, contact the HDR Liaison Officer (HLO) hdr.hapi@enquire.uq.edu.au