Under the Higher Degree Research Policy, candidates are admitted to candidature on a provisional basis subject to successful completion of the candidature confirmation procedure. This procedure assists the generation of quality research through the early detection of problems with the research program.

Both staff and candidates have defined roles and responsibilities throughout the confirmation process.

Higher Degree Research confirmation policies and resources

Objectives of candidature confirmation procedure

The objectives of the candidature confirmation procedure are to:

  • provide peer feedback to the candidate on the work completed to date through open discussion of the candidate's research proposal
  • provide confirmation that the project is appropriate to the degree for which the candidate is enrolled
  • determine whether a candidate has made suitable progress during the initial stage of the candidature
  • ensure that adequate resources and facilities are available
  • confirm that satisfactory supervision arrangements are in place
  • identify any specific problems or issues (for example, ethics or intellectual property) needing to be addressed; and
  • determine whether the candidature should continue.

Exemptions from completing a confirmation of candidature

Exemptions from the candidature confirmation requirement include:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (by Prior Publication) candidates
  • confirmed Masters candidates who have upgraded to Doctoral candidature, unless a requirement to complete a further confirmation procedure was a condition of their upgrade
  • candidates who were previously enrolled at another institution, and who submit documentation demonstrating satisfactory completion of a candidature confirmation procedure at that institution, however on receipt of the Dean (Research)'s recommendation the Dean, Griffith Graduate Research School will determine whether the candidate should complete the Griffith University confirmation procedure; and
  • candidates enrolled in research masters programs other than the Master of Philosophy may have different confirmation requirements and should consult with the Program Director to determine candidature confirmation requirements.

Time frames for completing the confirmation of candidature seminar

Candidates can view their confirmation of candidature due date via myGriffith > My research.

A summary of Higher Degree Research program milestone requirements and timeframes can also be viewed here.

It is expected that a decision to confirm candidature, or otherwise, will occur at or soon after the following time frames
Program Full time Part time
Doctor of Philosophy 12 months 18 months
Master of Philosophy 6 months 12 months
Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical/Organisational) 12 months 24 months
Professional Doctorate (Doctor of Education/ Doctor of Visual Arts/ Doctor of Musical Arts) 18 months* 24 months*

[*] according to the requirements of the program

A Masters candidate will not be permitted to upgrade to Doctoral candidature before completing the confirmation of candidature procedure.

Delaying confirmation seminar

Where a major change in the direction of the research has occurred prior to confirmation or in exceptional circumstances, on the recommendation of the principal supervisor, approval may be sought from the Dean  (Research) to extend the due date for presenting a confirmation seminar by up to six months full-time equivalent. Candidates must submit a request to extend their confirmation date describing the circumstances leading to the request. The application will need the support of the principal supervisor and the Dean (Research). Applications can be made via myGriffith>My Research>My Candidate Centre.

If the request for variation in date is greater than six months full-time equivalent for doctoral candidates, or greater than three months full-time equivalent for research masters candidates, approval must be sought from the Dean, Griffith Graduate Research School on the recommendation of the principal supervisor and Dean (Research).

Where a period of leave of absence has occurred prior to confirmation, the due date for confirmation will be extended by an equivalent period.

Previous enrolment at another institution

In the case of an unconfirmed candidate previously enrolled in a higher degree research program at another university, the Dean (Research) will recommend to the Dean, GGRS upon admission to the program the due date for confirmation of candidature taking into account the amount of time consumed at the previous institution and the status of the previous research work. Normally confirmation of candidature will occur within six months of enrolment at Griffith University.

Confirmation of Candidature Requirements

The requirements for completion of the confirmation of candidature milestone are detailed below. Candidates are asked to refer to the links immediately below for any additional requirements and guidance specific to the Academic Group. Candidates should be guided by their principal supervisor early in the candidature on any requirements for this milestone that are specific to the discipline of study.

Documentation Requirements

Candidates are required to upload the following confirmation of candidature documentation (via the Confirmation Candidate Statement service request at myGriffith, My Research, My Candidate Centre) two weeks prior to the scheduled seminar.

Prepare a research paper in English (note: the length of the research paper is relative to the field of study. Candidates should be advised by their principal supervisor) that includes:

  • the research question
  • where the question came from in the context of relevant literature
  • why the research question is important
  • how the research question is addressed including details of methodology
  • a bibliography of relevant literature
  • progress made to date; and
  • a timetable for completing the research.
  • (Note: the paper must be uploaded via the service request in PDF format, without document security, and in one file).

Completed Confirmation of Candidature Candidate Statement online form, accessible via myGriffith, My Research, My Candidate Centre. The Statement will need to include advice on the following:

  • whether any intellectual property agreement has been entered into; and
  • whether a confidentiality agreement has been entered into;
  • the requirement for ethics approval, or the use of genetically modified organisms;
  • confirmation that the GGRS HDR Induction Program has been completed;
  • whether satisfactory supervision arrangements are in place

Seminar Requirements

Candidates are required to present a confirmation seminar at which the candidate will speak to the research paper for approximately half an hour. Candidates should talk to issues raised in the paper rather than simply recite the paper itself. This is an opportunity for the candidate to raise matters that may be troubling them in their research and ask for feedback on specific issues. Following this, up to half an hour will be allocated for questions from the assessing panel and general audience during which the candidate will conduct a 'defence' of the research paper as is the norm for a higher degree research colloquium. The seminars normally will be advertised within the host Element and Group, and on the GGRS website.

Confirmation of Candidature Assessment Panel: 

The assessing panel will consist of:

  • the principal supervisor/s;
  • if available to participate, any associate supervisors;
  • an independent assessor (approved by the Dean (Research) prior to the seminar) who is familiar with the field and who is not involved with the candidature. It is expected that the independent assessor will hold a qualification equivalent to that in which the candidate is enrolled. The assessor may be from the candidate's Element or Group, or may be external to the Group or to the University. Supervisors should note that an assessor will not be permitted to subsequently act as an examiner for the submitted thesis; and
  • the HDR Convenor, who will chair the seminar
  • the seminar will normally also be attended by a general or invited audience. Where a confidentiality agreement has been entered into by the candidate, the confirmation paper and seminar will be assessed in confidence.

The research paper will be provided to the assessing panel via email from the principal supervisor. The research paper may also be accessed via the online Confirmation Assessment Report service request one day prior to the seminar. The assessors will attend the seminar, and provide a report on the paper and seminar. Each member of the assessing panel (excluding the HDR Convenor) is required to complete their assessment and return it to the Griffith Graduate Research School via the online Confirmation Assessment Report service request (or via email to hdr-milestones@griffith.edu.au if external to the University) no more than one week after the research seminar has taken place.

Candidates will be given a debrief by the assessing panel immediately following the seminar, where possible.

Outcome of the confirmation process

The Chair of the assessing panel will facilitate to provision of feedback to the candidate by the panel members immediately following the seminar, where possible. The HDR Convenor will make a recommendation to the Dean (Research) regarding the confirmation of candidature via the online Candidature Confirmation Approval service request once all assessment reports have been completed by the assessing panel members.

The HDR Convenor will make a recommendation to the Dean (Research) via the online Candidature Confirmation Approval service request, who will:

  1. confirm candidature and supervision arrangements; or
  2. postpone the confirmation of candidature date for no more than six months to allow the candidate a further opportunity to resubmit and present the research proposal, or to allow the effectiveness of the supervisory arrangements to be assessed; or
  3. recommend to the Dean, Griffith Graduate Research School that the candidate has not met the requirements for confirmation of candidature and should be admitted to one of the University's Masters Degree (Research) programs (if currently enrolled in a Doctoral program);
  4. recommend to the Dean, Griffith Graduate Research School that the candidature be terminated. A recommendation to terminate candidature may be made where the candidate has not met the requirements for confirmation of candidature, or where the supervisory arrangements cannot be confirmed.

On receipt of a recommendation from the Dean (Research), the Dean, (GGRS) will determine that either

  1. candidature is to be terminated; or
  2. in the case of Doctoral candidates, the candidate is offered the opportunity to be admitted as a candidate to one of the University's research masters degrees; or
  3. candidature and supervision arrangements are confirmed.

The candidate will be advised whether or not their candidature has been confirmed from GGRS.

A recommendation to postpone confirmation of candidature will include advice on what must occur before a final recommendation is made, for example, what additional work is required of the candidate, whether another seminar must be given.

A candidate whose candidature has not been confirmed will be provided with reasons for the decision.

Candidates are entitled to appeal a decision to terminate their candidature.