Under the Higher Degree Research Policy, candidates commencing in an applicable HDR program from 1 January 2017, are required to complete the Thesis and Candidature Review Milestone (TCRM).

Current candidates who are not yet confirmed in their candidature as at 1 January 2017 are also required to complete the TCRM in lieu of the Mid-Candidature Milestone. Current candidates who are confirmed in their candidature are encouraged to complete the Thesis and Candidature Review Milestone in lieu of the Mid-Candidature Milestone. Candidates who wish to complete the Thesis and Candidature Review Milestone in lieu of the Mid-Candidature Milestone are required to advise the Griffith Graduate Research School via email to hdr-milestones to enable their milestone record and milestone due date to be amended accordingly.

Higher Degree Research Thesis and Candidature Review policy

Objectives of the Thesis and Candidature Review Milestone

The objective of the milestone is to provide a forum for a formative review of the work completed towards the thesis. The milestone allows candidates to gather feedback that can be used to guide them towards the final research findings and to assure the quality of the thesis to be submitted for examination. The milestone also provides an opportunity to:

  • review and confirm candidates' satisfactory progress toward and timeline for completion;
  • review and confirm satisfactory progress by doctoral candidates toward fulfilling the University expectation of research output (either publication or creative arts equivalent);
  • identify and provide recommendations to resolve any difficulties that might negatively affect quality of the research submitted or impede its timely completion;
  • provide the candidate an opportunity to present their preliminary findings.

Thesis and Candidature Review Milestone Requirements

The general requirements for completion of the milestone are detailed below. Candidates are also asked to refer to the links immediately below for additional requirements and guidance specific to their Academic Group. Candidates should also be guided by their principal supervisor on the specific requirements for this milestone.

Seminar Requirements

Candidates are required to upload the TCRM seminar documentation (via the TCRM Candidate Statement service request at myGriffith, My Research, Candidate Centre) two weeks prior to the scheduled seminar. This documentation includes:

Additional documentation specific to the requirements of the candidate's Academic Group (see links to Group-specific requirements for the TCRM set out in the section above) are to be provided directly to the candidate's Group or principal supervisor as per the advice provided on the Group TCRM website.

The TCRM seminar will include:

  • an explanation of how the research is situated in the context of the discipline;
  • your thesis plan outlining the chapters of your thesis and what each chapter will contain overall preliminary research findings/results and the contribution the research work makes to knowledge;
  • overview of publication(s) (or published paper(s) along with the publication plan) (Compulsory requirement for Doctoral candidates only);
  • a completion plan that corresponds with the thesis plan, detailing the work completed to date, the work to be completed, and the timeline for completion;
  • any issues or concerns with the research work, or impediments to completion; and
  • any further information as required by your Element or Group.

Seminar: It is expected that the seminar will run for approximately half an hour. Following this up to half an hour will be allocated for questions from the Review Panel and, where applicable, an invited audience.

Thesis and Candidature Review Panel: The seminar will be reviewed by the Thesis and Candidature Review Panel. The panel will consist of the HDR Convenor (Chair), principal and associate supervisors, and an independent assessor. Normally, a person nominated by the candidate’s cognate Research Centre or Institute will also attend the seminar for the purpose of further supporting the candidate toward completion.

The independent assessor will be familiar with the field of research and 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. Normally the Confirmation of Candidature independent assessor will be appointed as the TCRM independent assessor. Supervisors should note that an assessor will not be permitted to subsequently act as an examiner for the submitted thesis.

The panel will provide feedback to the candidate immediately following the seminar. This meeting will offer immediate feedback to the candidate to indicate if they are on track to meet the following:

  • whether, for research masters candidates, the research presented is original and demonstrates the candidate's knowledge of the research topic and the disciplines it embraces;
  • whether, for doctoral candidates, research presented will make an original and significant contribution to knowledge and understanding; and,
  • whether, for doctoral candidates, there is satisfactory evidence of research output (either in progress, under submission, accepted or completed).

In addition, for all candidates, this meeting will offer immediate feedback on

  • whether the Panel has any concerns regarding the research completed to date and recommendations to address these concerns;
  • whether there is further work required not accounted for by the completion plan;
  • whether the timeframe for completion is reasonable and if the Panel sees any potential impediments to timely completion.

The Chair of the panel will complete a report summarising the feedback provided by the panel (refer outcomes section below).

Roles and Responsibilities

Time frames for completing the Thesis and Candidature Milestone Seminar

Due Date: The milestone must be completed within the period 2.5 yrs – 3yrs EFT for PhD candidates and by I.5 yrs EFT for MPhil candidates. The requirement to complete this milestone and the due dates for all other Doctoral and Masters Research programs may vary according to the requirements of each specific program, refer to the Programs and Courses page. Candidates can view their milestone requirements and due dates via myGriffith > My research. A summary of Higher Degree Research program milestone requirements and timeframes can also be viewed here.

If you are planning to submit your doctoral thesis prior to 3.5 yrs EFT you should ensure that you complete the TCRM no later than six months prior to your intended thesis submission date.

Non completion or delayed completion of the Thesis and Candidature Review Milestone:

An extension to the milestone due date will not be considered unless the circumstances are exceptional. Requests to extend the due date will require the approval of the Dean, GGRS on the recommendation of the Dean (Research) and principal supervisor. Applications can be made via myGriffith, My Research, My Candidate Centre.

Candidates who do not complete their Thesis and Candidature Review Seminar by the due date will be placed Under Review by the Dean (Research) of their Academic Group.

An application for award of a Completion Assistance Postgraduate Research Scholarship (CAPRS) cannot be considered until the TCRM is completed.

Completion of the TCRM will also inform the support, or otherwise, for an extension to a candidate’s scholarship tenure. Where the milestone has not yet been completed or finalised, the application to extend the scholarship tenure must include advice concerning the milestone status and planned completion date.

A candidate will not be permitted to submit their thesis for examination until the TCRM is completed.

Previous Enrolment at another Institution:

In the case of a 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 the TCRM, taking into account the amount of time consumed at the previous institution and the status of the previous research work. The TCRM should be completed no later than six months prior to the intended thesis submission date.

Thesis and Candidature Review Milestone Outcome

The Chair of the Thesis and Candidature Review Panel (HDR Convenor) will facilitate the provision of feedback to the candidate by the review panel immediately following the seminar. The Chair of the Review Panel will then complete a Thesis and Candidature Review Milestone Report following the seminar detailing the feedback provided by the panel. The report will address the following matters:

  • The readiness of the research work for examination, and any required or recommended amendments to the thesis plan and/or the draft thesis chapters.
  • Appropriateness of the timeline for completion.
  • Support, or otherwise, for extension to the candidate’s scholarship tenure
  • The plan to address any issues or concerns with the research work, or with progress towards completion. This may include a recommendation to place the candidature Under Review.
  • Any other feedback or recommendations.

Where further action is required to address issues or concerns with the research project and progress towards completion, this will be detailed in the Milestone Report.

The HDR Convenor will approve the milestone status as either 'completed' or 'completed with conditions'. Where significant issues with the research work or progress towards timely program completion are identified, the HDR Convenor may recommend to the Dean (Research) that candidature be placed Under Review in order to ensure that appropriate support is provided to the candidate and to monitor the fulfilment of any actions required.Once the milestone is assessed as 'completed', a copy of the milestone report will be provided to the candidate.