Research Student Milestones

ANU research students are required to meet a number of progress milestones including an initial Annual Plan, completion of Research Integrity Training, Annual Plan & Reports, the Thesis Proposal Review, and the final Oral Presentation of your research. These milestones are valuable project management tools that can help you and your supervisor set research goals, reflect on your research activities, and ensure you are on track for successful completion of your program.

Your College, School or Centre may require additional milestones such as a Mid-Year Review or completion of ethics requirements, or you may be required to do some coursework during your program, but before submitting your thesis.

All ANU students are required to meet satisfactory academic progress. This means that they must meet the minimum academic performance requirements as established by the University and determined by the Delegated Authority (DA). What constitutes satisfactory academic progress depends on the level of the program or, in some circumstances, requirements specific to an individual program.

Students will be notified of other requirements to maintain satisfactory progress. All students should be aware of the Research Awards Rules 2015 which govern all research programs at ANU.

Students can log in to ISIS to see which milestones have already been completed and upcoming due dates and to commence a milestone report. Milestone reports are created as eForms, and are designed to be intuitive and easy to use. Upon submission, your milestone report will be electronically directed to the Chair of your supervisory panel.

Annual Plan

Your initial Annual Plan is due 3 months after commencement. The Plan should outline what you intend to undertake in the following 12 months. Your supervisory panel should help you by assessing whether your Plan is appropriate and feasible for your research program. After your first Annual Plan your subsequent annual plans will be part of your Annual Report.

Research Integrity Training

All ANU HDR students are required to complete the online Research Integrity Training course. This course consists of 10 short modules designed to introduce you to issues you are likely to encounter in the course of your research program. You are required to undertake and pass a Research Integrity Test as evidence of your understanding of the material.

Thesis Proposal Review

The Thesis Proposal Review (TPR) is a detailed thesis proposal including the subject of your proposed research, the methodology to be employed (including proposed fieldwork, if applicable), an analysis of relevant literature, and a description of how your research will contribute to the field of study. The TPR is an excellent opportunity to get detailed feedback from your supervisory panel on your progress, as well as comprehensive advice on the appropriateness and feasibility of your research plans. Your College, School or Centre will have more information about the format of your TPR.

Annual Plans and Reports

All HDR students are required to submit Annual Plans and Reports each year of their candidature. The Report helps you to reflect on your research activities during the past year, and provides an opportunity for you to flag any personal, academic or technical issues which may impact your completion timeline. 

Oral Presentations

The final Oral Presentation of your research (within 12 months of your expected submission date) is an important part of finishing your degree. Again, your College, School or Centre will have more information about the format of your Oral Presentation, including any other oral presentations that are associated with other milestones such as your TPR or Mid-Year reviews.

Progression Indicator Commentary Timeframe (PhD)^ Timeframe (MPhil)^
First Annual Plan

Research plan for the coming year. The Annual Plan outlines what the student intends to undertake in the following 12 months, with sufficient detail to allow the supervisory panel and Delegated Authority to assess the appropriateness and feasibility of the plan.  

The first Annual Plan is due three months after commencement, and in subsequent years at the same time as the Annual Report
3 months 3 months
Completion of research integrity training and test   6 months 3 months
If required by the DA, completion of Mid-Year Review  

6 months

18 months

30 months

3-6 months

15-18 months

Thesis Proposal Review

A detailed thesis proposal, literature review, report on research activities during the past 12 months, and plan for the next year.

The review indicates the subject of the proposed research, the methodology to be employed, an analysis of the relevant literature on this topic, a description of how the proposed research will make an original contribution to the field of study and where relevant, outline the fieldwork required or undertaken. All members of the supervisory panel participate in a Thesis Proposal Review.

The Chair of the supervisory panel comments on progress. The Delegated Authority endorses the report and may comment.
9-12 months 6-9 months

Annual Report and Plan

Report of research activities during the past year. The Annual Report also provides an opportunity for a student to flag any personal, academic or technical problems which may impact on their research and its timely completion.
The Chair of the supervisory panel comments on progress and a student is given the opportunity to meet and discuss the comments.  The Delegated Authority endorses the report and may comment.

Annual progress is assessed against the previous Annual Plan.

12 months

24 months

36 months

-

Oral Presentation

The Oral Presentation occurs up to 12 months before the intended thesis submission date. The presentation is advertised within the University.  

The presentation includes the major objectives, content, results, and conclusions of the work, allowing the student to demonstrate their work has an appropriate research focus, argument, and depth and contribution of knowledge. 

Associated with the presentation, students submit a 2-5 page summary of the material to their supervisory panel.

The supervisory panel participate and make an evaluation. This is documented in a written report. A copy of the written report is provided to students. The report of the panel is not provided to the thesis examiners.
 

The preparation of students for the oral presentation will occur throughout their candidature with similar, less formal presentations throughout their candidature.
Within 12 months of expected submission date Within 6 months of expected submission date

^Clause 6 of the HDR Candidature Progression Procedure allows the Delegated Authority to vary timeframes, such as in instances where mandatory coursework is required. The HDR Candidature Progression Procedure is available at the link above.