Progress Reviews and Confirmation of Research Candidature


All postgraduate students and at least their primary/administrative supervisor are required to attend a review of the student's progress once a year, or more often as decided by the Review Panel. All students and supervisors are required to provide any follow-up information or updates as requested.

At the beginning of their candidature, each student is assigned to a panel of academics with well-rounded experience and research interests. The student or supervisor has the opportunity to declare if there is a problematic conflict of interest with any of the panel members.

Students must familiarise themselves with:

  • Prince of Wales Clinical School's Progress Review Guidelines (refer to Related Documents) - read this carefully! Particularly if you are a first year student and will require 'confirmation of candidature' or if you plan to upgrade to a PhD, submit early or make other candidature changes
  • Graduate Research School's Managing Your Candidature webpage, which includes further information and access to the online form.
  • Annual Progress Review procedure in the UNSW Postgraduate Research Student Handbook.


In order to give all the panel participants more notice, please note that we aim to schedule Round 1 of progress reviews in June and the Round 2 in November (more specifics will be emailed). If you began your candidature semester 2 2018, your first review will be in June 2019, and if you begin term 1 2019, your first review will be November 2019. At the end of each review, the panel will determine when the next review will be scheduled.

Required Documentation

The student and primary supervisor must submit the online form and rekevant attachments no later than two weeks before their progress review:

  • Online – sections to be completed by both student (A, B and C) and the primary supervisor (D).
  • Summary – 1-2 pages outlining the research progress since the last review against the agreed objectives and milestones. The summary should briefly outline the research project, including a background, the hypotheses tested, broad research plan, results, and conclusions to date.** (see additional notes below for first year students)
  • Timetable – 1 page estimate of the student’s main research components (eg experiments and data collection), the key objectives and milestones to be achieved by the next review. This includes a table of contents for the thesis together with the completion status of each section and a timeline for completion of each section, manuscripts, presentations and the planned thesis submission date. A completed chapter is a final draft that has been reviewed and approved by the supervisor.

**For students completing their first year, the purpose of the interview is to ‘confirm their candidature’. The Summary for first year HDR students therefore requires more detailed information in accordance with Faculty guidelines (3-4 pages):

  • Key objectives, criteria and milestones of the research
  • A literature review (summary only)
  • A brief justification of the research
  • An assessment of the resources required to support the research
  • A statement of how the research will be conducted in accordance with the UNSW policies for intellectual property, OHS, research and ethics.

First year student's must also provide a timetable, as mentioned above. In addition to that, confirmation of higher degree candidature in the Prince of Wales Clinical School requires a 10 minute slide presentation followed by 10 minutes of question time at the annual progress review. The APR for first year HDR students will also include a content expert nominated by the supervisor. It will be the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that the nominated content expert attends and participates in discussion.

An incomplete set of documents will not be accepted and documents must be on time. Late documents are inconvenient and disrespectful to the panel members. It is up to the panel chair's discretion whether to cancel, postpone or proceed with the review or declare a 'marginal' or  ‘unsatisfactory progress review’ as a result of untimely or incomplete documentation.