Mapping my degree

Becoming an effective researcher

Being an effective researcher means that you have planned your studies, have clear motivations for pursuing a graduate research degree and are aware of career outcomes. Your motivations can change, so be flexible and realistic with your goals.

  1. Plan your study
  2. Set realistic study goals (eg. progress meetings, draft and chapter deadlines, submission date, etc.)
  3. Motivate yourself! Find out what works for you and use it to your best advantage
  4. Manage your time effectively. Again, figure out something that works with your schedule and keeps you on track
  5. Your research support team is there to help! Talk to your supervisors and your peers, get involved in student clubs
  6. Sign up for student newsletters
  7. Participate in student seminars and symposiums
  8. Do courses and programs that help you with academic writing, research, or professional development
  9. Seek out reading groups, paper writing groups or thesis writing groups
  10. Be aware of professional opportunities that reflect your career goals
  11. Be flexible. Know that your motivation and energy can change and will probably fluctuate over the course of your degree
  12. Register for ORCID, an internationally recognised registry that helps you to establish and maintain your scholarly identity. Visit this University Libguide for more information.

Key milestone dates

All graduate research students are required to undertake a review of their progress at key milestones. You can check my.unimelb to see the date of your next progress review and your expected thesis submission date by following the steps below.

  1. Log in to my.unimelb
  2. Click on the 'Student Admin' tab
  3. Click on 'View milestones and supervisor details.'

If you take a leave of absence, or change your study rate between full-time and part-time candidature, your review dates and expected thesis submission date will change accordingly.

Some graduate research students may be required to complete additional progress review forms, for example Australia Award supported students (formerly AusAID).

If you are undertaking a jointly-awarded degree with another University you are expected to meet the standard milestones as set out below. This will usually be through the completion of the relevant University of Melbourne forms. The Head of Department may deem that a process completed at the partner institution meets a University of Melbourne requirement (eg. confirmation). In this case, you must still read and accept the University of Melbourne’s Enrolment Terms and Conditions every calendar year, regardless of where you are based during that year.

The standard milestones are outlined below.


Candidature milestones

Full-time students

0

PhD/Doctoral student MRes/MPhil student
Confirmation 1 year (1 year, 6 months if ≥75 credit points of mandatory coursework) 6 months
Progress review 2 years 1 year
Progress review 3 years 1 year, 6 months

Part-time students

  PhD student MRes/MPhil student
  Full time candidature consumed Part time calendar durationFull time candidature consumed Part time calendar duration
Progress review 6 months 1 year   6 months
Confirmation 1 year 2 years 6 months 1 year
Progress review 1 year, 6 months 3 years 1 year 2 years
Progress review 2 years 4 years   
Progress review 2 years, 6 months 5 years 1 year, 6 months 3 years
Progress review 3 years 6 years   

For more information concerning progress reviews, candidature milestones and expected submission dates, see Being a candidate.


Courses to support you


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