What is confirmation?

There is a period of probationary candidature when you start your degree, the length of which depends on your study load. If you are a student transferring from another institution or from another degree, you may be exempt from this probationary period (only if you are assessed as having already met confirmation requirements). Confirmation applies to all graduate researchers, and all candidates must have their candidature confirmed prior to thesis submission.

The purpose of confirmation is to:

  • Assess your progress to date and your academic preparedness
  • Determine whether you have developed a clearly defined, coherent and feasible research project and contribute suggestions for its successful completion
  • Publicly acknowledge a major milestone in the project and inform others about the research project
  • Provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate written and oral presentation skills appropriate to graduate research study
  • Determine that any specific requirements for confirmation of your candidature have been met

Preparing for confirmation

For confirmation, you need to complete the following:

  • Prepare a written report of at least 3000 and up to 10000 words (depending on the requirements of your graduate school)
  • Give an oral presentation of 20-30 minutes on your project (including questions) in a graduate research seminar appropriate to your school, or in a similar forum
  • Verbally defend your proposed research project with the advisory committee. During the defence, the advisory committee will assess the feasibility and resource requirements of your proposed project and offer you suggestions regarding its successful completion
  • Successfully complete RIOT: Research Integrity Online Training on the Learning and Management System (LMS) and attach your completion certificate to the Confirmation of Candidature form
  • If relevant: meet any special requirements noted at enrolment and necessary for your confirmation
  • If you are planning on submitting a thesis consisting of a dissertation and creative work, you and your supervisors should present a proposal (on an integrated format appropriate for a thesis of this nature) to the advisory committee for endorsement
  • Return the Confirmation of Candidature form to your graduate school by the due date. The form will then be placed in your student file. You are strongly encouraged to keep a copy for your own records.

To learn more about specific requirements, talk to your supervisors.

RIOT: Research Integrity Online Training

It is compulsory for you to take part in Research Integrity Online Training (RIOT) before your confirmation meeting if you commenced in your research degree after 1 July 2016. If you commenced prior to 1 July 2016 it is highly recommended that you undertake RIOT, even if you have already confirmed your candidature.

Also see our Responsible research page for more information and resources to assist you with conducting your research responsibly.

RIOT is the University’s online community for research integrity training and resources. The online training modules gives fundamental understanding in the principles of research integrity, and is tailored to discipline specific research practices. Topics covered include authorship, data management, research publication and communication, research ethics and how to respond to research misconduct. The purpose of RIOT is to help you develop responsible research practices during your research training.

Face-to-face workshops are also available to support and build upon the principles covered in specific RIOT online modules. RIOT workshops give participants an opportunity to hear from an experienced researcher from a relevant discipline, and put principles into practice in the context of their own research. RIOT is now a mandatory component of the confirmation process. Graduate researchers will need to attain ≥ 80% on the final RIOT Quiz to successfully complete RIOT.

RIOT is available as a self-enrol community to all graduate research students on the University’s Learning Management System (LMS). You should enrol in RIOT when you start your candidature, and complete the training at your own pace before confirmation. You are also encouraged to discuss topics covered by RIOT with your supervisor(s).

To find out more, and to enrol in the RIOT community on the LMS please visit OREI's Research Integrity Training webpage.

Turnitin originality report

In preparation for your confirmation, you are strongly encouraged to prepare a Turnitin originality report for a substantial piece of writing (eg. a thesis chapter, a section of a chapter, or the written progress report) early on in your studies. The value in doing this is to make sure that you have a solid understanding of scholarly norms, citation requirements and ethics at the start of your degree. Avoiding plagiarism is crucial for academic and professional success.

Turnitin is online text-matching software. It compares electronically submitted papers to billions of pages of content located on the internet and proprietary databases, as well as the work of other students whose papers have also been submitted to the system. All graduate research students have access to Turnitin via the Thesis Similarity Checking community, located under 'My Communities' in the LMS.

Your supervisors will only be able to see your originality report if you choose to let them see it. You can either log on to the LMS with your supervisor present and you can view your report together, or you can create a PD document that you can email your supervisor.

Please note that Turnitin does not judge plagiarism. It only indicates matches to content in its database. If it finds a match, it will indicate that the match exists, whether the text is correctly referenced or not. It is then you and your supervisor's responsibility to inspect the matched text and identify whether there are issues for further discussion or if they can be safely ignored as 'false positives'. For help with interpreting an originality report, watch this video (Firefox or Google Chrome recommended).

If you're having trouble, submit a helpdesk request to the Learning Environments Team for assistance.

How do I get my Turnitin originality report?

  1. Log on to the LMS using your student login
  2. Access the Thesis Similarity Checking Community (located under 'My Communities')
  3. Upload the document using the Turnitin submission link
  4. After submitting the document, wait ten minutes then click the Turnitin submission link again
  5. If the originality report is ready, you'll see a coloured square (blue, green, yellow, orange or red) on the right with a percentage representing your originality score. If your square is grey, the report isn't ready yet – wait another few minutes
  6. Click the coloured square to open the originality report generated for submission.

Confirmation deadlines

  • You must confirm your candidature by the deadlines below.
  • You can only request one extension to probationary candidature before the due date.
  Full time candidature consumed Full time calendar duration Part time calendar duration

PhD Student

1 year

12 months

24 months

PhD Student with ≥75 credit points of mandatory coursework

18 months

18 months

36 months

Masters Student

6 months

6 months

12 months

How can I check my confirmation due date?

Once your graduate research administrator has created your form in the system, you can view your confirmation due date on my.unimelb 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.'

See the Graduate Research Training Policy for more information.

Next: Reviewing my progress