What is pre-confirmation?
If the progress of your research project is impacted by COVID-19 and you are not able to work at your full capacity, you are encouraged to submit a copy of the Research Impact Record form to assist you in keeping evidence of progress problems as you experience disruptions. The information may then be used in the future to support a case for an extension of your candidature, or for Late Submission beyond the maximum course duration. You may complete this form more than once (monthly is recommended while you are experiencing significant disruption).
Pre-confirmation is a progress review meeting with your advisory committee (including your supervisors) usually held within three to six months (if studying full time) of commencing your candidature.
The purpose of this meeting is to check that you are on track for confirmation of your candidature.
Not all Masters graduate research courses require a pre-confirmation.
The pre-confirmation meeting is a good opportunity to:
- check that the commencement form and supervisory agreement have been completed (more information about these documents can be found on the Orientation and induction webpage).
- ensure the membership of your advisory committee has been established, if not already established through an induction process
- assist you to formulate a framework for your research, and estimate a time for its completion
- identify activities of focus in preparation for the confirmation meeting
- identify any challenges early on, or if additional skills or training are required (eg thesis writing skills training).
- Step 1
- If your faculty requires you to complete a pre-confirmation, you will be emailed 12 weeks before your expected pre-confirmation meeting date. The email will be sent to your University student email account, and will include a link to your online pre-confirmation form
- Step 2
- A pre-confirmation meeting will be scheduled
- Step 3
- You will be required to complete your section of the online form at least ten days before the scheduled meeting, attaching any required written work
- Step 4
- Your advisory committee (includes your supervisors) will then review your form and any attachments prior to the meeting
- Step 5
- You and your advisory committee hold the meeting
- Step 6
- Your advisory committee chair will complete the online form
- Step 7
- You’ll get an email from the University regarding the outcome of your pre-confirmation
Your advisory committee (includes your supervisors) receive regular emails with a summary of their students’ upcoming milestones (including your pre-confirmation), so they will be aware that they should expect your submitted form and arrange the meeting.
If you haven’t received notification about your pre-confirmation meeting and think you should have by now, contact your local graduate research administrator.
Refer to 'Preparing for pre-confirmation' section on this page to find out more about this type of review, and what to expect at the meeting.
Preparing for pre-confirmation
Your pre-confirmation date
Twelve weeks before the due date of your pre-confirmation meeting, you will receive a notification from the University to your University student email account. The email will include a link to your online pre-confirmation form and your meeting due date.
If you haven’t received notification about it yet and think you should have by now, contact your local graduate research administrator.
Your advisory committee receive weekly digest emails with a summary of their graduate researchers’ upcoming progress reviews (including your pre-confirmation).
You can view your key milestone dates, supervisors and other candidature details on the Graduate Research page of my.unimelb
Arrange your meeting
It is your responsibility to find out what the local practice is to arrange a pre-confirmation meeting between you and your advisory committee. Contact your supervisor or local graduate research administrator, as faculties and departments do this differently. We recommend that you ensure this meeting is booked well in advance.
If you fail to attend your meeting or fail to respond to attempts to convene the meeting, you are considered to be at risk of unsatisfactory progress. This may lead to termination of your enrolment.
Gather written work required for the meeting
Before your meeting you should prepare the following:
- A written thesis overview outlining your proposed project structure and research methodologies. Check if your faculty has preferences regarding the format in which this should be presented.
- A research plan of your objectives to be achieved in the next six months, including timeframes for any coursework or regulatory requirements (eg ethics, police checks) to be completed.
Having these prepared, will allow for you and your supervisors to have a meaningful discussion at your progress meeting.
Complete your section of the pre-confirmation form
At least ten days before your pre-confirmation meeting you must complete your section of the online pre-confirmation form. You will need the following information on hand:
- written work (as outlined above - attach to online form)
- thoughts about your progress, including any successes or areas where challenges have arisen and where you may need assistance.
Once you have completed your section, submit the online form so that your supervisors can access your work ahead of the meeting.
If your advisory committee assess your work and determine that intervention will be required and that you may be at risk of unsatisfactory progress, they will let you know that the upcoming pre-confirmation meeting will include discussions and planning related to your ‘at risk’ status. Your supervisor will advise you whether anything further is required from you to support the development of a progress plan during the meeting.
What happens at the meeting?
The advisory committee will:
- assess whether you have a good grasp of your research field,
- discuss your written communication skills and make recommendations for any future training requirements,
- decide whether your project plan has potential for a timely submission of your thesis,
- support you to develop goals for tasks that need to be completed for confirmation,
- decide how often to meet with your supervisors and any updates to your supervisory agreement,
- confirm the members of your advisory committee, if this has not already occurred during the induction process, and
- complete the online pre-confirmation form, including recording a recommendation for the outcome of the meeting.
Outcomes of pre-confirmation
Your advisory committee will recommend one of the following:
- Satisfactory progress – progress is on track and ‘Confirmed candidature’ is the likely outcome at the upcoming confirmation meeting.
- At risk of making unsatisfactory progress – there are progress issues or delays that may lead to candidature not being confirmed at the upcoming confirmation meeting. Intervention involving clear guidelines and targeted support prior to the confirmation meeting is initiated.
Your supervisors, fellow students and your local graduate research administrators are excellent resources if you need assistance.
The following Graduate Research Hub webpages may also be helpful:
Your local graduate research administrator is available to assist you to access the resources available to support you in preparing for pre-confirmation and advise you on what your options are if changes to your candidature, including coursework, need to be made that can affect your confirmation date.
How to get help
Get technical help
Follow these steps to get help if you are having an issue with the online pre-confirmation form.
- See a list of known technical issues, and how to get around these
Get technical help
- If you cannot see your technical issue in the list above, or if you are having issues with your username or password, contact Stop1.
Get other form help
If you have a question about filling in the form, contact your local graduate research administrator.
If you need more information about your pre-confirmation, you can talk to:
- your supervisors
- your advisory committee chair
- your local graduate research administrator.
I've had my pre-confirmation - what's next?
The next big milestone for you is your confirmation. You would have seen your confirmation due date on your pre-confirmation form. Further professional development is available when preparing for confirmation.
The University provides many services and resources that will help you to progress in your research and candidature.
- Research skills
- Academic writing and communication skills
- Researcher Development Portal
- Building professional and academic networks
- Support with academic skills including:
- writing skills
- editing skills
- presentation skills
- reading academic journals
- incorporating supervisor feedback into the thesis.
To find information on the confirmation process and what you need to do to prepare, see our Confirmation page.