Progress review meetings are a formal discussion and assessment of your progress. You must conduct a progress review at least once per year (twice per year for full time Masters by Research or Master of Philosophy students). If you are a part time Masters by Research or Master of Philosophy student, you will have a progress review six months prior to your confirmation, and then once a year following confirmation.
You are required to meet with your supervisors and advisory committee and complete any prescribed progress review form. The form will be provided by your graduate school approximately three months before the due date. For more information, look at the provided examples of a progress review and confirmation forms. You may also be asked to attend a Pre-Confirmation meeting with your supervisor.
Frequent progress review meetings are essential to continue your enrolment and maintain your scholarships. Once your graduate school has created your form, you can view your next progress review form due date on my.unimelb:
- Log in to my.unimelb
- Click on the 'Student Admin' tab
- Click on 'View milestones and supervisor details.'
- You must re-enrol every year to maintain enrolment in your degree and enrolment for the following calendar year
- Your progress review form contains the enrolment declaration, which allows you to re-enrol
- You must have completed a progress review form to continue your enrolment
- If required, you can request an official evidence of enrolment for graduate research students.
For more information, see the Graduate Research Training Policy.
If you are not meeting deadlines or making good progress, your supervisors will discuss their concerns with you. You should have ongoing discussions to clarify and negotiate expectations and try to get back on track.
- If you are still struggling to keep up, you may be identified as being at risk of making unsatisfactory progress and an at risk intervention process is initiated.
- A formal warning of unsatisfactory progress can be issued after the intervention strategy has failed, in accordance with Graduate Research Training Policy and the Academic Board Regulation Part 7. During the formal warning period, you must complete a number of set progress tasks that are designed to get your research up to the standard required.
- A formal warning can also be issued if you do not submit your thesis (or creative equivalent) after the expiration of your maximum course duration and are not approved for a Late submission or to Lapse in good standing.
- If you still are not demonstrating satisfactory progress, your enrolment may be terminated or other changes made to your candidature as specified in the warning (eg. transferred from PhD to Masters).
You can expect support from your supervisors and other University services during this process.
If you choose, there are two opportunities to appeal your warning:
- A request to be heard when the formal warning is first issued; and
- An appeal of the final outcome.
Progress issue management
- Progress issues identified
- Discussion with your supervisor about issues identified with your progress.
- Clarify expectations to get back on track.
- At risk
- Early intervention strategy.
- Provide support, advise you of a progress plan, set you a reasonable deadline.
- Advise you of potential to be issued with a formal warning if you have not demonstrated good progress.
- Formal warning
- Three month period during which you must meet a number of set deadlines.
- If you are still not performing adequately, a change to your enrolment will be recommended (either transfer to a different course or termination of your enrolment).
'At risk' intervention strategy
'At risk' is an early intervention strategy that usually (but not always) takes place before a formal warning.
Your supervisors and advisory committee will work together to:
- Provide you with support
- Discuss the reasons why you are 'at risk' of making unsatisfactory progress
- Advise you in writing of the length of the 'at risk' period, a progress plan and set a reasonable deadline to get you back on track
- Alert you that you may be issued with a formal warning of unsatisfactory progress if you do not meet the set deadlines.
- When can an 'at risk' notification be issued?
If your supervisors and/or advisory committee determine that you are at risk of making unsatisfactory progress, your graduate school will send a notification to you (via your university email address). This can happen at any time during your candidature. The length of an 'at risk' period is determined by your Advisory Committee, however, three months is the typical duration of an 'at risk' period.
- What happens during the 'at risk' intervention period?
Your supervisors and advisory committee will discuss with you the reasons they consider you to be 'at risk', and provide appropriate advice and support during the nominated period.
They will provide in writing the tasks you need to achieve and the standard to which you must complete these tasks during the 'at risk' period.
You need to discuss your progress throughout the 'at risk' period with your supervisors and advisory committee, including any successes and any problems you encounter.
If you demonstrate satisfactory progress before the end of the period, your supervisors and/or advisory committee will request that your faculty formally notify you. The notification will indicate that your progress is satisfactory and the 'at risk' period has ceased.
If you continue to be unsatisfactory or at risk, your committee will request that you be issued with a formal warning of unsatisfactory progress or be issued with a further ‘at risk’ notification.
- Can I appeal being 'at risk'?
As it is an early intervention strategy only, there is no formal appeal process.
- You and your supervisors can talk to your local graduate research administrator or graduate research coordinator (academic) for advice about the process.
- You should also read about Resolving problems.
Formal warning of unsatisfactory progress
Your supervisors and/or advisory committee can request that you be issued with a formal warning of unsatisfactory progress.
Formal warnings are very serious. If you do not demonstrate satisfactory progress by the end of the formal warning period, your enrolment may be terminated. If you are issued a formal warning, an unsatisfactory progress notification email (with an attached show cause notice) will be sent to your university email address, with appropriate staff members copied in.
- When can a formal warning be issued?
- A formal warning can only be issued after you have been enrolled for at least three months (full or part time).
- Usually a formal warning will occur after an 'at risk of making unsatisfactory progress' intervention strategy has been undertaken, but only if the outcome of the intervention is unsatisfactory.
- If you have reached your maximum course duration and you have not submitted your thesis and have not been approved for a late submission or to be lapsed in good standing a formal warning will be issued.
- A formal warning lasts three months (irrespective of full or part time enrolment), and only commences once the notification is sent by Graduate Research in University Services.
- What do I need to do?
Aside from demonstrating satisfactory progress, you need to discuss how you are progressing throughout the formal warning period with your supervisors and advisory committee, including any successes and any problems you encounter.
- Can I change my enrolment during a formal warning?
It is not advisable to make a change to your enrolment while under a formal warning of unsatisfactory progress. A formal warning means that the University has serious concerns regarding your ability to succeed in your course, and making changes to your enrolment doesn't demonstrate the ability to make satisfactory progress. Any application to make changes to your enrolment while under a formal warning will be considered and may not be approved.
- Can I withdraw while under a formal warning?
You can elect to withdraw up until the day before the end of the warning and your progress will no longer be assessed. If you elect to withdraw on or after the end of the warning, your progress will still be assessed and a formal outcome issued. If the recommended outcome is termination of enrolment this will be recorded on your academic record.
- What happens at the end of the formal warning period?
Your supervisors and advisory committee will assess your progress against the documented progress requirements and advise Graduate Research in University Services of the outcome, who will then issue you with a formal notification of the outcome via your university email.
The outcome will be either:
- Satisfactory progress or;
- Unsatisfactory progress, where a recommendation of a change to enrolment is made to the Academic Board (eg. transfer to Masters or termination of enrolment).
- Unsatisfactory progress, where a recommendation of termination of candidature in made to the Academic Board.
- Can I appeal a formal warning?
During the formal warning period, you can request to be heard if you do not agree with the recommendation or the progress requirements. There are strict deadlines and a method for requesting to be heard. Be aware that the formal warning period is not delayed while this type of appeal is being heard. Refer to the University's Graduate Research Training Policy and the Academic Board Regulation Part 7 for more details.
If the outcome at the end of the formal warning period is unsatisfactory progress, you can appeal to the Academic Board. Refer to the University's Graduate Research Training Policy and the Student Appeals to the Academic Board Policy for details.
- If you have any questions about the formal warning of unsatisfactory progress process, you and your supervisors should talk to Graduate Research (Academic Services).