What is a progress review?
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). You should discuss all COVID-19 disruptions to your research during your progress review meeting, noting the length of disruption and what alterations you are making to your research project to respond to these delays.
The key part of the progress review is the meeting where you and your advisory committee (includes your supervisors) discuss and assess your progress. The meetings are scheduled around various milestones in your candidature and will be held at least once per year.
The purpose of the progress review is to:
- encourage discussion between the graduate researcher and their advisory committee (includes supervisors),
- monitor progress, highlight achievements, identify problems and set goals,
- support the timely completion of your thesis.
- Step 1
- You will receive an email to your University student email account twelve weeks before your review due date with a link to your online progress review form
- Step 2
- A meeting for the progress review discussion is arranged
- Step 3
- You complete your section of the online progress review form and submit it along with any required attachments at least 10 days before the scheduled meeting
- Step 4
- Your advisory committee (including your supervisors) review your form and 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 progress review
How to get help
Don’t wait until a progress review meeting if you have concerns about your progress or research. Speaking to your supervisors and your fellow graduate researchers about your progress plan and methodology used in your research can be beneficial and give you an idea whether you are on the right track.
Professional development opportunities are offered by the University to develop your research skills in writing and communicating, managing your data, using research tools and search strategies for effective research. Refer to Research Skills and Academic writing and communication skills to learn more about these helpful resources.
See Preparing for a progress review for advice on getting ready for your progress review.
Preparing for a progress review
Your progress review date
12 weeks before the due date, you will receive an email notification of your upcoming progress review to University student email account. The email will include a link to your online progress review form and your progress review due date. If you haven’t received notification about your progress review and think you should have, contact your local graduate research administrator.
Your advisory committee receive weekly digest emails with a summary of their graduate researchers’ upcoming progress reviews, so they can ensure a meeting has been set and that preparations for the meeting have been made.
For more information on progress review dates refer to Mapping my degree.
You can view your key milestone dates including your expected thesis submission date, 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 progress review meeting between you and your advisory committee. Contact your supervisor or local graduate research administrator, as faculties and departments across the University do this differently. We highly recommend that you book this meeting well in advance.
The advisory committee chair will contact your local graduate research administrator when a progress review meeting is being delayed for reasons beyond a graduate researchers’ control – such as committee members being unavailable – so they can arrange an extension to the due date.
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 making unsatisfactory progress. This may lead to termination of your enrolment.
Complete your written work
Depending on the requirements of your faculty or department, you may need to attach draft thesis chapters, a literature review, or a paper manuscript to your online form. What is expected may vary depending on your stage of candidature at the time of the review. Consult with your supervisor to find out what you need to provide for your progress review.
Complete or update your research plan
A research plan that details your progress to date and your plan towards completion should also be submitted with each progress review. The plan will be used to support you in developing goals and in preparing for the timely completion of your thesis.
Complete your section of the progress review form
You need to complete your section of the form online via the link in the notification email. You will need the following information on hand to complete your section:
- written report (attach to online form)
- research plan to date (you can either attach this as a document or write it into the form)
- details of your publications or other research outputs (planned and completed)
- general thoughts about your progress, including any successes or areas where you may need assistance.
Remember to go back and review your form and attachments before submitting it.
Once you have submitted the form, your advisory committee (includes your supervisor) will be notified of your progress review form submission in their next weekly digest email. They will then be able to review your responses and attachments prior to the meeting.
Outcomes of a progress review
Refer to I’ve had my progress review – what’s next? to find out what the potential outcomes are for a progress review and what they mean.
How to get help
Get technical help
Follow these steps to get help if you are having an issue with the Progress review 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, or your degree details on the online form are not correct contact your local graduate research administrator.
If you need more information about your progress review, you can talk to:
- your supervisors
- your advisory committee chair
- your local graduate research administrator.
I've had my progress review - what's next?
It is essential to maintain satisfactory progress in your candidature. If your committee indicates you have made satisfactory progress on your progress review form, you are doing well and should continue with your research plan towards your next progress review or thesis submission.
Extension to candidature
Graduate researchers with a satisfactory progress who are close to their expected thesis submission date and haven’t reached their maximum course duration yet may be approved for an extension to candidature.
Lapse or Late Submission
If you are nearing your maximum course duration and your committee assess you as being likely to submit your thesis within one or two years, they may recommend you to lapse if your candidature was confirmed before 1 January 2018. Go to Lapsed candidature for more details.
If your candidature was confirmed on or after 1 January 2018, your advisory committee may consider whether an application for late submission should be submitted on your behalf. This would usually occur at the review scheduled 6 months prior to your maximum submission date.
If you are a student visa holder, you should contact the visa support team for advice as lapse and late submission are normally periods of non-enrolment.
My progress is not satisfactory
Your advisory committee may identify that you are not progressing as expected in your candidature. This may affect the continuation of your enrolment or completion of your thesis within the maximum course duration. To get you back on track, they will recommend one of two intervention strategies listed below:
- Early intervention strategy.
- The committee provide you with support, advise you of a progress plan, and set a reasonable deadline for the agreed tasks.
- If changes in your candidature are recommended, your progress plan may be adjusted to support progress towards any agreed tasks.
- The committee will advise that you may be issued with a notice of unsatisfactory progress if the goals outlined for the period are not met.
- Unsatisfactory progress follows a period of ‘at risk’.
- A three-month period is given from the date of notice during which you must complete a number of agreed tasks.
- At the end of the three months, if you are still not progressing as expected, a change to your enrolment will be recommended (either transfer to a different course or termination of your enrolment).
During these periods, you can expect support from your supervisors and are encouraged to make use of appropriate services available to you via the Service Finder.