What is a progress review?
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 email account 12 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 and submit the online progress review form and any required attachments at least five days before the scheduled meeting
- Step 4
- Your advisory committee (includes 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 students about your progress plan and methodology used in your research can be beneficial, and gives 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 to assist you in getting ready for your progress review.
Preparing for a progress review
The date for your progress review
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 yet and think you should have by now, contact your local graduate research administrator.
Your advisory committee (includes your supervisors) receives weekly digest emails with a summary of their students’ 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 date including expected thesis submission date, supervisors and other candidature details on the landing page when you log into my.unimelb and click on the Student Admin then Graduate Research tab.
Arrange your meeting
The meeting where you and your advisory committee discuss your progress needs to be scheduled. To find out how to arrange the meeting, speak to your supervisor or local graduate research administrator, as faculties and departments across the University do this differently.
The advisory committee chair should be contacted 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. We highly recommend that you book this meeting well in advance.
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
Your advisory committee will recommend one of the following:
- satisfactory progress
- extend candidature (only available when nearing your expected thesis submission date)
- lapse (only available when nearing your maximum course duration)
- at risk of making unsatisfactory progress
- unsatisfactory progress.
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 to maintain enrolment. The majority of progress reviews have a satisfactory progress outcome. If your committee make this recommendation on your progress review form, you are doing well and are expected to continue with your research plan with the next progress review date in mind.
Extension to candidature
Students with a satisfactory progress outcome can be recommended for an extension to candidature if they have reached their expected thesis submission date and still have extensions available.
Lapse or Late Submission
If you have no more extensions available and your committee assess you as being likely to submit your thesis within one or two years, they may recommend you to lapse or for a late submission. Go to Lapsed candidature and Late submission to check if you are eligible.
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. To get you back on track, they will recommend one of two intervention strategies:
At risk of making unsatisfactory progress (if you are struggling to stay on track):
- Early intervention strategy.
- The committee provide you with support, advise you of a progress plan, and set a reasonable deadline for the agreed achievements.
- The committee advise you that you may be issued with a show cause notice if you continue to not demonstrate good progress.
Unsatisfactory progress (if your progress continues to be at risk or the thesis is not likely to be submitted on time):
- A three month period is given from the date of notice during which you must meet 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 a formal warning, you can expect support from your supervisors and can reach out to services for students, via the Service Finder.