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Confirmation of candidature

Confirmation of candidature is a major milestone in your research journey. It is expected that you will have completed all elements of your Confirmation of candidature within twelve months of commencing your research degree full-time, or the part-time equivalent, however, if you do not have a coursework component you should aim to complete the requirements for Confirmation of Candidature within six months.

Candidates who have not completed the requirements for confirmation of candidature within the allowed timeframe are required to apply to the relevant Dean of School (or nominee) for an extension. For more information download an Application to extend provisional candidature. The maximum extension to provisional candidature is three months.

To have your candidature confirmed you must:

  • prepare your research proposal;
  • present your research to reviewers, peers and academics (in a proposal seminar);
  • amend the proposal document based on the reviewers' comments;
  • complete a risk assessment of your project;
  • develop a learning plan using MyPLAN (applies only to commencing doctoral students from 2014);
  • run your research proposal through Turnitin, a plagiarism detection tool;
  • complete the Graduate Research Induction Program;
  • apply to have your research proposal approved by the School; and
  • have your research ethics approved.

You must not start your data collection or recruitment until after your candidature has been confirmed.

Review and approval of your proposal

The research proposal review is about having your research plan reviewed by academics familiar with your area of research and receiving feedback on the proposed design and methodology. Reviewers have a formal responsibility for providing reports and recommendations on your research proposal.

The steps for having your proposal reviewed and receiving confirmation of candidature include:

  1. When the research proposal has been prepared, your supervisor must nominate two reviewers using the Nomination of Reviewers Master by Research or Doctoral Research Proposals form; the form must be approved by your school's Associate Dean Research;
  2. The Associate Dean Research can approve the nominated reviewers executively;
  3. Your supervisor will make arrangements for your proposal seminar and organise for copies of your proposal to be sent to the reviewers. Where possible, the reviewers should attend your proposal seminar;
  4. Your school will organise a venue and time for the seminar and send details to the Graduate Research School for promotion of the seminar;
  5. After the seminar you should, in collaboration with your supervisor, consider the reviewers’ reports and feedback from the seminar. You should then revise your research proposal to incorporate necessary changes prior to submission;
  6. Your application for proposal acceptance, and additional documentation (refer to the document checklist below) will need to be submitted to your school for provisional approval by the Associate Dean Research. Your school will then submit your proposal to Research Assessments who will advise the outcome of your application once all conditions (including Ethics) have been met;
  7. Once your research proposal has been amended to reflect reviewers’ feedback, you can submit your ethics application. For more information see the Ethics webpage.
  8. Once ethics approval has been granted, the Ethics Office will advise Research Assessments of this;
  9. When your research proposal has been approved and your project has received ethics clearance, you’ll receive written confirmation from Research Assessments that your candidature is confirmed. It is only then that you are able to proceed with data collection.

Document checklist

To have your research proposal approved, you must submit the following documentation to the Associate Dean Research, via your school:

  • Application for Proposal Acceptance (formerly known as Research Proposal Checklist);
  • (Revised) research proposal;
  • reviewer reports;
  • responses to reviewers’ comments as an outline of changes made or defence of the reviewers’ recommendations;
  • the Proposal Reviewer Confidentiality Agreement for use in situations where the research proposal contains confidential information belonging to a government agency or third party, or is the research is being undertaken under an IP agreement;
  • Graduate Research Induction Program (GRIP) completion statement;
  • Ethics approval email; and
  • a completed risk assessment checklist;

In addition to the above documents you will be asked to confirm that you have undertaken the following processes, although you do not have to provide the documentation with your Application for Proposal Acceptance:

  • Turnitin confirmation;
  • Candidate/Supervisor Panel Agreement;
  • a learning plan, using MyPLAN (applies only to commencing doctoral students from 2014);
  • preparation of an Application to Undertake Research Involving Human or Animal Subjects.

Additional support

Your supervisor should be your main source of support during your research journey; however, if you need additional support you may wish to seek advice from research support staff, visit the SOAR centre or attend a research training workshop.

GRIP Module 5: Confirmation of candidature also provides some useful advice and resources on this topic. See the Accessing GRIP webpage for login instructions.

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