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Stages of your research journey

Stages of your research journey

Your research journey is made up of six stages, with each stage involving several processes and steps. Understanding these steps and milestones will help you to plan and manage your candidature.

1. Provisional candidature

From the time that you enrol, to when you receive confirmation of your candidature, you are a provisional candidate. This stage involves selecting your supervisor and discussing potential research topics, reviewing relevant literature, designing your research, preparing your research proposal and submitting your ethics application.

During this time you’ll also need to complete the Graduate Research Induction Program (GRIP) and plan how you’re going to manage your candidature. It’s also worthwhile investigating the many support services and resources that are available to assist you with successfully completing your degree.

While provisional candidates are expected to achieve confirmation of candidature within the first six months from commencement of the course, they are allowed a maximum period of 12 months (or part-time equivalent for both) to achieve this first research milestone.  If the first research milestone has not been met, you may apply for an extension to your provisional candidature, by downloading and completing an Application to extend provisional candidature form.  The application will be assessed and if granted by the School’s Associate Dean Research, is awarded only once and for a maximum period of 3 months (or part time equivalent).  If you are unable to achieve Confirmation of Candidature at that point in time, you may be excluded from the course.

2. Confirmation of candidature

Confirmation of candidature is expected to be achieved within the first six months from commencement of the course, however you are allowed a maximum period of 12 months (or part-time equivalent for both). There are a number of steps you need to complete for your candidature to be confirmed, including presenting and gaining approval on your research proposal, completing a risk assessment and management plan and gaining ethics approval for your project.

If you cannot achieve Confirmation of candidature within the timeframe you may be excluded from the course. Refer to Provisional candidature above for information on applying for an extension.

For more information visit the Confirmation of candidature web pages.

3. Undertaking your research

Once your candidature has been confirmed and you’ve received ethics approval you can undertake your research. Processes during this stage often include data collection, data analysis and thesis preparation.

For more information visit the Designing and undertaking your research web pages.

4. Writing and presenting your research

You’ll be required to write at all stages of your research journey. Throughout your degree, in addition to your research proposal, it’s likely that you’ll have opportunities to present your research to your peers and colleagues through seminars, conferences and journal publications. It’s also important that you understand the requirements for preparing and presenting your thesis for examination.

For more information visit the Writing and presenting your research web pages.

5. Thesis examination

In consultation with you, your supervisor will find and nominate appropriate examiners to mark your thesis. Your examiners will need to be nominated at least four weeks before you submit your thesis.

For more information visit the Thesis examination web pages.

6. Graduate

Once your thesis has been passed and any amendments have been approved, your record will be sent to the Board of Examiners. After your record has been changed to ‘Course Complete’ you’ll receive information about graduation.

In addition to these stages, you’ll need to manage your candidature during your degree. This involves reporting your progress each semester in conjunction with your supervisors, seeking out and using support services and self-learning resources and sourcing opportunities for additional funding and professional development.

Support for candidature management

Your candidature management plan should be discussed and reviewed regularly with your supervisors. You can also seek support from your School's research and writing consultants and there are research training workshops held throughout the year that will help develop the skills you need to progress through your research journey.

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