Information for Current Research Students

Research Proposal Review (RPR) Guidelines

As part of their responsibilities to Higher Degree Research (HDR) students outlined in the Higher Degree Research (HDR) Supervision and Resources Policy, academic units are expected to establish procedures for a formal review of the candidate's research proposal which should be completed early in the candidature, before 48cp of the degree is completed (i.e. 1 year full time or equivalent), except in the case of degrees containing coursework, in which case the review should take place before 72cp (i.e. 1.5 EFTSL) of the degree has been completed (this applies to all doctoral and Master of Philosophy candidates, both full-time and part-time).

This RPR is an important step in ensuring that the research project is based on a strong academic footing, that the student has the skills required to complete the project at the required standard, that the supervisory arrangements are appropriate to the project, and that the project can be undertaken adequately with the resources available.

HDR students must present their research proposal to a RPR Committee. The Committee which consists as a minimum of the supervisor(s), two appropriate members of the academic staff capable of assessing the thesis proposal, and a HDR student representative (as an observer only). The proposal must include an oral research presentation and a written research plan and preliminary literature review, written according to the discipline conventions of the degree undertaken and as prescribed by the relevant Faculty Guidelines.

Note that the oral presentation is not restricted to the members of the RPR Committee. The presentation should be advertised to the members of the relevant school or unit and all staff and postgraduate students are welcome to attend. 

The Committee will consider the research presentation and written material prepared for the RPR. The Committee will have an opportunity to ask questions of the student about the research proposal and seminar, and the student will have the opportunity to address the Committee directly. The RPR form that contains the Committee's recommendation must be lodged with the Graduate Research School (GRS) and a copy kept in the relevant Faculty.

If it is determined that the RPR is unsatisfactory the HDR student must have the opportunity to represent within 3 months. The Head of Postgraduate Studies (HPS) should give the student a copy of the RPR report. The student should also be given adequate direction to improve their proposal. The signed RPR report must be forwarded to the GRS for inclusion in the student's file.

If the 2nd RPR is unsatisfactory the RPR Committee should make a recommendation to the Associate Dean Research on the student's continued candidature and the Associate Dean Research must refer this request, with their comments, to the Dean of Research who will make a final decision.

Note: If a candidate is currently on probation then the RPR is not to be undertaken. The HDR candidate is to be managed by the probation process only in this instance.

Last reviewed: 24 July, 2017
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