Research School of Physics HDR Student Milestones requirements

Milestone Timeframe What is required How to complete this milestone in ISIS Review panel
Research Integrity Training3 months from the start of programAn online examhttps://services.anu.edu.au/training/research-integrity-trainingN/A
First annual plan3 months from the start of programA written report submitted via eforms.Candidate-Supervisor Agreement (PDF, 308kB) is completed as part of this milestone.In ISIS - Research Reports. Candidate-Supervisor Agreement is uploaded into the milestone eform.N/A
Thesis proposal review and confirmation of candidature12 months from the start of programAs part of this milestone, the candidate submits a confirmation document (up to 15 pages) that provides a detailed review of the thesis proposal, including
  • literature review
  • information on methodology
  • summary of the achievements to date
  • proposed plan for the 12 months ahead
  • proposed plan for the entire PhD/MPhil project

As well as the written submission, this milestone has an oral presentation component where students will be asked to present a seminar, followed by questions (15 minutes).

Refer to TPR guidelines (DOCX, 19kB) for more details.

  • After the TPR seminar students Initiate the Annual Report 1 eform in ISIS – Research Reports and attach a copy of their final TPR document as a supporting document.
  • Chair of Panel, Head of School and Delegated Authority will have the opportunity to comment on the student’s progress and the TPR and upload any additional documentation into this eform. This first progress report milestone will cover both the progress report and thesis proposal review.
  • TPR milestone in ISIS does not need to be initiated. The status of the TPR milestone will be updated to “completed” in ISIS after the seminar once the TPR /Confirmation of Candidature has been successfully passed.
  • the supervisory panel
  • Head of Department or
  • one of the HDR Convenors

This seminar is not advertised within the School. HDR Admin team hdr.physics@anu.edu.au will assist with the seminar arrangements.

Second-year review2 years from the start of program

The second-year review includes:


A written report by the student.

The report should include an introduction into the topic, progress up to date including any publications/publication plans, and a plan for the next year. The report should be discussed with the supervisor(s).


A seminar.

This should present the background of the project, the progress of the student's research work and indicate remaining tasks. The seminar is arranged by the Department and advertised within RSPhys. The seminar is open to RSPhys community. Students should contact their Departmental Administrator for assistance with advertising the seminar to the School community.


An interview with the supervisory panel.

The panel should meet as soon as possible after the seminar. It should consider the seminar and hold discussions with the student, which may cover the following:

  • the seminar
  • aim and objectives of the project
  • adequacy of supervisory arrangements
  • overall quality of student's performance
  • appropriateness of plans for future work on remaining tasks
  • prospective timing for completion
  • any outstanding coursework requirements, if applicable
  • the student’s professional development, including career prospects.

Supervisory panel's report.

The supervisory panel should prepare a written report on the student's seminar and a commentary on proposed future directions. This report can be written directly into the comments section of the milestone eform or uploaded into the eform as a separate document.

Students who commenced before 2021:

  1. The student initiates the both the Annual Report 2 and Mid-Term Review (MTR) milestone in ISIS. The written progress report needs to be uploaded into the Annual Report 2 eform and the seminar presentation is uploaded into the MTR eform.
  2. The Chair of Panel actions both the second progress report and MTR eforms. The supervisory panel’s report on the student’s seminar is uploaded into MTR milestone e-form as supporting documentation.

Students who commenced from 2021:

  1. The student initiates the Annual Report 2 in ISIS, uploads the written progress report and a copy of the seminar presentation into the eform as supporting documents and submits to the Chair of Panel.
  2. Chair of Panel completes the relevant sections of the Annual Report and uploads the supervisory panel’s report on the seminar as a supporting document, or writes the report on the student’s seminar directly in the eform, if space allows.
  • At least two members of the of the supervisory panel (ideally all).
  • The Head of Department or their representative.
  • An external panel member – someone outside the research group; or someone from another department in RSPhys; or one of the HDR Convenors; or someone from outside the School.

This seminar is advertised within the School. Your Departmental Administrator will assist with advertising the seminar.

Third year report3 years from the start of program

A written report on the progress to date submitted by the student via eforms.

It is a good time for candidates to identify whether the thesis is going to be submitted by standard format or by published works (by compilation). The current RSPhys Thesis by Compilation guidelines (DOCX, 19kB) recommend that a 12-month notice is given if thesis is to be submitted by compilation.

In ISIS - Research Reports N/A
Final oral presentation3.5 years from the start of programA presentation/seminar with the supervisory panel and external assessors. FOP provides an opportunity for the panel to decide (or confirm) that there has been sufficient research and results to form the basis of a PhD or MPhil thesis. The FOP takes the form of a research seminar presenting results to the school community, for open discussion. The panel then meets afterwards to discuss final details and any challenging questions raised by the audience. FOP must be completed prior to the thesis submission as the thesis will not be sent out to the examiners unless FOP has been finalised.In ISIS - Research Reports. A copy of the presentation should be uploaded as a supporting document.
  • The supervisory panel
  • Head of Department or representative
  • An external panel member– someone outside the research group; or someone from another department in RSPhys; or one of the HDR Convenors; or someone from outside the School.

This seminar is advertised within the School. Your Departmental Administrator will assist with advertising the seminar.

Details

HDR students enrolled in the Research School of Physics must complete the following progress milestones:

Research Integrity Training (RIT)

RIT must be completed within the first 3 months from the start of the program and before attempting to complete any other milestones.

How to complete RIT – please visit https://services.anu.edu.au/training/research-integrity-training

First annual plan

First annual plan will be completed at the end of 3 months from the start of the candidature. Candidate-Supervisor Agreement (PDF, 308kB) is incorporated into this milestone eforms.

Thesis proposal review (TPR) and confirmation of candidature

Thesis proposal review is completed at the end of 12 months (PhD/MPhil) from the start of the program.

The aim of this milestone is for a panel to provide objective feedback (to both the candidate and supervisors) on the viability and progress of the candidate’s research project.

Note: RSPhys HDR team will contact the student and Chair of Panel with the proposed seminar dates/times and these may not necessarily be the same as the TPR due date showing in ISIS – Research Reports.

What is required?

As part of this milestone, the candidate will submit a confirmation document (up to 15 pages) that provides a detailed review of the thesis proposal, including

  • literature review
  • information on methodology
  • summary of the achievements to date
  • proposed plan for the 12 months ahead
  • proposed plan for the entire PhD/MPhil project

As well as the written submission, this milestone has an oral presentation component where students will be asked to present a seminar (15 minutes), followed by questions.

The candidate will send a copy of thesis proposal review document to the TPR committee for review and comments a week in advance of the scheduled seminar date.

A TPR committee will include:

  • the supervisory panel
  • Head of Department or representative
  • one of the HDR Convenors who will attend as an external panel member and Chair the seminar.

Following the presentation there will be an opportunity for the panel to ask questions, and the external panel members (HOD or rep and convenor) will have a few subsequent short meetings:

  • Meeting with the candidate (without the supervisors), to get the candidate’s point of view of progress, as well as issues/concerns. (5 minutes);
  • Meeting with the supervisory panel (without the student), to get the supervisors’ point of view of program progress, as well as issues/concerns with the progress (5 minutes);
  • Meeting including the candidate and the TPR committee to make a recommendation regarding the progression of the candidate (5 minutes);
  • Any further comments and questions. (5 minutes).

Should there be any major concerns and a more extensive discussion is warranted, this will be arranged separately after the TPR.

One of the following progression options may be recommended:

  • Progress satisfactory, confirm candidature and continue with the HDR program enrolment.
  • Progress not as expected. Candidate remains unconfirmed and the panel recommends a 6-month supplementary review and a resubmission of the TPR milestone.
  • (For PhD) Progress is tracking at the expected rate of an MPhil candidate. Confirmed as an MPhil candidate.
  • Progress unsatisfactory, candidature to be discontinued.

Following the TPR seminar, the HDR Convenor will send an email to the student, panel members and Associate Director HDR (Prof Patrick Kluth) with the comments on the TPR document and the seminar and confirm the recommended outcome of the TPR. The chair of the supervisory panel should make sure that any additional feedback on the TPR document from the panel has been included in the final version and confirm this to the HDR Convenor.

How to complete this milestone eform in ISIS after the TPR seminar

  • Students initiate the first progress report eform in ISIS – Research Reports and attach a copy of their final TPR document to the first progress report eform. Supervisors, Head of School and Delegated Authority will have the opportunity to comment on the student’s progress and the TPR and upload any additional documentation into this eform. This first progress report milestone will cover both the progress report and thesis proposal review.
  • TPR milestone in ISIS does not need to be initiated. The status of the TPR milestone will be updated to “completed” in ISIS once the TPR /Confirmation of Candidature has been successfully passed.

Note: a confirmed MPhil candidate can apply to transfer to a confirmed PhD candidate at this stage. Program transfer process is outlined at https://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/program-management/research-program-change-and-research-program

Second year (mid-term) review

The second-year review is completed at the end of 2 years of program for PhD students and will include a written report on the progress and an oral presentation (40minutes) by the student.

MPhil students do not need to present a seminar and only complete a second progress report in ISIS if they have not submitted their thesis by the end of 2 years of program.

What is required?

1. A written report by the student. The report should include an introduction into the topic, progress up to date including any publications/publication plans, and a plan for the next year. The report should be discussed with the supervisor(s). We strongly recommend that students prepare the progress report as a separate document to upload it into the Annual Report eform, as the eform itself does not provide sufficient space/sections to address all the requirements of this progress report.

2. A seminar. This should present the background of the project, the progress of the student's research work and indicate remaining tasks. The seminar is arranged by the Department and advertised within RSPhys. The second-year review seminar is open to RSPhys community. Students should contact their Departmental Administrator for assistance with advertising the seminar to the School community.

The seminar should be attended by the panel including:

  • At least two members of the of the supervisory panel (ideally all).
  • The Head of Department or their representative.
  • An external panel member – someone outside the research group and the supervisory panel. It can be someone from another department in RSPhys, one of the HDR Convenors, or someone from outside the School.

3. An interview with the supervisory panel. The panel convenes following the presentation. It should consider the seminar and hold discussions with the student, which may cover the following:

  • the seminar
  • aim and objectives of the project
  • adequacy of supervisory arrangements
  • overall quality of the student's performance
  • appropriateness of plans for future work on remaining tasks
  • prospective timing for completion
  • any outstanding coursework requirements, if applicable
  • the student’s professional development, including career prospects.

4. Supervisory panel’s report. The supervisory panel should prepare a report on the student's seminar and a commentary on proposed future directions. This report can be written directly into the comments section of the milestone eform, if space allows, or uploaded into the eform as a separate document.

5. (Optional) A meeting with one of the RSPhys Convenors or their nominee. This provides an opportunity for the student to raise issues of concern in discussion with an independent academic staff member, outside the supervisory panel; the mechanism is, of course, also available at any time.

How to complete this milestone eform in ISIS?

Students who commenced before 2021:

  1. The student initiates both the Annual Report 2 and Mid-Term Review (MTR) milestones in ISIS. The progress report is to be uploaded into the Annual Report eform. The seminar presentation is uploaded into the MTR eform.
  2. The Chair of Panel actions both the second progress report and MTR eforms. The supervisory panel’s report on the student’s seminar is uploaded into MTR milestone e-form as supporting documentation.

Students who commenced from 2021:

  1. The student completes the Annual Report 2 in ISIS, attaches a copy of the progress report and the seminar presentation into the eform as supporting documents and submits to the Chair of Panel.
  2. Chair of Panel completes the relevant section of the Annual Report and uploads the supervisory panel’s report on the student’s seminar, or writes the report on the student’s seminar directly in the eform, if space allows.

Third year report

Third year report will be completed at the end of three years of candidature. It should be similar in structure to the 2nd year report but additionally include a timeline and plan for thesis writing.

Students submit this as Annual Report 3 in ISIS - Research Reports.

In general, it is a good time for candidates to identify whether the thesis is going to be submitted by standard format or by published works (by compilation). The current RSPhys Thesis by Compilation guidelines (DOCX, 19kB) recommend that a 12-month notice is given if thesis is to be submitted by compilation. This provides adequate time for the student and supervisory panel to discuss the structure of the thesis by compilation and seek approval.

Third year progress report must be satisfactorily completed if students are seeking an extension of their scholarship.

Third year progress report is initiated by the students via ISIS – Research Reports.

Final oral presentation

Final oral presentation (FOP) is expected to be completed within 6 months of the expected submission date and takes form of a presentation/seminar (30-40 minutes plus question time). FOP provides an opportunity for the panel to decide (or confirm) that there has been sufficient research and results to form the basis of a PhD or MPhil thesis. The FOP takes the form of a research seminar presenting results to the school community, for open discussion. The panel then meets afterwards to discuss final details and any challenging questions raised by the audience. Students submit the Final Oral Presentation milestone in ISIS – Research Reports and upload a copy of their presentation.

FOP must be completed prior to the thesis submission as the thesis will not be sent out to the examiners unless FOP has been finalized.

Completion of all of the above milestones is compulsory.

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