Postgraduate (Research)

Postgraduate (Research)

Progress Reviews » Review Procedures

The Review Panel will interview the student and the supervisor independently and together. Although not compulsory, the co-supervisor can be present at the review and can stay with the supervisor at the interview. A record of the interview is the responsibility of the panel secretary.

Each review session will be scheduled as follows:

  • Presentation and discussion - 15 mins
  • Student interviewed alone - 5 mins
  • Supervisor interviewed alone* - 5 mins
  • Panel discussion and agreed Report summary - 5 mins
  • Total - 30 mins

* can be accompanied by the co-supervisor

At the first review, the Panel will discuss with the student and the supervisor the following points:

  • Will the project make an original scientific contribution?
  • Whether the research plan, including methodologies, is feasible, including consideration of the availability of resources and/or how they will be obtained? Is the project a suitable training program for a research career?
  • The adequacy of the student’s literature review.
  • Consideration of constraints which may inhibit the project; including any specific training programs which may be necessary for the candidate to undertake.

The first review is also the confirmation of candidature review for PhD candidates. The student is required to:

  1. Provide a written research proposal in accordance with UNSW Medicine/School guidelines including:
  • Key objectives, criteria and milestones of the research, Gantt chart
  • A literature review (10 pages minimum)
  • A brief justification of the research
  • An assessment of the resources required to support the research
  • A statement of how the research will be conducted in accordance with the UNSW policies for intellectual property, OHS, research and ethics.
  1. Give an oral presentation in the presence of the Panel members and the supervisor/co-supervisor (in accordance with UNSW Medicine/School guidelines). The presentation should be kept to a maximum of 10 minutes. PowerPoint presentations are optional (students wishing to do PowerPoint presentations should advise the Postgraduate Administrator when they receive notification of their reviews that semester). 

Note: The research proposal and literature review should be submitted as attachments, together with the online review form.

For the second review, the Panel will focus mainly on the progress of the experimental work. Problems or impediments to progress must be identified, discussed and hopefully resolved. Students must be clearly identified at this time with a recommendation for:

  • Transfer from a MSc to a PhD (^see below). 
  • Transfer from a PhD to a MSc. 
  • Essential remedial action prescribed, with nomination of the date of a further interim review.
  • Cancellation. Note that this is the last time at which cancellation should seriously be considered.

At this stage of their candidature, students are expected to give a seminar presentation in one of the seminar series of the School (the Anatomy, Physiology & Pharmacology seminar series or the Pathology seminar series). This seminar should review the literature, discuss the methodologies being used/to be used in the project, and should include some results. It will take the form of a 20 minutes presentation with 10 minutes for questions. Academic staff of the department will come to these seminars together with the supervisor and/or co-supervisor. The scheduling of the seminars will be done in consultation with the student, and the seminar series coordinators in each department. Note that the seminar presentation is compulsory; however, if the student has already given an oral presentation elsewhere at a meeting or at another seminar series, then he/she will be exempted.

^For Master of Science candidates, transfer to enrolment in a PhD degree requires that the candidate is qualified for admission to the PhD and that candidature is confirmed as part of the APR. The candidate's confirmation will result from the Progress Review during the second year of candidature.

During that review, the panel will discuss with the student and the supervisor the following points:
  • Will the project make sufficient body of work for a PhD?
  • Will the project make an original scientific contribution?
  • Whether the research plan, including methodologies, is feasible, including consideration of the availability of resources and/or how they will be obtained? Is the project a suitable training program for a research career?
  • The adequacy of the student’s literature review.
  • Consideration of constraints that may inhibit the project; including any specific training programs that may be necessary for the candidate to undertake.
On that occasion, the candidate is required to:
  • Provide evidence of scientific achievement (in accordance with UNSW Medicine/School guidelines). This could be in the form of:
  • Publication of a scientific article
  • Getting an abstract accepted at a national/international conference. 
  • Significant contribution to a scientific article (a letter from the other contributing authors might be required to support the claim of the candidate)
Note that these publications must contain new data that have been collected during the candidature. They cannot be reviews of previous work or work of others.
 
Provide a written research proposal (in accordance with UNSW Medicine/School guidelines including):
  • Key objectives/criteria/milestones of the research, Gantt chart (this would typically include the original project but also expand it)
  • A literature review (with potential additions)
  • A brief justification of the research
  • An assessment of the resources required to support the research (if not already discussed at the first APR)
  • A statement of how the research will be conducted in accordance with the UNSW policies for intellectual property, OHS, research and ethics.
Note: The research proposal and literature review should be submitted as attachments, together with the online review form.
 

For the third review, the Review Panel should focus on realistic targets for completion, to allow prompt submission of the thesis. A realistic time frame, with milestones, should be drawn up by the student and the supervisor. The Review Panel should highlight perceived problems and address how they may be overcome.

Additional reviews. From this point on, additional reviews will be scheduled every 6 months until the student submits.

Students should refer to the Progress Review and Confirmation of Research Candidatures Procedure and the section on Progress Reviews on the Graduate Research School website for more detailed information.