Candidate confirmations

Candidate confirmations

PhD candidates and their supervisors must complete a confirmation of candidature at the end of the first six months (or part time equivalent). This process is to ensure that your candidate is progressing well, and is ready to continue. Exact times, milestones and requirements will vary by Faculty, but you can be expected to be involved in the preparation of your candidate's documents, presentation or meetings.

Confirmations vary between faculties, but often involve the candidate presenting a report containing research plan, budget, Ethics Approval, required training details and a substantial research component.

If your candidate's progress is deemed unsatisfactory, their candidature may be terminated, as per the HDR and MRes Termination of Candidature Procedure Policy.

This should not be confused with the Annual Progress Report(s).

Faculty of Arts

Confirmation of Candidature in the Faculty of Arts involves the candidate presenting their written/creative work and, in some Departments, an oral presentation. You, your candidate and any other supervisors will then meet with a panel to discuss the feasibility of the project and offer suggestions. Some departments require an oral presentation.

At the five month mark (or part-time equivalent), you and your candidate will be emailed about the Confirmation process.

A written component will often contain an updated thesis proposal or sample piece of work (thesis chapter, draft article, etc). Word length is 7,000-8,000 words for PhD candidates, and 4,000-5,000 for MPhil. Word-length includes end/foot notes but excludes bibliography.

Oral presentations run for 15 minutes and include a clear outline of your project's significance, aims, and objectives, as well as demonstrating your conceptual framework.

Faculty of Science and Engineering

You and your candidate will develop a research plan over the first semester (or part-time equivalent).

This should be submitted to your Department Director HDR within six months (or part-time equivalent) from the date of enrolment. Departmental requirements and deadlines vary, so contact your Departmental Director HDR for more information.

Faculty of Business and Economics

At the end of your candidate's first six months (or part-time equivalent), they will present a Research Protocol to an Assessment Panel consisting of yourself and other supervisors, the Associate Dean of HDR, and the Head of Department. The Protocol will contain a plan of research, budget and a substantial piece of writing to showcase progress. Your candidate must also provide a Turnitin similarity report, generated via the FBE HDR Turnitin iLearn Community Unit.

The presentation will run for 20 minutes, and be followed by questions. You and the rest of the Assessment Panel shall deliberate if the Protocol is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. If your candidate doesn't have any coursework requirements, a Satisfactory outcome will confirm candidature.

If your candidate's Protocol is deemed unsatisfactory, they will need to complete extra work within six months. Failure to do so may result in termination.

Faculty of Human Sciences

The Faculty of Human Sciences’ Confirmation has two parts: the Faculty Commencement Report (FCR) at three months, and the Confirmation of Candidature at six months, both similar in nature. The FCR is reviewed by several academic staff, including your Head of Department and forms the basis of review during the Confirmation of Candidature.

You and your candidate will be contacted about specific due dates. Requirements may vary dependent on the nature of the research and department, but FCRs generally require:

  • Participation in the University and Faculty Commencement Programs
  • A robust and realistic research proposal
  • A detailed budget for research and associated activities, including plans for the Post Graduate Research Fund (PGRF) and other available funding
  • A detailed timeline
  • A departmental-arranged presentation to academics
  • Ethics application (if applicable)
  • Required research training

Macquarie Graduate School of Management

The MGSM confirmation of candidature is a six month process. Your candidate will undertake initial research training with you, followed by submitting a draft research proposal, which you will deem satisfactory or unsatisfactory (meaning it must be re-written).

You must then sign separate written agreements on the assignment of IP and commercialisation for all publications/presentations stemming from the research, as well as organising a timeline, meeting arrangements, a Thesis Publication Plan and budget.

Your candidate will need to organise library training by emailing At the end of the six month mark, their candidature will be confirmed.

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