INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS ENROLLED IN RESEARCH HIGHER DEGREE PROGRAMS

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1 INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS ENROLLED IN RESEARCH HIGHER DEGREE PROGRAMS The following information has been sourced from the Graduate School and the School of Social Science. Candidature Progression and Development Research training at The University of Queensland is research professional development. It s more than a thesis. It s training in research plus training by research. Consequently, the School of Social Science is committed to providing all its candidates with opportunities to enhance their written and oral skills and to manage their time more efficiently and effectively. In this connection, the Graduate School of the University has placed added emphasis on the successful completion of all postgraduate degrees within the specified time frame and has strongly encouraged schools to develop policies to help students achieve this goal. In April, 2009, the Graduate School has implemented a new plan for Research Higher Degree Candidature Progression and Development. Under the terms of HUPP each school/institute is required to adapt the principles and processes outlined in the policy in clear and equitable ways that are appropriate to its discipline/s, size and cohort of candidates; and to provide its locally-adapted information for all milestones both on the school/institute website and in clear written forms to applicants and every candidate enrolled in the program. Research Higher Degree programs aim to provide all graduates with the following attributes: Knowledge and skills in the field of study Effective communication skills Critical judgement and research skills Independence, creativity and learning Ethical and social understanding Graduates will demonstrate attainment of graduate attributes through a variety of means, including successful attainment of academic milestones. Following admission to a RHD program there are three milestones: In implementing these milestones the School Postgraduate Coordinator is the decision-maker. The School-based process involves the Postgraduate Studies Committee and Academic Advisors, enabling good decision-making. The Graduate School provides standard forms for each live milestone. Milestone due dates and completion dates are recorded in si-net. The School of Social Science has developed a local framework to match the overall UQ framework with research training in the school and the type/structure of projects in the School/specific disciplines, taking into account such aspects as: Additional coursework Fieldwork Thesis format School of Social Science - Information for Students Enrolled in RHD Programs

2 Milestone One: Confirmation of Candidature Do we have a research project? Confirmation is a critically important moment for every research higher degree candidate: At this milestone: The candidate receives formative advice about the direction, scope, planning, and feasibility of the project; and about the acquisition or further development of appropriate research and professional skills; The school/institute review the human, physical, financial resources needed to sustain the candidature, in compliance with relevant university, disciplinary, and external regulatory protocols; and The University is assured by the school/institute s review that continuation of the candidature is likely to lead to an assessable thesis in approximately the time for which the candidate, school/institute, and University are funded to support the candidate s enrolment. It is expected that the candidate will complete this milestone between 9 15 months after commencement of candidature. The work to be completed between admission and confirmation of candidature: Specific confirmation document incorporating the following - introduction, clear statement of the research aims/question, literature review, outline of methodology and methods, estimated timeline for phases of research relative to each milestone, and an indication of the feasibility of the research (financial/resources/professional development etc) The document word limit is 5,000 words. Quality expectations of this document should demonstrate essential research skills relative to this early stage of candidature, including: a clear statement of the research problem to be addressed and rationale; a detailed literature review; a strong understanding of theoretical issues relevant to the research; a review of the methods required, or potentially required, to undertake the research. This document will be drafted prior to the oral presentation. The candidate will give a formal presentation within the scheduled Confirmation Seminars conducted within the School. The duration of the presentation will be 25 to 30 minutes followed by a 15 to 20 minute time for feedback from members of the audience. The expectation of the presentation of both oral and visual components will provide a clear overview of those elements contained in the confirmation document. The seminar will be scheduled three weeks prior to the submission of the confirmation document and four weeks prior to the confirmation interview. Confirmation seminar dates will be forwarded to staff and student lists at the beginning of each year dates are: 27 April, 15 June, 17 August, and 26 October. The program for each seminar session will be ed to everyone approximately one week prior to the presentations. Questions and feedback from the seminar will be documented in a letter compiled by the Postgraduate Studies Committee and sent to the candidate and advisory team within three days of the seminar. The letter will provide the candidate with the date that the confirmation document is due and also the day and time of the confirmation interview with the Post Graduate Committee. The confirmation document will be submitted to the Student Administration Officer electronically on the due date noted in the letter and the document will then be circulated to the Post Graduate Committee. School of Social Science - Information for Students Enrolled in RHD Programs

3 The interview will be scheduled for minutes in duration. The candidate and advisory team will be in attendance at the interview. The candidate should be able to address questions and/or comments from the Committee in detail. This process, while critical and analytical, is to be constructive for the candidate. The Postgraduate Studies Committee and advisors will discuss feedback with the candidate. The School Postgraduate Coordinator may recommend: that the milestone has been achieved; an If the milestone is achieved a completed Confirmation Form and feedback will be provided to the candidate, endorsed by the Postgraduate Coordinator and Advisory team. Milestone Attainment forms will provide recommendation on assessment of the candidate s progress against key performance indicators, and with reference to disciplinary norms and expectations. The form will be signed by the candidate and the principal advisor and forwarded to the Graduate School by the Postgraduate Coordinator. The weblink for this form is Milestone Two: Mid Candidature Review Is most of the research work completed? The mid-candidature review represents a mid-point between confirmation of candidature and thesis review milestones. Mid-candidature review should support, rather than disrupt the candidate s research. Achievement of this milestone reassures the candidate, advisory team and school/institute that: The project is on track for completion within candidature duration, and; The candidate s research and other professional skills are developing appropriately. It is expected that the candidate will complete this milestone 9 15 months after Confirmation. The work to be completed between Confirmation and Mid-Candidature Review: One of the following pieces of written work will be accepted: draft thesis chapter, substantial piece of academic writing, article submitted for publication to a refereed journal or full conference paper and a one page progress report to the Postgraduate Studies Committee. This written work should demonstrate critical insights into a research problem, methodological issue and/or key educational debate, academic written communication skills and engagement (including appropriate responses to questions), with report from previous milestone. The accepted format will be presented by the candidate to a scholarly audience, either international or domestic conference, or school seminar presentation. The timing of the presentation will vary depending on the forum nominated. In the event that candidates present their work outside of the University they will need to provide adequate documentation to their advisors and the Postgraduate Coordinator, outlining the content and scope of the presentation. Where possible a member of the school should be at the presentation and should provide the candidate with written feedback. After completion of the presentation the candidate will attend the scheduled interview with a representative of the Postgraduate Studies Committee and advisors. The expected duration of the interview will be minutes. Recommendations will be made to the candidate orally on written comments on quality of written work and progress made to date. School of Social Science - Information for Students Enrolled in RHD Programs

4 Within two weeks of the interview, written comments on the quality of the candidate s written work and progress will be documented in the Milestone Attainment form and forwarded to the candidate and advisory team for signing. The School Postgraduate Coordinator may recommend: that the milestone has been achieved; an The feedback form for students and advisors is in preparation. Milestone 3: Thesis Review Do we have a thesis? The thesis review: Enables the school/institute to determine collectively that the thesis should be ready for assessment by the expected date or determine a new submission date. Allows any differences of opinion among the candidate and the advisory team about the readiness of the thesis for assessment to be aired and settled collegially. Assures the candidate and advisory team of the scope, originality and quality of the thesis. Identifies any major concerns that need attention before submission. Provides a forum for discussing the mix of disciplinary knowledge required among the thesis assessors to review the breadth of work contained within the thesis, and enables the candidate and the advisors to express any reservations or concerns about having any particular individual as an assessor. It is expected that the candidate will complete this milestone 3 6 months before thesis submission. The work is to be completed between Mid-Candidature Review and Thesis Review. This milestone will be coordinated by the Chair of Postgraduate Studies Committee. The candidate will prepare document/s that should demonstrate high likelihood that the thesis will be of quality, scope and originality appropriate for submission. It should show that the work is in the advanced state of preparation. The document/s will be submitted to the Postgraduate Committee one week prior to the presentation. The candidate will give a substantial presentation in the School seminar series. The duration will be approximately 40 minutes of which 20 minutes will be set aside for feedback and comments. The expectation of the school will be a high professional standard of both oral and visual-aid components for the presentation. A greater emphasis will be placed here in comparison to earlier milestones to demonstrate that a PhD standard has been achieved by the way of original contribution and critical analyses. Feedback will be provided by members of the audience. A representative from the Postgraduate Studies Committee will compile the feedback and provide that in written form to the candidate and advisors within 1 week of the presentation. The candidate will be notified of the scheduled date for the interview. The interview will consist of the candidate, advisor/s, representative from the Postgraduate Studies Committee (plus an option for postgraduate student representative) and the duration will be approximately 30 minutes. The candidate should be able to address questions and/or comments from the Committee representative and advisor/s in detail. School of Social Science - Information for Students Enrolled in RHD Programs

5 The Advisor/s will provide feedback on written documents and forward this feedback to the Postgraduate Coordinator on the Thesis Review form. Within one week of the School seminar, the Postgraduate Studies Committee will compile notes on audience feedback and provide that in written form to the candidate and advisors. The Milestone Attainment form will be completed and forwarded to the candidate and advisory team for signing. The School Postgraduate Coordinator may recommend: That the milestone has been achieved; an The feedback form for students and advisors is in preparation. School of Social Science - Information for Students Enrolled in RHD Programs

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