Graduate Research School Policy & Procedure HDR Mid-Candidature Review Milestone Procedure

HDR Mid-Candidature Review Milestone Procedure

HDR Mid-Candidature Review Milestone Procedure

This Procedure elaborates the Mid-Candidature Review Milestone section of the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Requirements.

Intent of the Mid-Candidature Review

  1. To improve the quality of research by providing the Candidate with formal feedback from their Candidature Committee.
  2. To increase the likelihood that the thesis submission will be timely.
  3. To facilitate the acquisition of professional skills.


This procedure applies to Candidates for the doctoral-level research higher degrees offered by the University.


Terms mentioned in this document and not defined here are defined in the Policy Glossary in the Learning and Teaching domain of the University Policy Library, and in the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Requirements.


1.1 Doctoral candidates are required to do their Mid-Candidature Review Milestone when they have consumed between 1.5 and 2 EFTSL. For clarity, Research Masters Candidates are not required to complete a mid-candidature review.

1.2 The Candidate must prepare the materials required for assessment at the Mid-Candidature Review milestone.  The required materials are:

1.2.1 Written work - drafts of all materials prepared for the thesis including at least one substantive piece such as the draft of a chapter, manuscript, creative work or exegesis.

1.2.2 Public Presentation – submitted a paper to a peer-reviewed publication or made a comparable presentation at a conference external to JCU. If evidence cannot be provided that the Candidate has completed any of these outputs, the Candidate must present a seminar or poster to the Candidature Committee.  (Note for 2021: the requirement for an “external presentation” is allowed to be any presentation deemed appropriate by the ADRE or nominee.)

1.2.3 Mid-Candidature Review Assessment form MCR-FORM-01 including the record of completion of Elective and/or Conditional Professional Development required for RD7003 Candidates enrolled prior to 1 January 2018 are required to have completed 80 hours of Professional Development by the Mid-Candidature Review Milestone and RD7003 would be assessed at this milestone.  If enrolment was after 1 January 2018, 80 hours of Professional Development are still required by Mid-Candidature Review, and a further 40 hours of elective Professional Development is required by the Pre-Completion Evaluation Milestone, and RD7003 Professional Development totalling 120 hours would be assessed at that milestone rather than at Mid-Candidature Review.

1.2.4 Gantt chart outlining plan for completing the research project and thesis in the candidature time remaining.

1.3 The Candidate, through their Primary Advisor, should ask the Responsible Administrative Officer in their College to organise the seminar if required and a meeting of the Candidature Committee.

1.4 One week before this meeting, the Candidate must provide each member of their Candidature Committee, materials from clause 1.2.

1.5 If the Candidate is delivering an oral presentation to the Candidature Committee, this presentation must be delivered in person or by video-conference and viewed by all members of the Candidature Committee. Other persons should be encouraged to attend unless such an arrangement is precluded by a confidentiality agreement. The presentation should be no longer than 30 minutes including questions and should provide a synthesis of one aspect of the research findings. If the Candidate is presenting a poster to the Candidature Committee, the poster must be evaluated by all members of the Candidature Committee and the Candidate must be available for questions.

1.6 The Candidature Committee must meet to finalise MCR-FORM-01 and any additional written feedback to the Candidate.  The decision about the outcome of the process will be made by the Chair of the Candidature Committee and the Independent Academic and the Advisors and Candidate should not be present when this decision is made.  The signatures of the Candidate and Advisors must be obtained subsequent to the decision has been explained to them, in acknowledgement that they have been advised of the recommendation.  The program of professional development must also be checked against the requirements of RD7003 and recorded in MCR-FORM-01.

1.7 For RD7003 the Candidature Committee may recommend that either all of the requirements of RD7003 have been “met” or “not met.”  For the other assessable components of this milestone, the candidature committee may recommend “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.

1.8 A Candidate who wishes to request a review of the recommendation of their Mid-Candidature Review, may submit an appeal in writing to the Manager, Graduate Research Operations within 20 working days of signing MCR-FORM-01. The milestone recommendation review will be assessed by two Associate Deans of Research Education from Colleges other than that of the Candidate.  The two Associate Deans of Research Education who are assessing the review may obtain additional expert review and interview any people involved if they wish to do so.

In submitting a request for a review of a milestone recommendation, the Candidate must provide evidence for why a recommendation should be rescinded.  Such a case would at the very least include evidence of inconsistencies between assessments of milestone components, by for example the Chair of Candidature Committee, Independent Academic, any expert reviewers, and the Advisory Panel.

The decision of the review of a milestone recommendation may be to support or rescind the recommendation for that milestone, and will be communicated to the Candidate within 20 working days of submitting the appeal.

1.9 Once finalised, MCR-FORM-01 is to be returned to the Graduate Research School.

1.10 The recommended grade for RD7003 is evaluated by the Dean, Graduate Research. The Graduate Research School will enter the grade for RD7003 in the JCU student system.

1.11 The Dean, Graduate Research will approve the final recommendation of the Mid-Candidature Review Milestone.

1.12 The Graduate Research School will communicate the Dean, Graduate Research’s approved course of action to the Candidate and the Candidature Committee.

1.13 Candidates who receive “unsatisfactory” for the assessable components of the Mid-Candidature Review or exceed the maximum times stipulated in clause 1.1 without an approved extension will be placed Under Review.

Approval Details

Procedure custodian:

Dean, Graduate Research

Approval authority:


Version no.:


Date for next review:

April 2020

Modification History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date




RD7003 assessed by GRS not CC.

Appeal of result to occur within college prior to submission of form to GRS.

Unsatisfactory leads to “Under Review”

No Merit Review.



RD7003 not signed off until Pre Completion Evaluation and 120 hours prof dev total required, but only for those enrolled from 1 Jan 2018. Change to appeal Procedure. Change to Under Review Clause.




Amended to incorporate masters changes


In 2021 the requirement for an “external presentation” is allowed to be any presentation deemed appropriate by the ADRE or nominee. (Some ADREs preferred to make this call themselves, while others wished to delegate this to Primary Advisors.)