HDR Progress Support Procedure


To support and manage the progress of a Higher Degree by Research Candidate whose current performance is of concern with a view to rectifying the problem in a manner that is constructive and transparent.

Under Review normally follows a period of Progress Support where progress concerns are not resolved.

This Procedure addresses the Unsatisfactory Progress section of the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Requirements.


This Procedure applies to candidates for the research higher degrees offered by the University and to staff involved in supervision, administration and management of HDR candidates.


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. Progress Support requires the advisory panel to work with the candidate to determine a course of action, with specific conditions or outcomes to be achieved over a period of up to three months.
  2. One additional periods of Progress Support may be undertaken during the candidature
  3. Progress Support is documented by the ADRE via the Progress Support Form which is in three parts: Activation, Progress Management Plan, and Review.
  4. Progress Support requests may be initiated by an ADRE, a member of the advisory panel, a candidate , or the GRS at any time after enrolment and prior to conferral.
  5. The Progress Support Decision Tree should be consulted to determine whether this Procedure or the Under Review Procedure should be activated.
  6. Progress Support may be activated for reasons including, but not limited to:
    1. challenges affecting progress are identified by a candidate or their advisors
    2. a milestone is overdue without an approved extension for the first time in the candidature
    3. a progress report records an outcome of ‘Progress Requires Review’ for the first time in the candidature
    4. an outcome of ‘conceded pass’ is recorded
    5. a candidate regularly fails to attend scheduled meetings or adequately attend to research requirements of their advisory panel over a period up to 3 months
  7. The  Advisory Panel, the Candidate and others as relevant must meet to discuss the reasons for the activation of Progress Support as well as the strategies for overcoming concerns for all parties involved.
  8. A Progress Management Plan must be developed and agreed by the Candidate and the Advisory Panel within fifteen (15) University working days of activation of Progress Support. The plan should be documented in the Progress Management Plan section of the Progress Support Form.
  9. Failure to develop an approved Progress Management Plan within the stipulated time may result in the candidate being placed Under Review.
  10. At the end of each period of Progress Support, the advisory panel and the candidate must meet to assess the Candidate’s progress in relation to the agreed conditions and record their assessment of the Candidate’s progress in the Review section of the Progress Support Form.
  11. The ADRE (or nominee) must make one of the following determinations:
    1. that the Candidate has met the conditions in their Progress Management Plan and the candidature be continued
    2. that the Candidate has partially met the conditions in their Progress Management Plan and the candidate either undertakes a further period of Progress Support or is placed Under Review
    3. that the Candidate has failed to meet the conditions in their Progress Management Plan and that the candidature be placed Under Review in accordance with the HDR Under Review Procedure.
  12. On completion of the process, the Progress Support form should be forwarded to the Graduate Research School for noting.
  13. A Candidate who has been placed on Progress Support will remain enrolled and is subject to all conditions and policies applicable to an enrolled student, including continued receipt of any stipend of fee-offset scholarships that have been awarded, and liability for all tuition and other fees required by the University.

Procedure custodian:

Dean, Graduate Research

Approval authority:


Version no.:


Date for next review:

January 2023

Modification History

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Approval date

Implementation date