Policy Academic Governance HDR Confirmation of Candidature Procedure

HDR Confirmation of Candidature Procedure

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This procedure has been developed to outline the steps required to undertake the Confirmation of Candidature Milestone.

This procedure addresses HESF Standards 4.2: Research Training.


This procedure applies to candidates for the Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) offered by the University, and associated staff involved in the procedure.


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.

Expert Reviewer - a person external to JCU who is an expert in the area of the proposed research, who at a minimum has published in the area of the proposed research.


1. HDR candidates must aim to have their candidature confirmed when they have consumed 0.5 EFTSL (6 months full time equivalent).  HDR candidates may be granted an extension of a further 0.5 EFTSL (PhD) or 0.33 EFTSL (Masters) where they can demonstrate they are experiencing special circumstances by Variation of Candidature Form.

2. Successful completion of the Confirmation of Candidature milestone requires the candidate has successfully completed all relevant Professional Development requirements as identified on the Graduate Research School (GRS) website. The GRS may be contacted to confirm that all requirements have been met.

3. Once the approximate date of the seminar is known, the HDR candidate, through their Primary Advisor, is required to request the College Academic Services Officer to organise a seminar and post-seminar meeting of the Candidature Committee.

4. The candidate must prepare the following and submit to their Advisory Panel six weeks prior to the seminar:

4.1 ‘Planning the Research’ subject (RD7001/RM7001)  – a completed COC-Proposal Template, which is a detailed research proposal.

4.2 ‘Situating the Research’ subject (RD7002/RM7002) – a completed a literature review of some or all of the proposed topic of the research or other synthesis consistent with the subject outline.

4.3 Completed candidate section of the COC-Assessment Form.

4.4 Seminar Presentation – a seminar on the research proposal, the assessment of which is recorded on the COC-Assessment Form. This presentation must be public for doctoral candidates.

5. Between five and six weeks prior to the seminar, the Primary Advisor must send the written proposal to an Expert Review to review the proposal using the COC -Expert Reviewer Assessment form.  A link to the Expert Reviewer’s research profile should be provided to the Candidature Committee and Associate Dean of Research Education. Note: For Master of Philosophy candidates, expert review is not required.

6. Three weeks prior to the seminar the HDR candidate should amend the research proposal and seminar presentation in accordance with the Expert Reviewer’s report and complete the Candidate’s Response to Expert Reviewer section of the COC-Proposal Template and submit to their Advisory Panel.

7. At least one week prior to the seminar, the Advisory Panel must undertake the assessment of the COC-Proposal Template and Literature Review using the COC-Assessment Form which must be brought by the Advisory Panel to the seminar.

8. The seminar must be delivered in person or via live-feed 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 detail the research proposal and should be no longer than 30 minutes, excluding questions.

9. After the seminar, the Candidature Committee must meet to complete COC-Assessment Form and advise the HDR candidate of the recommendation of the Confirmation of Candidature Milestone. The Candidature Committee may recommend that the Confirmation of Candidature milestone be passed or failed.

10. A recommendation will be made by the Chair of the Candidature Committee and, in the case of doctoral candidates, the Independent Academic (doctoral candidates only). The Advisors and the HDR candidate should not be present when this decision is made.

11. The signatures of the HDR candidate and the Advisors must be obtained subsequent to the decision having been explained to them, in acknowledgement that they have been advised of the recommendation.

12. Once the review is received, the HDR candidate must revise their proposal in accordance with the feedback and record the amendments on COC-Proposal Template.

13. Once finalised, the COC-Assessment Form must be returned to the College Academic Services Officer by the final signatory.

14. The Dean, Graduate Research will approve the final recommendation of the Confirmation of Candidature Milestone.

15. The GRS will communicate the Dean’s approved course of action to the HDR candidate and the Candidature Committee. Failing one or both of RD7001/RM7001 and RD7002/RM7002 as part of this procedure constitutes an overall fail.

16. A candidate who fails the Confirmation of Candidature milestone, or exceeds the maximum times stipulated in this procedure without an approved extension will be subject to the Progress Support Strategy.

17. A candidate is allowed one reattempt of the Confirmation of Candidature milestone. If the candidate fails the second attempt of the Confirmation of Candidature milestone their candidature will be discontinued in accordance with the HDR Discontinuation of Candidature Procedure.

18. A candidate who wishes to request a review of the recommendation of their Confirmation of Candidature, may do so as per the Student Review and Appeal Policy and Procedures.

Related policy instruments

HDR Requirements

HDR Progress Support Procedure

HDR Discontinuation of Candidature Procedure

Student Review and Appeal Policy and Procedures

RD7001 Subject Outline

RM7001 Subject Outline

RD7002 Subject Outline

RM7002 Subject Outline

COC-Proposal Template

COC-Expert Reviewer form

COC-Assessment Form

Variation of Candidature Form




NOTE:  Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainAcademic Governance

Policy Sub-domain

Research Education

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date





Procedure established

Manager, Graduate Research School


Confirmation of Candidature

Contact person

Dean, Graduate Research