Throughout the lifecycle of a Higher Degree by Research (HDR), students (pre-candidature) and candidates are periodically reviewed by an independent panel to demonstrate to the University that high quality research is being undertaken and in a timely manner.

This page provides all the necessary information and forms to help prepare for a candidature milestone review.

Timelines for Candidature

It is the student/candidate’s responsibility to be aware of their timelines and discuss this with supervisors in advance of a due date.

The timelines for each review are:

  • Doctor of Philosophy: 6–9 months EFT - PhD
  • PhD Integrated or Professional Doctorates: 1.25–1.5 years EFT
  • Masters (all): 6 months EFT.

  • Doctor of Philosophy only: 2 years EFT.

  • Doctorates: 3 years EFT
  • Masters by Research & Master of Applied Research: 1.5 years EFT
  • Master of Research: 1.25 years EFT.

Attend a candidature milestone presentation

Support your fellow graduate researchers as they progress through their research degrees by attending an upcoming presentation.

Download the latest presentation schedule.


Guidelines (All Candidature Milestones)

This set of Guidelines has been developed to assist research students/candidates, supervisors and professional staff engaging in the Confirmation of Candidature, Mid-Candidature and Towards Submission Milestone processes at Victoria University.

See Candidature Milestone Review guidelines for more information.


Schedule a review: Composition of Panel

To schedule your milestone review, please liaise with your supervisor to finalise a date and time. The Principal Supervisor is responsible for organising the Panel, including the Chair.

Contact the Candidature Team to obtain a current list of approved Panel Chairs.

Refer to Candidature Milestone Review guidelines for the panel composition criteria.

The Composition of Panel online application form must be submitted no later than 20 business days prior to the presentation date.

If the preference is for an on-campus face-to-face presentation, the meeting room booking is the responsibility of the Principal Supervisor.

A Zoom/Outlook invitation will be issued by the Candidature Team following panel approval (Zoom is the preferred option for presentations).

Contact [email protected] if you require assistance completing the online panel application form.


All candidates have access to their Candidature and Professional Development funds after achieving Confirmation of Candidature.

These are two separate funds and should be itemised as such.

Refer to the budget guide (see below) that correlates to your initial commencing enrolment date:

The budget template form can be attached as an appendix item in your candidature proposal, or as a separate document:

The Research Institutes handles all budget related enquiries.  If you have a question regarding your budget, accessing funds, or travel and conference registration, please email:

Forms & submission requirements

Refer to the following requirements, before you make a submission:

Confirmation of Candidature is the first major milestone review undertaken after enrolling into a HDR degree. This is the pre-candidature phase of research and therefore only provisionally approved until candidature has been achieved.

To help prepare for the first candidature milestone, please use the VU HDR MyPlan Confirmation of Candidature Self-Assessment Tool in consultation with your supervisor (not required for submission)

The following documents are required 14 days prior the scheduled presentation date:

The Mid-Candidature Review is the second milestone Doctor of Philosophy candidates will undertake in their Higher Degree by Research (HDR) enrolment.

Refer to the Candidature Milestone Guidelines for documents required for submission (see Appendix E Checklist for Submission of Documents).

Application forms include:

The Towards Submission Review is the final milestone undertaken in a Higher Degree by Research degree.

A thesis won’t be accepted for examination until the Towards Submission Review has been achieved. Late submission extensions are also considered at this review.

Candidates and the supervisory team will be notified by the Graduate Research School when to schedule your presentation for this milestone.

Refer to the Candidature Milestone Guidelines for documents required for submission (see Appendix E Checklist for Submission of Documents).

All candidates are required to check the originality of their thesis with the with the Ouriginal (Originality Check) software. This will help to avoid missed citations or accidental plagiarism.

Refer to the guide to using Ouriginal.

 Research Ambassadors can also provide you with support for Urkund.


Your pre-candidature may be extended for a defined period up to a maximum of 12 months (EFT) from the commencement of your pre-candidature phase. To obtain an extension you must have experienced unanticipated difficulties during the pre-candidature period as a result of one or more of the following:

  • disruption to supervision
  • change in focus and direction of the proposed project
  • revision required in the review process leading up to presentation for candidature
  • difficulties in scheduling of candidature confirmation deliberations and/or in convening a suitable confirmation panel
  • documented personal illness or other serious personal difficulties
  • other unforeseen disruptions beyond your control that have directly impacted on your capacity to prepare for candidature.

Complete an application for extension form.

If you need to extend your pre-candidature, please contact the Graduate Research School within six months (effective full-time) of the commencement of your pre-candidature.

Contact us

If you require further information, please email [email protected].