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Higher Degree by Research Candidature Progression Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Policy describes the UQ-wide system of progression for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates and should be read in conjunction with Higher Degree by Research Candidature Progression Procedure.

(2) This Policy applies to all HDR candidates enrolled at The University of Queensland.

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Section 2 - Principles and Key Requirements

Policy Statement

(3) Candidature progression is monitored through Progress Reviews. Progress Reviews are important elements of the research training provided to and undertaken by HDR candidates and are mandatory for all HDR candidates.

(4) In some instances, external funding bodies may have additional expectations for reporting progress as a condition of funding or sponsorship. UQ is mindful of the nature and importance of its research training partnerships. Consequently, UQ will work collaboratively with those sponsorship bodies to achieve an outcome acceptable to both parties.

Milestone Structure and Timing

(5) Completing each Progress Review plays an important role in:

  1. the academic development and progress of the candidate;
  2. resources allocation (including advisory commitments) for the Academic Organisational Unit (AOU); and
  3. quality assurance for UQ.

(6) Further details describing the timing and expectations for successfully completing each Progress Review can be found in the accompanying document Higher Degree by Research Candidature Progression Procedure.

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Section 3 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Dean, Graduate School

(7) The Dean, Graduate School (or their delegate) approves specifications for the Progress Review requirements at each AOU and ensures this information is visible to all HDR candidates.

Director of HDR

(8) The Director of HDR is appointed by the Head of the Academic Organisational Unit and the Dean, Graduate School to provide academic oversight of HDR candidates within the Unit.

Principal Advisors

(9) Principal Advisors are approved UQ staff members that take primary academic responsibility for the candidate during their candidature.

(10) The detailed academic role, accountabilities and eligibility for Principal Advisors are specified in the Eligibility and Role of Higher Degree by Research Advisors Policy.


(11) Advisors are suitably qualified persons who provide expertise related to the candidate’s research and are available to provide advice throughout candidature.

(12) The detailed academic role, accountabilities and eligibility for advisors are specified in the Eligibility and Role of Higher Degree by Research Advisors Policy.

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Section 4 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(13) Review of, and compliance with, this Policy is overseen by the Dean, Graduate School, and the Academic Board's Higher Degree by Research Committee.

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Section 5 - Recording and Reporting

(14) All candidature and progression transactions and activities are recorded within UQ’s student system.

(15) All student records including final outcome, applications and University decisions are filed in the candidate’s personal record in UQ’s digital student record system.

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Section 6 - Appendix

Definitions, Terms, and Acronyms

Term Definition
AQF Australian Qualifications Framework
Dean Dean of the Graduate School or delegate
Director of HDR Director of Higher Degree Research
AOU An Academic Organisational Unit that directly enrols HDR candidates
FTE Full-time equivalent enrolment
Head of AOU Means the Head of School, Institute Director, or Executive Dean at a UQ School, Institute or Faculty.
HDR Higher Degree by Research
MPhil Master of Philosophy
PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Professional Doctorate (Research) (PDRes) A professional doctorate administered by the UQ Graduate School where at least two thirds of the program is research at AQF level 10.