Faculty of Arts guidelines for doctoral candidates and review panel members
A pre-submission seminar is required for all doctoral candidates who commenced their candidature from 1 January 2010 including:
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
- Doctor of Philosophy (Creative writing)
- Doctor of Philosophy (Music Composition)
- Doctor of Philosophy (Music Performance)
- Doctor of Philosophy (Theatre Performance)
Candidates pursuing a doctorate under the following arrangements are EXEMPT from this requirement:
- Staff PhD
- dual-award or cotutelle programs
The purpose of the pre-submission seminar is to:
- ensure that the candidate has conducted high quality, independent research;
- verify that the candidate understands and can effectively present the research they have conducted;
- provide constructive feedback from experienced and informed researchers on the near-finished research project;
- provide advice to assist the candidate prepare their thesis for submission;
- further develop the candidate’s skills in presenting arguments clearly and effectively.
The pre-submission seminar should take place no more than 6 months (full-time equivalent) prior to submission of the thesis for examination.
The candidate’s academic unit must make arrangements for the candidate to make a public presentation at a departmental seminar and/or viva voce. Most departments and schools run regular research seminar programs or presentation opportunities for their students and/or staff and it is recommended that these events are considered an appropriate forum for the pre-submission seminars.
Each candidate is required to present a public seminar to a critical audience which provides a summary of his/her thesis structure and findings and describes, in greater detail, at least one element of his/her research. The presentation must be attended by the review panel (see below), will normally be followed by time for questions from the broad audience and then feedback from the review panel in closed session.
A thesis summary and chapter outline is also required and must be made available for distribution to the review panel at least one week prior to the scheduled seminar. The thesis summary should provide a brief overview of the research project and the main findings as well as a more detailed explanation of the element of the research presented at the seminar. The written paper should not exceed 3000 words unless otherwise specified by the relevant academic unit.
The review panel
Composition of the review panel:
The review panel must comprise at least three members and include the main supervisor and another staff member with experience in research training. The convenor of the panel should be a senior member of Monash academic staff (but not a supervisor of the candidate) who has extensive experience in supervising doctoral candidates. This will normally be the School Graduate Coordinator or nominee.
Panel members should be at least broadly knowledgeable about the field of research but are not required to be expert in the topic or to have read a full draft of the thesis. Academic units are encouraged to consider the inclusion of external members on the pre-submission seminar review panels. These may be drawn from other academic units of Monash University or any other suitable tertiary institution or research organisation.
Whilst it is preferable that the same review panel oversees the three milestone events for each candidature, ie confirmation of candidature, mid-candidature review and pre-submission seminar, it is acknowledged that this may be difficult to achieve. It is recommended that one member from a previous panel, other than the supervisor, should be involved with subsequent events.
Role of the review panel:
The review panel’s role is to provide general feedback on the material presented to them. The panel must discuss both the written submission and oral presentation with the candidate and provide critical feedback to the candidate on the strengths and weaknesses of the work presented and the delivery of the presentation. The panel should also make any appropriate recommendations to assist the preparation of the thesis for submission and the candidate should be encouraged to consider incorporating these recommendations into their thesis.
The convenor of the panel is required to complete a short pre-submission seminar report which must be provided to the candidate as soon as possible following the seminar. The candidate must be given the opportunity to discuss this report with the convenor if they so wish.
The report must be kept on record within the academic unit and also submitted to the Arts Research Graduate School in order for the milestone to be recorded on the candidate’s record.
Panel report form [DOC]