Chapter 4: Enrolment and confirmation of candidature
4.6 Confirmation of PhD Candidature
All PhD candidates in the Faculty of Arts are admitted on a probationary basis. Confirmation of candidature is subject to a confirmation process, which will normally take place after 9 to 12 months of full-time study or after 18 months to 24 months of part-time study. In the case where a candidate has made exceptional progress, confirmation of candidature can take place after 6 months of full-time or 12 months of part-time candidature.
Prior to going for a study away (fieldwork or conference attendance exceeding 3 weeks period), candidates must have completed their confirmation of candidature satisfactorily. Special permission may be granted on a case by case basis.
Candidature will be confirmed subject to receipt of a satisfactory report of the candidate's research progress at the end of the probationary period. The School submits to the Arts Research Graduate School the 'Confirmation of Doctoral/M Phil Candidature or Upgrade From Masters to Doctoral Candidature' as evidence of satisfactory progress. Once ratified by the Faculty the form is forwarded to the Research Graduate School Committee. The form contains the confirmation guidelines, and is available at: www.mrgs.monash.edu.au/research/students/confirmation.html.
The members of a confirmation panel is comprised of:
- Graduate co-ordinator or nominee (convenor); the nominee must be a faculty-approved mentor
- Candidate's supervisor or supervisors
- One other member of academic staff conversant with the general area of research, but not directly involved with the candidate's specific project (this third member may be drawn either from within the School/Faculty, or from outside of it), and
- A PhD research candidate advanced in candidature (not compulsory).
- In addition to the Graduate Coordinator at least one member of the panel must be a fully accredited supervisor
- At least one other member other than the supervisor must be an expert in the area
- It is recommended that a person from another discipline be invited to sit on the panel
- PhD panels should be advertised internally and be open to any interested staff and students
The panel bases its decision on:
- The candidate's oral presentation
- The candidate's written submission (7 000 to 10 000 words) and a timetable for the completion of the research degree.
The candidate's oral presentation may be made either before or after the written statement is submitted. The oral presentation will usually be in the form of a departmental seminar (attended by the panel), open to the public but the panel may accept an alternative format such as an in-depth interview if circumstances warrant.
- The submission document demonstrates the investment of a full year's work. Whereas the candidate's initial application would normally state the proposed field of study in general terms, the requirements of this submission include a definition of focus, explanations of methods, and clarification of the limits of the research project, together with a statement placing the work in the context of the scholarly literature. The submission may be supported by any written work that the candidate, in consultation with the supervisors, feel would reinforce the case. A bibliography of works consulted to date should be supplied. Due attention is paid to clarity, readability and presentation. The document need not be lengthy, and conciseness is a favoured property. Candidates are reminded that the dual aim is to gain approval from senior School staff and from the Associate Dean (Graduate Research).
- After the candidate has made an oral presentation and submitted the written statement, the panel meets to consider its recommendation. In normal cases, the panel's recommendation will be made known to the candidate within one month.
4.6.1 PhD Mid-Candidature Review
All PhD candidates enrolled from 1 January 2007 will be required to undertake the Mid-Candidature Review in the period between 2 to 2.5 years of full-time enrolment (4-5 years of part-time enrolment).
The main purpose of the Mid-Candidature Review is to focus attention on progress towards completion of the PhD.
For requirements and guidelines of the Mid-Candidature Review, visit the link.