3.10 Confirmation

3.10 Confirmation 

3.10.1 Provisions for confirmation applying to all doctoral students notified of their confirmation milestone by MIGR (now Monash Graduate Education) on or before 31 December 2014

All students are required to present their work in progress to a review panel and submit a confirmation report at the end of their probationary period. (Please refer to the Candidature Management Progress - Confirmation and Non-Confirmation Procedures). 

The purpose of the confirmation process is to:

  • provide objective confirmation that the research direction is sound, the methodologies are appropriate and the standard of writing is satisfactory;
  • allow students a platform on which to receive useful insights and feedback on their progress and research direction from a panel of experienced academics;
  • obtain independent advice in the refinement and development of the research question and methods;
  • provide a supportive environment to enhance presentation skills; and
  • identify and remedy any difficulties that may impede successful completion of the research project.

The student must demonstrate:

  • diligent and effective application to the research project;
  • initiative consistent with the requirements of the course;
  • satisfactory progress in the research project; 
  • satisfactory progress in the, practicum or performance components of the program, if applicable; and
  • satisfactory completion where applicable of all program requirements relevant to the milestone.

The Milestone Report Form (Monash only), a link to which is provided to students approximately eight weeks prior to the confirmation being due, will require students to describe the progress of their work and to note any problems or obstacles encountered.

In exceptional circumstances a student may be confirmed when a pre-confirmation research skills training or research coursework requirement has not been met, with the approval of the Program Director and the Graduate Research Committee.

3.10.1.1 Generic confirmation requirements

A minimum 20-minute oral presentation at a departmental seminar and/or viva voce is required. Members of the review panel should be in attendance. The oral presentation should explore the research undertaken to date and the anticipated future directions of the research program.

A progress report and publication list (if applicable) and where relevant, a copy of the relevant report from GRAMS, should be submitted by the student at least one week prior to the presentation. 

A suggested format for the report is as follows:

  • Title of research report/thesis
  • Statement of the research problem(s)
    1. Introduction
    2. research question or hypothesis
    3. subsidiary questions
    4. review of relevant research and theory
  • The procedure
    1. theoretical and conceptual framework
    2. analytical techniques and research design
  • Timetable for completing the research report/thesis and a detailed statement of progress to date
  • Brief bibliography
  • List of publications produced during probationary enrolment (if applicable).

The progress report should be a minimum of 1000 words but students should note that many faculties have their own specific requirements for confirmation. These are outlined in Appendix J.

Procedures for Confirmation, the role and composition of the review panel, together with appeal processes where non-confirmation is recommended, are documented in the Confirmation and Non-Confirmation Procedures. See also Section 2.11 in Chapter 2.

3.10.1.2 Outcomes of the confirmation process

Confirmation

After reviewing the oral presentation and the written submission, and progress on the student's completion, where relevant, of training activities via presentation of the relevant report from GRAMS, the review panel makes a recommendation in relation to the confirmation. There are four possible outcomes:

  • confirmation;
  • confirmation subject to minor amendments to the research proposal and/or satisfactory completion of any coursework and/or training requirements;
  • confirmation to be reviewed within 12 weeks (i.e. extension to probationary period); or
  • confirmation is not recommended.

Where the review panel recommends an extension to probationary enrolment, a list of achievable targets, relevant to the particular student's confirmation, must be set for the student. These targets must be met for enrolment to be confirmed.

Non-confirmation 

Where a probationary student does not meet the requirements for confirmation, the relevant faculty should make a recommendation for non-confirmation to the Graduate Research Committee. This recommendation should be accompanied by the review panel report, which identifies the tasks or targets that were set for the students for confirmation and the outcomes of the student's attempts to meet them. 

A decision of non-confirmation will only be made where due process for confirmation has been followed within the academic unit and faculty and the student concerned has been given an opportunity to present his/her case in an appropriate forum (see Confirmation and Non-Confirmation Procedures).

3.10.2 Provisions for confirmation applying to all doctoral students notified of their confirmation milestone by MIGR (now Monash Graduate Education) on or after 1 January 2015

Students are to refer to the Graduate Research Progress Management for details on the confirmation process.

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