Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Milestones

Milestone 1

Milestone 1 provides candidates with the opportunity to gain feedback on their proposed research project from members of their discipline group, School or Faculty and this process is designed to assist candidates to refine their research project and plan as well as to broaden their research support networks at Curtin.

On receipt of your official notification of enrolment, you will be considered a provisional candidate until your application for Milestone 1 is approved by your  Faculty’s Director of Graduate Research/AD, R&D and Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies (CMGS). CMGS will notify you once your Milestone 1 application has been approved.

Important note: Data collection (e.g. main lab experiments, surveys, questionnaires or interviews, etc.) must not be conducted by provisional candidates.

The following conditions are considered by the CMGS in reviewing you Milestone 1 application:

  1. Definition of an acceptable research program, including its objectives, methodology, facilities, resources and a time schedule for completion.
  2. Attainment of the necessary level of knowledge and skills to proceed with the proposed research program.
  3. Acceptance of the nominated Thesis Committee.
  4. Certification by the faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D that adequate facilities and resources are available for the proposed research programme.
  5. Appropriate identification of ethical issues for research involving animals; humans; ionising radiation; microwaves, lasers or ultraviolet light; or recombining of DNA.
  6. Completion of a Data Management Plan.
  7. Completion of any required coursework (if applicable).
  8. Successful completion of the Research Integrity Training.
  9. Successful completion of the Research Initiation Guide.

Timeframes

An application for Milestone 1 is required to be approved by the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies Committee within the following timeframes:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • Full-time: 6 months from enrolment in the thesis component.
  • Part-time: 12 months from enrolment in the thesis component.

Masters of Philosophy (MPhil)

  • Full-time: 3 months from enrolment in the thesis component.
  • Part-time: 6 months from enrolment in the thesis component.

Your Milestone 1 application must be assessed and approved by your Faculty prior to being sent to Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies Committee for assessment. We advise you to submit your application and all required documents to your Faculty for assessment well in advance of the due date.

Coursework

Where coursework is required, candidates are normally expected to complete the coursework component before submitting an application for candidacy.

Candidacy Status

If you fail to have your Milestone 1 application approved within the specified timeframes, it will result in your academic status being amended to Conditional. If enrolment conditions are still not met within the designated timeframe, your enrolment be cancelled.

Process and Submission of Documents

For Milestone 1 you will need to submit to your supervisor:

  1. Milestone 1 Candidacy Application form with the relevant sections completed.
  2. Research proposal, prepared as per the requirements set out in the Research Proposal Information Sheet.
  3. Turnitin originality report (≤ 30%) for your research proposal.
  4. Any relevant evidence that you have completed your Research Initiation Guide, Research Integrity Training and Data Management Plan.
  5. Any relevant evidence that you have completed any required coursework.

Oral Presentation

For Milestone 1 you will also need to prepare and present an oral presentation on your research proposal to your Faculty. Your faculty will arrange a time and venue for your presentation with the approval of the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies (CMGS) after you have submitted your application form and relevant attachments. The thesis committee needs to discuss the date and time, and the venue of the candidacy oral presentation with the internal assessors and AD, R&D.  Once they are decided, the main supervisor needs to contact the CMGS to get an approval from the Chair of Graduate Studies Committee to conduct the oral presentation. The approval will be based on

  • The assurance from the thesis committee that the research proposal is in an academically satisfactory state of iteration and is therefore ready for oral presentation; and
  • A confirmation that the thesis committee, internal assessors, and AD, R&D and/or Chair of Graduate Studies Committee are confirmed to attend the presentation; and
  • A confirmation that at least 50% of the members of academic staff of the host faculty/ department will be present; and
  • A suitable period of advertisement for the presentation, which is at least one week.

After the presentation is completed, the Associate Dean of R&D will need to send a list of attendance together with the signature of each participant in the form of hardcopy or softcopy to the CMGS (GradSchool@curtin.edu.my).

  • A list of attendance for academic staff
  • A list of attendance for HDR students

 

Turnitin

Turnitin is a text matching software that checks for originality in a document by comparing its passages against a database of sources. To access, Login to Student OASIS. Click on the link to Blackboard, go to the ‘My Units’ or ‘My Organisation’ section, and select the ‘Research Integrity – HDR’ training. From the left hand menu, select the heading ‘Originality Checking’. Full instructions are located in the ensuing screens.

Ethics and Safety Committee Approval

It is essential that you examine the ethics and safety guidelines related to your field of study to determine whether it’s necessary to seek approval from any University Ethics and/or Safety Committees. Curtin’s Research Integrity Office provides the following documents to assist you as a researcher:

Researcher Responsibility Factsheet

Do You Need Human Ethics Approval?

To determine whether your research requires approval you should use the Research Initiation Guide (RIG). Learn more the RIG.

Data Management Plan

You will need to create a plan for the management of the data you collect as part of your research, including data collection and storage. For further information see the Library’s Research Data Management webpage. The University provides the Research Data Management Planning Tool to assist you in creating your plan and accessing the University’s data storage facilities.

Data Storage

The Western Australian University Sector Disposal Authority (WAUSDA)  requires all data you have collected in your research to be retained for a minimum of seven years after the completion of the research or seven years after it is published, whichever is later. This means that you and your School must ensure secure storage of your data for this period.

Early Stage of Review Process

Before the review process and oral presentation are conducted, it is important for you to submit your research proposal to your supervisory team. Your supervisors should review and comment on the quality of your research proposal first. Only a high quality of research proposal is allowed to proceed to to internal assessment process and oral presentation.

Internal assessment

Your Milestone 1 application and research proposal will be reviewed by two assessors (one from outside of discipline group). These two assessors should be nominated by the thesis committee and the signed nomination forms must be submitted to Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies (CMGS) before the internal assessments are carried out. The supervisor, either the main supervisor or co-supervisor must submit the Application for Nomination of Assessor form to the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies (CMGS).

If the assessor unable to continue his/ her job as an assessor, the thesis committee is advised to nominate another assessor.

You will receive feedback on your written proposal and after you have received the assessor reports you should work with your thesis committee to address the comments and finalise your application. You are usually required to submit a document setting out how you have responded to assessors’ comments at the time when you submit your finalised application.

Review Process and Oral Presentation

Your milestone application, research proposal and oral presentation are reviewed by the Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D (or Delegate), two assessors (one from outside of discipline group) and the Thesis Committee. A meeting, chaired by the Faculty’s Dean of R&D (or Delegate) will be conducted after the presentation to discuss your performance.

You will receive feedback on your written proposal and oral presentation. Depending on the conventions in your discipline/ Faculty, the feedback on your written proposal and oral presentation might be combined. When you have received your feedback you should work with your supervisory team to address the comments and finalise your application. The Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D (or Delegate) will usually require students to submit a document setting out how they have responded to reviewer comments at the time that the submit their finalised application.

Once the review process has been completed in the Faculty, your application will be forwarded to the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies Committee (CMGSC). Based on the material submitted, the CMGSC will determine if you application for Milestone 1 is accepted or rejected.

The Graduate Research School (Perth)/CMGS (Miri) will inform you of the CMGSC’s decision.

If your application for a milestone is rejected, your enrolment status will be classified as conditional. You will be advised of the conditions of your continued enrolment by the Graduate Research School (Perth)/CMGS (Miri). The conditions will be designed by the Thesis Committee and the Faculty Associate Dean of R&D (or Delegate) to assist you to achieve satisfactory progress (Good Standing).

Summary

  • The Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D (or Delegate), two assessors (one from outside of discipline group) and the Thesis Committee review written proposal and oral presentation.
  • Student is given the opportunity to review proposal after receiving feedback.
  • The Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D (or Delegate) makes recommendation to the Curtin Malaysia Graduate School Committee (CMGSC).
  • The CMGSC reviews documents and makes final recommendation.
  • The Graduate Research School (Perth)/CMGS (Miri) will inform you on the CMGSC’s decision.
Milestone 2

Milestone 2 provides students with the opportunity to reflect on the progress made in their research project and finalise a strategy for the timely completion and dissemination of research findings.

The following conditions are considered by the Enroling Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D (or Delegate) in reviewing your Milestone 2 application:

  1. Satisfactory progress in your research program, including the timely completion of any confirmation tasks set out in your Milestone 1 application.
  2. Attainment of the necessary level of knowledge and skills to proceed with the proposed research program.
  3. The availability of adequate facilities and resources to support the continuation of your research programme.

Timeframes

An application for Milestone 2 is required to be approved by the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies Committee within the following timeframes:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • Full-time: 18 months from enrolment in the thesis component.
  • Part-time: 36 months from enrolment in the thesis component.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

  • Full-time: 12 months from enrolment in the thesis component.
  • Part-time: 24 months from enrolment in the thesis component.

Candidacy Status

Your Milestone 2 application must be assessed and approved by the thesis committee, two internal assessors and the faculty. Therefore, we advise you to submit your application and all required documents to your thesis committee for assessment well in advance of the due date.

If you fail have your Milestone 2 application approved within the specified timeframes, it will result in your academic status being amended to Conditional.

Process and Submission of Documents

For Milestone 2, you will need to submit to your thesis committee:

  1. Milestone 2  application form with the relevant sections completed.
  2. A sample of your written work completed as part of your HDR studies. This must be a minimum of 3000 words and cannot be your research proposal. It can take the form of a draft thesis chapter, a draft or published journal article, a research report or another appropriate format.
  3. Turnitin originality report (≤ 30%) for your sample of written work (this is not required if you are submitting a published paper).
  4. A completion and dissemination plan. This should include details of how you will disseminate the results of your HDR study. You may wish to use the template that is within the Milestone 2 form itself or provide your own format.

Oral Presentation

For Milestone 2 you will also need to prepare and present an oral presentation on your research progress to your Faculty. Your faculty will arrange a time and venue for your presentation with the approval of the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies (CMGS) after you have submitted your application form and relevant attachments. The thesis committee needs to discuss the date and time, and the venue of the candidacy oral presentation with the internal assessors and AD, R&D.  Once they are decided, the main supervisor needs to contact the CMGS to get an approval from the Chair of Graduate Studies Committee to conduct the oral presentation. The approval will be based on

  • The assurance from the thesis committee that the progress report is in an academically satisfactory state of iteration and is therefore ready for oral presentation; and
  • A confirmation that the thesis committee, internal assessors, and AD, R&D and/or Chair of Graduate Studies Committee are confirmed to attend the presentation; and
  • A confirmation that at least 50% of the members of academic staff of the host faculty/ department will be present; and
  • A suitable period of advertisement for the presentation, which is at least one week.

After the presentation is completed, the Associate Dean of R&D will need to send a list of attendance together with the signature of each participant in the form of hardcopy or softcopy to the CMGS (email to GradSchool@curtin.edu.my).

  • A list of attendance for academic staff
  • A list of attendance for HDR students

Early Stage of Review Process

Before the internal assessments and oral presentation are conducted, it is important for you to submit your Milestone 2 application, sample of written work and dissemination plan to your thesis committee. Your thesis committee should review and comment on these documentations first. Only a high quality of written work and good dissemination plan are allowed to proceed to review process and oral presentation.

Internal assessment

Your Milestone 2 application, sample of written work (progress report) and dissemination plan will be reviewed by two assessors (one from outside of discipline group). If these assessors have been nominated before (also evaluating Milestone 1), then the thesis committee needs not to re-nominate them. However, if these two assessors have not been officially nominated previously, then the thesis committee should nominate them by submitting the signed nomination forms to Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies (CMGS) before the internal assessments are carried out.

If the assessor unable to continue his/ her job as an assessor, the thesis committee is advised to nominate another assessor.

You will receive feedback on your report and after you have received the assessor reports you should work with your thesis committee to address the comments and finalise your application. You are usually required to submit a document setting out how you have responded to assessors’ comments at the time when you submit your finalised application.

Review Process and Oral Presentation

During the oral presentation, additional feedback from the internal assessors and other attendees may be given to the research progress report (sample of written work). A meeting, chaired by AD, R&D and attended by the thesis committee, internal assessors and Chair of Graduate Studies Committee, will then be conducted after the presentation to discuss your performance and outline recommendations to your progress report and the next research works. Afterward, your thesis committee will work closely with you to make any necessary amendments and prepare a final progress report to be submitted to AD, R&D. AD, R&D will then do a final review and submit this report, relevant documentations and lists of staff and HDR student oral presentation attendances to the CMGS.

Once the internal assessment and oral presentation have been carried out and the sample of written work has been amended based on the assessors’ comments and feedback during the oral presentation, your final progress report will be forwarded to CMGS after approved by the thesis committee and Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D. Based on the documents submitted, the CMGS will determine whether your application for Milestone 2 is accepted or rejected and recommend the decision to the Graduate Research School in the main campus (GRS). GRS/CMGS will inform you of the CMGS’s decision.

If your application for Milestone 2 is rejected, your academic status will be classified as conditional. You will be advised of the conditions of your continued enrolment by the Graduate Research School (Perth). The conditions will be designed by the Thesis Committee and the Faculty Associate Dean of R&D (or Delegate) to assist you to achieve satisfactory progress (Good Standing).

Summary

  • The Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D (or Delegate), two assessors (one from outside of discipline group) and the Thesis Committee review written work, completion and dissemination plan and oral presentation.
  • Student is given the opportunity to review application materials after receiving feedback.
  • The Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D (or Delegate) makes recommendation to CMGS and CMGS will forward a final recommendation to the Graduate Research School (Perth).
  • The Graduate Research School (Perth)/CMGS (Miri) advises you on the outcome.

Information Sheets and Forms

Milestone 2 Preparation Seminar

The Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies (CMGS) and and Faculties will organise a series of seminars from time to time. All announcements usually will be made via email. Please check your student’s email regularly. You can also request more information from the CMGS (Chair of Graduate Committee or HDR Admin officer) and the Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D.

Turnitin

Turnitin is a text matching software that checks for originality in a document by comparing its passages against a database of sources. To access, Login to Student OASIS. Click on the link to Blackboard, go to the ‘My Units’ or ‘My Organisation’ section, and select the ‘Research Integrity – HDR’ training. From the left hand menu, select the heading ‘Originality Checking’. Full instructions are located in the ensuing screens..

Milestone 3

Milestone 3 provides you with the opportunity to present your research findings as you near the completion of your degree. It enables you to demonstrate the progress you have made and to outline the contribution your work has made to the field of research.

The following conditions are considered by the Enroling Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D (or Delegate) in reviewing your Milestone 3 application:

  • Satisfactory progress in your research programme.
  • Attainment of the necessary level of knowledge and skills to proceed with the proposed research program.

Timeframes

An application for Milestone 3 is required to be approved by the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies Committee within the following timeframes:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • Full-time candidates – 3 months prior to your completion date.
  • Part-time candidates – 6 months prior to your completion date.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

  • Full-time candidates – 2 months prior to your completion date.
  • Part-time candidates – 4 months prior to your completion date.

If you fail getting your Milestone 3 application approved within the specified timeframes, it will result in your academic status being amended to Conditional.

Process and Submission of Documents

For Milestone 3, you will need to submit to your thesis committee:

Milestone 3 Application Form with the relevant sections completed.
• A complete thesis.
• Turnitin originality report (≤ 30%) for your thesis.

Oral Presentation

For Milestone 3 you will also need to prepare and present an oral presentation on your research findings to your Faculty. Your faculty will arrange a time and venue for your presentation with the approval of the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies (CMGS) after you have submitted your application form and relevant attachments. The thesis committee needs to discuss the date and the venue of the candidacy oral presentation with the internal assessors and AD, R&D. Once they are decided, the main supervisor needs to contact the CMGS to get an approval from the Chair of Graduate Studies Committee to conduct the oral presentation. The approval will be based on

  1. The assurance from the thesis committee that the thesis is in an academically satisfactory state of iteration and is therefore ready for oral presentation; and
  2. A confirmation that the thesis committee, internal assessors, and AD, R&D and/or Chair of Graduate Studies Committee are confirmed to attend the presentation; and
  3. A confirmation that at least 50% of the members of academic staff of the host faculty/ department will be present; and
  4. A suitable period of advertisement for the presentation, which is at least one week.

After the presentation is completed, the Associate Dean of R&D will need to send a list of attendance together with the signature of each participant in the form of hardcopy or softcopy to the CMGS (email to GradSchool@curtin.edu.my).

  • A list of attendance for academic staff
  • A list of attendance for HDR students

Early Stage of Review Process

Before the internal assessments and oral presentation are conducted, it is important for you to submit your Milestone 3 application and your thesis to your thesis committee. Your thesis committee should review and comment on these documentations first. Only a high quality of thesis is allowed to proceed to review process and oral presentation.

Internal Assessment

Your Milestone 3 application and thesis will be reviewed by two assessors (one from outside of discipline group). If these assessors have been nominated before (also evaluating Milestone 1 and/or Milestone 2), then the thesis committee needs not to re-nominate them. However, if these two assessors have not been officially nominated previously, then the thesis committee should nominate them by submitting the signed nomination forms to Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies (CMGS) for an approval before the internal assessments are carried out.
If the assessor unable to continue his/ her job as an assessor, the thesis committee is advised to nominate another assessor.
You will receive feedback on your written proposal and after you have received the assessor reports you should work with your thesis committee to address the comments and finalise your application. You are usually required to submit a document setting out how you have responded to assessors’ comments at the time when you submit your finalised application.

The supervisor, either the main supervisor or co-supervisor must submit the Application for Nomination of Assessor form to the Curtin Malaysia Graduate Studies (CMGS).

Review Process and Oral Presentation

During the oral presentation, additional feedback from the internal assessors and other attendees may be given to the thesis. A meeting, chaired by AD, R&D and attended by the thesis committee, internal assessors and Chair of Graduate Studies Committee, will then be conducted after the presentation to discuss your performance and outline recommendations to your thesis. Afterward, your thesis committee will work closely with you to make any necessary amendments and prepare a final thesis to be submitted to AD, R&D. AD, R&D will then submit this thesis, relevant documentations and lists of staff and HDR student oral presentation attendances to the CMGS.

Once the internal assessment and oral presentation have been carried out and the thesis has been amended based on the assessors’ comments and feedback during the oral presentation, your final thesis will be forwarded to CMGS after approved by the thesis committee and Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D. Based on the documents submitted, the CMGS will determine whether your application for Milestone 3 is accepted or rejected and recommend the decision to the Graduate Research School in the main campus (GRS). GRS will inform you of the CMGS’s decision.
If your application for Milestone 3 is rejected, your academic status will be classified as conditional. You will be advised of the conditions of your continued enrolment by the Graduate Research School (Perth). The conditions will be designed by the Thesis Committee and the Faculty Associate Dean of R&D (or Delegate) to assist you to achieve satisfactory progress (Good Standing).

Summary

  • The Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D (or Delegate), two assessors (one from outside of discipline group) and the Thesis Committee review the thesis and oral presentation.
  • Student is given the opportunity to review application materials after receiving feedback.
  • The Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D (or Delegate) makes recommendation to CMGS and CMGS will forward a final recommendation to the Graduate Research School (Perth).
  • The Graduate Research School (Perth)/CMGS (Miri) advises you on the outcome.
More Information

The purpose of Higher Degree by research (HDR) Student Progression Policy is to provide a framework for managing the progress of higher degree by research (HDR) students at Curtin University.

For more information, please view the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student Progression Policy.

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates will complete milestone reviews in accordance with the timeframes.

For more information, please view the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student Progression Procedures.

For Curtin Malaysia based HDR students, Milestone documentation checklists can be found below.

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