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Confirmation of candidature

The purpose of the confirmation of candidature is to

  • provide objective confirmation that the research direction is sound, the methodologies are appropriate, and the standard of writing is satisfactory
  • grant candidates an opportunity to receive useful advice on their research questions,  methods, and progress from a panel of experienced academics
  • identify and address complications that may impede successful completion of the research project
  • assess whether the candidature should continue
Milestone due dates

To receive Confirmation of Candidature, candidates must complete three tasks by the dates specified in the following table.  Note that

  • candidates are granted twice the time for every month they are enrolled part-time
  • candidates must complete HDR 50 to seek an extension on these tasks
  • this document specifies the possible justifications to seek extensions


  Masters by Research PhD
Supervision agreement--with form HDR14 2 months 2 months
Research proposal--with form HDR13 4 months 6 months
Oral presentation--with form HDR16 Within a 4 weeks after the proposal Within a 4 weeks after the proposal


Supervision agreement

The Supervision Agreement helps candidates and their supervisors define the boundaries of their working relationship and outlines the roles and expectations of the candidate, the principal supervisor, and the associate supervisors. For suggested clauses to be inserted in the Supervision Agreement please refer here.  Within two months of commencement

  • submit the HDR14 Supervisor Agreement Form to the College or School HDR Administration office to organise the approval of the Dean, Director, or delegate
  • the College or School HDR Administration office will then submit this form to the Office of Research and Innovation Office: 


Research proposal

Within 6 months of commencement if enrolled in a PhD full time or 4 months of commencement if enrolled in a Master by Research full time

  • candidates must submit a research proposal and HDR13 to the College or School HDR Administration
  • once approved by the College Dean, Director, or delegate, the College or School will submit this work to ORI at

For more information on how to write your Research Proposal, please refer to documents located here

Oral presentation

Within four weeks of submitting the research proposal, candidates should complete an oral presentation.  The audience will usually comprise

  • a panel of three academics to evaluate progress using form HDR16
  • the supervisors
  • other people the candidate invites

As a guide, we recommend that

  • PhD presentations should last 30 to 45 mins plus question time
  • Masters by Research presentations should last 20 to 30 mins plus question time
  • topics should include an overview, literature review, methods, timeline, and risks as well as other sections depending on the purpose of your presentation

For more information on presenting, please refer to documents located here


Preparation before the oral presentation

Step 1: Your principal supervisor should nominate 3 panel members to assess the confirmation

Step 2: Nominate a day, time, and venue.  Your College or School HDR Admin staff can book the venues and invite the audience

Step 3: Send a brief biography, abstract, and photo to your principal supervisor

Step 4: Your principal supervisor must submit HDR13, the research proposal, abstract and photo two weeks before the presentation--usually to the College or School HDR Admin staff, who then distribute this information to ORI at 

Step 5: Skim the criteria on HDR16 to understand how the presentation will be assessed.

Step 6: Practice your presentation with you supervisors or other peers to seek feedback