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Preparing for Confirmation of Candidature

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing for Confirmation of Candidature"— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing for Confirmation of Candidature
March, 2013

2 Outline Confirmation of candidature process:
Why you need to undergo a confirmation of candidature Structure of the confirmation and composition of the panel Preparing the written report Preparing the oral presentation Panel discussions Possible outcomes

3 Why undergo a confirmation of candidature?
There is an expectation by the University that the School and Faculty monitors the progress of candidature. Masters by Research: by 6 months of full-time study, or 18 months of part-time study PhD: by 12 months of full-time study, or 18 months of part-time study Confirmations will be scheduled at approximately 9 months so that the process can be completed within the deadline

4 Why undergo a confirmation of candidature?
You are required to submit a plan for the structure of your research program to: Demonstrate you have the ability to complete the award Show that progress is reasonable and that the PhD can be completed on time Research Integrity training must be completed prior to the confirmation

5 Structure of the Confirmation
There are three components to confirmation: 1. A written document summarising your research plan 2. Oral presentation 3. Discussion with the confirmation panel

6 Preparing the Written Report
Length 5,000 – 7,000 words for Masters 6,000 – 10,000 words for PhD Formatting requirements Main text should be size 12 font, Times New Roman Use 1.5 line spacing Printed singled-sided Minimum 2cm margins Due 2 weeks before the oral presentation, 4 hard copies and an electronic copy (pdf) should be submitted to Amanda Williams-Constantinou

7 Structure of the Written Report
The written report should include the following sections: Title page (include student’s name, thesis title, degree, part-time/full-time status, names of all supervisors) Table of contents List of abbreviations Critical review of the literature ( words) Research Plan (≤3000 words) Progress and timelines (1000 words) References Appendices (optional) Note: the word limits listed above are for PhD confirmations

8 Written Report - Critical Review of Literature
The critical review of the literature is usually an abbreviated version of the literature review you will have already written in the first 6-9 months of candidature. Here the candidate must establish the context for their research and a rationale for the overall aims of the thesis, drawing on international literature. The candidate is expected to demonstrate an ability to effectively critique the existing literature and identify major gaps in knowledge to justify the thesis aims. If abbreviation of your existing literature review is necessary, the emphasis in this section should be on critiquing the existing literature relevant to your thesis aims, rather than setting the scene.

9 Written Report – Research Plan
Aims of thesis Overview of planned studies (1/2 page) Significance Include significance to the research field and to society/industry, and a statement on the originality of the work Detailed description of each study Rationale Critique of specific literature to justify the study aims and approach Aims Methodology Should be as detailed as possible. Model this section on the Methods section of a journal article for your discipline. Ensure you include details regarding recruitment, procedures, measures and data collection tools, data analysis plan and sample size justifications (including power calculations). Planned publications, including target journals and impact factors

10 Written Report – Progress and Timelines
Outcomes/achievements to date E.g. ethics approval, conference presentations, article submissions, skills obtained. Skills to be attained Describe how you will obtain the skills needed to complete the thesis Timeline Start from the date your candidature commenced and include changes to or interruptions to your candidature (e.g. changes from full-time to part-time) and work to be completed before submission. Be as detailed as possible. Resources Provide details of how your studies will be funded. Document any plans to access essential resources not available to you at Deakin University

11 Written Report – Important Considerations
The required format of the document differs slightly from those of submitted in previous years Try to provide as much detail about your studies as possible. The balance between the literature review section and the Research Plan and Progress and Timelines sections should be approximately equal Try to include justifications for methodological decisions (e.g. why particular measures have been chosen) – don’t forget to reference existing measures. Try to make it easy to identify the links between the rationale, research questions and methodology for each of your studies – ensure that your methods address your aims.

12 Preparing for the Confirmation Presentation
~15-20 minute presentation, followed by questions from the audience Example structure 1 slide per minute (i.e. ~ 20 slides maximum) Background – review of evidence/rationale (~6 slides) Aims/hypotheses (1 – 2 slides) and significance Methods (4-6 slides) Progress to date (including any findings if available) (4-6 slides) Timelines/future studies (1 – 2 slides) List any conference presentations, papers, etc. (1 slide) Attend other confirmation presentations to see examples

13 Preparing for the Confirmation Presentation
You need to demonstrate you possess skills to complete a PhD By reporting on completed research and completing a draft of thesis structure/outline List all conference presentations and papers By answering questions from the audience about your PhD

14 Confirmation Panel meeting
Panel composition: Associate Head of School – Research (or nominee) HDR Coordinator (or nominee) External examiner (not involved with the project) The panel reviews the written report, attends the oral presentation and participates in the panel discussion Supervisors attend as observers Supervisors should not respond to questions/issues raised by the panel on behalf of the student. Only the student can respond to these.

15 Confirmation Panel Meeting
After the oral presentation, the candidate and panel members meet to discuss any issues arising. This meeting will take minutes. The external examiner is invited first to comment and ask questions of the student , then the HDR coordinator and A-HOS (Research) may also ask questions. Supervisors are observers only, however they are asked to record/note issues raised which are to be drafted into a written report which is provided to the Faculty and kept on record. The written report will contain an overview of the advice, comments and recommendations of the review panel. The student is then asked to leave the room while the panel finalises a recommendation on confirmation.

16 Possible Outcomes Candidature is confirmed
Candidate’s enrolment is maintained and extended for a maximum period of 3 months (FTE enrolment) at which time a re-review will occur Candidature has not been completed satisfactorily

17 What Happens Then? If recommendation 1 or 2, a written confirmation report is passed on to the student and Faculty (the Faculty is also given a copy of the confirmation document you submitted). If recommendation 2, the candidate is given clear guidelines by Supervisors detailing requirements to be completed and the format of the second review. The candidate is usually required to revise their written report and may need to meet with panel members again. The candidate is not required to do another presentation. The main focus is on the resolution of issues identified in initial confirmation attempt. If recommendation 3, the panel will discuss the options available with the student (e.g. transfer to Masters by Research).

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