New candidature and progress policies

New policies – why we need them

Our aim is to set our candidates up for success.

In creating a new framework around candidature and progress we have the opportunity to help candidates better manage their progress and hit their milestones.

We want to make sure that all graduate research candidates at La Trobe University:

  • are supported to produce high quality research, to complete their degrees on time and to make the most of their university experience
  • know what is expected of them and what success looks like
  • develop the skills to become independent researchers and/or pursue careers outside of academia.

La Trobe’s new candidature and progress policies will make graduate research requirements clear for both candidates and supervisors and ensure they are applied consistently and fairly for all graduate research candidates.

Want to know more?

Come along to the Graduate research progress workshops for candidates and supervisors

You can read the detail in the Policy Library here:

What’s changing?

We’re making changes to the way candidature and progress are managed.

These changes will help candidates and supervisors track progress and access support when it’s needed most. Our aim is to make sure candidates are best positioned to complete quality research projects, on time.

Candidature policy

Our new candidature policy has been made more comprehensive to include extended leave provisions and changes to the way variations such as extensions, cessations and transfers are handled.

Changes include:

  • a new induction checklist
  • the introduction of minimum and expected periods of candidature
  • new sections on coursework, outside research, concurrent enrolment, early submission, appeals/complaints, hours of study.

Progress policy

Our new progress policy aims to help candidates stay on track. With better guidance on what good progress looks like across candidature, candidates will be able identify problems early and get support without wasting time.

Major changes include:

  • new submission dates and personalised due dates for progress reports, with reminder notifications
  • the introduction of University-wide standard milestone requirements, including compulsory oral presentations and meeting requirements
  • clear processes for supporting candidates experiencing progress difficulties.

What does it mean for me?


Graduate research candidates will now have clearer information on how to actively manage their candidature and progress throughout their degree.

Our new candidature policy will help you with:

  • finding out about important information and processes associated with your degree, as well as resources and support available to you
  • initiating the appropriate application process if you need to make a change to your candidature (including study rate, coursework, leave, change of topic, outside research).

Please note: International students on a student visa should always consult with La Trobe International if considering  any changes to candidature.

Our new progress policy will help support you to complete your degree by:

  • providing clear guidance on what good progress looks like at various stages of candidature so you can tell if you are on track
  • ensuring you have regular meetings with your progress committee and receive feedback on how your research is progressing
  • making sure any problems with your project are identified early and that you receive support to overcome them


Research supervisors will now have a clearer picture of their candidates’ progress and be able to offer greater support in actively managing their candidature.

The new framework will allow you to view your candidates’ expected and maximum periods of candidature and support them in important processes, such as completing the induction checklist and progress milestones.

Transitioning to the new policies

Our new progress and candidature policies come into effect 11 October 2017. We expect the online progress management system to be available by mid-December 2017.

Newly enrolling candidates

If you enrolled on or after 11 October 2017 you will be be supported entirely by the new candidature and progress policies and will receive an induction checklist shortly after you enrol.

Currently enrolled candidates

The Graduate Research Candidature Policy and Procedure is effective for all graduate research candidates from 11 October 2017.

There is a six month transition window for the new Graduate Research Progress Policy and Procedure as we introduce the new milestone-based framework.

During the transition period you will still need to manage your progress with reference to the existing policies and procedures until 30 April 2018. All currently enrolled candidates are still expected to complete their Research Progress Panel (RPP) reports as usual in 2017. You may also need to submit an RPP report in 2018, depending on your new milestone due dates. You will be notified personally if this applies to you.

From 1 May 2018 the Graduate Research Progress Policy and Procedure alonewill govern progress management for all candidates.