Milestone meetings

During your research candidature, there will be set points in candidature where your Progress Committee will meet with you to assess your research progress. These meetings are known as milestone meetings. After you complete your milestone meeting, your Progress Committee Chair will send a report to the GRS detailing your research progress.

What do I need to do before a milestone meeting?

Three months before the due date of a Progress Report, you will receive an email with a link to your Progress Report, information on the requirements for your upcoming milestone and what to do if you have concerns about your progress.

If you feel ready for your milestone meeting, you are expected to

  • get in touch with your supervisor and progress committee and organise a time for the meeting
  • give an oral presentation of your research at an appropriate La Trobe University forum
  • complete a Progress Report through the online agreements system.

A Progress Report is an online form that you will need to complete before your milestone meeting. The form content will outline what work you have completed towards your thesis since your last milestone and give you the opportunity to highlight any achievements and raise any concerns you may have in advance, as well as flag anything specific you want to talk to your Progress Committee about. You will also need to attach supporting documents to demonstrate you meet the milestone requirements, including your research plan and appropriate written work for the stage of your degree.

What happens at a milestone meeting?

At the meeting your Progress Committee will meet with you to discuss your progress, then discuss your submission and agree on a recommendation. Before this, you will also have an opportunity to have a private discussion with your Committee Chair to raise any concerns you may have.

Ideally all members of your Progress Committee should attend the meeting, if this is not possible, at a minimum your Chair and Principal Supervisor must normally attend. If it’s not possible for all members to physically attend the meeting, you can use software like Zoom to make it easier for participants to attend.

You are also entitled to bring a support person to your milestone meeting. However, this person cannot

  • be a legal practitioner or have a law degree
  • speak, unless they are there to provide disability support.

There are two possible recommendations the progress committee can make after the milestone meeting:

  • your progress is satisfactory: you have met the milestone requirements, and your Progress Committee is satisfied with your progress.
  • your progress is at-risk: you have not met the milestone requirements and will be required to make another attempt at the milestone. Find out more about what at-risk means.

If your progress is satisfactory, your Progress Committee Chair will submit a Progress Report to the Graduate Research School (GRS) for processing. Once GRS has processed this, you will receive an email confirming that you have completed your milestone.

Between milestones, you and your supervisors should meet on a regular basis. This will give you an opportunity to receive feedback from your supervisor, be guided on your research progress, and addressing problems quickly. Read more about support between milestones.

Postponing milestone meetings

A milestone postponement can be requested under certain circumstances. To know more about postponing milestones, please refer to our corresponding section on postponing milestones.