What happens when I’m ‘at risk’?

If you have not met your milestone requirements or at an ad hoc meeting of your Progress Committee, the Committee can determine that your progress is at-risk of not concluding on time. This means that you and your Committee will discuss and detail what support you need to get your research back on track for on time completion.

Progress Support Plan

If your Progress Committee assesses your progress to be at-risk, you will need to meet with your Progress Committee to discuss and agree on a Progress Support Plan.

There are many reasons you may experience difficulties throughout your candidature and the focus of a Progress Support Plan is to get your progress back on track. A Progress Support Plan is tailored to your individual needs and will give you

  • the opportunity to receive formal support
  • clear expectations on agreed actions and timeframes to recover your progress.

When you agree on the Progress Support Plan, you will need to a set a date for you to meet with your Committee at the end of the Progress Support Plan to review the status of agreed tasks and determine if progress is back on track. If the at-risk status was applied at a milestone, this meeting will occur at your second attempt at the milestone.

Your Progress Support Plan will be recorded as part of the progress report form through the agreements module.

Second Milestone Attempts

If you do not meet your milestone requirements at first attempt, you will have a second opportunity to attempt the milestone again. When you prepare for a second milestone attempt, the Graduate Research School will generate a new progress report form to repeat the same process again where

  • you need to fill out a progress report
  • you need to organise a meeting with your Progress Committee

You do not normally need to do another oral presentation, unless this was a requirement of your Progress Support Plan.

At the second milestone attempt, you will need to go through your Progress Support Plan with your Progress Committee to address the progress you have made.

At a second attempt of your milestone, the Progress Committee can assess your progress as satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

What happens if I fail the second milestone attempt?

If after your second milestone attempt, your Progress Committee assesses your progress as unsatisfactory, you may be asked to show cause as to why your candidature should not be terminated.

Before asking any candidates to Show Cause, the Chair of the Board of Graduate Research will review a candidate’s case to ensure all appropriate support strategies have been exhausted.

When you are invited to show cause, you have the option to

  • accept the Unsatisfactory Progress finding and withdraw from your candidature
  • agree to transfer to another higher degree by research if your Progress Committee recommended this to you
  • go ahead with the Show Cause Procedure, through a written submission and/or a submission in person before a Show Cause Sub-Committee.

Find out more about the Show Cause Procedure.

Who can I contact for help?

You are encouraged to contact the Student Advocates on your campus who can provide advice and help on your situation.

Further information regarding the support provided by the Student Advocates can be found on the Student Union website. You can find the details of your Student Advocates by emailing the Student Union directly, calling +61 (03) 9479 2314, or visiting the Student Union Office on your campus.

All students are also eligible for free and confidential Wellbeing Support Services.