Milestone 3: Thesis Review
UQ manages postgraduate progress through three annual Milestones
The third of these, Milestone 3: Thesis Review, is scheduled to take place at the 36-month anniversary of enrolment (RTS = 36), and must be completed 3 months prior to thesis submission.
The purpose of Milestone 3 is to:
Focus attention on the end-game (thesis submission), including how prepared (or unprepared) the candidate is to deliver a high quality thesis. Consideration is given to the need for training in scientific writing, the use of bibliographic software, and desktop publishing, the completion of lab work, the thesis format (chapters versus publications, versus a mix), examiners and whether the thesis should be treated as commercial-in-confidence.
The candidate must:
- Submit a Milestone 3 Report
- Deliver a Milestone 3 Oral Presentation
- Attend a Milestone 3 Interview
The Candidature Committee must prepare a Milestone 3 Assessment that addresses the following questions:
- Has the candidate described an acceptable body of original research, and a well argued plan to deliver a high quality thesis?
- Can the candidate deliver an articulate oral account and defence of their research methodology, results and conclusions?
- Is the candidate committed to, organized and capable of a timely thesis submission?
- Is the Advisory Team available, supportive and effective, as the candidate transitions from laboratory work to thesis writing?
- Has the project succeeded in its aims and objectives?
- What impediments and challenges exist (if any) to the timely submission of a thesis.
To organize Milestone 3 candidates must;
- Negotiate with their Candidature Committee to arrive at a suitable date/time for the oral presentation and interview.
- Book a seminar and interview room on the agreed date/time.
- Alert all members of the Candidature Committee if there are any unexpected changes to the schedule.
- Be aware that unless Candidature Committee participation is quorate the Milestone Assessment will be invalid.
- Distribute the Milestone 3 Report AT LEAST ONE WEEK ahead of the scheduled date of the oral presentation.
Milestone 3 Report
The precise format of the Milestone 3 Report should be decided in close consultation with the Advisory Team, however, as guide the candidate should consider addressing the following subheadings:
- Thesis Title
- Thesis Table of Contents
- Thesis Abstract
- Draft Thesis Chapter(s)
- Current Publications and Conference Presentations
- Planned Publications and Conference Presentations
- Incomplete Laboratory Work
- Timetable for Submission
Note - An advanced draft of the Milestone 3 Report should be reviewed by the Advisory Team prior to distribution to the Candidature Committee. Typically, the Advisory Team will review and provide constructive feedback on one substantive draft.
Milestone 3 Oral Presentation
Following consultation with the Principal Advisor, the Milestone 3 Oral Presentation can be delivered at:
- A scientific conference.
- An IMB Divisional Seminar.
- An extended IMB Research Group Meeting.
- Another suitable forum as pre-agreed by the Principal Advisor
The Milestone 3 Oral Presentation should aim to be:
- 20-30 mins duration (perhaps less for a conference presentation).
- Allow for 5-10 mins of audience questions (again, perhaps less for a conference presentation)
- If delivered at an event external to IMB - attended by at least one member of the Candidature Committee, or a suitable nominee, who can report on the candidates performance at the Milestone 3 Interview.
- If delivered at IMB - attended at the very least by the candidates research group plus the Candidature Committee, and preferably a wider audience drawn from IMB/UQ.
Note - If the candidate is well advanced and submits a thesis within ONE month of attaining Milestone 3, and if the Milestone 3 Oral Presentation is delivered at IMB, it can be deemed to have met the requirement for an IMB Completion Seminar. If this is not the case the candidate MUST deliver a separate IMB Completion Seminar.
Milestone 3 Interviews
Provide a forum for discussion and questioning between the candidate and the Candidature Committee, and should be:
- ~1 h duration
- Held (where possible) immediately after the oral presentation.
- Attended by the full Advisory Team and at least two non-advisory members of the Candidature Committee, one of which must be from IMB.
Milestone 3 Assessment
During the course of the Milestone 3 Interview the IMB non-advisory member acting as Chair will lead discussion, following a proforma agenda and assessment template (via Pebbles Senior).
Immediately after the interview the Candidature Committee will determine if the candidate has attained or not attained Milestone 3, and will notify the candidate of the outcome.
Following the interview the Chair and the Principal Advisor will prepare a Milestone 3 Assessment (via Pebbles Senior), documenting the process, any recommendations (if required), and the decision.
Within a week of the Milestone 3 Interview the Chair and the Principal Advisor will co-sign the Milestone 3 Assessment (via Pebbles Senior), triggering automated PDF copies to be distributed to the IMB PG Office and the candidate.
If the Milestone 3 Assessment recommends that the candidate has attained Milestone 3, the IMB PG Coordinator notifies the UQ Graduate School, and the candidate remains enrolled.
If the Milestone 3 Assessment recommends that the candidate has not attained Milestone 3, the assessment must provide written instructions regarding remedial actions that need to be undertaken by the candidate. The IMB PG Coordinator will notify the UQ Graduate School that the Candidature Committee will reconvene within 3 months to re-interview the candidate, and prepare a second Milestone 3 Assessment
If the candidate attains Milestone 3 on a second attempt, the IMB PG Coordinator notifies the UQ Graduate School, and the candidate remains enrolled.
If the candidate does not attain Milestone 3 on a second attempt, the IMB PG Coordinator notifies the UQ Graduate School, and the candidate's enrolment is terminated.