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Research progress

Planning throughout your candidature is important to keep you on track at each stage of your research and writing. Creating a progress plan will help manage your progress and expectations about what’s required to achieve your degree.

Progress plans

You are responsible for creating and maintaining an individual progress plan. This provides a framework to help you structure your research, meet important milestones and maximise your development in respect of the researcher graduate qualities.

You will discuss your progress plan with your supervisor(s) to identify your goals for the coming year, as well as longer term goals for your candidature. They might be research specific, for example to complete a project proposal, write up some work or present to a conference. They can also be focused on your development as a researcher, for example you may want to undertake some training in education or communication or take part in an internship programme.

Your supervisor can provide more information about individual milestone and activity requirements. This can help you keep your degree on track and help you to submit your thesis on time.

Tracking your milestones and goals

University-level milestones are listed in Schedule 1 of the Progress, Planning and Review for Higher Degree by Research Students Policy and are automatically included in your Research Education Candidature System (RECS) candidature record. Faculty and school-level milestones may vary with your degree, stage in candidature and year of enrolment; the milestones relevant to you will again be automatically populated in your RECS record.

Your progress in meeting milestones and goals is a critical for you and the university to evaluate progress. Not delivering on required activities may mean your candidature or scholarship is at risk. It is easy to update your record.

You can check your required milestones and goals in RECS (select ‘My project’ then ‘Milestones and goals’). You can view your progress against the planned/required trajectory in timeline or table view. Overdue goals or milestones are indicated using red markers.

You can then follow the instructions to note them as complete. Be aware that in some cases you may need to provide evidence of completion. After submission, the relevant person will verify that you have completed the activity and your record will be updated.

Adding goals

There are two ways of adding goals into your project.

  • From the Milestones and goals section of your project in RECS.
    Log into RECS, then select ‘My project’, ‘Milestones and goals’. Select ‘add goal’ and complete as appropriate.
  • From supervision meetings.
    You or your supervisor can elect to add an outcome of a supervision meeting as a goal. For example, you and your supervisor may agree a priority of critically reading and analysing a key piece of the literature by a certain date. You can then choose to add this as a goal.
Last updated: 30 March 2023

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