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Research progress

  1. Progress plans
  2. First year milestone integrity check
  3. Progress review

First year milestone integrity check

The University has established two formal mechanisms for assuring the academic and research integrity of its HDR programs:

  • a 'milestone check' to be completed as part of the first-year confirmation milestone and progress evaluation meeting process
  • a 'thesis check' conducted when each student submits their thesis for examination.

All students are required to complete the milestone check under the Progress Planning and Review For Higher Degree by Research Students Policy.

This check provides supervisors with another tool to help you achieve the highest possible standards of academic writing. It also provides a means of preventing potentially more serious breaches of academic and research integrity occurring as your candidature progresses, or with the submission of your thesis.

What's involved

The milestone check aims to facilitate a discussion between you and your supervision team about your writing practices, and to identify opportunities for further development. This includes the way you integrate scholarly and other evidence into your writing and your use of academic citation and referencing conventions.

To complete the check, you are required to submit a substantial piece of written work, as agreed with your supervisor, to Turnitin. Turnitin searches for matches between text in your milestone work and text sourced from the Internet, published works and student papers previously submitted to Turnitin at the University of Sydney and other universities. There will always be some degree of text-matching when using Turnitin, which can occur as a result of your use of direct quotations, technical terms and phrases, and listing of bibliographic material. This does not mean you will automatically be suspected of academic dishonesty or plagiarism.

Steps to complete the check


Read the HDR integrity page of your faculty or school's HDR Canvas page. You will find information below for each faculty and University school.


Follow the instructions for uploading your milestone work, downloading your digital submission receipt and downloading your Turnitin similarity report.


Once you've downloaded your submission receipt and similarity report, you will need to provide these to your supervisor. You'll need to arrange a meeting to discuss any issues and further writing needs you might have, before completing your first-year progress evaluation meeting.

Faculty and University school information

All currently enrolled HDR students have been enrolled into their faculty or school’s HDR Canvas site. This will appear on your Canvas dashboard.

If the site is not on your dashboard, click the 'Courses' icon in the navigation pane on the left-hand side to locate the site. The HDR Canvas sites for each faculty or school are below.

If you can't find your HDR Canvas site, email us at

Last updated: 04 April 2023

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