Action plan

Action plan

A multi-year research project such as a PhD or MPhil is a huge undertaking. It’s important to develop an action plan to stay on track.

When you commence your HDR candidature at Macquarie University, you will be given a date for thesis submission, which you and your supervisor should use to plot out your milestones. The plan should take into account the duration of your degree, the specific requirements of your discipline and the requirements of your scholarship (if applicable).

Every thesis is different, so it is important to craft an action plan that works for you. To see what an action plan looks like, take a look at the samples below.

Note: Candidates enrolled in a Bachelor of Philosophy or Master of Research do not need an action plan like the samples below, as their programs are already structured.

PhD: 3 year action plan

Commencement

  • Final draft of research proposal and timeline completed
  • Central Commencement Program completed at earliest opportunity
  • Faculty Commencement Program completed at earliest opportunity
  • International Orientation completed (for international candidates) completed at earliest opportunity

3 months - full-time equivalent enrolment

  • Final Research Proposal confirmed
  • Completion of Commencement report (Faculty)
  • Ethics committee application submitted

6 months - full-time equivalent enrolment

  • (No Leave of Absence permitted before this point)
  • Formal Faculty Review and Confirmation of Candidature (Process determined by faculty)
  • Candidate to check Research Student Profile details (sent by HDRO)
  • Thesis completion timetable finalised
  • Publication and financial expenditure plan finalised
  • Design of research methodology completed
  • Ethics committee application approved
  • Data collection commenced

12 months - full-time equivalent enrolment

  • Completion of Annual Report and MUSEQ-R
  • SCHOLARSHIP HOLDER: No LOA/Scholarship suspension normally permitted in first year
  • Main Literature Review or equivalent completed
  • Data collection underway
  • Commencement of data analysis
  • Candidate to check Research Student Profile details (sent by HDRO)
  • Thesis completion timetable revised

18 months–full time equivalent enrolment

  • Data analysis underway
  • Preparation of early draft chapters/papers
  • Postgraduate Research Fund application submitted

24 months - full-time equivalent enrolment

  • Completion of Annual Report and MUSEQ-R
  • Data collection complete
  • Data Analysis near complete
  • Continuation of draft chapters
  • Candidate to check Research Student Profile details (sent by HDRO)
  • Thesis completion timetable revised

30 months- full time equivalent enrolment

  • Literature Review or equivalent updated
  • Final chapters/papers in progress for Supervisor approval
  • Preliminary discussion about examiners between candidate and supervisor
  • Appointment of examiners form to be submitted three months prior to submission
  • Pre-submission review (by faculty)

36 months - full-time equivalent enrolment

  • Submission of Completion report (Faculty)
  • Candidate to check Research Student Profile details (sent by HDRO)
  • Submission of Thesis by due date
  • Candidate completes MUSEQ-R

MPhil: 2 year candidature plan

6 months - full-time equivalent enrolment          

  • Completion of Centralised Commencement Program
  • Completion of Faculty Commencement Program
  • First draft of Research proposal submitted
  • Completion of Commencement report (Faculty)
  • Candidature confirmed by Faculty and HDRO
  • No Leave of Absence or Scholarship suspension permitted at this point
  • Candidate to check Research Student Profile details through eStudent
  • Thesis completion timetable developed

12 months - full-time equivalent enrolment

  • Completion of Annual Report and MUSEQ-R
  • No Scholarship suspension permitted up until this point
  • Main Literature Review or equivalent completed
  • Design of research methodology completed
  • Final draft of Research proposal approved
  • Ethics Committee application submitted and approved
  • Data collection commenced
  • Candidate to check Research Student Profile details through eStudent
  • Thesis completion timetable revised
  • First opportunity for PhD transfer application

18 months - full-time equivalent enrolment

  • Data Analysis completed
  • Final chapters/papers in progress for Supervisor approval
  • Thesis completion timetable revised
  • Submission of Completion report (Faculty)
  • Candidate to check Research Student Profile details through eStudent
  • Final opportunity for PhD transfer application

24 months - full-time equivalent enrolment

  • Thesis examiners submitted for approval by HDRC
  • Submission of Thesis by due date

Contact: 

Higher Degree Research Office 
Research HUB - Building C5C (East), Level 3  
Macquarie University NSW 2109  
Phone: +61 2 9850 7987

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