Confirmation process

Guidelines for confirmation of candidature

Please refer to the Guidelines for Confirmation of Candidature (PDF*242KB) for specific requirements that you will need to complete in order to become a confirmed candidate in your Higher Degree Research program.

You should complete the requirements of the candidature confirmation process within the following timelines:


 Program  Full-time  Part-time


 Doctor of Philosophy (DPHD)
 Doctor of Professional Studies Research (DPST)


 0.5 to 1 year 1 to 2 years


 Doctor of Business Administration Research (DBAR)
 Engineering Doctorate (ENGD)
 Doctor of Education (DEDU) 


 1.25 years*  2.5 years*


 Master of Business Research (MBSR)
 Master of Engineering Research (MENR)
 Master of Laws (LLMR)
 Master of Spatial Sciences Research (MSSR)
 Master of Science Research (MSCR)


 0.5 years  1 year

There are 3 components to the confirmation of candidature process, leading to a recommendation on candidature to the Office of Research Graduate Studies:

  1. a written, formally presented document (thesis proposal)
  2. an oral presentation
  3. written feedback to you and the advisory team.

As each Faculty may adapt the format in ways that are appropriate to its discipline, please contact your Faculty Research Administrator for your Faculty’s specific processes.
(BELA - or HES -

Oral presentation

The oral presentation provides you with the opportunity to present your confirmation proposal to an appropriate group of disciplinary peers for to receive expert and constructive advice about:

  • the proposed project
  • its scope and feasibility
  • the appropriateness of the theoretical approach, methodology, and/or experimental design.

The oral component should be a public forum in which you are given the opportunity to obtain feedback and advice, through a question time, from as many members of the faculty, school or department (and associated research centres) as possible, and in which collective support is provided to you.

A written and/or audio record of both the presentation and the question time should be made available to you to ensure that you gain maximum development value from the experience.

Confirmation proposal

The purpose of the confirmation proposal is to set out the:

  • goals of the research study
  • relationship of the work to the current body of knowledge in the discipline area
  • methodologies by which the goals will be addressed
  • likely outcomes of the work, together with their significance.

Candidates should ensure they adhere to the Confirmation Proposal Guidelines (DOC64KB) when preparing their proposal.

Confirmation proposal submission process

Confirmation proposal review

The review of the confirmation proposal and subsequent written feedback to you by the Faculty confirmation review committee is intended to assist you to work towards production of a thesis that will be acceptable to examiners.

The confirmation proposal review also provides an opportunity to assess whether you and your supervisors have:

  • appropriate Faculty support
  • a clear outline of a thesis topic which constitutes an original contribution to knowledge
  • an understanding of the potential significance of the work
  • determined the methodologies by which the work will be undertaken.

If, after reading a confirmation proposal, the Faculty confirmation review committee has any concerns regarding any of the above issues, it may hold further discussions with the candidate, the supervisors and/or other Faculty members. The Committee may also request a resubmission of the confirmation proposal.

Provisional to Confirmed Candidature

Once a candidate’s oral presentation, confirmation proposal and requested revisions (if required through the written feedback) have been completed, the Faculty confirmation review committee makes a formal recommendation to the Office of Research Graduate Studies on the acceptance of you as a full candidate in the research program.

Once approved by the Director, Office of Research Graduate Studies, you and your supervisors are advised of your full candidature in writing (emailed to your UMail account).