5. Progress monitoring
(See also, Regulation XXVI: Paragraph 3, 5.2)
Progress monitoring should be a continuous process conducted through regular supervisory contact and the review of written work. Where a research student’s performance or attendance gives cause for concern between the scheduled reviews then the provisions of Regulation IX may be invoked in accordance with paragraph 5.1 of Regulation 26.
Full and part time students shall have an initial progress review after 6 months registration. The purpose of the review is to ensure engagement with the programme and that a research plan is in place and underway. The requirements for the 6-month review are contained in paragraph 5.2 of Regulation 26
The formal framework and criteria for subsequent progress reviews are set out in paragraph 5.2 of Regulation XXVI. After the initial 6-month review, all students will have a progress review on an annual basis prior to the anniversary of their registration date. For full-time students, this review will always be an end of Part review. Part-time students will have mid-Part reviews as well as end of Part reviews to ensure progress remains on track and that any concerns are picked up in a timely way in the interests of both students and supervisors.
Progress Reviews will include submission of written work and other materials as appropriate to the research programme and will include a progress review meeting. The progress review meeting will be conducted by at least one Independent Reviewer who is not one of the student's Supervisors. If there is more than one Independent Reviewer, one will act as chair in the meeting and be responsible for producing the progress report and recommendation. The Director of Doctoral Programmes should ensure meetings are arranged in a timely manner. The Supervisors may attend as Observers with the student’s agreement. The decision to amend registration from PhD to MPhil may be taken at the earliest at the Part R1 progress review. The progress review meeting should provide an opportunity to evaluate academic progress, research training and plans for future study. It should also provide an opportunity for student feedback both to the student on their work and from the student in relation to the quality of their experience.
The composition and powers of Research Student Progression Boards are set out in paragraph 6 of Regulation 26.
The criteria for the evaluation of the research student’s progression are set out in paragraph 5 of Regulation 26. Any additional requirements or criteria must be specified in published School handbooks or related material.
The Board will take a decision on the progression of each student based on the recommendations contained in supervisors’ report and those of the Independent Reviewer. If the recommendations differ then the Board may reach a conclusion itself or may seek the view of a second Independent Reviewer.
The decisions available to the Board are set out in paragraph 6.4 of Regulation 26.
The student will receive the reports of the Independent Reviewer and Supervisors within 3 working days of the progress review meeting with the Independent Reviewer. Students may make a written submission to the Board outlining any mitigating circumstances affecting their performance, with supporting medical evidence if appropriate, at least 3 working days before the Board meeting. The Board shall consider this evidence in reaching its decision.
The Board shall report its decision and the rationale for it to the student within a maximum of 3 working days of its meeting.
Where a Board concludes under paragraph 6.4.3 that progress is not satisfactory and that the student be permitted time to undertake further work within 3 months (full-time students) or 6 months (part-time students) a further meeting with the Independent Reviewer will be required when the work has been re-submitted and this should be made clear to the student in the Board’s report of its decision together with an outline of the work which the student is required to undertake. This work will typically be a significant revision to the report originally submitted but other requirements may be stipulated if they are essential for the Board to take an informed view on the student’s progress. After the work has been completed, the review process will be repeated with a further review meeting with the Independent Reviewer and submission of new Independent Reviewer and Supervisors’ reports for consideration by the Board.
Where the Board’s decision is that the student’s registration be terminated or amended from PhD to MPhil, the Board shall notify the Doctoral College Office who will inform the student and advise the student of their appeal rights.