School of Chemical Engineering

Your Confirmation of Candidature will usually take place between 10 and 12 months after the commencement of a PhD, or between 5 and 6 months after the commencement of a MPhil (or the part time equivalents). If there are valid reasons why this will not be possible then the Postgraduate Coordinator should be consulted and an application made to the Graduate School to extend the milestone due date.

Graduate School forms can be found on the UQ Graduate School website.


The milestone committee is made up of the advisory team and at least two other academics appointed by the Postgraduate Coordinator. At least one of these additional members will be a School of Chemical Engineering academic, who chairs the committee. It is intended that a confirmation committee will serve on every milestone committee during your research progress. The committee chair will also serve as chair of the assessors for your final thesis assessment. In order for the confirmation of candidature to be approved it is also necessary for your advisory team to consist of at least two people.

It is recommended that postgraduates use the Doodle Poll to determine the availability of the members of the Review Committee (instead of approaching them individually or via email) for all your milestone reviews.


You, in consultation with the committee, should fix a date for the milestone review and give at least one week's notice to the Postgraduate Administration Officer to ensure adequate time for room bookings. Two weeks before the confirmation, you should submit a written report to the milestone committee via their principal advisor. The report will include:

  • Critical literature review of relevant background
  • Preliminary results
  • Intended scope of the thesis, including what contribution to industry research your thesis is expected to make
  • Work outline for completion of the thesis, including methodology 

The standard of writing should be equivalent to that of a publication or the final thesis. No word limit is specified. A PDF copy of this document should also be emailed to the Postgraduate Administrative Officer for filing.


Your confirmation will involve a formal presentation to the school. This presentation should convey the main objectives and study methodology for your research clearly and concisely, and show how it relates to existing knowledge. It is expected that PowerPoint slides would be used. The presentation format and content should be of a level suitable for your discipline group and should last about 30 minutes, followed by a time for questions. An open invitation to the presentation will be made to all members of the school, and to that end you should prepare a one page abstract and forward it to the Postgraduate Administrative Officer for distribution one week before the milestone review date.


Immediately following the presentation, you will be interviewed by the milestone committee. During this time, you should be able to demonstrate your understanding of the background literature and the expected contributions of the thesis. You will also be required to defend the thesis plan and approach, and prove your ability to present a final thesis of the quality necessary for the degree. The committee will also discuss your targets to be achieved by the next milestone and any resources that are needed. It is expected that this will take about one hour and can include discussions by the committee without your or your advisory team's presence. Verbal feedback on the report and presentation will also be given.

The committee will complete a milestone evaluation document and return it to the Postgraduate Administrative Officer, of which you will receive a copy. This document provides constructive feedback on your progress and a list of specific achievements to be met by the next milestone. The committee can recommend:

  • That the milestone has been met. A Graduate School ‘milestone achieved’ form should be completed by the principle advisor and signed by the student and Postgraduate Coordinator for forwarding to the Graduate School.
  • That the milestone due date be extended (usually by up to three months). A Graduate School form needs to be completed.
  • That the student is liable for termination of candidature. This will not be accepted by the Dean of the Graduate School until due opportunity has been given to the student to make satisfactory progress (including at least two attempts at satisfying the milestone requirements).