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CIC Doctoral Program

Doing a PhD at UTS:CIC – What is expected Stages 1-3

In CIC, HDR students become an integral part of the team, working alongside academics and professional staff to make an impact in the university and on human knowledge.  We’re a transdisciplinary centre, bringing our collective intelligence together to tackle data-driven problems with creative, human centred, approaches.

You’ll be required to complete a doctoral study plan. This should be proposed at the start of the year, and then reviewed throughout the year with a formal submission at months 6 and 12 alongside the Report of Progress.  The Report of Progress (ROP) is a formal UTS document. The CIC ROP template can be downloaded here (.docx), and should be submitted along with your DSP. The timeline for this is as below (per the UTS ‘Graduate Research Candidature Management and Thesis Preparation Procedures’).

Session Process step No later than end of :
Autumn Session ROP

Reporting activity from November through May

Student documents and submits ROP to principal supervisor First week of June
Principal supervisor documents feedback on behalf of the supervisory panel, recommends a review outcome and returns the completed ROP to the student for acknowledgement Third week of June
Student acknowledges the feedback, provides comment, and sends the ROP to the principal supervisor and Faculty. Fourth week of June
Faculty RAO makes a final review outcome recommendation and, via the Faculty RA, submits the ROP to the student, supervisor and the GRS.

If the RAO’s recommendation does not support the supervisor recommendation, the Dean GRS decides the final outcome of the ROP.

Second week of July
GRS records outcome in student record. Dean GRS reviews all unsatisfactory ROPs. Fourth week of July
Spring Session ROP

Reporting activity from June through October

Student documents and submits ROP to supervisor First week of November
Supervisor documents feedback, recommends a review outcome and returns the completed ROP to the student for acknowledgement Third week of November
Student acknowledges the feedback, provides comment, and submits the ROP to the Faculty. Fourth week of November
Faculty RAO makes a final review outcome recommendation and, via the Faculty RA, submits the ROP to the student, supervisor and the GRS.

If the RAO’s recommendation is does not support the supervisor recommendation, the Dean GRS decides the final outcome of the ROP.

Second week of December
GRS records outcome in student record. Dean GRS reviews all unsatisfactory ROPs. Second week of January

You should agree your individual training and support needs, and timeline, with your supervisor(s). You may find it useful to attend individual research subjects that are offered at UTS. Formal UTS requirements for this process can be found at https://staff.uts.edu.au/howdoi/Pages/Researching/Research%20students/review-of-progress.aspx

There may also be (paid) opportunities to undertake research assistant, teaching, or M-level project mentoring work within CIC (for example in the MDSI) or in other areas of the University. You should talk to your supervisor about this. The key milestones over each year are copied below.

STAGE 1 – Year 1 CONFIRMATION OF CANDIDATURE

By month 6 (your first ROP), you will have produced a research proposal which will be submitted and orally presented:

  • A written research proposal (as discussed with the supervisors)
  • An oral presentation  (the audience will be CIC academics, including at least one “Category 1” supervisor)

In the first year you will undertake a “confirmation of candidature assessment” which must be passed in order to continue to Stage 2. Typically the report will be submitted in the first 9 months, with a presentation in month 10, to permit time for revisions. This assessment will comprise:

  • A written report including: a literature review, research proposal, reporting of at least a pilot study [including ethics approval]
  • An oral presentation  (the audience will be CIC academics, external academics, and other appropriate external groups)

The written report will include:

  • A literature review setting the scene and giving a conceptual overview
  • A report of your empirical work (this could be a version of a typical ‘empirical’ paper you might submit to a journal)
  • A proposal for the PhD that builds on the literature review and pilot study to outline a trajectory for onward work. This should include:
    • A research problem and research questions defining the scope of the project
    • A proposed research methodology and rationale including:
      • Method and design for addressing the questions
      • participants (and rationale for these)
      • materials (including any instruments or equipment you’ll use, and any other resources required)
      • proposed analysis
      • a timeline
      • any ethical issues that might be encountered
      • A statement of contribution – which outlines the significance of the proposed research and the expected outcomes, and any limitations for the research

The whole report should be in the ~15-25,000 word range. You should use the feedback from the oral presentation to develop your report for final submission in August.

Proposals are assessed according to a set of general and specific criteria.

  1. Articulates a focussed, substantive, problem space and research question(s)
  2. Articulates a coherent, critical, literature review
  3. Develops a feasible, appropriate, methodology and approach to the research to address the gap identified
  4. Articulates a clear research design, method, operationalisation of variables, and analysis plan, with consideration of ethical issues
  5. Articulates a ‘contribution’ for particular audience(s)
  6. Feasibility of timetable
  7. Communication and oral presentation of research items

You will also be assessed on your ability to clearly communicate your research, using language appropriate to the discipline and audience. The literature review will contribute to the literature review in your final PhD thesis. The pilot study and its reporting should demonstrate clear progression of your research skills and knowledge.

Two CIC researchers will comprise the panel, at least one of whom is a Category 1 supervisor. The panel will read the report, attend the presentation and give feedback, determining whether the proposal passes or requires revisions before the end of Year 1.

Should revisions be required to the research proposal, the panel will give clear guidance on the issues to be addressed. This may involve further pilot work. The revised report will make clear how the feedback has been acted on, and the panel may request another presentation.

STAGE 2 – Year 2 CONFIRMATION OF ADVANCED PROGRESS

Presentation to panel, and other relevant researchers, describing and defending a developing thesis.

STAGE 3 -Year 3+

CONFIRMATION OF READINESS TO SUBMIT THESIS FOR EXAMINATION

The thesis is prepared for submission, and submitted for examination. Agreed in discussion with your supervisor(s)

UTS Doctoral Study Plan (DSP)    

STUDENT:______________________          SUPERVISOR/S___________________________

STAGE 1 CONFIRMATION OF CANDIDATURE
ELEMENT
Research practice, advanced disciplinary knowledge and skills, and research methodologies
OUTCOMES ACTIVITIES AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION
Goal Activities (contributing to goal) Review/assessment of progress against goals
Contributing to a research community and to advancing disciplinary knowledge Able to demonstrate active engagement with local and institutional research community for scholarly and social purposes.
Becoming a responsible and ethical researcher Able to explain relevant policies and processes for the ethical and responsible conduct of research; where appropriate gain certification.  See. Compulsory modules
Developing research skills and knowledge Able to articulate research reasoning and research plans (in written and oral forms) to a critical, informed audience, based on experience, and on developing expertise through engagement with the relevant literature and academics.
Planning and organising Able to develop a doctoral study plan appropriate to existing knowledge, skills and expertise; able to develop the research project plan including budget, timeline, and resource and equipment needs.
Communicating research Able to use the language of the discipline/s in appropriate genres to a critical, defined audience, based on developing expertise.
See HDR expectations at UTS-CIC document
STAGE 1 ASSESSMENT AND

OUTPUTS

STAGE 1 AGREEMENT SIGNATURES
STUDENT: ________________________________________________
PRINCIPAL SUPERVISOR: ___________________________________
DATE:

 

STAGE 2 CONFIRMATION OF ADVANCED PROGRESS
ELEMENT
Research practice, advanced disciplinary knowledge and skills, and research methodologies
OUTCOMES ACTIVITIES AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION
Contributing to a research community and to advancing disciplinary knowledge Able to actively contribute to local, scholarly and/or professional research communities.
Becoming a responsible and ethical researcher Able to effectively do ethical and responsible research.
Developing research skills and knowledge Able to rigorously distinguish between their work and others in the field, based on experience, expertise and literature.
Planning and organising Able to demonstrate progress of research project; able to revise doctoral study plan where necessary; and when necessary able to adapt research approach and methods that take into account the context of the research, the rights and obligations of the researcher and research team, and the standards of research practice.
Communicating research Able to use the language of the discipline or field across a number of spoken and written genres for different audiences.
STAGE 2 ASSESSMENT AND

OUTPUTS

PRESENTATION TO PANEL DESCRIBING AND DEFENDING A DEVELOPING THESIS (PRESENTATION TO CIC AUDIENCE)
STAGE 2 AGREEMENT SIGNATURES
STUDENT: ________________________________________________
PRINCIPAL SUPERVISOR: ___________________________________
DATE:
STAGE 3 CONFIRMATION OF READINESS TO SUBMIT THESIS FOR EXAMINATION
ELEMENT
Research practice, advanced disciplinary knowledge and skills, and research methodologies
OUTCOMES ACTIVITIES AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION
Contributing to a research community and to advancing disciplinary knowledge Able to make critical contributions to improving local, institutional, scholarly and/or professional research communities; able to use the language, tools and concepts of a scholarly community; able to produce the knowledge and artefacts of the scholarly community.
Becoming a responsible and ethical researcher Able to evaluate ethical practices in research, as required by UTS or other approving bodies; able to demonstrate that research has been conducted to the highest standard of transparency and ethical behaviour.
Developing research skills and knowledge Able to demonstrate use of available digital and non-digital resources to continuously develop research skills and knowledge
Planning and organising Able to demonstrate near completion of thesis; able to plan next steps in research career, by establishing strong relationships with key people and creating links with others in order to, for example, plan future research projects and take up opportunities for the development/implementation of the research outcomes.
Communicating research Able to successfully argue for the nature and impact of their contribution to the field, based on experience, expertise and literature; able to contribute to and/or change the direction of the conversation within the discipline/field/profession through publicly available communication of new knowledge/insights.
STAGE 3 ASSESSMENT AND OUTPUTS
STAGE 3 AGREEMENT SIGNATURES
STUDENT: ________________________________________________
PRINCIPAL SUPERVISOR: ___________________________________
DATE:

 

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