Research training at The University of Queensland is research professional development. It is more than a thesis. It is ‘training in research’ plus ‘training by research’. It is expected that Higher Degree Research candidates will acquire and develop the following attributes:

  • knowledge and skills in the field of study;
  • effective communication skills;
  • critical judgment and research skills;
  • independence and creativity;and
  • ethical and social understanding.

Supervision and coursework programs are intended to develop these attributes. Graduates are required to demonstrate attainment of these attributes through a variety of means, including successful attainment of three academic milestones.

Milestone Extensions

PhD candidates may apply for:

  • up to 2 x 3 month (FTE) extensions during their candidature, including submission.

MPhil candidates who attained confirmation after 1 January 2013 may apply for:

  • up to a maximum of 4.5 months (FTE) during their candidature, including submission, with no request exceeding 3 months in duration.

No more than two extensions may be used per milestone. The timing and use of the extensions is at the discretion of the candidate and their advisory team to allow for flexibility as required. Further extensions will only be approved on a case-by-case basis where the candidate experiences events which have direct impact on the progress of research. For example, this may include:

  • partial or total destruction of research samples or data due to natural disasters leading to the research being unable to be recreated within the maximum extension period;
  • failure of essential equipment leading to research being unable to be recreated within the maximum extension period.

Where an extension is being sought, the request via the Portal must be submitted to the Graduate School at least 2 weeks prior to the milestone due date.

Candidates who are unable to achieve milestones due to a change in personal circumstances (e.g. illness, work commitments) should discuss taking temporary leave from candidature with their advisory team.

Students granted an extension are required to revise their written documents and resubmit them for review approximately one month prior to the milestone due date. They will then be required to attend an interview with the Chair of the Postgraduate Studies Committee and members of their advisory team. It is not necessary for students to repeat their presentation.

Candidates who do not achieve a milestone after the following periods of FTE candidature will be liable for a review of candidature:





18 months

9 months

Mid-Candidature Review

30 months

15 months

Thesis Review

42 months

21 months


48 months

24 months