Annual Review

The annual review of progress is an appraisal of your progress by both you and your supervisory panel due every year on 31 October.

  • What is the annual review of progress?

    The annual review is intended to be an open and frank appraisal of your rate of progress by both you and your supervisory panel. The Review is due every year on 31 October and serves several purposes. It:

    • ensures that you highlight your achievements during the preceding year so that you can clearly see the progress you have made both in your research and your professional development (it is common for students to underestimate their progress and the review process can provide some useful reassurance);
    • provides you with an opportunity to formally set goals with your whole supervisory panel for the next stage of your project and in the next stage of your professional development;
    •  is an important tool for identifying any problems that may be occurring in your candidature so that they can be documented and resolved. Documentation is very important, as any problems you report on your annual review form (which were beyond your control and have negatively affected your progress) will be taken into consideration if you submit an application for a candidature or scholarship extension in the future.  If you are unable to raise a problem(s) at the School level, you can submit a confidential statement for the attention of the Dean of Graduate Studies;
    • provides an opportunity to review and renegotiate your access to resources and facilities;
    • provides an opportunity to review ethics requirements and a prompt to provide any necessary clearances to the Graduate Centre;
    • provides an opportunity to review your supervisory arrangements, including the frequency and usefulness of meetings; and
    • serves to ensure that your postgraduate coordinator, the head of school and the Dean of Graduate Studies are kept fully informed of your progress.

    Satisfactory completion of the annual review and other candidature milestones where applicable, is a pre-requisite for re-enrolment and scholarship continuation into the following year.

    Who is required to complete an annual review?
    As a research student who is actively enrolled or on approved leave of absence, you are required to participate in an annual review of progress every year, unless one of the following applies:

    • You first enrolled in the year of the review;
    • You submitted your thesis for examination prior to 31 October;
    • Your candidature lapsed prior to 31 October;
    • You have been advised to complete a pre-submission review in place of an annual review of progress;
    • You have been granted an exemption on medical grounds.
  • Before commencing your annual review

    Login to MyAdelaide and check the following:

    • Are your personal details (e.g. address and contact details) correct? Update them if necessary.
    • Are your supervisors and their roles and percentages of responsibility accurately recorded?  ONLY your official principal supervisor will be able to approve your annual review (your co-supervisor(s) will have view only access), therefore, it is essential that you advise the Graduate Centre of any changes by completing the change of supervisor details form before you access the annual review form and commence the review process;
    • Are your candidature details (e.g. research topic, attendance status) accurately recorded? If any changes are required, you will need to complete and submit the relevant form to the Graduate Centre.
    • If there are extenuating circumstances that will affect your ability to complete and lodge the annual review by 31 October, ensure that you discuss the situation with your principal supervisor and request that he or she apply for an extension on your behalf by emailing the Graduate Centre. The email should detail the length of extension sought (typically one month) and the reasons for the request.
  • How to complete the annual review

    Step 1 – Student

    • Well in advance of the required completion date for your annual review, organise a mutually convenient time to meet with your supervisory panel to:
      • Review your progress during the previous twelve months or since you started in candidature;
      • Discuss and establish a plan of work and set academic and Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) milestones or goals for the next twelve months;
      • Review your ethics, IP, resource and supervision needs; and
      • Identify any concerns/problems/grievances that may have interrupted/delayed your progress and their impact on your progress in terms of the number of research days lost.
    • Make a second later appointment to discuss your progress with the person nominated by your principal supervisor to authorise the completed annual review on behalf of your School (the 'school approver'). approver will normally be your postgraduate coordinator, however, if your PGC is a supervisor, it will be another senior academic from within your school which your principal supervisor will select from a pre-approved list
    • Following (or during) your meeting with your supervisors, complete all sections of the online form when prompted ensuring that all information provided is accurate and correct.  You will be required to:
      • Confirm your personal details and supervisory panel details are correct.
      • Describe work completed during the review period.
      • Upload a Gantt chart or completion plan.
      • Detail any industry engagement that occurred during the year of review, including the name and URL of the organisation, the dates and type of engagement (placement or internship, supervision, mentoring, financial or in-kind contribution, collaborator or other).
      • Provide clearance numbers of ethics approvals already provided to the Adelaide Graduate Centre, and upload copies of any clearance documents not previously provided.
      • Consider whether your research involves any hazards (e.g. chemical, plant, equipment, biological, radiation etc.).
      • Provide titles of intellectual property contracts and/or agreements previously supplied to the Adelaide Graduate Centre, and upload copies of any contracts and/or agreement documents not previously provided.
      • Consider whether the agreed resources and facilities defined in the minimum resources proforma in your core component of the structured program (CCSP) have been provided since your last annual review/completion of your CCSP if this is your first review since enrolment.
      • Total any leave of absence days you have taken in the reporting period.
      • Detail any unavoidable delays, problems and/or grievances experienced during the review period.
      • Upload a current PDF of your CaRST Progress Summary dated within 1 week of when your Annual Review form is submitted (navigate to the ‘Review’ page in CaRST Online, click the ‘Generate PDF’ button, and save as PDF), enter your total recognised credits, and provide a reflection on development activities completed since the previous milestone review and future development goals.
    • Certify the form and submit to your principal supervisor for comment.

    Step 2 – Supervisors and school approver

    Following your progress review meeting, your supervisory panel will discuss and review your progress.

    • On receipt of your submitted annual review, your principal supervisor will review the information you have provided, make comments in response on behalf of your supervisory panel and provide an assessment of your level of progress relative to the standards and timeframe for completion of your degree.
    • The principal supervisor will be asked to nominate a ‘school approver’ from a pre-approved list to authorise the completed annual review on behalf of the School.  The principal supervisor will select the relevant postgraduate coordinator, except, where the PGC is a supervisor, in which case an alternate school approver who is a senior academic staff member will be selected from the pre-approved list.
    • Once the principal supervisor has completed the supervisor sections on the annual review, all other supervisor(s) on your panel will be requested to confirm the accuracy of the information and assessment provided by your principal supervisor. Please note: co and external supervisors will have one week only to provide their assessment. After this time, if no response has been recorded, the form will be forwarded on to the nominated school approver for review;
    • Next, the form will advance to the nominated school approver to review your progress and your supervisors’ recommendations on behalf of the School;
    • After certifying the form on behalf of the school, the school approver will authorise the form’s return to you for final review prior to submission to the Graduate Centre.

    Step 3 - Student review

      • On receipt of email notification that your completed annual review form containing supervisory comments and your school’s assessment of your progress is ready for viewing, access and review the annual review form in its entirety
      • Following review, you will be prompted to agree with the school’s assessment of your progress (including, if applicable, any milestones/tasks that have been set for you to complete during a period of conditional re-enrolment).
      • If you disagree with the school’s assessment or wish to report any complaints or grievances that you have been unable to resolve within your school, you will be able to upload a confidential report for the attention of the Dean of Graduate Studies.  If you attach such a report, it will not be visible to your supervisors, PGC or head of school.
      • Authorise the submission of your annual review to the Graduate Centre prior to the due date
  • Tracking progress of the annual review

    • After submitting your portion of the annual review to your principal supervisor in the recommended timeframe, ensure you regularly log back into your annual review dashboard/form to track the progress of approvals by your supervisors and the school approver
    • If your annual review has not been actioned within the recommended timeframe or, within ~one week of being sent to an approver, please follow up with them to request that they review and action the form.
    • Ensure that your annual review is on track to be returned to you for final review and submission to the Graduate Centre prior to 31 October.
    • If you will be unable to submit prior to the due date, it is your responsibility to prompt your principal supervisor to request an extension (normally for one month) on your behalf. 
  • Gantt chart and completion plan templates

    Please download the most appropriate MS excel template for your needs:

    3 year Gantt chart
    4 year Gantt chart
    5 year Gantt chart
    6 year Gantt chart

    Note. All templates are password protected. This means you have some limited editing privileges, including the ability to add and delete rows without a password.

    Completion plan
    You may choose to use a completion plan. The Graduate Centre has made an example plan available.

    Completion plan example

  • Annual review of progress timeline and workflow

  • Why do I have to complete an annual review?

    The annual review facilitates the formal discussion and evaluation of your progress whilst providing you with an opportunity to discuss your future research goals and any problems you may be experiencing with your supervisors and postgraduate coordinator or head of school. The information detailed in your annual review form is reviewed by the Graduate Centre and the Dean of Graduate Studies to establish that your progress in the preceding year has been satisfactory and that your enrolment (and any scholarship payments) should continue. It is also an opportunity for you to request (confidentially), the Dean’s involvement in the resolution of any problems or concerns you may have that cannot be settled at the local level.

    Making the most of the annual review describes how to get the most out of the review process and is recommended reading for all students.

  • Do I have to complete an annual review form if I enrolled this year?

    If your candidature commenced this year, you do not need to complete an annual review.

  • Do I have to complete the annual review if I have another milestone due around the same time?

    For some students the major review and annual review of progress will fall quite close together.  It is still important to complete both reviews as they serve different purposes.  Note that you can use the same progress summary for both.

    The key purpose of the major review is to assess that your candidature is viable, that you are working at the required level for the degree and that your project can be completed within the allowed timeframe for the degree.  Whilst the annual review also involves an assessment of your progress, it additionally provides an opportunity to discuss and document any impediments to progress that have occurred and to plan your research and professional development plans for the next 12-month period.

    Documented delays to progress that have occurred for reasons beyond your control e.g. inability to access resources, equipment failure or supervisor changes which impact on the direction of the project will be taken into consideration for any future scholarship extension application.

    Furthermore, key information required for statutory Government reporting is only captured on the annual review form.

  • Do I have to complete the annual review if I plan to submit in November?

    The due date for the annual review is 31st October for all students. Whilst you can apply for a one month extension to the annual review deadline with the approval of your supervisors, if you are active in candidature when your annual review of progress is due, you will need to complete it. 

    Please bear in mind that planned submission dates do sometimes get pushed out.

  • Where can I check if I have to complete an annual review this year?

    You can login to MyAdelaide using your usual University login details to view all of your academic milestones and their due dates. Simply select ‘Research Candidature’ from the left hand side menu bar and ‘view all milestones’ within the ‘Upcoming Milestone’ box.

    Your current supervisor, research and project details are also viewable in MyAdelaide.

  • The supervisor(s) listed on my annual review are incorrect and I have applied for a change. How will I know if my change of supervisor(s) has been processed?

    The Graduate Centre receives many requests to amend supervisor details ahead of Annual Review completion each year. Please be patient!  When a requested change has been processed, you will be emailed a confirmation of the revised details by the Graduate Centre and you can then commence your annual review.

    Your revised supervisor details will be reflected both in your annual review form and in MyAdelaide.

  • Where can I find details of my CaRST progress?

    Your CaRST Progress Summary is available in the CaRST Online system.  After logging in, navigate to the ‘Review’ page, then click the ‘Generate PDF’ button and save as PDF.

    The Progress Summary provides comprehensive information on your CaRST progress including how many CaRST credits you have completed in total and across all the CaRST domains, an assessment of whether your progress is acceptable relative to the requirements for your degree and a list of all the activities you have completed/lodged for approval to date.

  • I am having problems with my supervisor(s) but I don’t feel comfortable raising them on the annual review form, or within my discipline. What should I do?

    Once your online annual review has been signed off by your supervisors and postgraduate coordinator/head of school, it will be returned to you for final review and submission.  Prior to submitting the online form, you will have the opportunity to raise problems by attaching a confidential written report for the attention of the Dean of Graduate Studies.

    Note that at any time, you can talk about problems you are having with the education welfare officers (EWOs); the EWOs are independent advocates who can provide you with confidential advice and assistance in dealing with complaints and grievances (telephone 8313 5430 or email

    Student life counselling support is available to all enrolled students seeking to address issues that may be affecting their study and life; the service is free and confidential.


  • Will I still be re-enrolled for next year if I am in bad financial standing with the University?

    If you owe money to the University e.g. for tuition fees or library fines, your re-enrolment may be jeopardised. The Graduate Centre will contact you separately if this is the case. You are strongly advised to settle any debts or enter into a payment plan with the University by 31 October. Also note that students will not be permitted to graduate from the University or to receive an official academic transcript until all monies owing have been paid.

  • I am not able to complete my annual review form by 31 October. What should I do?

    If, for reasons beyond your control, you are unable to complete the annual review by the due date, you should request that your principal supervisor email the Graduate Centre to request an extension on your behalf. The reasons for the extension and the length of the extension, normally one month, must be specified.

  • One of my supervisors is on leave when my annual review is due and will be unable to approve my annual review form. What should I do?

    All of your supervisors are requested to approve your annual review. As the form is online, they will be able to do so from anywhere and at any time up until the due date. However, if one of your supervisors is on leave and unavailable to approve your review, options include:

    Where the leave is for a short period (less than one month)

    • Ensuring that your annual review is submitted in plenty of time so that the supervisor will have the opportunity to approve the Review before or after they return from leave and still be within the due date.
    • Requesting that your principal supervisor email Graduate Centre to request an extension for your annual review.
    • Co and external supervisors will have one week only to provide their assessment. After this time, if no response has been recorded, the form will be forwarded on to the nominated school approver for review

    Where the leave is for a longer period (exceeding one month)

    Completing a change of supervisor form to amend your supervision panel (if this is a temporary change, another form may be completed to reinstate the original panel following return of the original supervisor from leave).

  • What happens if my annual review form is submitted after the due date?

    If your annual review form arrives late and you have not organised an extension with the Graduate Centre your candidature and any scholarship payments may be suspended.

  • What happens if my candidature is suspended?

    Suspension means that you are no longer enrolled as a student. If your candidature is suspended you will not be entitled to any of the rights and privileges associated with an active candidature, including supervision, insurance, access to libraries, laboratories and other University buildings and access to University computer facilities. If you are a scholarship holder, your payments will be suspended. A record of the suspension will be placed on your academic transcript and you will not be permitted to submit your thesis for examination.

  • How can I arrange to have my candidature reinstated if I am suspended?

    To reinstate a suspended candidature and any scholarship payments, you will need to lodge your completed annual review form (within twelve months of the suspension date) and pay any fees due. Please note that any scholarship payments you would have received during the period of suspension had you been an active candidate are forfeit.

  • I have been on leave of absence since I completed my last annual Review. Do I still need to complete an annual review this year?

    Yes. Even if you have made no progress towards your degree for twelve months, the annual review provides an opportunity for you to confirm your intention to return to study and the planned timeframe for the completion of your thesis with your supervisors. If you do not complete the annual review by the due date, it will be assumed that you do not intend to continue with your research program and your candidature will be suspended.

An Annual Review Information and Q&A Session was held on 14 September 2021.  Please see below for recording.