How to stay on top of your HDR Milestones

‘Contrary to pessimistic folklore among students, institutions do care whether their PhD students survive or fail…’ (Petre & Rugg, 2010).

Flinders University is no exception to this statement and Milestones are utilised to support the intellectual phases of your HDR program.  These Milestones include your Confirmation of Candidature, Mid-Candidature Review and Final Thesis Review. If you are a part-time student, you will have interim Milestones to complete so that annual progress and engagement is established.

Inspire is Australia’s first ‘digital doctorate’ that supports timely completion of your thesis, and provides a chance to reflect on the progress you have made, what you hope to achieve in the next 12 months, and what your supervisors and the OGR can do to help you succeed.

You can log into the REST site for information about online Milestone presentations ( so that you are able to meet the Milestone deadlines and continue to work towards your thesis submission date.

Quick tips:

  • Read and write every day. Even setting a task of writing 500 words each day can build your ideas and confidence rather than being overwhelmed when you try to force yourself to write an entire chapter from scratch in a weekend.
  • Read at least one thesis that has ‘passed’ to ensure that you are on the right path in terms of structure, content and style. Preferably do this early in your candidature so you understand the expectations.
  • Don’t hide from your supervisor. You may be experiencing difficulties in your candidature but it is important to address these rather than ignore them. Communicating with your supervisor is essential to solving issues while they are manageable. Your candidature clock does not stop just because you disregard your supervisor’s emails.
  • Have a clear plan and stick to it. Attempting to organise a Milestone seminar and submit all of your supporting documentation the day before it is due will increase your anxiety and stress levels, particularly if something goes wrong. Give yourself as much time to organise as possible to avoid appearing on an At-Risk list.
  • How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Break down what steps you need to take to meet the requirements of your upcoming Milestone.

As always, if you are having difficulties in your candidature, please do not hesitate to contact an OGR staff member. We are here to help and our team is dedicated to your HDR success.

Petre, M.; and Rugg. G. (2010). The Unwritten Rules of PhD Research (2nd ed.). Open University Press: McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Parker, J. (2011). How to Eat an Elephant: How to tackle any challenge and succeed. Ecademy Press (UK).

Posted in
HDR HDR students in focus

Leave a Reply