PhD Full Registration Confirmation Policy

  • VUW PhD provisional registration lasts for 12 months from the commencement of the PhD. Any further extension requires approval from the Associate Dean.

  • To move from provisional to full registration, the student is required to submit a full research proposal and present a PhD proposal seminar to the school. The full proposal must be submitted by nine months, which gives sufficient time for examination and, if necessary, an extension to address any minor shortcomings within the 12 month period. The student should submit a full research proposal (through the on-line submission system) three weeks before the seminar is scheduled. When the student submits full proposal, s/he should inform the Thesis Coordinator and the principal supervisor to schedule the proposal seminar.

  • The proposal will be assessed by a graduate sub-committee, typically consisting of the Thesis Coordinator (as chair), the primary supervisor, the secondary supervisor and two academic staff members: one in the corresponding research group and one knowledgeable but a bit further removed from the student's group.

  • After reading the proposal and attending the seminar, the committee will meet and make a recommendation. The recommendation can be: (1) recommend approval of the candidate's transfer to full registration; (2) require an extension of the provisional registration to a certain period (e.g. three months), (3) recommend transfer to a Masters degree; or (4) terminate the candidate's registration. This meeting should normally be held after the PhD proposal seminar is presented.
  • The full proposal should provide evidence of the viability of the proposed research topic and the capacity of the student to carry out the proposed research. The full proposal should aim to be under 40 pages (A4, font >= 11pt) or 10,000 words. If there is more work to report than can be fitted within these limits, details should be put into an appendix. [Note: the University has no official page/word limit for the full proposal]
  • The full proposal is expected to contain the following elements:
    • A clear motivation(s) for the proposed research.
    • The clear goals/objectives/research questions/hypotheses of the proposed research, including the overall goal and the specific objectives.
    • A literature survey of related research. This should make clear the difference between the proposed work and existing work.
    • A description of what the student has done so far related to the research goals in the provisional registration periods; giving details of published/accepted papers, if any.
    • An outline of the project, including a detailed plan for the goals/objectives to be carried out in the following years (particularly the next six months) a time line for the thesis (including writing), a possible thesis outline, and the proposed major contributions.
    • Special facility/materials needed for the thesis (if any).
    • A list of relevant references.
  • The time frame described above is for full-time students. For part-time students or other special cases such as with suspension, contact the Thesis Coordinator (or HoS).
  • This policy is subject to, and should be read in conjunction with, the VUW PhD policy.