Annual Progress reviews (APR)

Annual Progress Reviews provide an opportunity for you and your supervisor/s to:

  • Take stock of how your project has gone over the past year
  • Review all aspects of your candidature
  • Develop a plan of action for the next year.

The primary rounds of APRs at the Kirby Institute take place around May and November each year and on an ad hoc basis if required.


Preparing for your APR

The APR process requires you to submit a formal online report which your supervisor reviews and adds comment to.

At the Kirby Institute, you are also required to present your progress to the panel using 5 – 7 slides that cover:

  • Key objectives of the research
  • Current progress
  • Milestones/timelines.

Additionally, all candidates must have a confirmation review within 6 – 9 months of commencement. At a confirmation review, you must also submit:

  • a well written and critical review of the research area (typically a literature review, max. 5 pages)
  • an established and feasible detailed research proposal (max. 5 pages).


At the review

Your progress will be reviewed by a panel consisting of the chair (a senior member of staff) and two other UNSW academics. We will endeavour to keep the same panel for all your reviews. It is expected that your supervisors and co-supervisors will attend the review.

The APR takes about 30 – 45 minutes and runs as follows:

  • Introductions
  • Present your powerpoint
  • Questions from the panel
  • Discussion with you (supervisors leave the room)
  • Discussion with the supervisors (you leave the room)
  • Panel discussion (you and your supervisors leave the room)
  • Everyone returns to the room to receive the panel’s recommendations/sign off.

Further details about the APR can be found on the Graduate Research School website.


Students and students with a marginal or unsatisfactory rating over time

In these circumstances, the panel must ensure that:

  • There is a clear plan and timeline for the completion of any outstanding data collection
  • The student has protected time to write, preferably their thesis rather than manuscripts
  • The student and supervisor(s) are meeting face-to-face on a regular basis
  • The student gives supervisors sufficient time to review their work
  • Any impediments to completion are identified and a solution is agreed to by all parties
  • Where indicated, additional reviews are scheduled for three months later (note that any ‘marginal’ rating indicates that an additional review three months later is mandatory).