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Principles and Purposes of Progress Reporting

Three Principles

The progress reporting system employed at Otago is based on three major principles:

  • The process should provide a stimulus for honest dialogue between the candidate, supervisors and the department; and
  • The process should encourage candidates to conduct a careful and regular review of their achievements and to set goals for the next phase of research; and
  • The process should provide opportunity to discuss career plans and relevant professional development opportunities.


Progress reports are used for the following purposes:

  • To support recommendations regarding confirmation of candidature (the first year)
  • To ensure that the project is properly "on track", particularly with regard to the planned completion date
  • To identify any problems inhibiting the progress of the PhD
  • To indicate any changes to the project or its academic support (such as changes of title, changes of supervision, etc)
  • To support recommendations regarding the tenure of scholarships
  • To discuss career pathways and professional development opportunities

It is particularly important that the reporting process be used as a means of determining the adequacy of supervision and support. Where problems are identified, these should be signalled in the report, together with measures to rectify them.