Annual Review - FAQs for students

Do I need to complete the annual review this year?

If you have been sent emails to your Deakin student email address about having to do the annual review, then you are expected to complete the review within the time specified.

This includes:

  • students who have taken some period/s of intermission since the last annual review
  • students who have submitted their notification of intention to submit

All HDR students who are entering their second calendar year of candidature (full- or part-time) have to do the review. The reviews are due for completion close to the anniversary date of commencement in the second and subsequent years of candidature (taking into account any intermission taken).

The only HDR students who are NOT required to complete the annual review are:

  • students whose thesis has been lodged with the Examinations Officer for examination on or before the closing of this review period
  • students who are revising their thesis for resubmission

If you think you meet one of the criteria for not needing to complete the annual review please contact a HDR Adviser via email or 03 5227 1090 to clarify whether or not you are required to complete the review.

I have been on intermission for a long period. Do I still need to complete the review?

Yes, you are still required to complete the annual review. Your first annual review due date takes into account any intermission taken in the first two years of candidature. Subsequent review due dates take into account any intermission taken in the previous year.

You are being asked to report on the PAST year so you will be focussing on the tasks you accomplished prior to or following your intermission, as well as your revised timeline for once you resume candidature.

Use the review as a good opportunity to revise your timeline for completion in light of your intermission and plan for the coming year and your return to candidature.

My thesis is close to submission. Do I still need to complete the review?

Yes. Unless your thesis is submitted to the Examinations Officer before the close of the online system for this review period, you are still required to complete the review.

I don't know my user name or password so how can I log-in?

  1. Go to usernames and passwords.
  2. Select one of the following options:
    • If you have previously set up your Deakin student email account but have forgotten your username and/or password select the option "Students – How to reset your password?".
    • If you have never previously set up your Deakin student email account select the option "How to activate your Deakin account".
  3. Once you have agreed to the conditions of use you will be directed to a page which asks for a series of details to confirm your identity. Complete and click on the "Submit" button.
  4. Ensure that you make a note of your username and that you print out the randomly generated password that you are allocated. Passwords are case specific so unless you type it perfectly it will not be recognised.
  5. You will need to wait at least an hour after obtaining your password before accessing any areas of the Deakin website that require this information as it takes a short while for the Deakin computer system to process your new password.

I obtained a new password but still can't log-in.

There are several possible answers to this question so you will need to consider which one applies to you:

  • You need to wait for at least one hour after changing your password before you try to access the system as it takes a short while for the Deakin computer system to process your new password.
  • You have mistyped your user name or password (ensure that the caps lock is not on, that you haven't typed a letter when it should be a numeral – such as the number zero and the letter 'O' or the number one and the letter 'l').
  • Although most versions of most browsers support our candidature review system, we can’t guarantee that it will work on all browsers. You may need to install the Mozilla browser which is the preferred Deakin University web browser. It can be downloaded from the Deakin Software website.
  • You are a Deakin staff member as well as a HDR student and you are using your staff internet access details when you need to use your student user name and password. Refer to Q4 to find out how to obtain your student username and password. Try using a different browser and/or clearing your browser history. Sometimes it will keep reverting back to your default staff account and won't let you log in as a student.

I am a Deakin staff member as well as a Deakin HDR student and I can't log-in.

You have to use your Deakin student log-in details to access the candidature review system. Your staff details are not recognised by the candidature review system because it is in your capacity as a student that you are required to complete the review. Please refer to Q3 for information on obtaining your student username and password if you have not already done this.

You could also try using a different browser and/or clearing your browser history. Sometimes it will keep reverting back to your default staff account and won't let you log in as a student.

What questions are in the review?

You will need to answer the following questions in the review:

Student Details

  • Confirmation of your candidature details

Research Codes

  • Confirmation of Field of Research (FOR) and Socio-Economic Objectives (SEO) codes for the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Thesis Details

  • Confirmation of thesis title
  • Provide evidence of thesis/exegesis written to date.
  • When do you expect to submit your thesis?

Project Progress

  • Outline of work completed to date
  • Outline of work still to be completed
  • Provide an outline of the specific achievements since the last review


  • Does your project require Human or Animal ethics approval?

Student Comments

Please discuss the following questions with your supervision team and answer the following:

  • Are there currently any impediments to your progress?
    If there any concerns that you want to raise confidentially we encourage you to discuss these with your HDR Coordinator.
  • Any specific Occupational Health and Safety matters you wish to raise?
  • Average hours of paid employment per week (if any)
  • Have you reviewed your individual learning plan? This may or may not be applicable to you.

Can I save my answers half way through, or log back in and change my answers later?

You can save your answers prior to submitting the form by clicking on the SAVE button.

You can log in as many times as you want during the review period but once you have submitted your review to your supervisor, you will not be able to make any amendments or add any additional comments.

If you click on the ‘Submit Review’ tab, you can see all of the sections that you have saved successfully and those that still need to be completed. Only when you have completed and saved all sections, will you be able to submit your review to your supervisor.

My supervisor details are wrong in the annual review. What should I do?

The information shown in the candidature review system is the most up-to-date information regarding your candidature that Deakin Research have at the time the review commenced. If your supervision panel is incorrect, it means that either:

a.) A 'Change of Supervisor' form submitted has not been approved yet so the change is not reflected in the information shown in the candidature review system.


b.) Deakin Research has not received a 'Change of Supervisor' form for changes to your panel. To make changes to your supervision panel you will need to arrange completion of the form with your supervisor. The 'Change of Supervisor' form can be found on our Online Forms page. You can also contact a HDR Adviser on 03 5227 1090 to discuss this.

My principal supervisor has changed. Will the new supervisor have access?

If the person who is now your principal/executive supervisor is already showing on your supervision panel as associate supervisor or co-supervisor, they will automatically be able to access the review system. All Deakin staff listed on your panel are automatically able to access your review.

If your principal supervisor is new to your panel you will need to contact a HDR Adviser on 03 5227 1090 as your new principal/executive supervisor will not be able to access the review. A deferral of your annual review may be arranged to an appropriate later date.  The 'Change of Supervisor Recommendation' form will still need to be submitted and approved in order to formally make the change to your supervision arrangements. This can be found on the Online Forms page.

My principal supervisor is away. Can my associate supervisor access the review instead?

Any current Deakin staff members who are on your supervision panel already have access to the candidature review system and are therefore able to key comments into the supervisor section if required. They do not need to request special access. They should however discuss this with the principal supervisor ideally before they go away.

I want to amend my thesis submission date but I can't make the date appear from the calendar.

After selecting the month and year from the drop down menus in the calendar, you must actually click on the date in the calendar. This should both close the calendar window and enter the date in the submission date field.

I already have a very detailed plan of my project. Do I need to re-type this into the review system?

No. If it is a straight forward word processed document you can paste it directly into the question in the review to which it relates. Alternatively, you are able to attach any type of file to the question concerning your plan for completion. Please try to ensure that attachments are in standard software formats as not all users who will be making comments on your progress (Supervisor and Head of Academic Unit) have access to specialised software.

Why is Section 3 (Candidate's response to Supervisor's comments) optional?

You do not have to respond to your supervisor's comments as you may have already discussed issues with your supervisor or you may not wish to comment. You will be emailed when the Student’s Response is ready to complete. You will have 3 days in order to complete this section and then this section will automatically close and the review will progress to the Head of Academic Unit. You will not be able to access this section after this.

Why do I only have four weeks to access the online system?

After you completed your section and made your comments, your supervisor and the Head of Academic Unit also need to make comments before your review is finalised. Your re-enrolment for the following year will not be authorised until these people have indicated that they are satisfied with the progress reflected in your review. Reviews need to be fully completed and signed off for candidature to continue.

If you need an extension for any reason, please contact a HDR Adviser via email or 03 5227 1090 to request this.

Is there any penalty for late completion of the review?

Yes. You will be liable for a $220 late completion fee if your annual review is not completed by the given date. Non-completion may also result in the termination of your enrolment. Please contact a HDR Adviser via email or 03 5227 1090 if you are unable to complete the review or require an extension.

How do I re-enrol for the following year? Is it automatic?

Your re-enrolment for the following year is completed on your behalf by Deakin Research, dependent upon satisfactory completion of the annual review. You cannot re-enrol through Deakin Studies Online (DSO) or Student Connect.

If you have not been required to do the review, you will be automatically re-enrolled.

My supervisor has not completed his/her section of my review as yet. What should I do?

If you can't contact your principal/executive supervisor contact any other associate or co-supervisors you may have on your panel. Your principal/executive supervisor may have arranged for one of your other supervisors to complete the supervisor section if they knew they were going to be unavailable. It is best to clarify this as early as possible.

Can I have a paper copy of the annual review?

The only students who are able to obtain paper copies of the annual review are students with disabilities. All other students are required to complete the review online without exception.

Whom do I contact if I have further queries about the annual review?

If you have queries about the content of the review or whether you need to complete the review please contact:

Can students make confidential comments within the Candidature Review System?

No, but the system prompts students to contact other parties if there is a need to discuss something confidentially. The system has been designed to make the review process as transparent as possible. However, if a student needs to seek advice or talk to somebody else confidentially (e.g. an HDR Coordinator or member of Deakin Research), the system invites them to do so.

Is it possible for an academic unit such as a school to hold a meeting, involving people such as the HDR Coordinator, to review the progress of its students?

Yes, they are welcome to arrange meetings for their students. The process does not only have to involve the student and supervisor reporting independently through the candidature review system. If the HDR Coordinator or even a panel of people in the school wanted to meet with the student and supervisor, either together or separately, they can do that. The only condition is that the student’s progress is recorded in the candidature review system (i.e. that the student, supervisor and head of academic unit sections are completed).

Why is the Individual Learning Plan not included in the Candidature Review System?

The candidature review system was developed in-house whereas the ILP is an external vendor-developed system. Linking the two systems directly was too complex at this point, but there is a prompt in the annual review which asks the student and supervisor if the ILP has been reviewed.

Who is able to view the documents uploaded into the Candidature Review System?

The only people who have access to a student’s record are the student, supervisors, head of academic unit and Deakin Research. It’s a very secure environment which requires Deakin usernames and passwords.

What is the purpose of the student being required to upload documents in the Candidature Review System?

There are a number of purposes to this:

  • It is about relationships, specifically the student-supervisor relationship. We know that the areas with the highest completion rates also have the closest supervision styles. The most effective student-supervisor relationships are the ones where there is a close supervisory style. Close does not mean overbearing. The expectation is that the student and supervisor will jointly decide which documents are the most appropriate to upload for that particular annual review. The supervisor should not be seeing a document for the first time when they log in to complete their section of the review.
  • It is also about providing other people involved in the candidature review with the information they need to determine whether the student has been making progress appropriate to their stage of candidature. The person completing the review at head of academic unit level, most likely the HDR Coordinator, may not be closely connected with the student’s project or research group. In exercising their duty of care to assess the student’s progress, they need to be able to see exactly how much progress the student has made and how close they are to completing their degree within the remaining time.
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