Doctoral study at my university requires candidates to successfully pass through three main milestones: a ‘Stage 2 Proposal‘ around three months after admission, when the research proposal is bedded down; a ‘Confirmation Seminar and Report‘ around 12 months in, when the bulk of the literature review is presented to a panel of examiners, to justify the proposed research design and potential contribution in your work; and lastly, a Final Seminar, which takes place just before the thesis is submitted for examination.
I’ve just passed Confirmation, which tells me I’m more or less on track with my research. The feedback from my committee was incredibly helpful, and I can see my research project will be stronger for having passed through this useful process.
My next steps are to submit an ethics application to the University Human Research Ethics Committee. Once the committee are satisfied that my project meets a series of rigorous requirements in line with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, I’ll be able to move on to the next stage: data collection.