The PhD program

The duration of a full-time course for the PhD degree is a minimum of two years and a maximum of four. Scholarships, where they are awarded, rarely last beyond three years and we will work with you from your commencement to finish your course within that three-year period.

Research students at The Australian National University work under the direction of a supervisory panel intended to bring together expertise tailored to the students’ needs. Panels are typically composed of a Chair of a Panel and up to four other members who bring general or specific knowledge.

The progress of PhD students is closely monitored in accordance with University, College and School policy. Your candidature is governed by a series of ‘gates’ that you must pass through at certain times. This system ensures that you finish your thesis in a timely fashion and that any issues or concerns are brought to our attention as soon as possible. These include:

  • An initial project proposal (9–12 months after enrollment).
  • Annual plans that provide details of your work schedule for the next 12 months.
  • Annual reports that detail your actual progress against your previous plan.
  • Mid-term reviews that present your evolving project and findings midway through your candidature.
  • Thesis reports about your project delivered towards the end of your candidature.
  • Public seminar to disseminate your research.
  • Research integrity training and ethical clearance for fieldwork.

We view your candidature as a professional appointment, the equivalent of a full-time job. We expect you to work regularly in the Department, to join in the Departmental activities such as workshops and seminars, and to contribute to the general intellectual life of the Department.

Updated:  5 December 2022/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team