Milestone process

UQ’s milestone process is designed to provide you with an opportunity to articulate your research to your colleagues and receive feedback and guidance.

The process has three stages – Confirmation, Mid-candiature Review, and Thesis Review: 

  MPhil PhD
Confirmation 6 months 12 months
Mid-candidature 12 months 24 months
Thesis Review 18 months 36 months

The entire process is designed to help you to successfully plan and write your thesis within three to four years (PhD) or one to two years (MPhil).

Milestone requirements vary by enrolling unit, but at a minimum usually involve a written report and presentation. Please refer to your enrolling unit for more information.

See section 5 of the HDR Progression and Development Procedures for information about milestones.

Please note, a milestone extension does not automatically extend your scholarship. You should apply separately for a scholarship extension if it is needed.


iThenticate is a web-based text matching tool that enables the originality of written work to be checked. This tool is specifically designed to assist in the screening of research works against a database of over 60 billion web pages and 155 million content items, including 49 million works from 800 scholarly publisher participants. All UQ staff and Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates have access to this tool.

You are encouraged to upload your milestone documents, publications and thesis to iThenticate to check the originality of the document and appropriate identification of sources. The originality report produced will highlight matches, including quotes, and list sources of any identified material. This report will refresh with each submission, and can be saved.


As part of the milestone attainment process, HDR candidates are encouraged to upload their milestone documents to iThenticate. It is recommended that the iThenticate originality report is shared with your Principal Advisor, and Postgraduate Coordinator (PGC). Check with your PGC for advice.

Thesis submission

From the 1st of December 2017, as part of thesis submission requirements, all HDR candidates are required to upload a copy of their thesis to iThenticate prior to uploading to the UQ eSpace as part of the submission process. The final iThenticate originality report must be shared with your Principal Advisor, and Postgraduate Coordinator (PGC). The Principal Advisor will be required to certify, via Unitask, that they have viewed and discussed the iThenticate report with you and confirm that your thesis is ready for examination.  The PGC will also be required to certify they have reviewed this originality report and endorse the submission.

If there are concerns regarding academic integrity, this will be referred to the appropriate staff member and completion of the milestone or thesis submission may be delayed.  A separate staff guide for reviewing HDR student documents is available here.

iThenticate can be accessed by logging in with your UQ student username and password via:

For more information contact your PGC or the Graduate School

You can also read the iThenticate FAQs and access the UQ iThenticate user guide

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Extension of Milestone

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Attainment of Milestone

Apply for a scholarship extension

PhD candidates may be eligible to apply for a scholarship extension within the Research Training Scheme funding period. MPhil candidates may not apply for a scholarship extension.

If you are applying for the Career Development scholarship extension, you should upload an application form with your scholarship extension request.

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Scholarship extension