Readers are an essential part of the review panel and Milestone process. Readers can be anyone who has a good knowledge of the area of research of the Candidate, so long as they are not part of the same immediate group as the Candidate or Principal Advisor, or part of the advisory team.

  1. You will be approached by the Candidate or their advisory team, asking if you are prepared to act as a Reader for the Milestone review.
  2. Once you have indicated your willingness to participate, you will be sent the documentation prepared by the Candidate, together with a link to the Readers guide for the type of questions that we would like you to address at each milestone. 
  3. Please read the Candidate’s written document and provide some written feedback. Things to consider when preparing the written feedback for each milestone level are detailed below. If the feedback is extensive, or you identify major issues with the document, please send that feedback to the candidate, the advisory team and the Chair of the milestone committee (cc’d to the HLO) at least one week prior to the Milestone meeting, to give the candidate time to consider your comments.  
  4. On the day of the milestone review, the Candidate will present a seminar, and then the Candidate and Advisory team will meet with the review committee so that any issues can be discussed and worked through. You will then assist the Chair of the milestone committee in completing the Milestone-specific S3 form (Chair’s report) document, and discuss the outcome of the review with the candidate.

1. Things to consider when reading a Confirmation of Candidature document

  • Are the theoretical approach, methodology and/or experimental design sufficient?
  • Does the student have a sound grasp of the literature, conceptual background, objectives and hypotheses being tested?
  • Does it appear that the relevant skills and techniques needed to solve the research problems raised by the project have already been gained by the candidate? Or if not, is there a plan in place to acquire these skills?
  • Has the student made sufficient progress in their experimental work and produced data of high quality?
  • Does the student have a clear idea of the next steps?
  • Is the timetable for completion of the project reasonable?
  • Is there a need for a contingency plan in the event of project difficulties?
  • Do you consider that the proposed project is of sufficient scope for a PhD (or MPhil) and is feasible within 3.5 – 4 years (or 1 – 2 years for MPhil)?
  • Do you have specific questions for the student?  If so, please ask them in your report, so that the student may respond to them either prior to the oral presentation or make preparations to respond at the presentation itself.