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Proposal to exclude from candidature

What is a proposal to exclude from candidature?

  • A proposal to exclude you from candidature is a recommendation made by your Progress Support Panel where you are deemed to be at risk of not making satisfactory progress with your PHD.

What should I do if I receive a letter proposing to exclude me from my candidature?

  • Read the letter carefully.
  • You have an opportunity to respond to the proposal but you must do this within the time frames outlined in the letter. You can respond to the proposal and make your case why you should not be excluded from your candidature by providing a written submission, and attending a review meeting. You will need to initially submit a written letter and complete the reply slip (see proposal letter sent from the faculty). The Faculty will then confirm a review meeting date and time.
  • Consider contacting a DUSA Advocate for advice and assistance.

What should I include in my written submission?

  • A written submission is a letter and, where relevant include any supporting documents.
  • You need to outline the challenges and issues you have experienced and why your progress has been unsatisfactory. You also need to provide clear plans for completing your PHD and include a realistic time frame
  • Addressing the concerns of the Progress Management Panel is important. Review the panel meeting reports and make sure that the areas of concern expressed by the Panel have been addressed in your written submission
  • Use the attached Example Letter: as a guide.
  • DUSA Advocates can review your draft written submission and provide feedback before you submit it to the Faculty. Please allow 1-2 working days for Advocates to provide feedback.

What happens if I dont respond to the proposal to exclude from candidature letter?

  • The decision to exclude you will go ahead.

Should I attend the review meeting?

  • DUSA Advocates encourage students to attend review meetings if possible, either in person, by phone or via videoconferencing.

Can I take someone to the review meeting with me?

  • You can take a support person to your review meeting. This person can be anyone who is not a practicing lawyer.
  • DUSA Advocates often accompany students to review meetings. If you want an Advocate at your review meeting, please request this as soon as possible.

What happens at the review meeting?

  • The review meeting will happen in a meeting room on campus.
  • Most review meetings are conducted by a four member panel and a secretary. Some of the members from the panel will be from a different Faculty.
  • You will have the opportunity to talk about why you shouldn't be excluded and the panel will ask you some questions. You may also ask questions.
  • If you have a DUSA Advocate at your review meeting, s/he may also speak on your behalf.

When will I know the outcome?

  • On most occasions you will not find out the outcome on the day of the review meeting.
  • The Panel will contact you within 5 days via email with the outcome.

What are the possible outcomes of the review meeting?

The HDR Academic Progress Committee may decide the following outcomes.

  • Implement the recommendation from the PMP Panel and Exclude you from your candidature.
  • Vary the recommendation and allow you to continue with your candidature but implement certain conditions which you and/or the faculty/institute must meet.
  • Withdraw the recommendation and allow you to continue with your candidature.

Can I appeal the outcome?

  • If you disagree with the decision of the HDR Academic Progress Committee you may appeal to the University Appeals Committee.
  • You have 20 working days from the date of the outcome letter to appeal.
  • To appeal you will need to meet one or more of the grounds of appeal set by the University.
  • Ask an advocate for information and advice about the appeals process and grounds of appeal.

How can DUSA advocates help me?

DUSA Advocates are professional, experienced staff who provide free, independent and confidential support regarding academic and personal matters to all Deakin students.

  • An Advocate can assist you to understand the proposal, the process of responding, and the possible outcomes.
  • An Advocate can assist you in face-to-face appointments, by phone and via email.
  • An advocate can review your draft written submission and provide feedback.
  • An Advocate can accompany you to your review meeting as your support person.
  • Advocates can also provide you with referrals to support services both within Deakin University and externally.


HDR Academic Progress Committee

(insert your faculty)

Deakin University

(insert date)

Dear Committee Members,

RE: Response to Exclusion from Candidature Proposal

I, (insert name), wish to apply for a review against the proposed Exclusion from Candidature pursuant to Deakin University Higher

Degrees by Research (HDR) Academic Progress Procedure (Clauses 32-38).

Brief Introduction

Provide some information about yourself, such as the research you are undertaking, how many years you have been at Deakin, and outline when you’re Progress Management process commenced and what the initial concerns were. You may also like to include some information about how receiving the letter has affected you. This should be kept brief.

State the grounds for your review

1. Identify the issue

  • You need to address the concerns raised through the Progress Management Panels and/or concerns raised through the confirmation process. Carefully review the Progress Management Panel reports or confirmation feedback and provide some context as to what the ongoing concerns have been. If there were any gaps in the support received from your supervisors /the university address these also.
  • If relevant you need to explain what has been happening in your life which has impacted on your study that led to the Proposal to Exclude. Provide details of the circumstances/problems that have affected your academic progress such as personal, financial, medical or emotional issues, if applicable. If relevant you could also discuss any weaknesses in academic skills which has contributed to your unsatisfactory performance.

2. Resolution of the issue

  • It is important to provide resolutions for the concerns outlined in your Progress Management Panel reports specifically how you will address these concerns.
  • Provide details about the actions you have taken or plan to take to address these problems/ issues, what assistance you have sought from University services (seeing a counsellor, an academic skills adviser, or receiving medical treatment) or external providers.
  • If relevant, discuss changes in living arrangements, personal relationships and your employment commitments. The aim is to convince the panel that you are in a better position to successfully complete your studies. It is extremely important to provide evidence of your efforts to improve your situation.

3. Plan for your future success

  • Demonstrate to the panel what plans you have in place to ensure your academic success. This should also include a realistic plan with dates of when each chapter or part of your research will be completed, also include the proposed submission date. Address each of your identified problem areas individually and provide solutions to ensure that they will not impede on your future studies.


  • Summarise the main points in a statement and show how the proactive steps you have taken will enable you to be successful in your future studies. Thank the panel for their time in considering your case.

Yours sincerely,

Student Name

Student ID,

Mailing Address,




Provide copies of any documents you think are relevant to your case. Advocates can review your letter and provide feedback, prior to it being submitted to the faculty. (Please allow 24- 48hrs prior to submission date for feedback to be provided.)

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