Year 1

Initial Review

*** The PGR System is now open for initial reviews to take place.

Students are required to:

  1. Organise to meet with their supervisor(s) to: 
  2. Provide a Literature Review consisting of:
    • A summary of the current scientific literature relevant to their research
    • The scientific aims of their research project
    • The experimental approaches/study design they may use
    • Approx 2000-2500 words (3-4 pages plus references) 
  3. Upload any documents with the Literature Review online and complete your self-assessment. 
  4. Student organises to meet with assessor panel to discuss the Literature Review, Researcher Development Log and Training Needs Assessment.
  5. Assessor panel adds their assessment online.
  6. Student completes their student statement online.
  7. PGR Convenor reviews and assigns a recommendation.

Extra Notes

You normally have 3 months to complete the initial review. If you started on/after March 1st, you may not have an initial review and should combine it with your annual review. Have a chat with your supervisor and then inform the Graduate School if this is the case.

In this instance, do not complete the initial review section. Contact the Graduate School and we will close it, this will then open the annual review section for you to complete.

If you are encountering any issues with your research or as a new student, it's important you have a chat with your supervisor. Good communication goes a long way.

Annual Review

Students are required to:

  1. Contact your supervisory team/panel reviewers and arrange your annual review during May - July.
  2. Write a 3000 (max limit) word scientific journal style report containing the following sections:
    • an abstract
    • an introduction
    • materials and methods
    • results and discussion (combine the last two as appropriate)
    • a 500-1000 word section at the end detailing the following year’s work. You can identify potential pitfalls and solutions in this section.
  3. Prepare a data management plan for your research projects. This forms part of your submission for progression from one year to the next of your doctoral studies. 
  4. Deliver a presentation, either oral or poster, by the end of their first year with their supervisory panel.
  5. Submit a scientific report, with a note of progress over the year, by MAY 31. 
  6. Students should check with their local Postgraduate Convener for any extra requirements.
  7. Arrange a Formal Assessment Interview with the two Panel Assessors.
  8. Assessor panel adds their assessment online.
  9. Student completes their student statement online.
  10. PGR Convenor reviews and assigns a recommendation.
  11. When: complete by JULY 31

Extra Notes

Regarding deadline dates, individual circumstances may vary. If unsure, seek school specific guidance from your Postgraduate Convenor.

Years 2, 3 +

Annual Review

Students are required to:

  1. Contact your supervisory team/panel reviewers and arrange your annual review during May - July.
  2. Review and update your data management plan as necessary to ensure that it complies with your current research. 
  3. Update your Training Needs Assessment Form and Researcher Development Log with your supervisory team.
    • Confirm completion of the training suggested in Year 1 and/or Year 2.
    • Attends training activities through the Graduate Skills Pathway.
    • Review your training needs with your supervisor throughout the year.
  4. Deliver a presentation, either oral or poster, by the end of your second/third year with your supervisory panel.
  5. Submit a scientific report, with a note of progress over the year, by MAY 31.
  6. Arrange a Formal Assessment Interview with the two Panel Assessors.
  7. Assessor panel adds their assessment online.
  8. Student completes their student statement online.
  9. PGR Convenor reviews and assigns a recommendation to allow you progress to, and register for, the next academic year. 
  10. When: complete by JULY 31.

Extra Notes

Regarding deadline dates, individual circumstances may vary. If unsure, seek school specific guidance from your Postgraduate Convenor.

Thesis Pending - Final Year

1. Final Year Interview
    When:  Do at least 8 months prior to submission deadline

  • You will be interviewed on your progress in thesis writing within a year of your thesis submission deadline.
  • In the case of MSc(R) students, your assessors may discuss this at the progress review.
  • Your local Postgraduate Conveners will arrange this interview.

2. Submission of Thesis
    When: Within 4 years

  • All full-time PhD, MD, MVM and DDS students must submit within 4 years of commencing their period of research.
  • Supervisors and students must know the thesis submission date. You must submit the thesis by this deadline. You can find this 'End date' on your student summary MyCampus.
  • If you need an extension or suspension of study, please email a formal letter to the Graduate School

3. Intention to Submit a Thesis
    When: Approximately 3-6 months before thesis submission deadline

  • Complete your intention to submit on TAP.
  • This begins the process of organising a Committee of Examiners for your viva voce (oral exam).
  • Read Before you Submit your thesis for more information. 

Additional information

Part-time Students

  • The above review format for initial and annual review is the same for part time students and followed for each year of study, until the thesis pending year. Initial reviews are required between 0-3 months of starting. If you start in October it should be completed by the end of January.
  • Part-time students will make less progress than full-time students in one academic year. It is still important to review the progress made in that time.
  • The minimum length of part-time PhD study is 5 years. The maximum period for thesis submission is no later than 8 years. 

MSc by Research Students

  • MSc by Research students must take part in the Initial and Annual reviews. 
  • Students undertake 1 year research and 1 year thesis pending.
  • The literature review and project plan follow the same timelines as for PhD students.

MVLS DTP/ Wellcome programmes

Students on MVLS DTP/ Wellcome programmes may receive additional instructions on their review process. 

Since the first 6-months of the programme involves two 3-month lab rotations, the Annual Review Process deadlines differ slightly for MVLS DTP students.

The main difference is that there is flexibility to combine the initial review with your annual review on MyCampus.

However, the coordination etc of your Annual Review will be carried out locally. If you are unclear about submission dates and panel meetings etc, please contact your local PGR administration/PGR convener in the first instance.

Precision Medicine DTP students follow the regular process of doing an initial review in Jan and the annual review in May.

For all other enquiries about your review process at a local level use the contact details provided below:

ProgrammeContact Details
MRC DTP in Precision Medicine
Multimorbidity PhD for Health Professionals
Wellcome Trust Integrative Infection Biology PhD

Wellcome-IIB Programme

First year students on the IIB complete two rotations and then join their PhD lab in April/May. You don’t complete the initial review  as you won't yet know where you will be based at the usual initial review time in Jan/Feb.

Instead, complete your annual review in MyCampus. Email the Graduate School to let them know you have to go straight to your annual review in case they need to override the initial review section.

Here is what you need to complete as part of your annual review:

  • Submit a rotation report: this is a journal style article that gives you the same experience of writing as other students for the annual review. Ideally from the rotation in the final PhD lab, although not all students join a lab they rotated through.
  • A PhD proposal - akin to the literature review and project plan that ‘regular’ students submit for their initial review. The format of this is based on funder requirements and includes hypothesis, aims, over-view timeline for the project.
  • Data management plan as required for all students at annual review.
  • Training needs assessment form (as for all students).
  • Researcher development log (as for all students).

With these forms and the usual meeting, your assessors will be able to judge your understanding of the project, your ability to present and analyse data, and discuss the interaction with your supervisor(s).

Precision Medicine DTP

Precision Medicine DTP students follow the regular process of doing an initial review in Jan and an annual review in May.


See the instructions above in the main text.


Furth of Glasgow: Annual Progress Review

  • Discuss methods and frequency of communication with your supervisor in advance. 
  • You must still complete the annual progress requirements when studying away from or “furth of" Glasgow.
  • Your appointed supervisor in the field is expected to contribute to your annual report.
  • Your School can arrange a Zoom interview at a convenient time.
  • The Graduate School adheres to the University's Furth of Glasgow policy.

Duties of the Reviewer/Assessor

The Postgraduate Convener, in consultation your supervisor(s), appoints your reviewer/assessors.  The reviewer/assessor, where possible, will be familiar with the area of research.

The reviewer/assessor encourages both student and supervisor to adopt best practices. They assist with solving problems that arise. This can include any problems that may arise between the student and the supervisor.

The role is mainly pastoral and includes the following:

  • Maintaining regular, informal contact with the student during the course of the research. There will be an informal discussion about progress at least once per semester.
  • Maintaining regular contact with the supervisor during the course of the research project. Ensuring awareness of difficulties that might arise.
  • Encouraging the student to raise problems with the Graduate School or Postgraduate Convener.
  • Providing an alternative conduit for information between the student and supervisor. The aim is to solve problems at an early stage.
  • Discussing the content of the student’s annual progress report.
  • Adding a paragraph to the annual report on the quality and progress of the research and training.

Your Supervisory Team Roles

Project Supervisor

You should already know who your primary project supervisor is and you will also have one or more co-supervisor(s). It is essential at the start of your studies to establish who will take on the prime responsibility for guiding your scientific direction, making available the necessary resources for your experimental work and providing regular feedback on your data and written work. If you have more than one supervisor, you are strongly advised to have regular joint meetings with all supervisors present so that everyone involved is kept informed of your progress and plans. On a daily basis you may be working alongside a postdoc or other senior researcher in your group but you must also have regular meetings with your supervisor. Although you may be seeing your supervisor regularly to talk about things informally, e.g. in the lab, dropping into their office, in the corridor, you should arrange to hold regular formal supervisory meetings. You are advised to take responsibility for arranging these meetings and to keep minutes/notes on them which you circulate to and agree with your supervisor(s). That way everyone involved in your project is kept up to date with progress and what has been decided with regard to your training, future experiments, data analysis and presentations or manuscript preparation. The majority of studies involve more than one researcher so it is highly advisable to discuss with your supervisor at the earliest possible stage of any study who will be the named authors on any conference abstracts or manuscripts for publication. 

Panel Reviewers/Assessors

You should have two reviewers who are not directly involved in the day to day aspects of your project. They assess your annual progress but also play an important role throughout the year if you need advice or feedback. Reviewer 1 will have some knowledge of the field of your research project and can act as a useful sounding board for ideas or when reviewing data or experimental plans.  If you feel you need to discuss issues that can’t be resolved with your primary supervisor or wish someone else with which to discuss issues outside your studies you can consult Reviewer 1 at any time. Reviewer 2 may have no knowledge of the area you are working in but will be an experienced researcher and can act as a source of advice, both scientific and otherwise. It’s always good to get a fresh perspective from outside your own research group so you are encouraged to make use of your reviewers’ expertise and experience. If you are not sure who your reviewers are contact the Postgraduate Convener or Administrator. Please check your School website for local Convener and Administrator contacts. 

Postgraduate Convenor

Postgraduate Conveners are members of the Graduate School and sit on the various committees within it. Postgraduate Conveners are responsible for reviewing each student’s annual progress review and making final recommendation for progression and registration at the start of the new academic year in October. However, you can also contact your Postgraduate Convener if you feel there are matters you cannot resolve through discussion with your supervisors or reviewers.  If you have concerns about your progress at any point during the year alert your Postgraduate Convener as soon as possible. This is especially important if there are serious issues, e.g. health or changes in circumstances which are having a major impact your ability to progress in your studies.


  • I'm trying to log on to the PGR System but it's not letting me in.
    • You may not have been added to the system. Contact the Graduate School:

  • I'm trying to complete my annual review but the annual review tab is greyed out.
    • This means your initial review was not completed. 
    • Your annual review from the previous year was not completed.
    • You have just completed two lab rotations which means you skip the initial review and go straight to annual review. Contact the Graduate School.

  • My documents won't upload, what's wrong with the PGR system?
    • Nothing is wrong with the system. Check how large the doc is in mb. The system will not accept documents greater than 20mb. If you still can't upload it, copy and paste all of the answers to the questions in the section you're trying to upload to and save to a word doc. Alert the Graduate School and they will unsubmit the section, allowing you to re-submit and try again. Alternatively, try using a different browser.

  • I started midway through the academic year. When should my first review take place?
    • If you started in Jan/Feb you have until APRIL 30 to fully complete the initial review.
    • If you started between March/June you will combine your initial review with your annual review. Do not try to upload documents to the initial review tab as it will be greyed out and unuseable. Use the annual review tab.
  • I started in Aug, when do I do my initial review and why have I been charged extra fees?
    • You should fully complete their initial review at the usual time in January.
    • The financial year ends on 31 July but the new academic term starts in October for PGR students. If you started in Aug/Sept you will be charged one/two months extra fees for (technically) starting in the previous academic year. Please contact the Graduate School if you have any questions.

  • I'm a DTP student/Wellcome student doing two lab rotations, do I do an initial review?
    • No you do not, go straight to annual review after your lab rotations.
    • In the PGR system you may still see the initial review tab free but do not use it. Email the MVLS Graduate School and ask for it to be overriden. This will close the initial review section and open up the annual review section which you need.

  • Do part-time students also hold their initial review in January, or can this be pushed to a little later to get feedback on more developed work?
    • Part-time students follow the same procedure above as all other students. Initial reviews are normally completed within the first 0-3 months of starting. If you start after March, then it would be combined in the annual review tab in the PGR system. Please contact the Graduate School if this is the case as they will have to adjust your record.

  • Where do I complete my self-assessment, I can't see it on this webpage?
    • It's not on this webpage, log in to the PGR system.