PGR Annual Progress Review, MVLS Graduate School

Purpose of the PGR Progress Review

The process allows you and your supervisor(s) to plan your training needs for the year. You can also plan for regular milestones for progression.

The reviews are as follows:

  • Year 1: Complete an initial review and annual review
  • All following years: Complete an annual review only

Log in to the online system: PGR Review Process - Online System.

Please note the new questions on the impact of Covid-19 for you to complete after having discussed this with your Supervisor.

Year 1

Initial Review

Training Needs Assessment

When: Months 0-2

  • Evaluate your training needs. Use the Training Needs Assessment Form.
  • Meet with your supervisor before the end of month 2: 
  • Continue to review your training needs with your supervisor throughout the year.
  • The supervisor and student must complete the Researcher Development Log .
  • Upload these forms at the same time as your first literature review.

Literature Review and Project Aims Report

When: Within first 3 months of your start date (e.g. if you started in October, complete the initial review by the end of January (or by a date set by your Institute/School). Upload the review onto the PGR Progress Review System under the Initial tab.

If you start any year after the 1st Jan you will not have a separate initial review but will combine it with your annual review. In this case please go to the Annual Review tab not the Initial review tab.

  • The literature review consists of:
    • a summary of the current scientific literature relevant to your research
    • the scientific aims of your research project
    • the experimental approaches/study design you may use.
  • The assessor panel examines this review. This panel also reviews the Researcher Development Log and the Training Needs Assessment form. All of this will be discussed at your first meeting, and will be part of your Initial Review process.
  • The review/report should be concise, no more than 6 pages long. Use 10pt Arial font and 1.5 line spacing (2 cm margin). It should include:
    • a literature review (approx 4 pages including figures)
    • an outline project plan (approx 1 page)
    • no more than 40 references.
  • You and your supervisor complete a brief progress review online. The aim is to support you in your progression.
  • If any difficulties arise, a Postgraduate Convener will contact you.

Annual Review

Institutes and Schools make their own arrangements for annual reviews. To find out about your Institute or School's arrangements, contact your Postgraduate Convener.  Even if you start after January, you must have an annual review. Please contact your supervisor or PGR Convener for guidance. The process includes:

  • A 3000 word (approx) report in the style of a journal. This will be appropriate to your discipline and your supervisor suggests the format.
  • The report contains 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.

Data Management Plan (DMP)

All PGR students must prepare a data management plan for their research projects. This forms part of their submission for progression from one year to the next of their doctoral studies. 

A data management plan takes one to two hours to prepare and approximately half an hour to review. Both the student and supervisor may want to attend training on how to write a data management plan. This training, and a DMP review service is already available to all staff and students. 

When: As determined by Institute/School

  • All students must deliver a presentation, either oral or poster, by the end of their first year.
  • The format for these presentations varies between Institutes and Schools.

When: By 30 June

Formal Assessment Interview
When: By end of August

  • Formal Assessment Interview (MS Word) is carried out by two assessors who are not involved in the supervision of the student.
  • The assessors meet with the student face-to-face for a formal interview.
  • At this point, remedial action is agreed upon if required. 
  • The panel must upload a formal note of the meeting and action points within one week of the interview. 
  • The Postgraduate Convener assigns a progression marker to each student. This marker is based on a Traffic Lightsystem.
  • Once completed, you can register for the next academic session if appropriate.
  • Check with your local Postgraduate Convener for any extra requirements.

All students (except Year 1)

Annual Review

Data Management Plan (DMP)

You should review and update your data management plan as necessary to ensure that it complies with your current research. 

(A data management plan takes one to two hours to prepare and approximately half an hour to review. If you haven't already, you may want to attend training on how to write a data management plan. This training, and a DMP review service is available to all staff and students). 

Training Needs Assessment
When: Throughout year of study

  • Discuss 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.
  • The student attends training courses and obtains credits through the Research Training Programme.
  • Review your training needs with your supervisor throughout the year

Report/Thesis Plan
When: By 30 June 
(An earlier deadline may apply, please check with your Institute/School)

  • Submit a scientific report, with a note of progress over the year, at the time of the annual review. 
  • Final year of study: Complete a scientific report and a thesis plan. Submit both when completing the online PGR progress review.
  • A COVID-19 mitigation plan as outlined here: Mitigation Plan to Reduce the Impact of COVID (PDF).
  • Check with your local Postgraduate Convener for any extra requirements. 

Formal Assessment Interview
When:  Organised by Institute/School (The Graduate School must receive confirmation through the PGR System by 31 August)

  • Organised at Institute/School level with the Postgraduate Convener.
  • Two assessors, who are not involved in your supervision of the student, meet with you face-to-face for a formal interview.
  • You can agree on any remedial action with the assessors if required.
  • The panel must upload a formal note of the meeting and action points within one week of the interview.
  • The Postgraduate Convener assigns a progression marker, based on a Traffic Light system. This allows the student to register for the next academic session.

When: Before the end of the Year or as determined by Institute/School

  • All students complete a presentation, either poster or oral, by the end of their second/third year.
  • Check with your local Postgraduate Convener for any extra requirements.
  • Institutes and Schools make their own arrangements for annual reviews. If you are unclear on your Institute or School's policy, contact your local administrator.

Thesis Pending

Final Year Interview
When:  Recommended 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.

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

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

Additional information

Part-time Students

  • The above review format is followed for each year of study, until the thesis pending year.
  • 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. 
  • The literature review and project plan follow the same timelines as for PhD students.

MVLS & MRC in Precision Medicine Doctoral Training Programme Students

  • Students on the MVLS & MRC Precision Medicine DTP receive separate instructions for your review process. 
  • Please contact Alexis Merry, DTP Coordinator, with any questions. 

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.
  • The School or Institute can arrange a Skype 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.