PhD Proposal and Supervisory Agreement

Completion of the PhD Proposal and Supervisory Agreement Form is the first milestone in the PhD Lifecycle (see http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/postgrad/phd_students/lifecycle.shtml) for students who first enrolled as a PhD student after 1st November 2013.
Students who first enrolled as a PhD student before 1st November 2013 (and who have not opted to change to the new system) are required to complete a PhD Registration Form rather than the PhD Proposal Form (see http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/postgrad/phd_students/lifecycle.shtml).

The PhD Proposal and Supervisory Agreement Form has to be completed by PhD candidates, their supervisors and the relevant department/school Postgraduate Coordinator 6 months after initial enrolment as a PhD candidate. The form is then submitted to the Postgraduate Office (postgraduate-office@canterbury.ac.nz) for approval by the Dean of Postgraduate Research.

The purpose of the form is to confirm the composition of the student’s supervisory team, to endorse the student’s initial research proposal and to confirm the availability of resources to support the project. Importantly the form includes the Supervisory Agreement which establishes expectations between student and supervisor around supervision – for example specifying the roles of each supervisor and the frequency of supervisory meetings. This agreement should be a “living document” that can be revisited through the tenure of the PhD. Some departments/schools have additional requirements (e.g., completion of Health and Safety documentation) – ensure that you talk to your supervisors about what is required.

Completing the PhD Proposal and Supervisory Agreement Form

For all students who first enrolled in their PhD after 1st November 2013 (or those who were eligible to choose and who selected the new process)


You must complete the PhD Proposal and Supervisory Agreement Form within six months of enrolling as a PhD candidate, whether your status is full- or part-time. This is done by downloading and completing the form from the link below. After you have completed your section you need to pass the form to your senior supervisor for him/her to complete the next section. Once all sections have been completed the form must be submitted to the Postgraduate Office. You will receive a reminder before this form is due. Failure to submit the form may result in termination of your enrolment.

Individual departments/schools may have additional requirements; please ensure that you are aware of the processes in your Department/School.

PhD Proposal and Supervisory Agreement Form (DOC, 49KB)

Students in the Department of Geological Sciences please complete this version of the form PhD Proposal and Supervisory Agreement Form - Geology Only (DOC, 378KB)

You will be notified by the Postgraduate Office when the Dean of Postgraduate Research has approved your PhD Proposal and Supervisory Agreement Form, or if there are any concerns that need to be discussed.

The next milestone after completion of the PhD Proposal and Supervisory Agreement Form is completion of the PhD Confirmation Process, 6 months after your PhD Registration. Further details about the Confirmation Process can be found on this website unders PhD Confirmation. Individual departments/schools may have additional requirements; please ensure that you are aware of the processes in your Department/School.

If you require an extension to the date of submission of your PhD Proposal and Supervisory Agreement you need to complete the Application for an extension (DOC, 119KB) form outlining the length of extension requested and the reason for requesting the extension. Before applying for an extension please first discuss the matter with your supervisors. Your application for an extension will be considered by the Dean of Postgraduate Research in consultation with your supervisors. You will be notified on the outcome of your request by the Postgraduate Office as soon as possible. Please note that being granted an extension to the submission of the PhD Proposal and Supervisory Agreement Form does not also result in an extension to the final submission date of your thesis.

Completing the PhD Registration and Research Proposal Form

For all students enrolled in their PhD before 1st November 2013 (or those who were eligible to choose and who selected the old process)

These students are required to submit a PhD Registration and Research Proposal Form (DOC, 161KB)l 6 months after the date of your initial enrolment in your PhD and then submit a PhD Progress Report Form six months later. You will be sent a reminder in advance of your Progress Report Form being due. You will be required to submit a Progress Report Form every 6 months until the submission of your thesis for examination.