top of page


Before your student arrives


Supervision panels consist of three members with the titles of Chair, Primary Supervisor, and Associate Supervisor. The Chair is responsible for the academic administration the student's degree, the Primary Supervisor (usually also the Chair of your panel) is the person who the consults most often about the intellectual direction of the PhD project, and Associate Supervisors provide additional expert advice. On these pages, we are assuming that the Chair of Panel and the Primary Supervisor are the same person, i.e., you. As Primary Supervisor (as opposed to Chair), you can supervise a maximum number of six students.

If you have agreed to supervise a student (see Being approached by prospective students) and you have been listed as supervisor on the student's PhD application, then when your student first arrives, you will be listed as both Chair of Panel and as Primary Supervisor, even if you have committed to being only one or the other. The reason for this is that forms and requests cannot be processed in the admin system unless both a Chair and Primary Supervisor are registered for any given student; if only one supervisory role is registered, no requests or forms can be actioned. This is why it is imperative that the student's panel be decided upon and confirmed in the system within the first three months of candidature and, indeed, why having the student's panel set up within the first three months is a candidature milestone. Similarly, if the panel info is not correct, the wrong people will receive notifications and your student will not be able to progress. See more under Milestones and progress.

The bottom line, therefore, is that all supervisory panel information must be correct and up-to-date in order for a student to have a chance at successfully completing their candidature within the milestone timeframes. Read more about updating the composition of a panel.

Read more about Supervision and the panel.


The supervisory panel must be in place in the first three months of a student's candidature. This is a milestone. If this is not done, then the Chair of Panel and Primary Supervisor will, by default, be listed in the admin system as you -- regardless of the exact role or roles you play -- in order that things can be processed.

To have things updated in the system, contact the HDR Administrator and ask for changes or additions to be made. The Administrator will then supply you with a form to fill out, which must be completed and returned in a timely manner so that the candidature can progress.

Read more about Supervision and the panel.


Almost all 'paperwork' involving a student's candidature is carried out through Manage My Degree (MMD) eForms, an online, form-processing system. This includes not only the processing of Milestones, but also applications for Program and scholarship leave (aka 'suspension of program'), Change to program intensity/study load, Change of research program, Extension of program, Extension of scholarship, and the like. In order for things to be processed via eForms, at least a Chair and Primary Supervisor must be listed (see Administrative roles of panel members). Go directly to eForms.

Any requests and forms entered by a student into eForms goes only to the Chair of Panel, and not to other supervisors. If, therefore, you are listed as both Chair and Primary Supervisor, then you will receive notifications relating to any student applications that have been made in eForms. If, on the other hand, you are listed only as Primary Supervisor and not as Chair, then you won't receive such notifications. This means that you will need to keep in touch with the Chair in order to know what is happening with the administration of your student's candidature.

Receiving notifications
If there are items waiting for you to approve in eForms, you will receive an email to that effect and containing a link to the eForms login page. Once you enter eForms, you will see a pop-up ribbon across the top of the screen that indicates that you need to attend to something (e.g., TPR, leave, extension approvals, etc.). You can't miss it. Address the matter by following the instructions.

Any request dated from 'today' onwards can be processed via eForms and can be submitted 3 months in advance, no more. If your student is making a 'retrospective' application or request, e.g., they want to apply for leave that they have already taken, or they want to backdate something, then they will have to fill out a paper form, in which case they should contact the HDR Administrator.

Attending to requests promptly
There is no denying that some supervisors can be quite tardy in attending to student's administrative requests and needs. Please remember that students cannot progress in a number of areas until you complete your administrative obligations; we ask that you be fair to students who have observed their own obligations as regards the administration of their candidature. Apart from the responsibility side of things, know that the automatic email reminders you will receive, indicating that there is something for you to address, will increase in frequency the longer you fail to attend to matters. And finally, recognise that when certain requests are not actioned on your part, students may not get paid (e.g., their scholarship might be suspended, or they might not be able to apply for Crawford HDR student funding).

Read more about Manage My Degree (MMD) eForms.


In order for your student to progress (and to receive Crawford HDR student funding), their milestones must be completed and approved. Milestones are recorded in Manage My Degree (MMD) eForms. The milestones that you need to approve and/or make sure are completed are:

Crawford prefers that a student give a 'Mid-Term Review' seminar, which should be treated as an informal milestone, but this is not a University requirement.

When there is a milestone that you need to deal with, you will receive an automatic email letting you know. Follow the instructions in the email (see Manage My Degree (MMD) eForms for more info) and address the matter in a timely fashion.

If you do not want to approve a milestone (for example, if you and the rest of the panel require that the student make some changes to the TPR as presented), then you should send the milestone back to the student by 'not approving' the milestone. This is perfectly OK, but if you do do this, then you must make the student aware of what it is that they have to do in order to complete the milestone. This means being clear about your expectations and providing reasons for not approving the milestone. All such communication should be carried out via eForms so that there is an independent record of what is required; email chains can be difficult to keep track of. It would also be a courtesy to promptly send the student an email letting them know that you have not yet approved the milestone.

For more milestone info, see


Some students will need to undertake fieldwork as an integral part of their research; you, as supervisor, in consultation with the student, will make judgments on the necessity for fieldwork and on its scope.

If your student is going on fieldwork or pre-fieldwork, it is essential that they have completed all the necessary paperwork and have undergone all the appropriate risk management and fieldwork training, as required by the university. Failure to do so may result in you and your student being in breach of university policies and procedures, and your student's not being insured whilst they are away. Although the administrative burden for fieldwork falls mainly on the student, you nevertheless have certain responsibilities to ensure that the student has

These requirements are ANU requirements, not Crawford requirements and as such are not negotiable within the School.

Students will not be given Crawford HDR student funding until all the requisite training has been successfully completed and the necessary approvals have been gained.

Remember: if something goes wrong on your student's fieldwork, the university will likely approach you during any investigation or inquiry as the primary academic officer responsible for the supervision of the student's candidature.

Read more about Fieldwork.


You have several administrative responsibilities as regards examination, and these should be dealt with in a timely fashion; this is especially the case when the examiner's reports are in and you are required to meet with the student to discuss any revisions, post-examination. There have been instances at Crawford where the student, examiners, and the relevant administrative officers have all acquitted their responsibilities as regards the examinations process, but then the supervisor has failed to address revisions with the student in a timely manner -- leading the student to miss out on the next graduation ceremony.

Read more about the Examination process.

Administrative roles of panel members
Updating the composition of a panel
Manage My Degree (MMD) eForms
Fieldwork supervision
bottom of page