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CIDCATS  year 2, year 3 and year 4 : Thesis Advisory Panel (TAP) meetings

The Supervisors and the Thesis Advisory Panel  (TAP) are the main body charged with monitoring student progress.


  • send the proposed TAP membership to the CIDCATS Office by the end of October (for October start students). TAP membership requires formal approval by the Programme Executive Committee.


  • Meetings to take place at 15 months (ie in December) and then at 18, 21, 27, 33, 39 and 45 months;
  • Organise your TAP meetings well in advance, Doodle is a useful tool, academics have multiple commitments and hence busy diaries;
  • Discuss the content of your TAP report with your supervisor/s and allow time for them to comment on drafts;
  • Your TAP members must receive: Part I of the TAP form (from 18 months on); a final copy of your TAP report and a copy of your Skills Forge record one week in advance of the meeting date;
  • Print out a copy of the relevant TAP form (see below) and take a copy of the student/supervisor relationship form to EVERY meeting.

Policy regarding unsuccessful confirmation of registration for PhD degrees:

  • Should a student fail to satisfy the Confirmation Panel that they have met the requirements for confirmation at the first attempt, the student must be provided with clear and detailed written feedback on the areas that have been deficient in both their written submission and their oral examination performance.  The points raised by the Confirmation Panel should be specifically addressed by the candidate in the revision of the written submission, which will be re-examined.  If the revised written submission is sufficient to satisfy the Confirmation Panel then the student will be deemed to have passed and a second oral examination is not required.  If the revised written submission does not in itself satisfy the Confirmation Panel then a second oral examination must be held.
  • The second oral examination must be recorded and the Director of BGSB (or their alternate) must attend.

Please click on the links below to reveal information.  

Thesis Advisory Panel (TAP) meetings and plan of activities


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4


Biology: Induction programme       
Joint project





Staff presentation for rotation projects; students to select on-line





Joint project presentations

TAP meeting - 15 month

TAP meeting - 27 month

TAP meeting - 39 month


Rotation project 1











TAP meeting - 18 month

Biology: 2nd Year talks



Rotation project 1 assessment deadlines and presentations

 Biology: Research student skills training activities





Biology: 1st Year Poster Presentation




PhD project choices

TAP meeting (transfer to PhD status) - 21 month

TAP meeting - 33 month

TAP meeting - 45 month


PhD project available for selection





Submissions of PhD project choices





Move to new labs to commence PhD research project

Extraordinary TAP (if required)



TAP membership

Thesis Advisory Panels

  • The Supervisor/s and the TAP are the main bodies charged with monitoring student progress.
  • Supervisors should send the proposed TAP membership to the Julie Knox by the end of October, Year 2.  TAP membership requires formal approval by the CIDCATS PEC.

TAP membership

  • A TAP is required have two members of the University academic staff, in addition to the supervisors and may include the mentor if appropriate.

Review of supervision form

TAP members discuss this form with the student after the supervisors leave the room.


TAP forms

All TAP meetings must be recorded directly via Skills Forge HERE


  • 15 month Dec year 2 - A 2,000 word (maximum) report outlining plans and first experiments. The student's report will be due at least one week before the TAP meeting, and the meeting should take place within the first three months of the project after which this form must be returned promptly to the Biology Graduate Offic
  • 18 month March year 2‌ - A 3,000 word report to include a review of relevant literature, of the work so far and a plan for future work. The TAP are required to comment on what progress is required to ensure transfer to PhD status at 21 months.
  • 21 month June confirmation year 2 and University confirmation of PhD enrolment form - A 5,000 word report and decision either (i) to recommend transfer to PhD, (ii) to recommend extraordinary reassessment meeting in September, or (iii) to record that progress is not satisfactory and refer the case to the CIDCATS Programme Executive Committee (PEC). To include a coherent and realistic timetable for the completion and submission of the thesis by the end of the full-time or part-time enrolment period, for agreement by the TAP.  A timetable must be attached. 

University regulations on transfer to full PhD status


  • 27 month Dec year 3 - A 1,000 word summary of recent progress and future objectives.
  • 33 month June year 3 - A 1,500 word report on aims, progress and plans, including an outline of the proposed thesis chapters.


  • 39 month Dec year 4 - A first draft of some part of the thesis, and a timetable for completion of the thesis. To ensure that the experimental programme has been completed or, if any further work is planned, that it is essential and realistic.
  • 45 month June year 4 - A draft of the thesis, and to ensure the timetable for completion of the thesis is achievable.