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The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is one of the most well-recognised research and teaching universities in Australia. The University was established in 1949 and caters to over 50,000 students including more than 3000 Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates.

The UNSW Graduate Research School coordinated a paper-based research progress review process used by research candidates, their supervisors and enrolling schools. Its purpose was to verify which HDR students had progressed sufficiently to proceed with their candidature and identify those who needed support. This manual system was time-consuming and inefficient, with inadequate monitoring effectiveness.

To address this problem, the graduate research school wanted to automate the progress reviews of HDR candidates in order to help solve the problems involved with manual processing. Our experience working with Antares in developing the APR system was an extremely positive one. Johnny and Phi were skilled, enthusiastic, responsive, respectful – and very easy to work with. We had not had good results with IT systems developments in the past so we were wary – but the new system is now in operation and working well with positive feedback from our key stakeholder groups.

Margaret O’Bryne, Director, Graduate Research School, UNSW

The Solution

Antares engaged with UNSW Graduate Research School to build a full profile of the performance review process. Gaining a complete understanding of internal processes and requirements, enabled the delivery of a robust solution.

Antares Solutions proposed a customised application (APR) integrated into a Microsoft SharePoint platform. The custom application would automate the review process:

  • Identify and manage candidate reviews based on set criteria.
  • Automatically monitor and manage upcoming performance reviews.
  • Provide storage capabilities for forms and information.
  • Extract data and include reporting features.
  • Communicate with existing back-end student systems.
  • Provide solid and reliable integration with the existing third party University systems.


UNSW Graduate Research School benefited from combined the power of a new application with existing SharePoint infrastructure. The review process solution is now web-based and is a more efficient system:

  • Identifies candidates due for a performance review and notifies appropriate stakeholders automatically.
  • Form and student information are held in a single secure location, accessible on remotely from any device.
  • Streamlines the APR process across numerous departments providing better service to candidates, supervisors and schools.
  • Improved data accuracy and reduced human data entry error.
  • Provides real-time data to staff.
  • Hosting within SharePoint requires minimal training as the solution draws upon existing staff knowledge.


Automate a manual research student progress review system to enhance the service to UNSW Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates, supervisors and schools, streamline processing and improve monitoring and data.


Microsoft SharePoint
Custom Application