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Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics & Chemistry


If you have been appointed the Principal Supervisor of a postgraduate student, you are expected to report on their progress each term through the Postgraduate Feedback and Reporting System in CamSIS. There is a fixed window in which you can report.

Students on MRes or MPhil taught programmes may have a local supervisor appointed for the dissertation element in addition to the Principal Supervisor (who is often a Course Director). In general, if you are supervising a paper or essay or taught course dissertation, you will NOT be recorded in CamSIS as a 'Supervisor' and therefore not asked to report through PFRS. However, you may be asked to provide a progress report to the Course Administrator as part of the assessment requirements for the taught course.


Q. Why does reporting in PFRS matter?

When students are progressing well, the system provides a simple record of the main milestones. In most cases, there are other more useful ways of providing feedback to the student, but PFRS allows all relevant parties to know that progress is good. 

However, when a student is in difficulty, the department, Degree Committee, College and Student Registry can all provide help and support in trying to sort things out. PFRS informs these parties and also provides a formal medium for you to let the student know that you have concerns.

If the student fails and/or complains, the Postgraduate Committee, Examination Access & Mitigation Committee, OSCCA, and perhaps even the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, will want to see that there is a full set of documentary evidence of the management of the student's progress. As the PFRS is the University's official medium for reporting progress, it is highly desirable for reports to made through this medium regularly.


Q. How do I submit a report?

Guidance on submitting a report on PFRS, including a step-by-step video guide, is available here on Moodle (ravens password required).

Student Registry provide information on progress reporting.


Q. When can I submit my report?

You should submit a report each term during the open reporting window. You will receive an email reminder when to submit a report; the system will be open for defined times each term starting at division of term and closing on the last day of term.

Outside these dates it is not possible to submit a termly report, nor can you submit a retrospective report when the window re-opens in the following term.

  Open Close
Michaelmas Term 9 November 4 January
Lent Term 13 February

9 April (if ET starts 10 Apr)

16 April (if ET starts 17 Apr)

Easter Term

14 May (if ET starts 10 Apr)

21 May (if ET starts 17 Apr)

30 September


Q. Who can see and comment on the report?

Your submitted PFRS report will immediately be visible to:

  • the student
  • the student's advisor (PhD students) and any other appointed supervisor
  • the Department Postgraduate Office
  • the student's College
  • the Degree Committee
  • Student Registry

Reports are no longer read sequentially by the institutional bodies as they were under CGSRS. The student, and their supervisory team (supervisor, 'other' supervisor, and/or advisor), Department, College and Degree Committee can all comment on a report. If a supervisor raises a concern it is expected that the Department will provide a comment on what action is being taken.


Q. I have already submitted a report for this term but things have taken an unexpected turn with my student - can I submit another report?

Not through PFRS at the moment. If you have any concerns please contact your Department Postgraduate Office in the first instance.


Q. What is a self-evaluation report?

Students are invited to submit a self-evaluation report each Michaelmas Term if they wish. You will be notified if any of your students submit reports and will be invited to respond to any comments or concerns raised by the student. Self-evaluation is separate to the termly progress reporting. We ask that you still submit a supervision report at the end of MT, even if you have responded to any specific points your student raised in their self-evaluation. 


Q. How do I share my views after PhD probationary review?

From Nov 2018, supervisors no longer complete a formal registration report following probationary review of PhD students.

On completion of your student's first year report assessment you will receive a copy of the reports. You will be invited to send to your Department Postgraduate Office an end-of-year report on your student's progress and a recommendation on whether (s)he should be registered for the PhD. Your email should be received within 14 days in order to be used together with the assessors' reports by the Department and Degree Committee in making a registration decision.

The assessors of the probationary review do not have access to your report, but it will be uploaded to CamSIS as part of the registration process so your student can see it.


Q. What happens if a student supervisor changes during the term?

The reporting system collects details of each student's Principal Supervisor on the first day of each term. The supervisor who was in role at that point will receive notification when the reporting window opens and reminders to submit a PFRS report, even if they are no longer supervising that student. The student's new supervisor will also receive the same notifications and reminders.

Either supervisor is able to submit the report during the 'change over' term but not both. Once one supervisor has submitted a report for the term, the other will not be able to submit a separate report although they are able to add comments to the report. It is recommended supervisors agree amongst themselves who will be responsible for reporting in the change over term.


Q. There is a student on my list who I do not supervise - what should I do?

If you are prompted by PFRS to report on a student and don't think this is correct, or if you do not receive prompts and think you should, let your Departmental Postgraduate Office or Degree Committee know. The Degree Committee can update the record once we know who the actual Principal Supervisor is, when they were assigned that role, and what, if any, role you have on the supervisory team of that student. Be aware the button in PFRS to report an 'incorrect student' will just bring up a message asking you to contact your Department; it does not make any automatic changes to the record.


Q. Where can I find help?

If you need help with using PFRS, you can find

  • Student Registry guidance on progress reporting is available here
  • use of PFRS is available on Moodle (ravens password required)
  • details of training and the Helpdesk contact here

If you can't find the page you are looking for or find a broken link do let us know (please use the email link in the 'Contact us' section below).

Office closures

The Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics & Chemistry will be closed from 5pm on Thursday 28 March 2024 and will reopen again on Tuesday 2 April 2024.
Research degree theses should still be submitted by your submission deadline even if that falls over the holiday period.