PORTIA provides participants in the research training process with access to information of significance in achieving the successful and timely completion of the research projects involved. PORTIA provides role based functionality that allows Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Students, HDR Supervisors, Heads of School, Research Centre Directors, Faculty Associate / Sub -Deans (Research) and HDR administrators across the institution to access levels of HDR student candidature information based on their security level. PORTIA also provides a simple means of communicating to all or selected groups of supervisors and students messages and key information relating to HDR management.
PORTIA provides the supervisor with an overview graphic displaying all candidates under supervision (by that supervisor in any capacity) and the load consumed and available. The supervisor has access to details of any of those candidates and the ability to develop a research plan with each candidate that outlines milestones and tasks required for the completion of the research project and thesis preparation and submission. Key administrative milestones (such as bi-annual progress reviews) can also be inserted into the research plan. In addition PORTIA provides functionality to store details of consultations held, tasks set (for candidate or supervisor), to record notes about the candidature and record other matters "for the record", and initiate the administrative processes appropriate for intermission of candidature or other leave sought to be taken by the candidate.
The candidate can also view the same information about him/herself and the research project, with simple graphical displays of consumed load and load remaining and of elapsed time available. The student can work with their supervisor to set an agreed research plan and has access to view all the milestones (administrative and research related) that are associated with their plan. Details of consultations set or held, tasks set to be achieved and issues "for the record", are automatically emailed to the candidate (and all other supervisors) to ensure transparency of information flow.
At the university and faculty management levels, the responsible Faculty/School administrator, Faculty Associate / Sub Dean, Research Centre Director or Head of School is presented with a graphic indicating the numbers of current candidates at the various stages of their programs from which he/she can drill down to the individual candidate level. Sub-groupings of candidates may be selected by department or funding type.
HDR administrators can pre-populate the Student’s project plan with milestones and critical dates that inform the student of key obligations that form part of their candidature.