Committee Meetings

Committee meetings should be held a minimum of once per year (twice is better). At least one of these meetings should be scheduled in conjunction with your Research Reports presentation. It is the responsibility of both the student and the advisor to hold these meetings. The role of the faculty members on the committee is to provide guidance concerning course work, constructive criticism on the student’s thesis research, and help in planning for the timely completion of requirements for the Ph.D. degree.

Since it can be difficult to find a time which works for most of your committee members, you would do well to begin planning for this a couple of months in advance. Follow this link for conference room schedules.

Before each committee meeting the student should prepare a summary / outline of completed work and proposed experiments. This write-up provides a useful basis for the committee meeting, even if an oral report has been given recently. It should be 2-3 pages in length and needs to be given to the committee members at least three week days prior to the meeting.

You should prepare a short synopsis (e.g. 15 minutes) to present orally in the meeting. This should be informal and should emphasize your data. Plan to describe what problem you are addressing, why it is important, what you have done so far, and what you are tentatively planning to do in the future (preliminary ideas for your thesis). Budget about 1.5 - 2 hours for the meeting. Listen very carefully to what your members suggest, and plan to take their suggestions into account for your thesis proposal.

Note that not all members necessarily have to attend all meetings. Having the meeting is important, even if not all can attend. The GSR is not required to attend.

After the meeting, the thesis advisor writes a brief report. This report should include specific research goals for the near future that the committee members agree are appropriate. It helps keep those goals in clear focus and reduces ambiguity about decisions made at the meeting.

The report should be emailed to Brian Giebel (bgiebel [ a t ] The student should be copied on the email. An email is sufficient, but If you prefer to use a committee meeting form, this is available online in fillable pdf and Word verions.