Supervisory Committee


Your Supervisory Committee is comprised of a minimum of 4 faculty members (including your Thesis Advisor) chosen by you. Your committee should ideally be in place by the end of Autumn Quarter, although there is some flexibility with this. Once you have your committee members lined up, please send their names to Brian Giebel so that he may set this up with the Graduate School.

The Graduate School provides information on Doctoral Supervisory Committee roles and responsibilities.

Graduate School Representative:

One of your committee members is the Graduate School Representative, whose primary role is to act as your advocate in making sure exams are conducted fairly. As of April 2009, the UW Graduate School has greatly simplified the requirements for selecting the GSR. Specifically, Genome Sciences Affiliate and Adjunct faculty members may now serve as the GSR.

There is one important exception regarding Affiliate faculty members: if their primary (or joint) appointment is via Genome Sciences or your thesis advisor's department (if your thesis advisor is not based in Genome Sciences), they may not serve as your GSR. For example: a faculty member based at FHCRC whose primary UW appointment is via Biology or Biochemistry may serve as your GSR. A faculty member based at FHCRC whose primary (or joint) UW appointment is via Genome Sciences may not.

Criteria for selecting the GSR include:

s/he may not be a core faculty member in Genome Sciences or your mentor's department (if your thesis advisor is not a core GS faculty member)

s/he must hold an Endorsement to Chair a doctoral supervisory committee (you can check this on the Graduate Faculty locator)

s/he must present no conflict of interest (budgetary relationship or the like) with the departments of either the student or the supervisory committee chair (dissertation advisor)

The GSR's role is to:

represent the broad concerns of the University with respect to high standards of scholarly performance;

provide, for The Graduate School, a non-specialist’s view of the quality of the student’s work, ensuring that the student’s mastery of the subject matter is broad and comprehensive;

assure that all procedures are carried out fairly and according to the guidelines of The Graduate School;

participate in conducting both the General and Final examinations;

provide a report to The Graduate School immediately following the examinations (this form is sent to the GSR one week prior to the examination along with an explanation of examination responsibilities)

Selecting other committee members:

Please consider the following requirements when considering potential committee members:

At least one member of your Supervisory Committee must be a core Genome Sciences faculty member (Akey, Berg, Borenstein, Brewer, Bruce, Dunham, Eichler, Felsenstein, Fields, Fowler, Furlong, Green, Hawkins, Jarvik, King, Lee, MacCoss, Manoil, Monnat, Nickerson, Noble, Olson, Pallanck, Queitsch, Shendure, Sibley, J. Stamatoyannopoulos, Swanson, Thomas, Trapnell, Villen, Waterston, Wolf-Yadlin).

The doctoral supervisory committee consists of a minimum of four members, at least three of whom (including the Chair & GSR) must be members of the Graduate Faculty with an endorsement to chair doctoral committees. You may check Graduate Faculty status & chair endorsements on the Graduate School's faculty locator.

A majority of the voting members must be members of the Graduate Faculty.

Although not required, it is a good idea to add an additional committee member (bringing the total to 5) both for the added expertise, and to avoid scheduling problems, since the Graduate School requires that at least 4 members of your committee be present at your General and Final Exams.

Bonus Paperwork:

The University of Washington Graduate School requires all graduate students whose thesis research involves human or animal subjects to sign a form documenting that they have been advised of human and animal subjects guidelines. Specific questions regarding these guidelines should be directed to your thesis advisor. Forms should be signed and returned to Brian Giebel (Foege S340, Box 355065). This form is now required, when applicable, as part of setting up your supervisory committee.