Doctoral Supervisory Committee
Initial Faculty Advisor
Students entering the program are assigned an initial faculty advisor who serves as a faculty contact during the first year of study. The initial advisor is available to answer general questions regarding the program and curriculum, examinations, research on campus, faculty and the University. This professor may serve as the student’s supervisory committee chair or may assist in finding another faculty member who can supervise the student’s research.
Supervisory Committee Chair
It is the responsibility of the student to secure a supervisory committee chair after meeting with individual faculty members. It is the supervisory committee chair's responsibility to act as chair of the doctoral supervisory committee and assist the student in selecting classes, designing a research program, and making contacts with professionals within and outside the University of Washington.The chair of the committee must be able and willing to assume principal responsibility for advising the student. In addition, the chair should have adequate time available for this work and should expect to be accessible to the student. Emeritus/a faculty may serve as a chair if the above conditions are met. Co-chairs may be appointed when both serve with equal importance on a student’s supervisory committee and equally share the responsibility for the student's progress. Affiliate faculty may serve as chair if they meet the above conditions and either of the following conditions is met: 1) the committee includes a co-chair who is a non-affiliate Graduate Faculty member OR; 2) the committee includes two non-affiliate members of the Graduate Faculty with an endorsement to chair from the program offering the student's degree.consisting of two to four members.
Formation of the Doctoral Supervisory Committee
As soon as appropriate (typically in first year of Ph.D. studies and after a research topic is established) the chair, in consultation with the student, establishes a supervisory committee, which consists of a minimum of four members, at least three of whom (including the chair and the Graduate School Representative) must be members of the Graduate Faculty with an endorsement to chair doctoral committees. A majority of the members must be members of the Graduate Faculty. At least two members, including the chair, must also be members of the QERM faculty. The GSR must be a productive scholar in his or her own research area that may differ from that of the student’s dissertation project. The remaining members must be identified by the student's appointing department or program as productive scholars in the student's major field and/or subfields.
Approval of Doctoral Supervisory Committee
A request to approve the proposed supervisory committee must be submitted in writing (e-mail is acceptable, with a copy to the Graduate Program Assistant) to the QERM Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) prior to the first committee meeting. This request should include a brief synopsis of the intended research topic and names of proposed committee members. This information is reviewed by the GPC for suitability of faculty balance in relation to the selected topic. After receiving approval from the GPC the student may proceed with scheduling the first committee meeting.
First Committee Meeting
The supervisory committee should meet with the student within two weeks to decide on the student’s program of study. The student is responsible for arranging all necessary meetings and furnishing required forms.
The first meeting will deal primarily with a definition of course requirements. At this time, the Plan of Study for Doctoral Degree form must be completed and signed by all committee members. This is an agreement made between the student and the committee about what coursework will be required to complete the doctoral degree. It includes the core courses as well as any other courses the committee feels are necessary to give the student the required background in his/her area of interest. This form is also used to request waivers of core courses.
Graduate students and chairs of all newly formed committees are also required to sign a Human and Animal Advisory Certification form documenting that the student has been advised of human and animal subjects guidelines. The form is available on the Graduate School Forms web page.
The committee chair summarizes the first meeting on the Supervisory Committee Meeting Documentation form. All three forms are forwarded to the QERM GPA, reviewed by the Graduate Program Coordinator, and placed in the student's academic file.
Subsequent Committee Meetings
The committee chair records the results of all subsequent meetings on the Supervisory Committee Meeting Documentation form listing meeting date, committee members present, decisions and accomplishments. It is the responsibility of the student to furnish this form at each committee meeting. A copy of the form must be forwarded to the QERM GPA who will forward it to the QERM GPC for review and place it in the student's academic file.
The committee should meet regularly to review the student's progress and dissertation proposal. The student can request additional committee meetings whenever he or she feels the need for such consultation.