Specific Criteria

Specific criteria for the members of the Thesis Advisory Committee are:

  1. The committee chair: The chair is a voting member of the committee chosen by the MTA co-directors in consultation with the trainee and their Thesis Advisor. This committee member is typically an MTA co-director or a voting committee member delegated by an MTA co-director. The chair must be someone who does not directly collaborate on the student’s project, will not co-author papers or abstracts with the student, has no financial conflicts of interest with the student or project, and does not supervise the work.

  2. The Thesis Advisor: the PhD Thesis Advisor of the trainee. The PhD Thesis Advisor is not a voting member of the committee and is a silent observer at the Thesis Proposal and the Thesis Dissertation. However, after committee meetings, the Thesis Advisor should discuss the feedback of the committee with the student and advise on how to act on their advice as the project evolves.

  3. The voting members: There must be two voting members on the committee in addition to the chair. Both these individuals must be members of the Graduate Faculty and have no financial conflicts of interest with the student or project and cannot directly supervise the student’s work. Voting members may not be collaborators on the project; collaborators may attend committee meetings but may not vote. These committee members can be collaborators on the student’s project and co-authors on papers and abstracts with the student.

  4. The non-voting members: One or more non-voting members can attend the committee meetings. These might include a clinical/translational (C/T) investigator, who need not be a member of the Graduate Faculty, to provide feedback about C/T impact of the research (encouraged for MD/PhD students) or others with particular expertise of value to the trainee, including collaborators. Individuals other than the Thesis Advisor who are directly involved in supervising the work (e.g., a computational mentor or co-advisor) can also attend committee meetings. In addition, experts who are not members of the training faculty of the GSBS may be invited to attend in an ad hoc manner to extend their expertise in one or more meetings.

This Advisory Committee should meet at least once per semester. In some cases, the student may be required by the Graduate School to meet with his/her/their Advisory Committee more often. To help ensure that the meeting is efficient and productive for everyone, students are encouraged to provide a project summary of progress (bullet-point style is generally sufficient) prior to each meeting. To facilitate regular check-ins, it is also suggested that students combine Advisory Committee meetings with a WIP or other formal presentation of their work.

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