The supervisor and the advisor(s) shall give a written statement to the Doctoral Programme Committee confirming that the dissertation is ready to be submitted for pre-examination.
In deciding whether or not to supervise a dissertation it’s important for there to be some familiarity between the graduate student and the advisor and some sort of connection between the student’s topic and the advisor’s areas of expertise. Otherwise, I don’t think the supervision goes very well. In my experience, students who’ve never taken a seminar with me and whose interests may or may not fit within my general areas may need to be gently guided to some other potential advisors.
Note: It should be stressed that the dissertation is yours and should represent your work; not that of you and your supervisor. You are expected to work independently and to present a dissertation at the end of the year, which says to staff, 'This is what I can do. Assess it.'
Once you are allocated to a supervisor, it is not normally possible to change this arrangement. On rare occasions, however, a student may find that she/he cannot work with the allocated supervisor. In the first instance, the student should try to discuss the difficulties with the supervisor and attempt to resolve these through some agreed action plan. If, after this, it becomes evident that the relationship has broken down irrevocably, you should contact directly the Dissertation Tutor or whoever is responsible for the module to discuss other possible arrangements. It is important to sort out such difficulties as soon as possible.
BELL, J. (2005). Doing your research project: A guide for first time researchers in education, health and social sciences. 4th ed., Maidenhead, Open University Press, chapter 2
TODD, M. J.; SMITH, K. and BANNISTER, P. (2006). Supervising a social science undergraduate dissertation: staff experiences and perceptions. Teaching in Higher Education, 11(2), 161-173
Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project? Does the student show promise as a research investigator in areas relevant to the application, as evidenced in his/her Biographical Sketch and reference letters? Are the faculty advisor/dissertation chair and other doctoral committee members appropriately qualified to provide guidance as needed, that is do they have sufficient experience and resources to provide the necessary supervision and mentoring? Have the faculty advisor/dissertation chair and any other participating members of the committee indicated that they will allocate sufficient time to guide and support the PD/PI so that he/she will complete the dissertation in a timely manner?
Letter of Certification. The faculty advisor, dissertation committee chair, or university official directly responsible for supervising the dissertation research must submit a letter certifying that the applicant meets the eligibility criteria for this award. As only one .pdf file is allowed for the Letter of Support item in the PHS Research Plan Component, combine this letter with Letters of Support (below) into one file.
Letter of Certification: A letter from the faculty committee or university official directly responsible for supervising the development and progress of the dissertation research must be submitted with the application. The letter must: (a) fully identify the members of the dissertation committee and certify their approval of the dissertation proposal; (b) certify that all requirements for the doctoral degree, except the dissertation and, if necessary, the clinical internship, are completed or will be completed by the time the grant award starts; (c) note that the university official or faculty committee expects the doctoral candidate to proceed with the approved project proposal with or without CDC support; and (d) briefly describe the facilities and resources for the project and certify that they are adequate to conduct the proposed research. This should be placed in the Letters of Support attachment.
With the exception of costs associated with the dissertation (i.e., dissertation credits), no funds may be used to pay tuition or fees. Other specific costs not allowed on dissertation research grants are equipment, alterations/renovations, space rental, contracting or consortium costs, dissertation defense or deposit fees, membership fees and faculty/advisor mentor supervision. This listing is not exhaustive, and the applicant institution should contact NIMH staff regarding any other cost item being considered.
A dissertation supervisor’s time is usually quite limited and so you need to get the best out of the precious time you have with your supervisor. Try to think about what you can do before, during and after your supervision to capitalise on the time spent with your supervisor.
Investigator/Mentor:Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the doctoral candidate-investigator? Does the student show promise as a research investigator in areas relevant to the proposal? Is the proposed research project consistent with the long-term research interests of the applicant? Are the faculty advisor/dissertation chair and other doctoral committee members appropriately qualified to provide guidance as needed? Have the faculty advisor/dissertation chair and any other participating members of the committee indicated that they will provide sufficient time to allow completion of the dissertation? Will the faculty advisor/dissertation chair provide the necessary supervision and mentoring to the student?
Environment: Do(es) the scientific environment(s) in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?
The way in which this type of assessment is organised will vary from institution to institution and course to course. It is important that you familiarise yourself with the particular arrangements for your degree. Look for a module handbook which sets out these requirements and how you are allocated a dissertation tutor or supervisor. Your supervisor and any handbooks that are produced are excellent sources of information and support and will help you understand how the dissertation process works.
The following checklist will start you on the dissertation journey, start planning and also clarify what is expected of you