Queen's Learning Commons


Learning Commons

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Stage 5: Establishing a Dissertation Committee

Creating a formal dissertation team moves the dissertation project ahead, and will help you develop areas of interest and expertise. To begin the formation of a dissertation committee:

  • review department specific guidelines regarding dissertation committee make up
  • seek out a dissertation advisor who can be a compatible ally and an on-task advisor
  • initiate dialogue with individuals who might serve on the committee

Overall, dissertation committee members will:

  • represent a range of expertise related to a writer's interests and methodological choices
  • advise a student throughout the process
  • comment on written materials from proposal stage through conclusion of dissertation work

Keep in mind this caveat from a number of resources: shaping your committee need not be driven only by the idea of amassing content experts; rather, consider shaping a committee that includes faculty who will support you in a variety of different ways

Step 1: Negotiate what you want/need/expect from your advisor

Step 2: Work with your dissertation committee chair to set up your committee

Step 3: Plan an on-going feedback gathering process

Step 4: Take seriously your role as a proactive dissertation advisee.



Based on the original Dissertation Calculator from the University of Minnesota Libraries.