- Forming the Doctoral Research Project Committee
The Doctoral Research Project Committee must not be confused with the Comprehensive Examination Committee or, for that matter, the Dissertation Supervisory Committee. However, the members of this committee–unless the student radically changes the nature of his or her dissertation topic–will in all likelihood serve on the Dissertation Supervisory Committee in the coming years. For each student a separate “Doctoral Research Project Committee” will be struck well before July 1. In consultation with the student’s supervisor, the Graduate Supervisor will invite individuals to serve on this committee, which will consist of at least two departmental members in addition to the supervisor.The Graduate Committee must approve the membership of the committee. These departmental members should work in the area covered by the research project. It is permissible for the supervisor to recommend a fourth committee member from another department at Carleton University or even another institution.
- Duties of the Doctoral Research Project Committee
Once the Graduate Committee has approved the composition of the Doctoral Research Project Committee, the Graduate Supervisor will not be involved in the process until the committee notifies him or her of the student’s final grade for ENGL 6901. The primary duties of committee members will be to evaluate the project and hold an oral examination. But practically speaking there is a number of tasks to be performed.
- First of all, the committee members must vote in a chair, who cannot be the student’s supervisor.
- After the members have individually evaluated the project, the chair will then schedule a meeting time and reserve a meeting room so that the committee can discuss the project.
- If the examiners agree that the project is ready for examination, they will define the range and the scope of the examination itself, formulate the questions to be asked, generate some productive commentary and reach a consensus on the project’s preliminary grade. The feedback should consist of advice on how the student can publish his or her essay in a peer-reviewed journal appropriate to the topic. The supervisor, who is in a conflict of interest, should not be involved in assigning the actual letter grade, but can contribute to the commentary.
- Finally, the committee chair will arrange a time and book a room for the oral examination, where the committee members will examine the student and provide him or her with commentary on the project.
- In fairness to the student, more than two weeks should not elapse between the submission of the essay on July 1 and the oral examination. After the examination, the examiners will reach a consensus on the grade, which measures both the oral and written performances; again, the supervisor can contribute to the discussion but should not be involved in assigning the final grade.
- After the deliberations, the committee chair will send an email to the Graduate Supervisor, communicating the student’s letter grade.