Once you have completed your courses and written a dissertation proposal, you will work with faculty members who formally serve on your dissertation committee. They may be considered your "proposed" committee at this time. Nevertheless, they are not your official committee as of yet. It is not common to use temporary titles within the university, so we will use the terms "chair" and "reader," understanding that these can change throughout the development of your dissertation proposal. You may consult with many professors when drafting your dissertation proposal. As well as helping you learn, if you cannot start on your own dissertation services in UK can always help to begin your dissertation writing. Your chair and readers then initiate a procedure inside the university, accomplishing two important process steps simultaneously:
  • Selecting your dissertation committee
  • Getting into your dissertation proposal

You and faculty members interested in working with you on your dissertation will likely revise it as you develop and refine the research focus. Many academics won't make time for you to talk to them, even if they have expertise. You will also find other professionals who can contribute expertise to your proposal. Thus, the proposal writing period represents a time for students to consult with faculty as potential committee members and for faculty to decide how they should use their time.

Upon acceptance, your committee is officially assigned. Faculty members on the proposed committee support the proposal for approval and have been approved to serve on your dissertation committee.

University Concerns

A specific committee needs to consist of faculty proficient in the areas of research described in the proposal. Rather than making decisions about whether to support a project or not, the university serves this function. Both sponsoring groups should safeguard scholarly standards. They approve the activities of the committee that supervises the research. Faculty members are charged with performing a specific research project that draws on their established expertise. A committee and project are designed to work together. For this project, specific faculty members have been delegated for scholarly integrity. They are recognized as having the necessary expertise by the university.

Starting to Work with Your Committee

Your most significant factor in completing your doctoral degree is the relationship between your dissertation committee and you. Keeping this relationship harmonious and productive is in your best interest. You used different interaction skills when taking courses than when participating in a committee. Professors likely collaborate in different ways. Your interactions with each professor may have been productive, but perhaps only individually or as a class member. Your relationship with the professors has changed now that you are an official group, and vice versa.

The University's Commitment to your Dissertation Work

As part of your dissertation committee, you formally commit to writing your dissertation and completing your dissertation. There is no one-way relationship. By establishing a dissertation committee under the aegis of the university, a formal agreement is formed between the doctoral student and the college, identifying faculty who will devote their expertise and time to mentor you. You've taken a big step toward your doctorate. The journey is not easy.

A legal contract is virtually signed by the university, naming you as a doctoral student/researcher who works with specific faculty to complete a particular project. By transferring this responsibility to specific faculty, the university will support your academic work on this project. Your project may be restricted from discussion within the university after you have passed your doctoral orals. While your research is underway, this information control is in place to protect you and the university. It is not easy to change committee members.

Dissertation topics can change, but not easily. University and students take this contract seriously. In directing your dissertation, the committee is responsible for maintaining the university's standards. You are responsible for conducting the proposed research. In completing your doctoral program, you will move through many stages when you are "working on your dissertation" You may need to set up your committee, write your proposal, conduct research for your dissertation, and plan your oral defense.

The faculty member's role is to be knowledgeable about all aspects of your research, while the doctoral student becomes an expert in one research project. In contrast, the faculty member becomes more knowledgeable about university practices. When the process is completed, a collaborative team is formed, with each member sharing expertise with the others - the basis for talking at the oral defense. You will have a lot of conversations with your committee during this transition period.