Dr. W. Dean Care Dean & Professor Health Studies and Graduate Studies Brandon University September 2011 Thesis Topic Select a topic that you: care deeply about; will find interesting to research and write about; and for which you can find a faculty thesis advisor who shares your interest in exploring the topic. Personal Reflection What are your career goals? What are your personal work and learning styles? What are your timeframes for thesis completion? How will these fit with potential thesis advisor and committee members? Thesis Advisor Also called “Chair” or “Supervisor” Talk to potential advisors by the end of your first year (second year if part time). Once you identify a potential topic, begin conversations with faculty whose research interests mesh with your interests. The Thesis Advisor can provide advice on elective courses that will fit your thesis topic. Choosing a Thesis Advisor Talk with other students Narrow down your options Interview the “candidates” Have you established rapport or a relationship? What are their sabbatical plans? Are they enthusiastic about your topic? Choosing a Thesis Advisor What is the advisor’s research/publication track record? (ask for their CV) How many graduate students are she/he supervising? Do they have time for you? Will they provide prompt feedback on drafts? Will they challenge you to excel? What is their style of supervision (general overview or micro manager)? Thesis Committee Typically involves an Advisor/Supervisor, an internal member, and an external member (external to the School). The Thesis Advisor and thesis Committee should be advocates for your success throughout the process. Choosing the right committee will effect your thesis journey. How to Choose a Committee? Ask your Thesis Advisor for suggestions Speak with other students Select committee members that your advisor can work with Interview potential candidates Ask questions about areas of expertise, strengths, time commitments, style of work, sabbatical plans, etc. Choosing a Thesis Committee Are they members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies? Ask for a copy of their CV’s Impress upon them how you can help their careers (supporting their research; advancing the knowledge base; co-publishing/co-presenting from the thesis). What expertise do you need on your committee? Choosing a Thesis Committee Can you work well with them? You want committee members who will be honest, challenging, and respectful. Establish a Plan with Committee Members Establish a thesis plan with timelines (thesis proposal) How often should the committee meet (face-to-face or virtually)? What roles will members play? How often should you communicate via email, phone, webcam, or ?? How are multiple thesis drafts to be handled? No Cookie Cutter! Each student-advisor/committee relationship is unique. Some very successful ones are quite informal and distant; others are close and dynamic. One type of Advisor or Committee does not fit all! Questions ?