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Thomas Harriot College of arts and sciences
Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Biological Sciences (IDPBS)

Proposed Timeline for IDPBS Students

The table presented below describes the annual program and research goals for IDPBS students assuming a 5-year timeline for completion of all degree requirements. Note that forming the dissertation committee is recommended to occur during the first year, with annual meetings thereafter to keep the committee abreast of progress toward completing the degree. The teaching requirement consists of two semesters as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, and it is recommended this requirement be satisfied during the final 3 years of the program.  The defense of the dissertation proposal (year 2) and the comprehensive exam are separate events in the process of advancement to doctoral candidacy.  The format of the comprehensive exam is at the discretion of the dissertation committee (=Student Advisory Committee), but an oral format has been the most common, with the dissertation proposal and the dissertation representing the written portions of the comprehensive assessment. Students are strongly encouraged to publicize their research findings (e.g. publishing and presenting at professional meetings) early in their training, and to apply for fellowship/dissertation improvement awards during their participation in the program.

 TimeProgram Goals Research Goals 
 Year 1   Confirm Mentor Preliminary research/pilot studies 
 Form dissertation committee Begin developing dissertation proposal 
 Meet with Program Graduate Committee and plan curriculum;
affirm curriculum with dissertation committee. 
Meet with dissertation committee for 
input on research topic
  Apply for research fellowship(s) / grant(s)
   
Year 2 Complete minimum curriculum requirements Dissertation research 
 Take comprehensive exam Meet with dissertation committee for input
on dissertation proposal  
 Meet with committee to review progress toward degree Complete and defend dissertation proposal 
  Present research findings
at professional meeting 
  Apply for research fellowship(s) / grant(s)
   
Year 3Satisfy teaching requirement Dissertation research
 Meet with committee to review progress toward degree Present research findings
at professional meeting 
  Apply for research fellowship(s) / grant(s)
  Submit paper for publication
   
Year 4Satisfy teaching requirement Dissertation research 
 Meet with committee to review progress toward degree Present research findings
at professional meeting 
  Apply for research fellowship(s) / grant(s) 
 Submit paper for publication 
  
Year 5 Satisfy teaching requirement Dissertation research 
 Meet with committee to review progress toward degree  Present research findings
at professional meeting 
  Submit paper for publication 
  Complete and defend dissertation