Rex Since Kerim is doing professionalization-related posts, here are some quick tips for the awkward ritual of asking someone to be on your dissertation committee:
Ideally, you will have arranged to work with your famous dissertation advisor prior to arriving in the program. I always recommend to all students planning to attend graduate school, that they devote several months to a year to advance preparation.
Taking a GRE prep class, putting your personal essay through months of revisions, and researching graduate programs and potential advisors are all steps that pay off exponentially in terms of the quality of program and quantity of funding you can expect to achieve. Correspondence with the potential advisor is perhaps the most important element of all; refer to this post for advice on how to initiate the conversation.
Ideally you want the advisor to commit to you ahead of time, to advocate for your application when it arrives, and to use her clout to get you the most generous funding packages offered by the program.
Now, this is not always possible.
Some programs do not attach admittees to advisors ahead of time although I would hazard to say that the best programs do. Or it is possible that the advisor with whom you came to work has left for another university, and you must find a replacement.
Or perhaps your research interests changed. In any case, sometimes students find themselves needing to approach a professor to serve as their dissertation advisor after they are already underway.
You will do this in the same way that you approach any professor for any type of assistance: I just heard a story about a graduate student who asked famed physicist Richard Feynman to be his Chair. Everyone was surprised when Feynman said yes. All the other grad students had been too afraid.
So take heart, and ask away. What you want to look like is a young rising star, a good bet, and a self-starter. The three critical elements here are: The more successful the professor is, the more critical these three elements become.
Successful professors are busy and in-demand. They are always flying off to Copenhagen and South Africa to give keynote addresses. They have no time for hand-holding and cheerleading.
You must show that your past record proves you are highly self-directed and finish what you start without prodding and drama. Successful professors are generally interested in important work that pushes boundaries in the field.
You must show that your current and future plans are innovative and path-breaking, yet also based on solid research and a grounding in legitimate bodies of literature in your field. Successful professors want to be associated with students about whom they can brag. You must show that you are aiming for a high-profile career by articulating clear career goals and the confidence to apply for top-tier fellowships to support your research.
Successful professors usually have complex research leave and sabbatical plans several years out. You must show that you have an anticipated timeline for field, lab, or archival research, analysis, and writing—and beyond that defense, first publications, and job search—that is both efficient and feasible.
Nobody likes an obvious suck-up. You must learn to do it subtly. Have the confidence of your convictions and stand up for your passions.
And last, it goes without saying that your overall presentation must be highly professionalized. Read this post on the ways that graduate students sabotage themselvesand spend a weekend eradicating these behaviors to the extent you can.Oct 31, · Anonymous said Thanks!
I need to ask professors to be on my Master's thesis committee. This is very helpful and saves me a lot of time! As Antoinette has suggested, I will definitely tailor my email to my prospective committee members and situation.
Appendix A: Letters, consent forms and debriefing letters A1 - Parental consent letter Address Date I am writing to ask if you would be willing to give permission for me to ask your son if wish you can contact the Cardiff ethics committee by telephone ( or by email ([email protected]) if you have any complaints.
member” on the graduate committee of «studentname». You should already have heard from the student, advisor, or department in this regard, so this letter is primarily to. Oct 31, · How to ask professors to serve on Ph.D.
committee I have to take the comprehensive exam in the near future and need to form a Ph.D. committee. With the help from Rahul, I came up with a succinct email for this. Thanks! I need to ask professors to be on my Master's thesis committee.
This is very helpful and saves me a lot of time. Applicants should request letters of recommendation from an academic advisor or other appropriate people who have adequate knowledge of your academic potential. You will need to s. I have provided you with a copy of my [treatise, dissertation or thesis] proposal which includes copies of the measure and consent and assent forms to be used in the research process, as well as a copy of the approval letter which I received from the Nelson Mandela University Research Ethics Committee .