Thesis Proposal Presentation

Approval of your Dissertation Proposal by the Supervisory Committee

The format of the Dissertation Proposal will be decided by the Supervisory Committee. The student must present the proposal in a public seminar, but may also be required to provide the committee with a written proposal. All members of the committee must approve the proposal as indicated by signing the Dissertation Approval form. Students may be requested to revise the proposal based on committee input.


Suggested format for your Thesis Proposal Presentation

Your Thesis Proposal Presentation should indicate that you have investigated the literature in your area and show that your research is novel. It should be clear that your experimental design and chosen methods are the most suitable for your work. We recommend you include the following in your proposal presentation:

  • Introduction/Motivation
  • Relevance to the Field and Originality Statement
  • Research Question
  • Research Strategy
  • Research Methods and Tools
  • Expected Outcomes
  • Timelines and Milestones
  • Plan B

You may also wish to include any preliminary results you have obtained and any anticipated difficulties and how you plan on dealing with them.


Scheduling your Thesis Proposal Presentation

You can use Doodle to find a time that will work for all your members. The program coordinator should be included in your scheduling as they must be present to chair the meeting. You may wish to invite the member who will act as external examiner at your comprehensive exam to introduce them to your topic.  Your committee will sign the Approval of Dissertation Proposal form at the end of your presentation and after any discussion. This indicates they are satisfied with your proposed (and possibly amended) research plan. In some cases, the committee will request written work in the form of a literature review on a particular topic or a description of methodology to be submitted before final approval is given.