Gifts for dissertation committee members

How to prepare for your shudder doctoral dissertation defense December 22, By Noelle Sterne, Ph. Leave a Comment. Your Committee Doubtless all members have their own defense horror stories and your defense may trigger echoes of theirs. Their egos are at stake in your meeting, and they may want to show off to each other.


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They also may want to show off a little more by asking tough questions. But remember that they want to uphold the high research standards of the university and their part in it. They have worked hard to get where they are. You will thank yourself for it later. The defense is on your dissertation. Remind yourself that you are the expert, especially every time your stomach sinks.

Read the university manual on defense protocols. It can actually be helpful and should tell you if a PowerPoint presentation on your dissertation is required, and if so the number of slides and time allotted for your part. Attend a few defenses before your own. Your attending will go a long way to eradicating your fear of the unknown. Ask your chair for advice. Talk about the range of questions that could be asked and the length of your usually required PowerPoint.

Ask if the chair would like to see your PowerPoint beforehand they often want to and will critique it. Ask the chair, politely, for insights on the committee members.

What Do Dissertation Committee Members Do?

Creating the new slides will help you remember, review, and summarize everything. Some universities require handouts, so be ready to distribute them printed from the slides. Write them all down. Once you have a bank of questions, type out your answers. You can refine them later. Make sure your dissertation backs up your answers for example, correct number of participants, statistical results, themes revealed. Know your material! Some candidates mark a hard copy of their dissertation at the pages reflecting anticipated questions.


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If you do, you can turn to the pages quickly. If your university has a media specialist, schedule an appointment for your electronic needs and come with a list.

Dissertation Proposal

Find out in advance where the defense will be scheduled. Alone in the room, do a mock rehearsal. Stand at the podium and look out into the vast sea of faces eager for your wisdom. See the chair and committee sitting there beaming at you. Choose clothes that look and feel professional. The night before, go to the movies, binge watch your favorite TV show, or do something physical. The DAY Arrive early and set up your materials. Meditate beforehand either in your car, on a bench outside, or even in the empty room.

Reflect on your previous successful presentation experiences. Tell yourself you are confident and passionate about your topic and findings.


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  6. You can let your sense of humor show through at the right times. Stand up, stand straight. Greet each committee member, even if your knees are shaking. Take a few deep breaths.

    When the committee starts asking questions, have a notepad and pen ready to take notes. Take your time responding. The committee will admire your response. Questions: Most of these will likely focus on your material—why study the topic, why you chose it, your procedures, your findings. Your dissertation contains all the answers. Sometimes the committee will ask what you would have done differently, what you want to do next with the study Ans: publish it , what next research you envision in your academic career Ans: go from your future research section , or even your career goals Ans: to be a professor like you.

    After At the end of your presentation, smile, shake hands even though yours are still clammy, and thank everyone profusely. Tell them you enjoyed the meeting it is possible. Expect some revisions. Ask your chair about the next steps—sometimes the chair will suggest a meeting with you to go over items that came up. Or ask them to email you tomorrow their marked-up copies or lists of revisions. Study up on all the red-tape requirements and regulations for final revised documents, all committee signatures, and final deposit of the dissertations.

    I am in command of myself. Can it be something that reflects your relationship with each of them? If not, bring smiles, cookies, and let them know where you end up. At my defense I brought some cookies, one of those veggie platters with something to dip, and one of those portable coffee containers from Starbucks. All of it was virtually untouched :.

    How To Defend Your Thesis? Top 10 Tips For Success

    Nobody expects any kind of gift, but if you really want to give each person something, a bound copy of your dissertation is nice. Write a nice note on the inside cover or the acknowledgments page.

    Ph.D. Requirements | UW-Madison Department of Chemistry

    I can't imagine my diss advisor keeping a huge shelf full of his former students' dissertations. Where would you put them? Would you ever read them? Once the book is published perhaps, but I think the last think I'd want from a student would be another copy of the dissertation. Cake Day.

    Looks like you're using new Reddit on an old browser. I usually recommend 2 standbys: Some homemade tasty-thing cookies, cupcakes etc. Best of luck to you, soon-to-be Dr. Is it cool with your institution? Is it cool with them? Good luck! All of it was virtually untouched : Good luck!