Thesis & Dissertation Information

Thesis & Dissertation Information

Thesis and Dissertation Committees
  • Created by the student and his/her advisor when the thesis/dissertation proposals are under development
  • The student's advisor (who must be a BIOMS faculty member), is the Chair of the thesis or dissertation committee
  • non-BIOMS faculty can serve as Co-Chair

  • Masters thesis committees shall include 3 members and (quoted from the BIOMS Program Policy Statement)

  • "The thesis committee shall include three University faculty from within the Biomechanics and Movement Science Program, and may have no more than six members. The thesis advisor must be a member of the BIOMS faculty and at least one of the BIOMS committee members must be from a from an area of focus in biomechanics and movement science different from that of the advisor. "

Dissertation committees shall include 4 members and (quoted from the BIOMS Program Policy Statement)

  • "The dissertation committee shall include at least three University faculty from within the Biomechanics and Movement Science Program, and [i.e. plus] at least one member from outside of the program. The dissertation advisor must be a member of the BIOMS faculty, and at least one of the BIOMS committee members must be from an area of focus in biomechanics and movement science different than that of the advisor."

Special Circumstances:

  • With the approval of the BIOMS Executive committee, a professional staff member who holds a secondary faculty appointment within an academic department may serve as a committee member.
  • Faculty who have retired or resigned from the University may maintain committee membership or continue to chair committees of students whose work began under their direction prior to their retirement or departure from the University.
  • BIOMS faculty who do not have regular faculty status may co-chair the thesis or dissertation committee provided that the other co-chair meets the definition for regular faculty status.
  • It is the responsibility of the thesis or dissertation advisor to replace members who withdraw from the committee during the thesis process.
Defense of the Masters Thesis Proposal

Thesis and dissertation proposals will be written in the form of an NIH investigator-initiated research grant. Masters proposals shall follow the format for the NIH Small Grants Program (R03) (please see PA-10-064).

As of Jan, 2010 the page limit for the R03 and R01 grant proposals was reduced from 25 pages to 7 and 13 pages respectively (see Table of Page Limits on the NIH web site).

The BIOMS Program is currently evaluating the best way to address the change in page limits, however, the Executive Committee has agreed that students should follow the format of the current R03 or R01 application but they may use the old page limit of no more than 25 pages total for the Specific Aims and Research Strategy (Significance, Innovation, Approach).

Oral Masters Thesis Proposal Defense

Thesis and dissertation proposals will be written in the form of an NIH investigator-initiated research grant. Masters proposals shall follow the format for the NIH Small Grants Program (R03) (please see PA-10-064).

As of Jan, 2010 the page limit for the R03 and R01 grant proposals was reduced from 25 pages to 7 and 13 pages respectively (see Table of Page Limits on the NIH web site).

The BIOMS Program is currently evaluating the best way to address the change in page limits, however, the Executive Committee and faculty have agreed that students should follow the format of the current R03 or R01 application but they may use the old page limit of no more than 25 pages total for the Specific Aims and Research Strategy (Significance, Innovation, Approach).

1 week in advance of the proposal defense - A copy of the thesis/dissertation proposal must be electronicallydistributed to the BIOMS faculty and students.

The masters thesis proposal defense, will be:

  • open to the public, and invitations will be sent to all BIOMS faculty and students at least one week prior to the date of the defense.
  • The candidate will present a 40-50 min summary of the proposed research, and will then field questions from the general audience, committee, attending faculty, and invited guests.
  • After all questions have been fielded, the thesis committee will meet to decide whether the proposal is accepted, rejected, or accepted with stipulations.
  • Results of the meeting will then be presented to the student.
  • The student may not receive more than one dissenting vote from members of the committee to receive a passing grade.
Defense of the Dissertation Proposal

The dissertation proposals shall follow the format of a Research Project Grant (Parent R01) (please see PA-10-067). The defense will be scheduled only after the student successfully completes 33 course credits and after a majority of members of the dissertation committee have determined that a defense is appropriate.

2 weeks in advance of the proposal defense - A final copy of the thesis proposal must be delivered to the members of the thesis committee.

1 week in advance of the proposal defense - One copy of the thesis proposal must be delivered to each site supporting BIOMS faculty.

Oral Defense of the Dissertation Proposal

The Dissertation proposal defense, which serves as the Qualifying Examination for BIOMS, will be open to the public, and invitations will be sent to all BIOMS faculty and students at least one week prior to the defense date.

The candidate will present a 40-50 min summary of the proposed research, and will then field questions from the committee, attending faculty, and invited guests.

After all questions have been fielded, the dissertation committee will meet to decide whether the proposal is accepted, rejected, or accepted with stipulations. Results of the meeting will then be presented to the student. The student may not receive more than one dissenting vote from members of the committee to receive a passing grade.

After successful completion of the proposal defense students must turn in a Recommendation for Candidacy for Doctoral Degree form. The bottom section of this form is what is used by BIOMS students. It is not necessary for BIOMS students to fill out Section II.

After successful defense of the Proposal the student transitions from a PhD Student to a PhD Candidate and is considered ABD (all but dissertation). PhD Candidates register for nine credits of BMSC 969 after which they may enter "Sustaining" status which allows students to maintain full time statut by paying the sustaining fee, rather than tuition.

For more information about Sustaining Status- Please see the information on the web site of the Office of Graduate and Professional Edcuation about Sustaining Registration.