II.4. Committee Selection

Committee Selection

section II, article 4

The Group Exploration Period and rotations help lay the foundation for committee selection. Make sure to explore the research in the department broadly to ensure you connect with the faculty who can best support your research.

In consultation with their primary research mentor, scholars should begin the process of asking faculty to join their committee no later than the start of their second year. Scholars may begin these discussions at any time. However, committee assignments are not finalized until DGS review in the second year as described in the Committee Selection Timeline.

Committee Membership

The chemistry graduate program relies on Laney Graduate School guidelines to define committee membership. In chemistry, the dissertation committee also serves as the committee for all academic progress reports and milestones.

Expectations for Committee Members

In addition to acting as a resource for advice throughout the PhD, the committee will:

  • Serve as the scholar’s Annual Report Committee 
  • Contribute to any other required progress reports
  • Serve as the scholar’s dissertation committee

Expectations for Scholars

Scholars are expected to take an active role in managing their relationship with their committee members. This includes:

  • Providing regular reports of research progress, including, but not necessarily limited to, the annual report and milestone requirements. 
  • Responding to email from the committee in a timely manner—within 24 hours on regular working days.
  • Taking responsibility for scheduling of activities that require the committee to collaborate, including reserving rooms and providing at least one week’s notice when the committee needs to meet.

Committee Selection Timeline

September 30 of the Second Year: Scholars submit committee selections to the Graduate Program Coordinator by email. The DGS will review and finalize committee requests, with possible adjustments to ensure distribution of responsibility across the faculty. 

October 15 of the Second Year: Scholars will receive a formal letter finalizing their committee.

Formalizing the Committee with Laney Graduate School

Scholars should submit the Laney Graduate School Dissertation Committee Signature Form when they apply for candidacy to formalize their chemsitry committee as the intended dissertation committee . This form must be submitted as soon as possible but no later than September 15 of the Fourth Year. See the Candidacy section of this handbook for details.

Changes to Committee Membership

Scholars who wish to change their committee should submit a petition to the graduate program. Scholars in candidacy are also responsible for updating their committee with Laney Graduate School via a new Dissertation Committee Signature Form.

Occasionally, the graduate program may require a scholar to remove a member of their committee due to changes in the availability of individual faculty. In these cases, graduate scholars should pursue a new committee member, if needed, and submit a petition and updated LGS form within one semester.


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Next: Section III: Core Requirements