Thesis Advisory Committee
The Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) oversees your research, thesis progress and final oral exam (thesis defense).
When developing your TAC, consider the following:
- Your mentor serves as committee chair.
- Identify three additional faculty members from at least two different clinical research disciplines. There must be at least two different disciplines represented among the four voting members of your TAC.
- Identify one member with expertise in statistics, epidemiology or study design.
- It is desirable to have a member with basic science or translational laboratory expertise related to your project.
Additional TAC guidelines:
- Members may not be co-investigator or co-author for your research except your mentor and statistician/epidemiologist.
- All members, including ex-officio members, must have graduate faculty privileges in Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. In the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences General Forms/Resources page, see "MCGSBS Faculty Privileges" (must be logged in to the Mayo network) for an updated list of faculty with privileges. CCaTS will assist in nominating qualified members for faculty privileges if needed.
- The chair of the committee and at least one other member must have at least master's-level graduate faculty privileges in Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
- No more than two members may have Teaching/Examining graduate faculty privileges in Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
- Current master's or certificate scholars may not serve on another scholar's committee.
- Ex-officio members are non-voting members, therefore, may be co-investigator or co-author for your research.
You are expected to meet with your TAC three months after your proposal is approved and every six months thereafter (more often as needed or requested by the CCaTS Postdoctoral Executive Committee) to review your research progress. Submit a detailed TAC progress report to the education coordinator/specialist within one week following each meeting. This report summarizes the progress made to date and outlines the projected timeline and expectations for the next meeting. The Postdoctoral Executive Committee will review the progress report during its regular meetings.
Chair (your research mentor)
- Meets regularly with you (weekly meetings are strongly recommended)
- Guides you as you develop your proposal
- Critically reviews your proposal
- Chairs TAC progress meetings every six months — these meetings include all committee members, with the first meeting scheduled three months after your proposal is approved by the CCaTS Postdoctoral Programs Committee
- Reviews and approves TAC progress report after each TAC meeting
- Guides you with your thesis development
- Critically reviews your final thesis draft
- Prepares questions for your Final Oral Examination (see section below)
- Critically review your proposal (using the proposal review criteria as a resource)
- Attend all TAC progress meetings
- Sign progress meeting report forms
- Critically review your final thesis draft
- Assist the TAC chair in preparing oral examination questions for your Final Oral Examination (see section below)
Note: Failure to attend progress meetings may result in loss of Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences faculty privileges in clinical and translational science.
- Anticipates and meets all due dates and deadlines
- Schedules TAC progress meetings three months after the approval of your proposal and every six months thereafter (or as requested by the CCaTS Postdoctoral Executive Committee)
- Submits detailed TAC progress report within one week of every meeting
- Submits your thesis draft to your TAC six to eight weeks before your Final Oral Examination, allowing sufficient time for reviewing as well as time for any recommended revisions or additions
- Submits your final thesis draft to CCaTS at least four weeks before your scheduled thesis defense date
TAC progress meetings
Progress meetings enable you and your TAC to collectively monitor your research project, as well as informally evaluate your progress toward achieving the program's core competencies.
Schedule your first TAC meeting three months after your proposal is approved by the CCaTS Postdoctoral Programs Committee. Follow-up meetings are scheduled every six months (or as requested by the CCaTS Postdoctoral Executive Committee) until completion of a successful Final Oral Examination. Have each member in attendance sign the progress report and update members who are not present.
Following each meeting, submit a progress meeting report form within one week of the meeting. The form can be signed via DocuSign if needed for those members not in attendance. Throughout the form, in every section, report your progress by aim. For example, in the Data Collection Status section, report your subjects/charts proposed and studied to date by aim. Even if you have not made any progress to date with one or more of the aims, you still must report on the current status of each aim.
Note: Failure to hold progress meetings and submit progress reports may result in your being placed on academic probation or recommended for dismissal.
Final Oral Examination (thesis defense)
- Assesses the scholar's understanding of the science and the methodological issues involved in the research
- May include questions on:
- Study design methodology
- Statistical methodology
- Implications of the results on clinical practice
- Future studies that could be designed
- Impact that this study has on the scholar's future research career
Read more about the thesis defense.