Once the Chair of the Thesis Committee concurs with the student that her or his thesis proposal is well-prepared and the student is ready to proceed with the Thesis Proposal Presentation, the student submits a copy of his or her thesis proposal to the Thesis Chair and to the Thesis Reader.
The Thesis Chair and Thesis Reader read the thesis proposal and each gives approval that the student’s proposal is of a quality that will enable the student to schedule a Thesis Proposal Presentation. Decision to approve or not to approve the scheduling of the Thesis Proposal Presentation is made by the Thesis Chair and Thesis Reader within two weeks of receiving the student’s thesis proposal.
The Thesis Proposal Presentation is a formally scheduled meeting between the student, Thesis Chair, and Thesis Reader. The purpose of this Thesis Proposal Presentation is to provide the student opportunity to verbally/visually present his or her proposed research to the Thesis Committee, and to engage in conversation about the student’s proposed thesis research.
The student, in consultation with the Thesis Chair, is responsible for scheduling the Thesis Proposal Presentation at a time that is agreed upon by the Thesis Chair, Thesis Reader, and the student. The location for this meeting is determined by the Thesis Chair.
At the Thesis Proposal Presentation, the student provides a 10-15 minute overview of his or her proposed thesis research. The student is encouraged to show a PowerPoint presentation or furnish handouts that help to clarify his or her research intent and methodology.
The student comes to the Thesis Proposal Presentation prepared to discuss and answer questions regarding the thesis research topic and thesis proposal. Other questions and issues for discussion may arise during conversation in the Thesis Proposal Presentation.
It is important for the student to recognize that a primary purpose of the Thesis Proposal Presentation is to allow the Thesis Committee, through suggestions and recommendations, opportunity to assist the student with the research by clarifying issues and providing guidance to avoid potential problems in carrying out the proposed thesis research.
The student should be aware that her or his thesis proposal may be, and proposals often are, altered in some respect through conversation that occurs in the Thesis Proposal Presentation.
Once a thesis proposal has been approved by the Thesis Committee, the student may begin work to carry out the thesis research, but only after written approval has been received from the Internal Review Board (IRB) of the Office of Research Support at The University of Texas at Austin. Students should not move forward in their thesis research until this IRB approval to do so has been received in writing. This approval may require multiple submissions and edits of the student’s IRB proposal, and may take 4-6 weeks to accomplish. Students are strongly urged to plan their research schedule accordingly.
It is recommended that the student meet with the Thesis Chair soon after successfully completing the Thesis Proposal Presentation, in order to establish a timeline for conducting his or her thesis research and writing.
If during the Thesis Proposal Presentation there is a difference of opinion amongst the Thesis Chair and Thesis Reader regarding what is expected of the student in writing his or her thesis, and/or whether or not a student has successfully completed the Thesis Proposal Presentation, the Chair of the Thesis Committee is the one to make these determinations.
In the event that a student’s thesis proposal is not approved at the conclusion of the Thesis Proposal Presentation, the Thesis Committee makes recommendations to the student for further work. These recommendations for additional work may range from asking the student to submit written responses to one or more questions asked in the Thesis Proposal Presentation, to requesting that the student schedule and carry out another Thesis Proposal Presentation.
Recommendations for further work are communicated to the student through the Thesis Chair at the conclusion of the Thesis Proposal Presentation.
If another Thesis Proposal Presentation is needed, the student may, with the approval of the Thesis Chair, schedule this Thesis Proposal Presentation following the guidelines set down for an initial Thesis Proposal Presentation.
At the conclusion of the Thesis Proposal Presentation, the Thesis Chair gives approval for a student to proceed with his or her thesis.