Original Research Proposal

All students will present an independent research proposal. The “RP” is intended to meet the breadth requirement and must be on a topic of the student’s choosing that is substantially different from the student’s own thesis area. It is intended to evaluate the student’s ability to learn a new area of science on an independent basis, to identify important scientific questions and form testable hypotheses, and to propose experimental or theoretical approaches to answering the questions and testing the hypotheses. The RP is similar in format to the TBO, consisting of a 8-10 page written research proposal, public presentation, and closed-door exam. Scheduling of the RP is normally done on an individual basis, but must be completed by the end of the third year unless special permission is granted.  This effort will be coordinated by the Materials Chemistry Program Division Coordinator.  Research Proposal Document Format

Upon completion of the oral examination, the examining committee will decide on one of three options:  1) the student passes the examination, 2) the student receives a partial pass, or 3) the student fails the examination. A “partial pass” will be given when there are some deficiencies that must be corrected before the student can be allowed to continue toward a Ph.D. A partial pass will require additional effort on the student’s part to correct the deficiencies; corrective measures will be determined individually by the TBO committee. Typical remedies may involve rewriting or adding material to the document, having a second individual discussion with the faculty, and/or doing a second presentation and defense. If a student fails the examination outright, the student will not be permitted to continue toward the Ph.D. degree.