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Working with Your Thesis Committee Panellists

Students, who need to write and submit thesis on their chosen research topics, also need to work closely with the panellists of the thesis review committee, who guide the student on their research project and thesis writing, as well as review their submissions.

Working with members of the thesis committee can be a challenging task for most students, but can also be a rewarding experience at the end of the project. This is because to succeed in the research field, the ability to collaborate with senior academic members is as important for students as developing good researching capabilities.

Listed below are some steps for a closer working relationship with your committee panellist:

  • Know their research specialization.

Find out the specialization field and the research area of your panellist. It is best to work with members, who understand your chosen field of research and possess detailed knowledge of your subject.

  • Know their working style.

Coordinate with your panellist members through the research work, and consult with them for regular feedback and inputs on your research work. From their suggestions, you will be able to understand their working style and habits. Do not work with committee members whose working styles are very different from each other. Do not wait till the day of submitting your research proposal or your thesis defence before you start collaborating with your review committee members.

  • Get regular feedback on your work.

Develop a healthy relation with your review committee members to get regular feedback on your research work. Make a list of all their suggestions and inputs, and ensure that you incorporate them into your thesis.

If your research progress is stalled due to a variety of reasons, raise the issue immediately with your seniors, instead of biding time, which will only result in delays.

  • Develop effective communication with the committee members.

Collaborating with multiple review panellists is a major challenge, as there will be disagreements even among the panellists. As a student, you must have open and effective communication with all your review panellists, such that it does not lead to any interpersonal conflict or dispute.

As a research student, you must be able to work productively with different types of people, who can contribute to the overall success of your research project. This exercise will build the confidence level of any student and can lead to a successful career path.

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