thesis nitty gritty aka the really boring but easy to get wrong part of the thesis process
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Thesis Nitty-Gritty aka: the really boring, but easy-to-get-wrong part of the thesis process. Psychology 985 Laura Chivers February 24, 2010. Application Committee Topic/Proposal Attachments Prospectus Prospectus Meeting. Application . Deadlines : Submit in HARD COPY to WJH 218

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thesis nitty gritty aka the really boring but easy to get wrong part of the thesis process

Thesis Nitty-Grittyaka: the really boring, but easy-to-get-wrong part of the thesis process

Psychology 985

Laura Chivers

February 24, 2010

slide2
Application
    • Committee
    • Topic/Proposal
    • Attachments
  • Prospectus
  • Prospectus Meeting
application
Application
  • Deadlines : Submit in HARD COPY to WJH 218
    • Deadline: Friday 12 March 2010, 4pm (2+ weeks!)
      • Preferred deadline
      • Facilitates summer funding, starting research or being away from Harvard over summer but being ready to begin in Sept
      • Must obtain an adviser and reader
      • Can submit application early if leaving for spring break
    • Second Deadline: Thursday 8 April 2010, 4pm
      • Later deadline is permissible, but can make life hard
      • If you can’t find reader, we will assign one, but not preferable
application committee
Application: Committee
  • Why choose committee now?
    • other departments, readers assigned after the work is done, sometimes blindly
    • Psychology is broad field, many ways to address a question
    • All thesis graders have input into the project before collecting data
  • Committee Roles
    • Thesis supervisor
      • supervises the research that you conduct for your thesis
      • participates in your thesis prospectus meeting
      • files midyear and end-of-year reports for your senior thesis tutorial (990/992/993)
      • reads and comments on your thesis
      • participates in your poster defense
      • works with reader to determine final grade
    • Thesis reader
      • participates in your thesis prospectus meeting
      • reads and comments on your thesis
      • participates in your poster defense
      • works with reader to determine final grade
      • you might consult with your reader during the year
        • if s/he has specific expertise you need,
        • if you have modified your thesis project and want to inform your committee).
application committee1
Application: Committee
  • Composition
    • 1 supervisor
      • Regular Dept Faculty Member/Lecturer
      • Asterisked Board of Honors Tutors member
    • Sometimes, 1 co-supervisor
      • Graduate student G3 or higher, co-supervising no more than 2 theses
      • Non-asterisked Board of Honors Tutors member
      • Doctoral-level researcher outside of dept by petition only
    • 1 reader
      • Regular Dept Faculty Member/Lecturer
      • Board of Honors Tutors member
      • Same person as supervisor, if co-supervisor is from a different lab than supervisor
  • Either supervisor or reader MUST be departmental faculty member
application proposal
Application: Proposal
  • Proposal
    • ½ to 2 pages long, attached to application
    • presents your thesis topic question
    • includes general method as it stands currently, including intended participants
    • Does not lock you in, but allows us to determine if the topic is
      • appropriate for a thesis
      • feasible to complete in the senior year
application attachments
Application: Attachments
  • For everyone, a copy of your student record from the Advising Portal.
  • If your college grade-point average is lower than the 3.5 required for thesis writers:
    • submit a petition form with a statement explaining why you feel your GPA does not reflect your ability to do a thesis
    • Laura will contact your supervisor for more information
  • If you are requesting a non-departmental supervisor who is not a member of the Board of Honors Tutors:
    • submit a petition form with a statement explaining how this person is an appropriate supervisor for your research.
    • note the person's title and affiliation
    • if the person is not Harvard-affiliated, include her/his curriculum vitae (resume)
application tips
Application: Tips
  • Available at http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/psych/ug/thesis/step2/II.Honors.appl.form.htm
  • Title should be tentative thesis title
  • Signatures
    • Do not wait until the last minute to get signatures
    • Requires signature of supervisor and co-supervisor
    • Does not require reader signature, but be sure they have agreed
    • Requires Concentration Adviser signature
  • Approval:
    • CUI will review, Laura will contact you with questions
    • Approvals will be emailed out within a few weeks
    • Do not assume you have been approved if you don’t hear – check in with Laura
    • Changes to committee membership or substantial topic changes require new application
  • While waiting for approval, work on completing your prospectus!
prospectus
Prospectus
  • Draft Due byWednesday 21 April 2010, 4p.m, to WJH 218
    • May submit earlier to facilitate Prospectus Meeting
  • Goal:
    • Communicate clearly the relevance and plausibility of your work
    • No min or max, but range is four to twenty pages, typically between twelve and fifteen pages long, although there is no maximum or minimum length
    • Students having trouble formatting may consider QALMRI approach (Kosslyn & Rosenberg, 2001, Appendix B); or intro, methods, and if asked, proposed results
    • Methods should be fairly well developed
    • Serves a roadmap for prospectus meeting
    • Like a contract between you and committee members
  • Edits may be made after submission if and when the student and committee agree that changes are warranted
  • Revised prospectuses should be submitted in hard copy to WJH 218 whenever revisions occur, with signature of committee members on front
prospectus meeting
Prospectus Meeting
  • Presentation of your prospectus to your committee
  • Held with your entire committee present simultaneously
  • Chance to present thesis idea and research plan, and get feedback from committee
  • Official approval (or disapproval) of thesis plan
  • Possible outcomes:
    • Thesis proposal approved without reservation.
    • Thesis proposal approved with stipulation (attach copy) **most common
    • Thesis proposal not approved in present form; candidate required to  revise and  re-submit it.  Second prospectus meeting scheduled
    • Thesis proposal disapproved; candidate may continue a modified study               for half-course credit of Psychology 990/992/993.
    • Thesis proposal disapproved; student required to withdraw from               Psychology 990/992/993.
  • The prospectus you present to the committee may be a revised version of the prospectus you submit on April 21, 2010
prospectus meeting1
Prospectus Meeting
  • Timing
    • Can’t be held until application is approved, although can be tentatively scheduled
    • Ideally will be held before CUHSR (IRB) approval, but definitely before beginning main data collection (piloting ok if CUHSR ok)
    • Should plan to complete before end of spring semester if possible (usually not held over summer)
    • “drop dead” deadline is Friday, October 1, 2010
    • Two weeks before scheduled prospectus meeting, provide all committee members with a copy of your prospectus, and turn in a copy of this version of the prospectus to UGO, WJH 218
    • Faculty are SUPER busy, so schedule this as far in advance as possible. One month advanced notice is not always enough.
    • Remember everyone must be in the room together at the same time, unless you have permission from Laura for someone to conference call.
prospectus meeting tips
Prospectus Meeting Tips
  • Print and bring to meeting Prospectus Meeting Evaluation Form
  • Form Available at: http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/psych/ug/deadlines/Prosp.eval.form.htm
  • Be sure all committee members sign form, turn into WJH 218 immediately
  • Remember, what you discuss is like a contract
  • We strongly recommend that after the prospectus meeting, you e-mail your thesis committee members with a summary of what was agreed at the meeting.
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