Research Plan Cover Sheet (PDF file)
The Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program is a research based degree program requiring a written and orally defended research dissertation. Since research is a primary component of this program, the Graduate Advisory Committee must approve the student's Research Plan. In the Biology Concentration, the project must be defended by the end of the second semester or by the time the student has completed 15 hours of graduate coursework. In the Chemistry Concentration, the Research Plan must be completed by the end of the third semester, excluding summer semesters. For part-time students, the Research Plan should be completed at a time agreeable with the students Graduate Advisory Committee. The Research Plan Cover Sheet (included on the Forms page of the web site or in the appendix of the handbook) must be attached to the Research Plan and copies of both must be forwarded to the Director of the Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program. The completed Program of Study should also be included with the Research Plan bearing all applicable signatures. The Director will then forward the Program of Study to the Graduate School Office. If a Program of Study has previously been filed, and if changes are made to the Program of Study at the time of the Research Plan, the Substitution Form should be sent to the Director as well. The Director will sign these forms and forward them to the Graduate School Office and retain copies for our records.
The Research Plan should be a concise literature review of your proposed research. It should also include any preliminary results obtained by the student as well as the proposed experimental procedures and methods. The experimental procedures and methods should contain sufficient detail in order for the Graduate Advisory Committee to evaluate the proposal and judge its probability of success. Equipment and supplies necessary for this research should be adequately described. The Research Plan should include a bibliography. Any other pertinent information may be included in the Research Plan. The Research Plan is not meant to be in the form of a formal research proposal. We have a separate course (required for Chemistry Concentration students) that teaches students how to prepare a formal research proposal. The Research Plan should be viewed like a contract between the student, the students mentor, and the students Graduate Advisory Committee. Obviously, changes to the Research Plan may occur while the research is carried out over the course of the student's tenure. The Graduate Advisory committee should be made aware of any substantial changes should this need arise.
If changes are suggested at the time of the Research Plan Defense, then the corrected copy is the one that should be forwarded to the Directors office, along with the Research Plan Cover Sheet and any pertinent forms. If the Research Plan is abandoned and a new one is put in place, the Research Plan should be rewritten, presented to the student's Graduate Advisory Committee and forwarded to the Directors office with a revised Research Plan Cover Sheet and any other applicable forms.