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Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) Guidelines

 
Here you can download the Qualifying Assessment Form for your first TAC meeting.
For subsequent TAC meetings, please use this TAC Assessment Form.
 
Purpose
 
The Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) accompanies the PhD student from the Qualifying Assessment to the preparations for the defense. The committee meets regularly to assess the student’s progress and provide input. The committee members are also available to the PhD student for one-on-one consultations and may become a source of references. In the unlikely event that the thesis advisor leave or otherwise become unavailable, the TAC needs to be informed and will investigate options and provide advise to the student.
 
At any time, the student can contact TAC members for personal discussions. The student can request additional TAC meetings.
 
Structure
 
A TAC generally consists of a maximum of 4 members, selected by the PhD student in consultation with the thesis advisor. The advisor is a member of the TAC, but does not chair the TAC. All PhD Program faculty members can become members of a TAC, as well as all senior scientists and facility heads. At least one member of the TAC should be affiliated with another department. The official advisor from the University of Tübingen can be a TAC member, but this is not required.
 
It is the student’s responsibility to invite the TAC members, arrange TAC meetings and provide the PhD Program office with copies of the signed TAC Assessment forms.
 
Meetings
 
The TAC should convene at least once every year during the PhD student’s career.
 
Qualifying assessment
 
The first TAC meeting, called the Qualifying Assessment, is mandatory and  takes place within the student’s first year in the PhD Program. Approximately two weeks before the TAC meeting, the student submits a written 2-5 page thesis proposal, presenting the basic outline of the project and initial results, should any be available, to the TAC members.
During the TAC meeting, the student gives a short (10-20 minute) presentation of his current research, followed by a discussion with the TAC members. The TAC will assess the following criteria, which the chairperson will record on the TAC Assessment form:
 
  • Scope of the project
  • Potential impact of the project
  • Potential risks involved in the project
  • Evaluation of the student’s technical aptitude
  • Overall assessment of the student’s performance
 
A copy of the TAC Assessment form signed by all members and the student should be forwarded to the PhD Program office.
 
Second TAC meeting
 
The focus of the second TAC meeting is to evaluate the PhD student’s progress and, if necessary, assist in the identification of an alternative project. The student prepares a progress report and distributes it the TAC members prior to the meeting, gives a presentation about the current state of the project at the meeting and submits the signed TAC Assessment to the PhD Program office.
 
Starting with the second meeting, the student’s development in career planning will be monitored.
 
Third TAC meeting
 
The goal of the third TAC meeting is to evaluate the PhD student’s progress with regard to project completion and submission of the thesis, which can be documented in a timeline. The TAC meeting procedure follows that of the second TAC meeting.
 
Fourth TAC meeting
 
Should a fourth TAC meeting be required, it will firm up a timeline to thesis submission. The TAC meeting procedure follows that of the second TAC meeting.