Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC)

The Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) will act as a review panel and also allows for any problems, scientific or otherwise, to be aired and discussed as appropriate. The TAC shall evaluate the PhD candidate’s progress and give external advice to the PhD candidate and his/her supervisor(s). Moreover, the TAC offers formalized support, and a ‘protected space’ to resolve possible conflicts between PhD candidates, supervisors, and other research/training team members.

The committee is composed of:

  • the PhD candidat
  • a VDS CoBeNe representative serving as chair
  • the supervisor(s)
  • the two mentor(s):
    i) at least one CoBeNe faculty member familiar with the topic but not involved in the PhD studies,
    ii) an expert who can be also a non-CoBeNe faculty member or from another discipline and/or university as we would like to strive networking

Meeting organization:

  • the TAC meeting of 60 minutes is organized by the PhD candidate (time and location)
  • the TAC meeting can be planned as a single event or embedded in an already existing meeting (e.g. jour fix, annual talk,..) at the department or working group, but needs a 'protected space' of about 30 minutes for the TAC members only
  • the TAC will meet once per year until completion of the thesis

TAC meeting format

Structure of the TAC meeting: 

  • Presentation (max. 15 minutes), includes introduction, key proof-of-principle experiments and results, timeline and achievements. The presentation should focus on key points the committee needs to assess for the project)
  • Discussion (max. 20 minutes) about the project, the progress, the finalization 
  • 'Privatissimum' with PhD candidate (incl. questions, support offer if necessary,..)
  • 'Privatissimum' with supervisor(s) 
  • Summary and feedback

TAC discussion and assessment of:

  • What are the PhD candidate goals/achievements/problems?
  • Is the PhD candidate on a good track to become an independent scientist?
  • Is the proposed plan realistic?

The TAC will check that:

  • Expectations and progress perception of PhD candidate and supervisor(s) are aligned
  • Regular meetings are happening
  • Resources and support are in place or targeted
  • Proposed plan for publication(s) and/or the PhD thesis writing and defense

The TAC will offer:

  • Monitor project progression: what is the major progress and what are potential bottlenecks?
  • Outlook: what are the goals for the next year?
  • Feedback on the proposed outlook, keeping in mind the timeline
  • Support from the VDS CoBeNe office in all administrative issues (forms, budget, communication,..)