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The DAC Chair is responsible for overseeing the committee meetings that are convened at least once each semester to review research progress; submitting a report after each DAC meeting; conducting the Dissertation defense; and, with the committee, reviewing the Dissertation.The DAC Chair must be a Harvard or MIT faculty member and must be well acquainted with the academic policies and procedures of DMS.The dissertation advisor may not simultaneously serve as DAC Chair Students must submit two forms, the Letter of Intent and the Dissertation Advisor Declaration, to propose a Dissertation Advisor and Dissertation Advisory Committee, respectively.
The Division of Medical Sciences may approve other individuals as Dissertation Advisors on a case-by-case basis.
Each DAC is headed administratively by a Chair, chosen by the student in consultation with the Dissertation Advisor.
The SHBT student tracking committee must approve the composition of the DAC; this is done by the approval of the DAC Declaration Form (see below).
In order to avoid conflicts of interest, a student's Dissertation Advisor cannot simultaneously be either his or her academic advisor or DAC chair.
The student and Dissertation Advisor must sign the form.
The Dissertation Advisor Declaration addresses the same issues as the earlier form and also specifies the faculty members who will serve on the DAC.The form must be submitted to the SHBT Program by September 15 of the third year of registration.This form should specify the area of expertise of the Dissertation Advisor.Committees of five members are possible, but more than five is unwieldy.] Beginning in the third year of registration, a student must meet with his or her DAC at least once during Fall and Spring terms.At the end of the meeting, the DAC Chair completes a DAC Report for submission to the Division of Medical Sciences.It should include people from various departments and labs.It is often very helpful to include at least one person who is likely to view your problem from a very different perspective than you and your supervisor.] [Friendly advice: Although there is no maximum committee size, three or four is considered optimal.It should also indicate whether IRB approval (Institutional Review Board; for research involving human subjects) and/or IACUC approval (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee; for research involving vertebrate animals) will be required and, if so, from which institutions.The research description should be no longer than 100 words.These policies are intended to help keep students on track as they progress through the Ph D program.Experience shows that students make more rapid progress towards graduation when they interact regularly with a faculty committee and complete their Dissertation proposal sooner rather than later.