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Third Year




The process of writing an original research proposal (ORP) is broken down into three required parts. This multi-step strategy is intended to develop the skills needed for proposal writing in stages rather than in one concerted activity. These stages are (i) literature search and topic choice, accomplished through the construction of Quad Chart Proposals, and (ii) writing and defense of the full original research proposal.

By the final day of the summer academic quarter of the student’s 3rd year, the student is required to have three quad-chart proposals approved by all their thesis committee members (as indicated by their signatures on an approval form). This approval will occur through a single, one-hour meeting of the student with their three or four committee members. The student’s committee in the third year is their QE committee. 

During this committee meeting, the committee members will provide feedback on the quad chart proposals, and either approve three of them or ask the student to revise them before approval, in which case approval must occur through email or individual meetings with committee members.  It is strongly recommended that the student bring at least 4 quad charts to this meeting so that three can be chosen with which the student moves forward. The same three quad-chart proposals must be approved by all three members of their thesis committee (or four members if they have two advisors). 

Please bring the Quad Chart approval form to your individual committee meetings. The form must be signed by all committee members and returned to the chemistry main office (Tech K145).