Doctoral advisor

Last updated

A doctoral advisor (also dissertation director or dissertation advisor) is a member of a university faculty whose role is to guide graduate students who are candidates for a doctorate, helping them select coursework, as well as shaping, refining and directing the students' choice of sub-discipline in which they will be examined or on which they will write a dissertation. [1] Students generally choose advisors based on their areas of interest within their discipline, their desire to work closely with particular graduate faculty, and the willingness and availability of those faculty to work with them.

In some countries, the student's advisor serves as the chair of the dissertation committee or the examination committee. In some cases, though, the person who serves those roles may be different from the faculty member who has most closely advised the student. For instance, in the Dutch academic system, only full professors (hoogleraren) and associate professors (since 2017) may chair doctoral examinations, so students who have been advised by lower-ranked faculty members will have a full or associate professor as their official advisor (or promoter) and their actual advisor as co-promoter. [2] In other countries, such as Spain, the doctoral advisor has the role of a mentor, but is not allowed to form part of the examination committee. This is a body of five experts independently selected by the rectorate among ten candidates proposed by the university's department.

An academic genealogy may be traced based on student's doctoral advisors, going up and down the lines of academic "descent" in a manner analogous to a traditional genealogy.

Related Research Articles

Postgraduate education involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees, academic or professional certificates, academic or professional diplomas, or other qualifications for which a first or bachelor's degree generally is required, and it is normally considered to be part of higher education. In North America, this level is typically referred to as graduate school.

Doctorate Academic or professional degree

A doctorate or doctor's degree or doctoral degree, is an academic degree awarded by universities, derived from the ancient formalism licentia docendi. In most countries, it is a research degree that qualifies the holder to teach at university level in the degree's field, or to work in a specific profession. There are a number of doctoral degrees; the most common is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which is awarded in many different fields, ranging from the humanities to scientific disciplines.

Thesis Document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree

A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings. In some contexts, the word "thesis" or a cognate is used for part of a bachelor's or master's course, while "dissertation" is normally applied to a doctorate, while in other contexts, the reverse is true. The term graduate thesis is sometimes used to refer to both master's theses and doctoral dissertations.

Graduate school School that awards advanced academic degrees (i.e. masters and doctoral degrees) with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate (bachelors) degree

A graduate school is a school that awards advanced academic degrees with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate (bachelor's) degree. A distinction is typically made between graduate schools and professional schools, which offer specialized advanced degrees in professional fields such as medicine, nursing, business, engineering, speech-language pathology, or law. The distinction between graduate schools and professional schools is not absolute since various professional schools offer graduate degrees and vice versa.

Habilitation is a qualification required in order to conduct self-contained university teaching, and to obtain a professorship in many European countries. Despite changes implemented in European higher-education systems consequent to the Bologna Process, habilitation is the highest qualification issued through the process of a university examination, and remains a core concept of scholarly careers in these countries.

The Doctor of Business Administration is a research doctorate awarded on the basis of advanced study, examinations, project work and research in business administration. The D.B.A. is a terminal degree in business administration. Along with the Ph.D. or D.Phil., it represents the highest academic qualification in business administration, and is typically required to gain employment as a full-time, tenure-track university professor or postdoctoral researcher in the field. As with other earned doctorates, individuals with the degree are awarded the academic title doctor, which is often represented via the English honorific "Dr." or the post-nominal letters "DBA" or "PhD"

Dean is a title employed in academic administrations such as colleges or universities for a person with significant authority over a specific academic unit, over a specific area of concern, or both. Deans are common in private preparatory schools, and occasionally found in middle schools and high schools as well.

Comprehensive examination tests of knowledge across one or more general fields of study

In higher education, a comprehensive examination, often abbreviated as "comps", is a specific type of examination that must be completed by graduate students in some disciplines and courses of study, and also by undergraduate students in some institutions and departments. Unlike final examinations, comprehensive examinations are not linked to any particular course, but rather test knowledge across one or more general fields of study.

The use of the term Prelim generally refers to an examination that qualifies a student to continue studies at a higher level, and/or allow the student to comprehend his/her studies and see how prepared they are for an upcoming examination. It can also act as a gauge on how knowledgeable one is within the chosen subject.

Academic genealogy links between academics based on mentoring relationships

An academic, or scientific genealogy organizes a family tree of scientists and scholars according to mentoring relationships, often in the form of dissertation supervision relationships, and not according to genetic relationships as in conventional genealogy. Since the term academic genealogy has now developed this specific meaning, its additional use to describe a more academic approach to conventional genealogy would be ambiguous, so the description scholarly genealogy is now generally used in the latter context.

National Institute of Technology, Raipur publicly funded engineering and research institution

National Institute of Technology, Raipur is a publicly funded engineering and research institution located in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India. Founded in 1956 with two engineering disciplines, Mining and metallurgy, it is one of the oldest institute in National Institutes of Technology system. It is recognized as an Institute of National Importance by the Government of India under the National Institutes of Technology Act, 2007. and is currently undergoing accelerated growth through the World Bank-funded Technical Education Quality Improvement Program (TEQIP).

A magister degree is an academic degree used in various systems of higher education.

The governance of the University of Bristol is organised under a number of key positions; including the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellors and the Registrar.

Professors in the United States commonly occupy any of several positions in academia. In the U.S., the word "professor" informally refers collectively to the academic ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor. This usage differs from the predominant usage of the word professor internationally, where the unqualified word professor only refers to "full professors." The majority of university lecturers and instructors in the United States, as of 2015, do not occupy these tenure-track ranks, but are part-time adjuncts.

Doctor of Philosophy Postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities in many countries

A Doctor of Philosophy is the highest university degree that is conferred after a course of study by universities in most countries. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields. As an earned research degree, those studying for a PhD are usually required to produce original research that expands the boundaries of knowledge, normally in the form of a thesis or dissertation, and defend their work against experts in the field. The completion of a PhD is often a requirement for employment as a university professor, researcher, or scientist in many fields. Individuals who have earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree may, in many jurisdictions, use the title Doctor with their name, although the proper etiquette associated with this usage may also be subject to the professional ethics of their own scholarly field, culture, or society. Those who teach at universities or work in academic, educational, or research fields are usually addressed by this title "professionally and socially in a salutation or conversation." Alternatively, holders may use post-nominal letters such as "Ph.D.", "PhD", or "DPhil". It is, however, considered incorrect to use both the title and post-nominals at the same time.

Doctor of Law doctoral degree in law

Doctor of Law or Doctor of Laws is a degree in law. The application of the term varies from country to country and includes degrees such as the Doctor of Juridical Science, Doctor juris, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Legum Doctor (LL.D.).

The Nelson Diversity Surveys (NDS) are a collection of data sets that quantify the representation of women and minorities among professors, by science and engineering discipline, at research universities. They consist of four data sets compiled by Dr. Donna Nelson, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oklahoma during fiscal years (FY) 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2012. These surveys were each complete populations, rather than samples. Consequently, the Surveys quantified characteristics of the faculty which had never been revealed previously, drawing great attention from women and minorities. Furthermore, the Surveys initially came at a time when these underrepresented groups were becoming concerned and vocal about perceived inequities in academia. At the time the Surveys were initiated, (1) the MIT Study of 1999, expressing the concerns of women scientists, had just been issued, and (2) underrepresented minority (URM) science faculty noticed URM students increase among PhD recipients without a corresponding increase among recently hired professors. Because the NDS were complete populations, which disaggregated faculty by race, by rank, by gender, and by discipline, URM faculty had the documentation to support their concerns.

Academic ranks in Canada are the titles, relative importance and power of professors, researchers, and administrative personnel held in academia.

Academic ranks in Spain are the titles, relative importance and authority of professors, researchers, and administrative personnel held in academia.

In the United States, the PhD degree is the highest academic degree awarded by universities in most fields of study. American students typically undergo a series of three phases in the course of their work toward the PhD degree. The first phase consists of coursework in the student's field of study and requires one to three years to complete. This often is followed by a preliminary, a comprehensive examination, or a series of cumulative examinations where the emphasis is on breadth rather than depth of knowledge. The student is often later required to pass oral and written examinations in the field of specialization within the discipline, and here, depth is emphasized. After the comprehensive examination the student is a "PhD Candidate", which is the academic equivalent of a master's degree. Some universities will award terminal Master's for students who drop out of the PhD program at this stage, and some, like Columbia University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, award a Master's en route to the PhD. Some PhD programs require the candidate to successfully complete requirements in pedagogy or applied science.


  1. Miles Taft Bryant (2004), The portable dissertation advisor, Corwin Press, pp.  9–11, ISBN   978-0-7619-4696-0 .
  2. VSNY Guidelines (.pdf file). Retrieved 2019-12-13.