Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC)
The TAC is responsible for helping to monitor the student’s progress
Members of the TAC, with expertise in related/complementary fields, may help to guide and provide a different perspective to the graduate student’s thesis project.
TAC thus plays an invaluable role during the graduate student’s journey to:
How it Works
TAC MeetingsThe student should meet with the Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) at least once every 6 months or once every semester. There should be a minimum of 2 TAC meetings prior to the PQE, and there should be a final meeting no later than 3 months prior to the submission of the thesis.
Meeting FrequencyThe student or Chair of the TAC may call for the TAC meetings on a regular basis as indicated in (1) above, but meetings may be held more frequently if the student is known to be having problems.
During the MeetingIt is strongly advisable to have all TAC members, including supervisor and co-supervisor (if applicable) present at all TAC meetings. If this is not possible, at least two-thirds of the TAC members must be present per meeting. The student must seek input from those absent after the meeting at their earliest availability, with the supplementary meetings duly documented.
After the MeetingThe Chair of the TAC has to complete an Online TAC Report Form after the meeting. Note that the form is only accessible to the Chair of the TAC. Therefore, ONLY the Chair of the TAC may access the form, to fill and submit it. The Chair of the TAC may have up to 2 weeks (from the date of the TAC Meeting) to complete the submission of the form.
The Chair of the TAC should communicate the discussion and comments of the meeting to the student. To do that, the Chair of the TAC can download a PDF copy of the TAC Report and email it to the student for his/her reference.
The outcome of the meetings may be incorporated into the student’s 6-monthly online progress reports in January and August of every year, by the main supervisor on behalf of the TAC members.
Report SubmissionThe main supervisor may, on behalf of the TAC members, incorporate each meeting’s outcome into the student’s 6-monthly online progress report, in January and August of each year. Report submission is mandatory. (If the supervisor fails to complete his/her report by the stipulated deadline, their student’s stipend may be withheld by the University).
Project DifficultiesThe Chair of the TAC should inform NGS or SAGE (Senior Advisory in Graduate Education) of any cases of serious project related or personal difficulties encountered by the student, so that additional oversight and assistance could be provided.
PhD Qualifying Examination (PQE)If a student fails to apply for the PQE by 18-24 months into his/her PhD programme, a TAC meeting should be convened immediately to discover the reasons for this. In cases where the student has made little or no progress with the thesis project by the 18-20-month mark, and the student appears to be at risk of not obtaining a PhD, the TAC will refer the student’s case to NGS/SAGE.