Setting up a Thesis Advisory Committee

Alongside the immediate supervisory team, VDP doctoral researchers are encouraged to work with other academics within and outside the department. They may set up a wider thesis advisory committee, to help guide their research. 

Including the supervisor(s), the thesis advisory committee should comprise of up to five members, all of whom must be in possession of a PhD. The committee can include postdoctoral researchers (who are not eligible to be full supervisors). It can also include researchers from other departments or universities. However, please note that thesis advisory committee members cannot act as reviewers/ examiners of the final doctoral thesis

Non-supervising members of the thesis advisory committee are expected to be in discussion with doctoral researchers at least once per semester. Ideally there would be contact at least every couple of months. This could take a number of formats. For example, doctoral researchers might wish to present a draft chapter or paper to the full thesis advisory committee. Or they might wish to discuss a particular question or problem with one or two of the committee members. It is up to the individuals involved to decide how best to work together. Once agreed, working arrangements should be kept under review and adjusted as necessary.

To establish a thesis advisory committee, VDP doctoral researchers and their supervisor(s) should approach potential committee members directly. Once they have agreed to participate, please inform the VDP Coordinator of the composition of the committee by emailing The composition of the thesis advisory committee can be changed at any time. Please keep the VDP Coordinator updated.