Scientific Oversight Committee
At entry into the MD/PhD program, each student will be assigned a Scientific Oversight Committee (SOC) to monitor his or her progress in the program. This SOC will assist the student in understanding and navigating both the MD and the PhD requirements for the program.
The SOC membership will be composed of the following:
- two mentors from the MD/PhD committee, one of whom is a clinician and will serve as MD advisor
- a faculty member from the program in which the student will (likely) pursue a PhD
Early in the MD/PhD program, the SOC will work with the student to create an integrated roadmap (see template) of research and coursework to lead to graduation from both the MD and PhD programs. In consultation with the student, the SOC will determine the learning objectives for the student as well as the program requirements necessary for successful completion, in compliance with both medical school and graduate program requirements. This will include a formal consultation with the Program Director for Graduate Programs the student is considering.They will suggest a plan for PhD coursework, including which courses may be exempted or challenged.
At entry into the MD/PhD program, the SOC should meet frequently to become acquainted with the student and to help form his or her goals. For the first two years in the program, the SOC will meet with the student every six months to evaluate his or her progress in the curriculum and in research, and will assist the student to plan the next term(s). Once the MD/PhD student has passed their PhD qualifying exam, they will immediately form their Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC). The composition of the TAC is described in the By-Laws of Graduate Council (IX.G.7). The TAC will replace the SOC, which will disband. One member of the SOC (who is also a member of Graduate Faculty) will be selected by the SOC to join the TAC ensuring continuity of advising and that the TAC includes a faculty advocate from the MD/PhD program. We believe that overlap between these committees will decrease the time to graduation by ensuring that the student is receiving consistent mentoring.