Picking a Supervisory Committee Flowchart (PDF)

Supervisory Committee Meeting Guidelines

MCB students form a Doctoral Supervisory Committee after joining a permanent lab.  Students are encouraged to select members from different participating institutions to promote productive scientific interactions across the program.

Deadlines to Form Committee:

MCB students:  Last day of Winter Quarter of the Second Year
MSTP students:  Last day of Spring Quarter of the First Year
Submit Committee to MCB Office

Committee Description

The Supervisory Committee must have a minimum of five members as follows:

  • One Chair
    -The student’s faculty advisor
    -Endorsed by the Graduate School (see below)
  • One Graduate School Representative (GSR)
    -The GSR represents the Graduate School and attests to the validity of the General Exam and the Final Exam
    -Endorsed by the Graduate School
    -Cannot be affiliated with the same UW Department or Fred Hutch Division as the Chair (see below)
  • Three Committee Members
    -At least one must be outside Chair’s department or division
    -At least two must be MCB Faculty
    -The majority of the committee must be endorsed by the Graduate School

Endorsement by the Graduate School

Faculty must receive an endorsement from the Graduate School to chair a doctoral supervisory committee and to serve as a GSR.

UW Faculty receive endorsement through their department.  UW Faculty often have appointments in several departments or units.

Fred Hutch, BRI, PNRI and CIDR Faculty who do not have an UW appointment must apply for endorsement through a UW department.  This can take some time, so these students often must appoint a nominal Chair until the Faculty Advisor has received a UW Grad School Endorsement.

Use The Graduate Faculty Locator to find out if faculty members are endorsed and in which departments or units.

Selecting a GSR

Students select a GSR, who is a voting member of the committee. The GSR represents the Graduate School and oversees the examination process by submitting a standard report to the Graduate School.  The GSR should also not have collaborative ties or shared grants with the Chair.

UW-based GSRs cannot have a primary, joint or affiliate appointment in the same UW department as the Chair.

Fred Hutch-based GSRs cannot have a primary appointment in the same Fred Hutch Division as the Chair.  In addition, Fred Hutch-based GSRs cannot have a primary, joint or affiliate appointment in the same UW department as the Chair.

Students may change GSRs but the GSR must always be endorsed.

Committee Members

A majority of committee members must be endorsed by the Graduate School.  At minimum, then, 3 members (including the Chair and the GSR) must be endorsed.

Fred Hutch students whose faculty advisor is not yet endorsed must make sure to have at least 3 endorsed committee members to form a majority.  Sometimes, students will form a committee of seven faculty to meet the endorsement majority requirement.

MSTP Students

MSTP students are highly encouraged to include one MSTP Co-Director on the Supervisory Committee.

Supervisory Committee Submission

Once the Supervisory Committee is complete, please submit the following to Maia Low in the MCB Office:

-Chair Name, Primary Department or Division, email address
-GSR Name, Primary Department or Division, email address
-Three (or more) Committee Member Names, Primary Department or Division, email addresses

Maia will submit the Committee to the Graduate School via MyGradProgram.

To Do

  • MCB: Form committee by last day of Winter Quarter of Second Year.
  • MSTP: Form committee by last day of Spring Quarter of First Year.