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Once you achieve candidacy, you are strongly encouraged to remain in residence at the University for the duration of your dissertation research. Even if your data collection requires relocation, you are strongly encouraged to resume residency for analysis and draft work on your findings, discussion, and completion of your dissertation. Remaining on campus facilitates close communication with your committee and the ability to take full advantage of the resources available at the UW. If you are planning to collect data in a geographical location away from the University, you and your chair must decide whether or not you will go on leave during data collection.

Dissertation Proposal
The dissertation proposal approval process is negotiated between you and your supervisory committee. Once your proposal is approved, you must collect your committee's signatures on the Dissertation Proposal Approval form. The completed form provides documentation of your committee's approval of your research proposal and must on file in Academic Services before you begin data collection. You and the chair of the committee may find it advisable to offer periodic updates on the progress of the research project to your entire committee, since all of your committee members need to reflect on your ongoing efforts.

Once your committee has approved your dissertation proposal, you should consider applying for the Hester McLaws Nursing Dissertation Scholarship.

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Preparing the Dissertation
Research Design Consultation. Midway during the development of the dissertation proposal, your are expected to arrange a meeting with a statistical consultant in the Office of Nursing Research to discuss design and analysis issues for the proposed research if statistical analysis is relevant to your proposed study. This meeting must also be attended by the chair of your supervisory committee.

The purpose of this consultation is twofold. First, gives you an opportunity to talk with a consultant about the feasibility of your research aims, the appropriateness of your proposed research design, and various operational and statistical issues, such as instrumentation needs, size requirements, and the computing resources and skills needed for the project. The second purpose of this meeting is to give the consultant an understanding of the agreement between you and your supervisory committee regarding the scope and methodological approach of the research project. This will make future consultations more helpful and efficient. Typically, committee members do not any attend subsequent meetings you arrange with a consultant.

You are expected to register for a minimum of 27 dissertation credit hours over a period of at least three quarters, two of which should come after successful completion of your General Examination, and before a warrant is authorized for the Final Examination. The Graduate School requires that you be registered for at least two credits during a) the quarter your Final Examination is taken and b) the quarter in which you graduates. Full-time student status is 10 credits per quarter.

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Characteristics of a Dissertation
A dissertation must, according to the Graduate School:

  1. demonstrate original and independent investigation and achievement;
  2. reflect mastery of research techniques;
  3. reflect ability to select an important problem for investigation and to deal with it competently; and
  4. meet all format requirements as outlined in the Style and Policy Manual for Theses and Dissertations.

A dissertation must also, according to faculty in the School of Nursing:

  1. represent original scholarly work;
  2. contribute to nursing science in the candidates' major field of study; and
  3. qualify for publication.

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