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Walden doctoral study supervisory committees are generally composed of three members. The DHA program directors, or their designee, will assign the first two committee members to the student’s supervisory committee for their research study (Walden University Office of Research and Doctoral Services, n.d.).
The first is the Committee Chair, who is allocated once the student has successfully completed DDHA 8246, which includes a completed draft of their prospectus form that has been authorized. Each term, the Committee Chair is charged with working with the student in a Blackboard course environment and assisting the student in developing a term plan to ensure the student is moving toward graduation. The Committee Chair is also responsible for reviewing students’ accomplishment of term plan goals in each term leading up to graduation. The Committee Chair is also responsible for coordinating contact with the other committee members in order to avoid misunderstanding and arrange proposed adjustments to the research project. The committee chair is largely responsible for ensuring that your doctorate study complies with all Walden University criteria, including those for topic coverage, methodology, research ethics, and form and style. The chair is also in charge of ensuring that the committee’s work successfully meets the standards of both service to the student and service to the academic discipline and professional area of practice concerned. The chair guides the committee as it collaborates with the student on their doctoral research and serves as an arbitrator to settle any disagreements within the committee (Walden University Office of Research and Doctoral Services, n.d.).
The next committee member is a person who is entrusted with reviewing student work and providing input at the Committee Chair’s request. This committee member will also work with the student throughout their doctoral research project, guiding them through the proposal, research and analysis, and final oral conference. The committee member’s competence may be mainly as a technical expert, primarily as a content expert, or a mix of the two. The committee member will assist the committee chair by bringing his or her particular experience and any specific knowledge to the student’s doctoral research. Before starting to work with a student, a committee member must consult with the committee chair (Walden University Office of Research and Doctoral Services, n.d.).
The third committee member is the University Research Reviewer (URR), who acts as a quality assurance member. The URR gives comprehensive input on the research design and alignment of the students’ research project. When the student’s research project is about to be approved, the URR steps in to begin their responsibilities on the committee. The URR’s particular responsibilities include consulting with the student’s supervisory committee on their proposal and doctorate study, as well as doing final evaluations of the student’s proposal and doctoral study prior to the student moving to the two oral conferences. Students seldom have direct interactions with the URR (Walden University Office of Research and Doctoral Services, n.d.).
In exceptional situations, the committee chair may consider that additional expertise is required to adequately supervise or assess a specific component of a student’s research subject. In such cases, an external (non-Walden) fourth member of the committee may be appointed (Walden University Office of Research and Doctoral Services, n.d.).
Feedback and Revisions
The supervisory committee’s content expert, either the committee chair or a committee member, will offer comments on the extent to which assumptions and restrictions influence the study outcomes. If relevant, the subject expert will also offer input on the comprehensiveness of the literature review and theoretical foundation of the study, as well as feedback on the potential for research outputs to contribute to positive social change. Furthermore, the content expert assesses the overall importance of the study results or outcomes (Walden University Office of Research and Doctoral Services, n.d.).
The methodology expert on the supervisory committee, who is usually the committee chair or a committee member who has not been designated as the content expert, provides feedback to the student on the proposed research design, including its suitability for addressing the problem statement and research questions/focus. Furthermore, the methodology specialist directs the selection of a certain methodology, the selection of a sample with suitable characteristics and size, and the execution of the chosen methodology. This expert also assures compliance with program and/or professional norms, widely recognized ethical and moral principles respecting human subjects, and gives constructive feedback concerning data collection and analysis, as well as data presentation and analysis results (Walden University Office of Research and Doctoral Services, n.d.).
The URR provides timely and relevant feedback that is within the stated scope of the URR position and is connected to theoretical, methodological, and analytical substance, as well as organization. The Minimum Standards Rubric is used by the URR to provide this feedback. Minor form and style flaws, as well as ethical considerations, are not included in the designated scope; nonetheless, the URR is directed to warn students to such issues when they are discovered. On occasion, the URR may be required to report such matters to the Writing Center or the Institutional Review Board for consultation. The URR also decides if the proposal and doctorate research is ready to go on to the next stage of the process. URR approval, indicated via scores and comments put in the doctorate study rubric, is required for the proposal and doctoral study oral conference, as well as submitting the abstract to the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) for ultimate approval (Walden University Office of Research and Doctoral Services, n.d.)
The authority of each supervisory committee member to request adjustments before approving a study is unique to doctoral-level research. In the research and publishing world, this form of assessment and approval is known as “Peer review” (Walden University Office of Research and Doctoral Services, n.d.). A scholarly publication is another term for a peer-reviewed publication. The peer-review method is used to maintain academic scientific quality by subjecting an author’s (student’s) scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same area (peers). Its purpose is to encourage writers to fulfill the established high standards of their profession, as well as to govern the distribution of research data to ensure that unjustified claims, undesirable interpretations, or personal opinions are not published without previous expert assessment (Kelly, Sadeghieh, & Adeli, 2