Today was a landmark day for my educational career because I proposed my dissertation research. The only thing I have left to do for my doctorate is my dissertation, which is a large research project I conduct myself. I say "only" but it is the most intensive piece of the doctoral curriculum. The dissertation end product could be best described as a book I write about my research that is composed of five chapters. I have a committee of three academic members (professors) who provide me with guidance and feedback on my work and a dissertation chair who is my key go-to advisor. For the proposal, I had to present the draft of the first three chapters of my dissertation to my committee. These chapters describe what my project is, previous studies about my topic, and what I plan to do. I was fortunate enough to be able to do this over the phone today since I am in Iowa City and my committee is all in Omaha, NE. Below is a time lapse video of my proposal conference call. I felt the need to document it. What you don't hear is Pax barking in the background the entire call (over an hour) because there were workers removing a tree next door.
After I presented the work and responded to questions, I got off the call while my committee discussed if I passed and if my project was viable. I waited and then my chair called me back to informed I passed and could move on with my project. I will admit I did dance when I heard the news.
So what is my project? I will be interviewing creatives at advertising firms (think Mad Men - Peggy and the copywriters types) about what their leader (Don Draper types) can do to support their creative process. The goal of my study to learn about what leaders in the advertising industry can do to best support the creative process for those coming up with the ideas. I could go on and on and on about it because I love studying creativity but I already have another blog in the works about that because I have so much to say and share on the topic (more to come on that in the future).
So . . . the next few months will be me traveling to interview people, reading more research, and revising/adding to my first three chapters. My goal is to gather and analyze/write up the rest of it by next March and graduate in May. A lot can happen when doing research but my hope is that I can stick with this timeline.