DSI to Offer Four Consortia at Annual Conference

At the DSI 2018 Annual Conference, DSI is offering two half-day doctoral consortia’s for Ph.D. students in different stages of completion – Pre-Proposal and Post-Proposal. In addition, two half day faculty development consortia are also offered for those in different stages of their career – new faculty and mid-career faculty.

All consortia will take place on Saturday, November 17. The Pre-Proposal PhD, Post Proposal PhD and New Faculty will take place from 8 am – 12 noon. The Mid-Career Faculty Development will take place from 1 – 5 pm.  Consortia attendees will be hosted to a luncheon from 12 noon to 1 pm.  Below is detailed information for each consortia.

Pre-Proposal PhD Student Consortium

Anand Nair Anand Nair

Michigan State University
Debjit Roy

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad





Who is the Consortium for?

The Doctoral Student Consortium for Pre-Proposal Defense Students is designed to help guide students in early stages of doctoral programs and prepare them for the dissertation stage. The consortium will incorporate topics ranging from the initial selection of specialization areas and supporting methodological tools to identifying dissertation topics and advisors. A unique aspect of all discussions in this consortium will be the infusion of a solid dose of realism and pragmatism from highly regarded and established scholars (see list below) in terms of navigating the journey from Ph.D. student to Ph.D. candidate and beyond.

Our goal is to help doctoral students succeed in their doctoral programs and future academic careers.

The format will be panel presentation and open discussion. Above all, the Doctoral Student Consortium for Pre-Proposal Defense Students will provide an initial venture into activity with the Institute and an opportunity to begin networking with your colleagues from other universities.

Confirmed Speakers include:
Agha Iqbal Ali, Professor Operations & Information Management, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Fouad Mirzaei, Assistant Professor, Information Technology and Decision Sciences, College of Business, University of North Texas

Zafer Devrim Ozdemir, Professor, Information Systems & Analytics, Farmer School of Business, Miami University

Hakan Tarakci, Assistant Professor, Information Technology and Decision Sciences, College of Business, University of North Texas


Session 1
The Ph.D. Roadmap: Knowing What to Expect in the Months and Years Ahead

Expectations and time commitments for Ph.D. students are among the first hurdles that must be navigated in doctoral programs. Class time, class preparation, meetings with faculty, outside research projects, preparing for the dreaded comprehensive exam, teaching or research assistant commitments and life in general will fill time quickly. Decisions made early can affect the course of the entire program and even the early career of an academic so it is important to plan carefully early in the doctoral program. The focus of this session will be on prioritizing activities, time management, and understanding the impact of decisions over time.

Session 2
Course Selection: Subject Areas and Methodological Tools

Determining areas of specialization and making specific course selection decisions will play a major part in preparing a PhD student for comprehensive exams and providing ideas for potential dissertation topics. Each program will have a unique structure and will provide a roadmap of courses and program requirements that will guide you through much of the process. Many programs will have core courses designed to prepare students for areas of specialization in line with faculty expertise. They may also have specifically defined research methodology areas that support their type of research. If so, identifying particular elective courses that match your interests should be your focus. If not, then it is even more important that you take the course selection process seriously and possibly supplement with independent study courses to increase your potential for success. It is important that your choice of research methodologies, which will become your “tool kit” for several years, fits the expectations of your future research and the journals where you expect to publish.

Session 3
Entering the Dissertation Stage: Planning Topics, Committee Members and a Timeline

The topic selection and completion of your dissertation will do more than complete your degree requirements. It will be front and center in your job search (both the topic and your timeline) and will be fundamental is setting you up for success early in your academic career. It is apparent that your chosen topic must be your academic and intellectual passion. You will be doing research in this area for years in the future, both while you remain in the Ph.D. program and during the early stages of your professional career. Second, your committee members must like your topic. If not, the hurdle you are navigating will be more difficult. Third, the profession must like your topic. Since this topic will be with you well into the

future, it isn’t enough that the topic is of interest now, it must also be of interest for several years after you complete your program to help your get that coveted tenure-track position and to continue to publish in the journals that will be crucial to achieving tenure.

Session 4
Tying it all Together: Time Management, Program Management, and Career


In this session we will bring everything back together and share our experiences that worked, along with some that didn’t. We will also cover more general topics like preparing for comprehensive exams and opportunities for involvement with the Institute. Most importantly, we will address questions and concerns you have about doctoral programs that have not been addressed in the earlier sessions.

Summary and Concluding Remarks

How and By When to Apply?

Please send an email, by October 15, 2018, to conference@decisionsciences.org to be considered participation in the Consortium. Your email should:

  1. Indicate your interest in participating in the Consortium and the approval of your department faculty advisor or chairperson
  2. Include a list of questions with the challenges you have had or anticipate in the first two years of your program
  3. Provide evidence that you have registered for the 2018 DSI conference


Questions about the Doctoral Student Consortium for Pre-Proposal Defense Students at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Decision Sciences Institute can be directed to the Co-Leaders:

Debjit Roy – debjit@iima.ac.in

Anand Nair – nair@broad.msu.edu

Updated: November 12, 2018 — 6:38 pm

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