After completion of the Preliminary Examination, the student will form his/her Thesis Research Committee. It is expected that each student will submit his/her Preliminary Research Proposal to his/her Thesis Research Committee during fall semester of the student's third year. The proposal should take the form of a mini-NIH research grant, i.e. contain Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Preliminary Results and Experimental Methods and Design and should be reviewed for approval at a meeting of the student's Research Committee. While subject to revision, as would be any research plan, this document serves as a guide to the student, advisor and Research Committee for the conduct of the student's research activity. If the student cannot meet this deadline, he/she must petition the Student Affairs Committee for an extension of this deadline. Only one extension of no more than six months will be allowed. The Defense of Dissertation is scheduled no less than twelve (12) months after the student's Research Committee has formally approved, in writing, the Research Proposal.