RAC Meetings Guide

Your Research Advisory Committee (RAC) is a resource for you to meet with a variety of faculty members and update them on your research progress, open lines of communication with faculty beyond your advisor, ensure that you are making adequate progress towards their professional goals, and provide you with resources to meet these goals.  While one meeting per year is required, you should feel that you are able to call meetings with your RAC at any time.

At your RAC meeting, your RAC should complete the RAC Meeting Form (pdf) with a summary of the discussion and the form should be turned in to the Graduate Program Coordinator (aimeadows@ku.edu).

For guidance on conducting your RAC meetings, please refer to the RAC Meeting Guide Sheet (pdf) or see the guidance below.


  1. Slide presentation on research with faculty questions. This can happen publicly, as part of a seminar series, or as a private meeting with your RAC.
  2.  If the presentation is public, dismiss attendees other than the RAC.
  3.  Discuss professional goals and professional development with faculty questions.
  4.  Discuss progress on goals set in the previous RAC meeting (if applicable).
  5.  Recommendations for future development and professional goal setting.
  6.  The student’s advisor and RAC should summarize progress and recommendations using the RAC Meeting Form (pdf) and submit this to the Graduate Program Coordinator (aimeadows@ku.edu).
  • What concerns do you have about your research progress?
  • What might be some struggles you anticipate in the next year?
  • What significant achievements have you made? (Passed orals, paper published, etc.)
  • What opportunities have you had to present your research outside of the department?
  • What progress is necessary to make sure you are on track for timely graduation?
  • What networking have you done in the last year?
  • What progress towards your goal profession have you made?
  • Informational interviews, applications, etc.
  • What awards or honors have you received?
  • What science outreach have you been involved in?

Example professional goals:

  • By September 15th, I will set up informational interviews with scientists from Merck, Proctor & Gamble, and Cerner.
  • By October, I will update my LinkedIn and get feedback on it from my advisor and RAC.
  • By September, I will reach out to a potential post-doctoral advisor and work with them to develop a proposal for the NSF post-doctoral fellowship.
  • In July, during conference X, I will network with at least 4 potential post-doctoral advisors and discuss their research.

After the Meeting

  • 1. Make sure you have a clear written summary of goals.

  • 2. Routinely check to make sure you are making progress on your goals.

  • 3. Keep an ongoing dialogue with your RAC (formally or informally) regarding your progress.