Annual Reports are mandated by the Graduate School for all graduate students past their first year at Duke. They serve many purposes:
- They are a way to document the progress made by the graduate students over the past year.
- They help the student and the advisor to touch base with each other on what has been accomplished and what needs to be done. The advisor can use it as an official feedback to the student.
- They help the Ph.D. committee to learn quickly about the progress of the student over the past year.
- They guide the DGS in assessing if the student is on track towards the Ph.D. degree and help advise the students accordingly.
- They help the department to collect statistics on student performances and provide examples of the research accomplished by the graduate students.
In the Physics Department, the Annual Reports are due March 31 each year, and are required before registration. Submitting the annual reports before the deadline is an important responsibility of the students. Students will be given permission to register only after the report is submitted.
The report consists of the following:
- List of courses you have taken in the past year (if applicable).
- List of courses you plan to take next year (if applicable).
- List of courses you still need to take to complete your course requirements.
- List of other degree requirements you need to meet.
- Two-page description of the research you have done in the past year (if applicable) and the research you plan to do in the coming year.
- List of research talk(s) or posters you have presented during the past year.
- List of papers you have published in the past year.
- List of fellowships, grants, or awards you have applied for and/or received in the past year.
- Date you plan to take your prelim if you have not already taken it.
- If past your prelim, your estimated date of PhD completion.
Parts A through I are for the student to complete. In part I, the student needs to write a two-page report on the research performed over the past year and the research being planned over the coming year. You can briefly include teaching and service activities if you have any. The description of the research must be at the advanced undergraduate level (mostly in words and with very few equations). It must contain a few lines of introduction and motivation for your work. Think in terms of the big picture and the important questions you are trying to answer. Do not include talks and publications in the two-page write-up since this already is reported in part H of the electronic form. You can use 10pt font to pack more material. The two-page report is considered as a part of the Annual Report.
Unlike past years, students who have just completed the prelim must also write the two-page report separately. Students may use parts of their prelim report for use in the Annual Report. Similarly, students who defend their thesis also submit their final annual report in which they should summarize the accomplishments of their thesis. These students can use the abstract of their thesis as part of the two page report.
The Annual Report must then be sent to the advisor electronically, who will review parts A through I and fills out part J. He/she then signs the form and sends it back to the student. The student should then sign the form and submit an electronic copy (along with the two-page report) to the DGS assistant for filing. For students in their second year, the faculty who supervised the research over the past summer will act as the advisor. DGS can act as the interim advisor for any student who does not have an advisor. Students should also send the Annual Report to their Prelim/Ph.D. committees.