Medicinal Chemistry
The University of Mississippi

Original Research Proposal (ORP)


  1. An Original Research Proposal (ORP) is a requirement that serves as the official University of Mississippi assessment of Ph.D. candidacy qualifications.
  2. The ORP will be scheduled by the Director of Research and Graduate Affairs in the fall following the student’s second year (spring if January admission).
    • The additional 1–2 faculty needed to be added to the student’s dissertation committee to complete the ORP committee will be assigned by the Director of Research and Graduate Affairs after consultation with the student and student’s research advisor.
    • The Director of Research and Graduate Affairs will appoint one of the members to be chair of the ORP committee. This person will not be the students’ research advisor.
    • The assignment of a committee and scheduling of the examination will ensure the participation of faculty with expertise relevant to the ORP.
  3. The ORP should be taken as a 1-credit class (BMS 605), and will be graded (A-F grading scale).
  4. The format must be a full NIH-R21/NSF/EPA-STARR major grant1, on a project not directly related to the student’s research. The length of the grant will be 12 pages, with the extension to be particularly focused on detailed methodology. The full and completely edited grant is due to the student’s ORP committee two full weeks before the presentation.
    • Before embarking on writing the full grant, a ~3 pg abstract/specific aims should be submitted to the student’s ORP committee members for comments and approval.
    • Comments from each committee member including a vote of acceptable or unacceptable will be collected by the ORP chair within two weeks of submission and relayed to the student and full committee via email.
    • A vote of acceptable by the majority of the committee is required before the student may proceed.
    • When the full ORP is submitted to the committee, students must complete the paperwork authorizing qualifying examination participation:
  5. The ORP presentation (which does not count as one of the student’s annual seminars) is to be ~20-30 minutes, followed by questions from the full audience. The remainder of the “ORP time” (students should reserve a room for 3 hours) is to be a rigorous, oral exam-type questioning from the ORP committee.
  6. Students are responsible for bringing one copy of the ORP cover sheet and sufficient copies of the grading rubric for their committee members (one copy per committee member). See Appendix.
  7. Grading of the ORP should follow the appropriate organizational (NIH/NSF/EPA) rubric and guidelines.
  8. Students receiving an A on their ORP will be admitted to candidacy.
  9. For students receiving any grade less than an A, revisions may be required for the written portion, the oral presentation, or both. All revisions are expected to address all of the faculty’s concerns and due within 60 days. Students that must revise will receive the average of the two grades earned on the original and the revised submissions.
  10. Students that do not earn a C or better average grade after their revision will not proceed to candidacy and will be transitioned to the MS degree track.
  11. Students for which the 60-day revision period does not fall during the semester enrolled in BMS 605, will receive an Incomplete grade until the revision is completed.
  12. If students elect to not revise within the 60-day window, they will receive a failure for the course and not proceed to candidacy.