2018–2019 Walden University Student Handbook (September 2018) 
    Aug 10, 2022  
2018–2019 Walden University Student Handbook (September 2018) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Thesis University Research Review (URR)

Return to: Capstone Research: Master’s Thesis  

Purpose of URR

The University Research Review (URR) process is the quality management mechanism for capstone research at Walden University. The goal of URR is to facilitate quality student research through a supportive environment of committee members dedicated to a collaborative enterprise. Below are a description of the URR reviewer role and the URR assignment process.

Role of URR Reviewer

The purpose of the University Research Review (URR) reviewer is to enable students to complete theses with the highest level of quality possible for them by providing a source of independent feedback on all aspects of their work. Their independence enables them to view a thesis in the manner that a potential employer or research colleague would view it.

URR Reviewer Assignment Process

University Research Review reviewers will be assigned to the master’s thesis in the following manner:

  1. The URR reviewer assignment process will be facilitated  by the Office of Student Research Administration. Send correspondence to thesis@mail.waldenu.edu.
  2. A URR database of reviewers’ content and methodology expertise will be maintained by the graduate programs to facilitate the matching process.
  3. The student (with a copy sent to the committee chair) will submit the prospectus and a URR Request  form to the OSRA to forward to the appropriate program for URR assignment. Using the prospectus or the information entered in the University Research Review Request form, the program will assign a URR reviewer to the committee. 
  4. The focus of the match will primarily be based upon research design/methods (qualitative, quantitative, mixed-methods), rather than subject matter, because the focus of the input provided by this committee member will be on issues such as methodology, data analysis, use of primary sources, organization, and so on, that transcend topic areas. Subject-matter feedback will be provided by the content expert of the committee.
  5. All URR reviewers must meet approved requirements for serving in this capacity and must complete the university’s URR Orientation Module.
  6. Should the focus of a student’s project change to a methodology with which the assigned URR reviewer is not familiar, a new URR reviewer can be assigned to the committee at the request of the chair or the URR reviewer.

URR Thesis Review Process

The URR reviewer will complete an initial review of the thesis using the rubric (found on the Thesis Process web page), which includes items relevant to content, methodology, form and style, abstract, and ethical procedures. Once the URR reviewer has completed the review, he or she will send the outcome of the review to the chair while copying thesis@mail.waldenu.edu. Once the chair receives the materials from the URR reviewer, he or she will distribute them to the student and committee.

At this stage, the URR reviewer can refer the student for mandatory consultation with the IRB office and/or Writing Center to address ethical or writing concerns, respectively. URR reviewers are obligated to make IRB/Writing Center referrals should they note significant ethical or writing concerns. Once the URR reviewer has completed the review, he or she will send the outcome of the review to the chair while copying thesis@mail.waldenu.edu.

At the request of the URR reviewer or committee chair, an optional pre-oral conference can be scheduled to include the URR reviewer and committee to discuss recommendations of the URR reviewer and reach agreement about changes that are necessary before the proposal oral. It is recommended that the pre-oral conference be held when there are serious concerns raised by the URR reviewer and/or when the committee requests the opportunity for discussion and clarification. The purpose of the pre-oral conference is to prevent multiple submissions and reviews and thus facilitate the process of completion.

When changes have been requested by the URR reviewer after the initial review, the chair will work with the student to make the requested revision. When the chair feels that the necessary revisions have been made, he/she will forward the thesis along with the rubric and a Turnitin.com report to the URR reviewer while copying thesis@mail.waldenu.edu. The URR reviewer will then review the materials. Once the URR reviewer deems the thesis ready for Form and Style Review, he or she will send an e-mail to thesis@mail.waldenu.edu indicating this information along with the URR reviewer-approved thesis and Turnitin.com report.