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Hi guys, I just got a great cross-sectional dataset that I can potentially use for my dissertation. I am in my first year PhD right now but I am planning ahead as I want to get this thing done in 3 years. I plan to propose right after my comps (end of 2nd year - summer before my third year) and write and defend by the end of 3rd year. This is also because my funding is not guaranteed for third year. The problem is - my advisor is very hands-off (meaning - he would rather hear your plan and then approve/disapprove) rather than discussing plans with you. I meet him only once a quarter so I really need some outside help. What do you do after you identify a dataset and vaguely know what you want to do with it. Do you need to write some sort of an initial paper (10-15pages) to convince people to be on your committee? I talked to other grad students in my program and they were basically told by their advisor about next steps. And I am not going to have that. My department has super prolific researchers and unfortunately mentoring is not their strongest suits. What I am looking for is - some concrete steps that you followed once you knew what you wanted to do. Thank you so much!:)