In most cases, it entails original research involving fieldwork in the form of ethnographic studies, archaeological excavation and analysis, or archival research.
Research involving living humans usually requires the review and approval of the UBC Behavioral Research Review Committee as well as permission from communities affected.
Supervisory Committees supervise and bear ultimate responsibility for approving research carried out by Ph D candidates.
For additional information and to ensure successful completion of the dissertation defense, Chairs of Advisory Committees should consult the Guide to Procedures on the Completion of the Ph.
[I wrote this in 1993 as a letter to a student concerning a draft of his dissertation.