PhD Final Supervisory Committee Meeting
It is expected that students will have made ad hoc presentations to members of the appropriate Research Grouping throughout their program.
The PhD Final Supervisory Committee Meeting represents a final chance for the candidate to accept input to the written thesis and the presentation. THIS IS NOT AN EXAMINATION.
At this stage, the thesis must be judged to be clearly examinable. That is, the thesis should be in its final form apart from unanticipated small corrections. With approval of the members of the Supervisory Committee, who will have reviewed the complete written thesis, the supervisor and candidate will organize the Final Supervisory Committee Meeting.
It is the responsibility of the Supervisor and the Supervisory Committee to help the candidate prepare for presentation and defense of his/her research work at the Final Oral Examination at the School of Graduate Studies. In preparation for this, and as a final "filter", a final meeting with an expanded supervisory committee will be convened. The Final Supervisory Committee Meeting is not an examination, but rather it serves as a rehearsal for the Final Oral Examination at SGS. It is chaired by one of the supervisory committee member. An additional field expert will be appointed to this committee, keeping in mind that this expert cannot also be appointed to the Final Oral Examination at SGS.
The composition of the Final Supervisory Committee must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator. Members of the Final Supervisory Committee should be permitted a minimum period of 3 weeks to read the thesis.
At the meeting, the candidate will summarize the thesis work in a 20 minute, illustrated presentation and will defend the work during an extensive question period.
Composition of the PhD Final Supervisory Committee Meeting
- The Supervisor
- All members of the Supervisory Committee (one of them will be appointed as Chair)
- An additional Field Expert (cannot also be appointed to the Final Oral Examination)
To ensure the maintenance of appropriately high standards of training across the Department, this Final Supervisory Committee Meeting will also be open to the leaders of all the other Research Groupings, as well as the Chair of the Department and the Graduate Coordinator or their delegates.
As in regular supervisory committee meetings, a PhD Final Supervisory Committee Meeting Report is submitted to the Physiology Graduate Office which includes the committee's comments on the written thesis and presentation, and an outline of recommended modifications, prior to the Final Oral Examination.
Scheduling the PhD Final Oral Examination at the School of Graduate Studies
At this time, the supervisor and candidate will submit a list of proposed members for the Final Oral Examination Committee by completing the FOE Request form to the PSL Graduate Office for approval by the Department of Physiology Graduate Studies Committee as well as by SGS. This list must comply with the regulations outlined under "Composition of the Final Oral Examination. You should also provide at least 7-8 weeks for the scheduling of the Final Oral Examination at SGS. You should be very prudent at this stage not to underestimate the time required for the completion of the thesis. It would not serve you well if your examiners would have to rearrange their schedule due to a poor judgment call on your part.
After the composition of the Final Oral Examination committee has been approved by the department and SGS, the candidate will submit an unbound copy of the final thesis to the Physiology Graduate Office, to be forwarded to the External Examiner with instructions regarding submission of his/her report and appropriate forms for honorarium and expense reimbursement.
The Physiology Graduate Office will then book the location for the Final Oral Examination at the School of Graduate Studies. This Examination, according to SGS rules, must be scheduled such that the candidate be in possession of the written critique of the thesis, provided by the External Appraiser/Examiner, at least two weeks before the Final Oral Examination. In cases where the written review is not received at least two weeks before the Final Oral Examination, the examination may be cancelled. This two-week period is a mandatory and "legal" condition set by the School of Graduate Studies. It is anticipated that this two-week period will permit the candidate to formulate an adequate defense for issues identified as potentially contentious by the External Appraiser/Examiner.
Remember also that the External Appraiser/Examiner requires at least four weeks to read the thesis, before he/she can submit a written appraisal. In addition, SGS requires six weeks to appoint a Chair for the Final Oral Examination. It is unlikely, therefore that your Final Oral Examination can be scheduled less than at least 6 weeks from the date of the departmental recommendation having gone forward to SGS. For these reasons, plan carefully with regard to the timing of the Final Supervisory Committee Meeting, allow time for corrections and changes, if any, as suggested at the occasion of the Final Supervisory Committee Meeting, and keeping in mind your future plans, such as an accepted postdoctoral position.