PhD Supervisory (Reading) Committee

Each candidate, in consultation with his or her research supervisor, is to arrange for the establishment of a Supervisory (Reading) Committee at the beginning of his or her program.

Following the PhD Qualifying Examination, the committee normally meets every 9 months to review the progress of the research program.  Should there be extenuating circumstances preventing a committee meeting at the scheduled time, the student should notify the Graduate Coordinator, in writing, of the circumstances and request permission to delay the meeting.

The committee has complete authority to recommend the termination of a student’s degree program if adequate progress is not demonstrated.

In addition to the regular consultation between candidate and supervisor, the candidate should seek advice and consultation informally with other members of the committee throughout his or her program.

Planning of the format and length of the thesis should be carried out in close consultation with the supervisor and committee.

The committee will also meet with the candidate to offer advice on the written thesis before the Departmental Oral Examination.  If the PhD Supervisory (Reading) Committee believes the candidate can skip the Departmental Oral Examination, this needs to be stated in the Reading Committee Assessment Form. Once all PhD Supervisory (Reading) Committee meetings are complete, the candidate may processed to the SGS Final Oral Examination.

(i) PhD Supervisory (Reading) Committee Members

The supervisor and candidate work together at the beginning of the program to select the PhD Supervisory (Reading) Committee, which is comprised of:

  • the supervisor(s)
  • two other faculty members, one of whom must hold their primary appointment in this Department
(ii) Formal Request for a Supervisory (Reading) Committee Meeting

A Reading Committee Request Form must be completed and submitted to the Graduate Assistant (WB 216A) a minimum of one week (5 business days) prior to the examination.  The meeting room can be booked by contacting the Departmental Administrative Assistant in the main office (WB 217).

(iii) Conduct of PhD Reading Committee Meetings

For each meeting, the student should prepare a brief progress report and make an oral presentation on the work to date and future plans to complete his/her degree.

On the basis of the progress report, the oral presentation and the student’s answers to questions, the committee will evaluate the student’s performance to date and make recommendations regarding modifications to the research plan or emphasis of the work.

The committee’s assessment will be summarized and communicated to the student.  Students are asked to sign the form in order to confirm that the document accurately reflects the discussion and recommendations made at the meeting.  Students may also add their own comments to the form after the assessment has been communicated to them. The student may request a copy of it from the Graduate Assistant (WB 216A).

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