Thesis Screening Panel

Thesis Screening Panel Banner

PhD students are required to prepare a thesis proposal and present it to the Thesis Screening Panel (TSP) prior to embarking on major components of the thesis research.The TSP’s role is to evaluate the scope and content of the proposed research in light of the general expectations of the university and the School for doctoral (or masters) theses, and to provide feedback to the student and the supervisory committee on all aspects of the proposal.

Presenting to the TSP

The Panel holds three meetings per year, in October, February, and June. Presentations are booked on a first come first served basis. PhD Students who wish to present to the TSP will be given priority over Masters students.

Students must book their presentations well in advance by submitting a one-page (no more than 600 words) abstract to the MSc/PhD Program Manager. Abstracts are due six weeks before the TSP meeting. They should contain approximately:

  1. 30% for background and problem statement,
  2. 50% for objectives, methods (indicating qualitative, quantitative, or both) and analysis, and
  3. 20% for unique contribution and how the proposal meets the university requirements for scope of PhD Theses.

Full proposals are due two weeks prior to the TSP meeting. They should be submitted to the MSc/PhD Program Manager. All proposals must include a cover sheet (signed as ‘approved for submission to the thesis screening panel’ by at least two members of the supervisory committee and a proposal checklist.

The cover sheet and signature page can be downloaded here.

The proposal checklist can be downloaded here.

At the meeting, the student gives a brief (10-12 minute) oral presentation and responds to questions from the Panel. The student’s supervisor is expected to attend the Panel meeting; other supervisory committee members are also encouraged to attend.

Proposal Requirements

The proposal submitted to the Thesis Screening Panel is expected to be no more than 10 pages (1.5 spacing), not including the title page, references, or appendices. Students are encouraged to use the following structure:

  • Title Page including email addresses of student and supervisor
  • Problem Statement
  • Background and Rationale, including a brief literature review
  • Research Plan, including
    • study objectives,
    • study design and methods (study sample, data collection, and analysis),
    • ethical considerations,
    • feasibility (previous/pilot work done, data availability if not proposing primary data collection, likely response rates for surveys/interviews, and subject availability if primary data being collected),
    • strengths and limitations.
  • Implications of the Study
  • Knowledge Transfer and Translation
  • References
  • Appendices describing following (maximum 1 page each):
    • timeline
    • budget outlining anticipated expenses and source(s) of funds
    • composition and contribution of supervisory committee members

DO NOT include surveys, letters of reference or collaboration; these may be commented upon in the presentation and discussion with the Panel.