PhD Thesis

Research Topic

Any research topic related to the health of human populations is considered suitable for a dissertation in the School. Specific research topics will be constrained by the availability of faculty with suitable content and methodological expertise to supervise the work. Students are encouraged to meet with faculty members to discuss potential research topics.

Dissertation Format

The written dissertation must adhere to the formatting requirements of the University. There are no specific rules regarding dissertation length or content. This should be determined by the student and the supervisory committee, bearing in mind that final evaluation of the dissertation includes examiners external to the School and the University.

Some dissertations will describe aspects of a single research project, others may describe more than one related project. A PhD dissertation must be the result of independent work (even if associated with faculty research) and often includes a comprehensive investigation of related research questions. It is expected that a PhD dissertation will make an original contribution to the scientific literature.

The School strongly encourages students to publish their doctoral research results in the peer-reviewed literature and supports dissertation formats based on a unified collection of peer-reviewed publications. The final written dissertation may include any combination of published and unpublished work (including 100% unpublished and 100% published), provided that the published work is that of the student. Work carried out and published prior to developing the dissertation proposal should not be included.

Please check the G+PS guidelines for inclusion of published papers in the dissertation.

University Oral Examination

After the dissertation has been approved by your supervisor and supervisory committee members, it must be externally reviewed and defended orally in a public forum at the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has detailed procedures for selecting external examiners and scheduling the defence. Students and their supervisors are responsible for ensuring that the necessary steps are completed. Please note that the minimum time between submission of the dissertation to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the oral exam is six weeks. At certain times of the year, this time is longer. Also, in the months preceding the oral exam, a number of administrative tasks must be completed. Again, students and their supervisors should ensure that they are aware of the various requirements and deadlines.