This page contains information on Committee Meetings - what are you required to do? How often do you need to have them? What forms need to be filled out?
Committee meetings are meetings wherein students present their progress to their supervisor and two (sometimes three) selected committee members. These two members are typically chosen by the student and the supervisor prior the first meeting. Within the meeting, the student gives a ~15 min research presentation, after which the committee members pose questions and provide feedback regarding the student’s progress. The meetings exist to ensure that students remain on track towards completing their degrees and receive necessary guidance.
Committee meetings are mandatory for all graduate students. Master’s students must complete a committee meeting before the 18th month of their degree. PhD students must complete one committee meeting per year (between September 1st and August 31st), otherwise the department will be fined $7500 by the School of Graduate Studies.
Prior to the Meeting
First, the student must schedule the meeting. He or she should correspond with the supervisor and committee members to select a date and time which works for all. Once the meeting has been scheduled, the student is responsible for reserving a meeting room and a projector, which can be done through the Graduate Secretary.
Once the meeting has been scheduled, Master’s and PhD students need to pick up the appropriate forms from the Graduate Secretary. The first part of the first page should be completed by the student (for the M.Sc. form everything up until “Supervisor’s Report”, for the PhD form everything up until “Does the committee think that this is satisfactory in light of the Calendar standard and the norms within the discipline?”). The entire form must then be given to the supervisor a few days before the meeting, as there is information which the supervisor must fill in prior to the meeting. The student is also responsible for completing the final page of the form, in which the student outlines their progress towards completing the degree. Typically, this information is entered into a separate document by the student, and is subsequently appended to the form (be sure to write “see attached” in the space provided in the form if this is done). The information contained within this report should include a cumulative list of:
- courses completed (and the marks attained)
- comprehensive examination preparation/completion (if applicable)
- progress in research
- conference oral/poster presentations
- thesis chapters written/revised
- anything else that applies to your project.
The student may choose to complete this report using a template found here: File:CommitteeMeetingTemplate.tex. This report must be emailed to the committee members and supervisor at least one week before the meeting.
It is the student’s responsibility to set up prior to the meeting, which includes bringing the projector to the room, and setting up their presentation to be projected onto the screen.
During the Meeting
The meeting begins with a roughly 15 min research presentation from the student. This talk should include a brief introduction to the project (putting it into the context of the field), the results and progress that have been made on the research project, and future work that remains to be completed. Afterwards, the committee members will raise questions to gauge the student’s understanding and increase their own understanding so they can provide useful feedback. The committee will discuss the project with the student and outline any concerns they have or issues that need to be addressed. The meeting is typically around one hour long. Finally, the student is asked to leave as the committee discusses the progress of the student and completes their committee meeting report.
After the Meeting
The form containing the committee’s report will be returned to the student after the meeting. This report will include comments regarding progress and future goals from the supervisor and committee members, as well as a grade from each. The grades are E-Excellent, G-Good, s_satisfactory, M-Marginal, and U-Unsatisfactory. Typically, the marks are consistent between the members of the committee. If the student receives a general consensus of M in two years or one general consensus of U, the student will be sent a warning letter from the Associate Dean (for a Master’s student, an equivalent letter would be sent from the Graduate Chair instead). In these cases, another committee meeting is typically scheduled to occur in the near future to ensure the student gets back on track. If a student receives a general consensus of U in two committee meetings, the student can get kicked out of the degree program.
The student must sign this report, and subsequently return it promptly to the Graduate Secretary. Students may photocopy the form if they wish to retain it for their records. Alternatively, students may ask to view it from the Graduate Secretary at any time during their studies.