The Supervisory Committee Meeting

UPDATE: Students may request Bb Collaborate (video conferencing) for virtual meetings, defenses, group work, etc. Email the Graduate Office with your UTORmail for access.

 

Q: How should I obtain wet signatures for my form?

A: Ideally, all participants should digitally sign the pdf form. If faculty members are unable to sign/edit the pdf, consensus requires a response from each committee member, which could stand in place of wet signatures. The Chair (or student) should email the meeting form to the Graduate Office and copy (cc) all participants with explicit instruction for members to respond. Then all committee members should confirm their approval of the form in a response to the Graduate Office using REPLY ALL.

Q: University's COVID response

Ontario’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. Changes will likely occur as the province and its municipalities adjust to new data about the virus. In these circumstances, please be advised that the manner of delivery of courses, co-curricular opportunities, programs, and services is subject to change, in accordance with university policies. The University thanks its students, faculty, and staff for their flexibility during these challenging times as we work together to maintain the standards of excellence that are the hallmark of the University.

Function

Committee members’ expertise should be appropriate to evaluate the breadth and depth of the proposed project to advise the student on all aspects of the project and ensure that the research goals are substantial and achievable within the designated timeframe of the student’s program length. Committee members should make themselves available as mentors for the student to address curriculum requirements, provide additional resources, resolve technical/experimental difficulties, offer career advice, etc.

For more information, consult the SGS Supervision Guidelines for Students.

Composition

The supervisory committee must consist of at least three faculty members at the University of Toronto with current/active membership in the School of Graduate Studies. The committee must include the primary research supervisor (and co-supervisor if applicable), and two additional members of the graduate faculty. Committee members should be chosen after consultation with the student’s primary research supervisor.

Click here for a searchable list of Biomedical Engineering (BME) faculty members

Frequency

Meetings should be initiated by the student or the supervisor. For the entire duration of the student’s graduate program, committee meetings should be held at least once per year but may be as frequent as needed by discretion of the committee. Of note, Internal BME fellowships will require students to fulfill the annual committee requirement prior to applying to be competitive.

Note SGS General Regulations 7.5.2 Supervision and Satisfactory Progress​:

  • A student who fails to constitute a supervisory committee by the required time (within twelve months of registration) may lose good academic standing.
  • A student is expected to meet with this committee at least once a year, and more often if the committee so requires.
  • A student who, through their own neglect, fails to meet with the supervisory committee in a given year will be considered to have received an unsatisfactory progress report from the committee.

Procedure

  1. Student initiates and coordinates meeting logistics.
  2. Student prepares written report (up to 20 pages, all inclusive) for the committee. The following report format is recommended:
    • 3 pages of single-spaced text
    • 3 figures of results (multi-panels acceptable if appropriate)
    • 1 page of references
  3. Student prepares presentation for the committee (max. 20 minutes).
  4. Student prepares and consolidates meeting documentation.
  5. Student returns signed and competed documentation to the graduate office.

Documentation

Bring the following documents to your committee meeting

  1. A copy of the previous committee meeting form – Required (except for the first meeting)
  2. A copy of the student’s most recent academic transcript (unofficial) – Required
  3. A supervisor committee meeting form - Required
  4. Physical print copies of the student’s written report for all members - Optional

IMPORTANT: The student is responsible for printing and retaining meeting documents and submitting them to the Graduate Office for degree records and internal award(s) consideration.

Timeline

Suggested timeline (earlier the better)

Time (prior to meeting)Time (prior to
5 weeksStart to prepare written report and meeting presentation
3 weeksCoordinate meeting time and location with faculty members
2 weeksDistribute written committee report to all members
1 hourCheck that all required documents and forms are printed and prepared
DuringPresent research and answer questions from the committee
AfterScan fully signed meeting form and send to graduate office
(electronically through email or drop-off in person)

Agenda

Suggested agenda

  1. The student is asked to leave the room and the committee should discuss the following:
    • Whether the student has fulfilled the course requirements
    • Decide on question and answer sequence
    • Whether there are any comments or issues that should be discussed with the student
  2. Ask the student to come into the room
  3. Student presentation (20 mins)
    • Project scientific background
    • High-level overview of project objectives, hypotheses, methods, etc.
    • Detailing of results, issues, timelines, etc.
    • Proposal of next-steps
  4. Committee and student questions and discussion (10 mins per committee member). This could go for multiple rounds
  5. Student should be asked to leave the meeting room for the committee to deliberate
  6. Confidential student evaluation deliberation (5–10 mins)
  7. Committee members should invite the student back to the meeting room to have a candid discussion about the student’s accomplishments, progress, specific goals/experiments to undertake before the next meeting, plans for publications, presentations, conferences, career development, etc. (10–20 mins)
  8. Committee members and the student should work together to derive and document discussion consensus on the committee meeting form (5 mins)

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