2012-13 Decanal Memoranda

#001: ​​​​​​​​​​​​​Changes to the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)

 #001 - September 28, 2012

To: Graduate Chairs, Directors, Coordinators and Administrators

From: Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC: Luc De Nil, Vice-Dean Students, School of Graduate Studies
       Heather Kelly, Director, Student Services
       Kerri Huffman, Associate Director, Graduate Awards and Financial Aid
       School of Graduate Studies Staff

I am pleased to announce that the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities recently confirmed that the administration of the OGS Awards will be transferred to participating universities beginning with the 2013-14 academic year. This is very welcome news for the University of Toronto’s graduate community as it will give us greater control over the selection process for our students; it will also allow for increased flexibility with regards to deadlines and multi-year awards, thereby enabling the OGS to be used as a recruitment award. OGS awards may be offered as a 2-year renewable scholarship (with an option to re-apply for a further award). Additionally, as award decisions will be made internally, it will alleviate the need for faculty members to serve on provincial OGS panels.

The Ministry will be responsible for setting OGS eligibility criteria and program policies, and will continue to support 3,000 scholarships province-wide to be allocated to participating universities based on their share of the graduate population.

Beginning with this year’s application process, the University of Toronto will become responsible for the intake, processing, adjudication and awarding of the scholarships. The School of Graduate Studies will provide each unit with an allocation of OGS awards (the allocation is based on previous OGS success rates combined with overall graduate population). Individual units will now be responsible for adjudicating the OGS awards and selecting eligible students based on academic excellence, giving equitable consideration to prospective and current students in Master’s, Doctoral and Professional Master’s programs.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Enrolment in an eligible graduate program

  • A minimum of an A- average

  • Not exceeding 6 years of government awards (e.g., OGS, NSERC, SSHRC)

  • Meeting OSAP-eligibility requirements

Administrative Process

School of Graduate Studies, Graduate Awards Office (GAO):

  • Will provide units annually with an allocation of OGS awards to be distributed to students in eligible Master’s, Professional Master’s and Doctoral programs

  • Will develop and implement a centralized online application for students (both current and prospective U of T students)

  • Will establish deadlines for OGS nominations to be forwarded to the GAO

  • Will provide OGS eligibility information to units and serve as support in determining eligibility

  • Will verify students’ OSAP eligibility as well as check lifetime maximum receipt of government awards (i.e., OGS, NSERC, SSHRC) through the GAO

  • Will continue to administer OGS ministry funds and matching funds through the GAO

  • Will continue to process award payments through the GAO

  • Will monitor leaves and subsequent payment administration

  • Will provide the Ministry with an annual audit report on OGS award recipients

Graduate Units:

  • Will have the flexibility to determine their own internal deadline for the application process

  • Will be responsible for adjudicating and ranking all OGS applications. Some units who currently administer QEII-GSST awards, may be able to model their OGS program in a similar manner

  • Will provide their OGS award lists to the GAO by June 1, 2013 (GAO will confirm OSAP eligibility)

  • Will forward completed payment activation forms to the GAO

  • Will advise the GAO of any leaves, withdrawals or other interruptions of study

OGS Awards for Visa Students

A limited number of OGS awards are available to Visa Students. Due to the small number of awards available to University of Toronto students, SGS will hold a centralized adjudication to select recipients. Each unit will be given a quota of applications, and the adjudication process will be very similar to the Ontario Trillium Scholarship award competition.

For further information, please contact Kerri Huffman, Associate Director, Graduate Awards & Financial Aid at: kerri.huffman@utoronto.ca.

#002: W. Garfield Weston Doctoral Fellowship Program

#002 - December 14, 2012

To: Graduate Chairs, Directors, Coordinators and Administrators

From: Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC: Council of Graduate Deans, School of Graduate Studies Staff

I am pleased to announce the establishment of The W. Garfield Weston Doctoral Fellowship Program, Canada’s only fully funded award program dedicated to internationalization at the doctoral level. The fellowship will provide a travel award valued at $50,000 to 16 Canadian University of Toronto graduate students per year across the full range of disciplines starting in the 2013-14 academic year.

The W. Garfield Weston Doctoral Fellowship Program aims to attract, support and develop globally oriented thinkers, visionaries and innovators who will be making important contributions to their field, their communities and the world. The benefits of this fellowship will be significant – providing opportunities to the finest students in the country for international exposure, building global networks, and fostering important and original research, regardless of where it takes them.

The Weston Fellowships will be awarded to Canadian students who plan to do research outside of Canada in the third or fourth year of their doctoral program for a period of 8 to 12 months. The awards would cover the costs of tuition, international travel expenses and a stipend. Students from all divisions are eligible to apply; they must be Canadian citizens, entering their 3rd or 4th year of doctoral studies and be conducting research outside of Canada.

The deadline for applications will be February 15, 2013. Students will be selected based on their distinguished record of achievement, on the quality and significance of their proposed research, on their promise as top-tier researchers and future leaders of their respective fields, and on their ability to represent and advance Canada’s international reputation for academic excellence and collaboration. Award results will be available to students in early April 2013. Students will commence their travels in the fall of 2013.

The Weston Fellowships fill a noticeable void with an important opportunity now absent from the national scene – a course of funding enabling Canada’s most promising young minds to further their research, their perspectives, their skills and experience, and their collaborative networks, in a global setting with up to a full year of study abroad, across a broad range of disciplines.

Further details regarding the administrative process for the award will be issued shortly.

For further information, please contact Kerri Huffman, Associate Director, Graduate Awards & Financial Aid at: kerri.huffman@utoronto.ca.

#003: New Policy: 1) University Assessment & Grading Practices Policy; 2) Exceptional Circumstances

#003 - December 14, 2012

To: Graduate Chairs, Directors, Coordinators and Administrators

From: Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC: School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Deans; SGS Staff; Council of Graduate Deans

New Policy:

As you are likely aware, the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy (UAGPP) came into effect on July 1, 2012. The new policy applies to both undergraduate and graduate studies across the University and is accessible through the SGS and the Governing Council websites:

The new UAGPP replaces two policies: (1) University Grading Practices Policy (previously in effect for both undergraduate and graduate studies), and (2) Graduate Grading and Evaluation Practices Policy (UGPP). The UGPP was an additional companion policy for graduate study only.

New Regulation:

The previous grading practices policy included a section on Exceptional Circumstances which was not included in the new policy. On November 20, 2012, the Graduate Education Council approved an SGS Calendar regulation related to exceptional circumstances, effective December 1, 2012. This new regulation will be added to the online2012-13 SGS Calendar.

Please ensure that all graduate faculty members and students are made aware of the new policy and regulation on exceptional circumstances, as appropriate.

Should you have any questions, please consult your Vice-Dean or Associate Dean Graduate Studies in your Faculty or your Divisional Student Services Officer.

#004: SGS Calendar Regulation Change: Master's Program Length, Part-Time Studies

Regulations and Definitions Associated With Program Length, Part-Time Studies, and Related Terminology (Master's Programs Only)

#004 - January 8, 2013

To: Graduate Chairs, Directors, Coordinators, and Administrators

From: Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC: School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Staff

       Vice-Dean or Associate Dean, and Administrators,

       Graduate Studies Offices

On November 20, 2012 the SGS Graduate Education Council (GEC) approved revisions to SGS Calendar General Regulations to definitions of Program Length, Part-Time Studies and related terminology. The Minimum Period of Registration was also eliminated for all programs. As a result, your graduate program calendar entry may require some changes and those changes would require governance approval. In the Implementation Fact Sheet attached, you will find the rationale and implications of these changes.

Calendar Entry Items for Review (Master’s Programs Only)

At this time, each graduate unit is asked to review and update, as appropriate, the Program Length for its master’s program/s according to the revised definition.

With the elimination of Minimum Period of Registration, the Minimum Degree Fee assessment for master’s programs will be assessed based on Program Length.

Please review the current Program Length identified with your master’s programs (currently referred to as Normal Program Length) to ensure it is an accurate reflection according to the revised definition. To assist, you will also find attached a comparison document listing Normal Program Length for all University master’s programs, sorted by Faculty. We recommend discussion in all cases with your Vice-Dean or Associate Dean Graduate Studies in your Faculty. Bring proposed changes, if any, to the attention of your Faculty Dean as such changes require governance approval (governance form A).

Graduate units will also need to review the Part-Time Studies requirements for their master’s programs and establish annual enrolment limits according to the maximums in the revised definition (where part-time is an approved option). Introduction of new registration options and changes to existing programs options require governance approval as minor modifications (governance form A). Enrolments for part-time students also require sessional monitoring by graduate units.

The framework for Extended Full-Time Option (EFT) provides another avenue for full-time registration, but over an additional year. The introduction of an Extended Full-Time Option into an existing graduate program requires governance approvals (governance form A) and preliminary consultation with the Office of the Vice Provost, Academic Programs.

As always, please work with your Vice-Dean or Associate Dean Graduate Studies in your Faculty when proposing changes to your programs. Further information on governance procedures, can be found on the SGS website at the link below. SGS remains available for consultation.

These regulation changes are effective September 1, 2013, i.e., for the 2013-14 edition of the SGS Calendar. GEC is the final academic approval for these changes.

DG Normal Program Length Master's Level Comparison - December 2012

#005: SGS Calendar Regulation Change: Program Examinations

Other Academic Activities, Including Program Examinations

#005 - January 8, 2013

To: Graduate Chairs, Directors, Coordinators and Administrators

From: Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC: School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Staff

       Vice-Dean or Associate Dean, and Administrators, Graduate Studies Offices

This memo is to advise you that an SGS Calendar General Regulation revision involving Program Examinations, including comprehensives, was recently approved by the Graduate Education Council (GEC). As a result of this regulation change, your graduate programs calendar entry may require some changes and those changes may require governance approvals. The regulation change requires that graduate units outline in their calendar entries details on the timelines, format and other components of the program examination.

At this time, I am asking each graduate unit with a graduate program that includes Program Examinations as part of required Other Academic Activities (i.e., not regular course examinations) to review the language in their SGS Calendar entry for that program. If any of the points noted below in the revised regulation are not covered in the program requirements section within the SGS Calendar, the program calendar entry will require revision. Revisions will require completion of a governance form A.

The following change to the SGS Calendar General Regulations was approved on November 20, 2012. (Changes are noted via tracked changes):

7.1.17.3 Other Academic Activities

including Program Examinations

Graduate programs may have a variety of requirements that are not courses but constitute other academic activities that have been approved according to SGS policies and procedures. Some common non-course academic activities are major research papers, comprehensive examinations, placements including practica, and internships.

Other academic activities also include graduate program examinations. Included in the category of program examinations are examinations such as comprehensives, qualifying, and field examinations. See individual program requirements in the Degree and Diploma Programs by Graduate Unit section of this Calendar. Individual program requirements will identify:

- different components of each examination

- format of each examination and its components, if any

- deadlines and timelines associated with required completion of examinations

- consequences for failure of a required examination and/or its components, including information about the number of attempts permitted to satisfactorily complete the examination.

Effective date is September 1, 2013, i.e., for the 2013-14 edition of the SGS Calendar.

As always, please work with your Vice-Dean or Associate Dean Graduate Studies in your Faculty when proposing changes to your programs. Further information on governance procedures can be found on the SGS website. SGS remains available for consultation.

#006: Launch of JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award

#006 - January 22, 2013

To: Graduate Chairs, Directors, Coordinators and Administrators

From: Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC: School of Graduate Studies: Committee of Graduate Deans, Committee of Deans and Directors, Staff

I am pleased to announce the JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award which recognizes outstanding performance in the multiple roles associated with doctoral (PhD, EdD, DMA, SJD) supervision.

It will be awarded annually to an active faculty member who, over a minimum of a fifteen year period, has demonstrated excellence in supervision at the University of Toronto as indicated by:      

  • inspiring and guiding students to reach excellence in scholarship;

  • providing an environment that is supportive and stimulating;

  • enabling students to learn the essential methodologies, concepts and cultures of their discipline;

  • introducing students to the wider content of the discipline and relevant communities of scholars;

  • positioning students for future careers both within and outside academe;

  • fostering a strong sense of academic integrity.

Process

Nominations are brought to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education through the Faculty Dean or Vice Dean Graduate Education, with one nomination annually per Faculty. The nomination package provides evidence that the nominee has met the above six criteria through:

  • a letter of endorsement from the Dean/Vice Dean Graduate Education and two letters of nomination which must include: (1) a letter from, the department chair or a current or former colleague, and (2) one letter from a former or current supervisee (this letter may also be a group nomination)

  • a table that includes all former and current doctoral students and their current positions

  • a CV indicating all co-publications/presentations with current and former doctoral students, if applicable

The Award will be adjudicated by a committee consisting of:

  • Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice Provost, Graduate Education or designate

  • a previous recipient of the JJ Berry Smith Award (as of year two)

  • a student member of the Graduate Education Council

  • SGS Director of Student Services or designate

  • Director of the Centre of Teaching Support and Innovation or designate

  • Other members may be appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice Provost, Graduate Education as appropriate

The Award

  • award certificate

  • name on a plaque housed at the School of Graduate Studies

  • an SGS travel or conference award to be awarded by the recipient to support a current doctoral student for conference participation or research travel

The deadline for faculty nomination is April 5, 2013 and the award will be presented annually at the Governor General's Medal Reception Ceremony in the spring. For further information, please contact: Heather Kelly, Director, Student Services at: heather.kelly@utoronto.ca.

JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award Nomination Form 2013; Table A List of Doctoral Students

#007: Three Minute Thesis Competition

#007 - February 14, 2013

To: Graduate Chairs, Directors, Coordinators and Administrators

From: Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC: School of Graduate Studies: Committee of Graduate Deans, Committee of Deans and Directors, Staff

I am pleased to announce that this year the University of Toronto will take part in the province-wide Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition. In the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition, participants have a 3 minute time limit to present their research to a panel of non-specialist judges. The challenge is to present complex research information in an engaging, accessible and compelling way within three minutes and with only one power-point slide.

The University of Toronto will hold a University-wide competition on Friday, March 22, 2013, following which the winner and runner-up will compete in the provincial finals to be held at Queen’s University in Kingston on April 18, 2013.

Eligibility

All entrants must be doctoral students (PhD, EdD, SJD) who have reached candidacy at the time of registration (including Doctoral students who have defended but have not convocated as of April 18, 2013)

Presentations must be based on research that is directly related to the student’s graduate program thesis.

Students are required to inform their supervisors of their participation in the competition.

Presenters must agree to be videotaped.

Winners of the University of Toronto competition must be available to attend the provincial final in Kingston on April 18, 2013.      

University of Toronto Competition

The local 3MT competition will be a one day event on March 22, 2013 consisting of Divisional heats, with a maximum of 20 participants per heat, and will be followed by the final competition to include top contestants from the earlier heats. All rounds of the competition will be assessed by a panel of notable judges drawn from within the University of Toronto and the local community.      

Prizes

1st place: $1,000

Runner-up: iPad mini

Finalists: $100 U of T Bookstore gift certificate      

Registration

Participants will be able to sign up for a spot in the divisional heats on a first-come, first-serve basis via an online registration system housed on the SGS website, which will launch in late February.      

Provincial Competition

The winner and runner up of the University of Toronto 3MT® will compete at the provincial level at Queen’s University in Kingston on April 18, 2013. SGS will provide the two participants with free transportation and accommodation.

For further information on the 3MT® competition please contact Kerri Huffman, Associate Director, Student Services – Graduate Awards and Financial Aid at kerri.huffman@utoronto.ca.

#008: Program Extension Regulations

 #008 - June 17, 2013

To: Graduate Chairs, Graduate Coordinators and Administrators

From: Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC: Council of Graduate Deans, School of Graduate Studies

This memorandum is to clarify the SGS regulations on program extensions for Ph.D. students beyond the time limit for the degree. In particular, I wish to review the required practices for third and fourth one-year extensions.

Background

On May 18, 2010, Graduate Education Council adopted a proposal to replace lapsed status for PhD students (excluding flexible-time PhD or professional doctoral students) who are beyond the time limit for the degree with a four-year extension regulation. Students who have not completed the program requirements by the time limit for the PhD degree may apply for up to four one-year program extensions. PhD students must be registered in the year prior to the year in which the extension would occur. Registration beyond the four-year extension period is not permitted.

Details about the regulations changes were communicated in a Decanal Memorandum dated June 22, 2010.

Required Practices

First and second one-year extensions:

  • Require Graduate Unit approval

  • Student must present the following to the graduate unit:

    • Causes for the delay
      A letter of intent indicating a commitment to, and outlining a plan for, completing the remaining degree requirements within the requested period of the extension

Third and fourth one-year extensions:

Require both Graduate Unit and School of Graduate Studies approvals

Student must present the following to the graduate unit:

  • Causes for the delay
    Report of progress towards completion
    A letter of intent indicating a commitment to, and outlining a plan for, completing the remaining degree requirements within the requested period of the extension

Please refer to Decanal Memorandum dated June 22, 2010 for further details, including information on fees for final year PhD students, and on the "opt-in" option for students admitted prior to September 1, 2010.

Should you have any questions, please consult the Director of Student Services, Don MacMillan, at don.macmillan@sgs.utoronto.ca or your Divisional Student Services Officer.​​

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