|Graduate Studies Committee members (as of Dec 2011):
|Course requirements for the M.Sc. program
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|Course requirements for the Ph.D. program
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|Journal Club and Student Research Seminars (Revised August 31, 2011)|
Coordinators: Drs. Blake Ball, Matthew Gilmour, and Alberto Severini
Who has to present?
To stimulate discussion, the two students who presented the previous session to initiate the questioning, then it will be opened to other students and finally to the general audience.
In the past most students have chosen to present in PowerPoint but the decision is entirely the student's. The most important aspect is that the presentation be clear, no points for flashy.
Types of articles that you can choose:
What to focus on this year?
One weakness of some presentations last year was a lack of critical evaluation of the paper. People conveyed what was done in the paper very well but many did not provide their opinion whether the study was valid and has science move forward because of it. Remember you don’t always have to be correct, but you do have to have thought about it and have an opinion.
*If a schedule change is required, it is the student's responsibility to arrange that and inform Cheryl Reimer email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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It is the responsibility of the Advisory Committee to approve the student's program of study and to exercise general supervision over the student's work until graduation. Guidelines and Make-Up of Graduate Students’ Advisory Committees
New students, with the assistance of their supervisor, are to select and meet with their advisory committee within three months of starting their graduate program. The graduate program assistant will follow up to ensure this meeting has taken place.
No later than three days prior to all committee meetings, a Medical Microbiology Graduate Student Research Progress Report (MMGSRP), 2 pages single-spaced long, is to be emailed to the advisory committee (in the case of a new student, this report is emailed to the supervisor).
The Report will consist of the following, or similar, sections:
Background, Gaps in Knowledge, Rationale, Hypothesis, Objectives, Approach or Results, Progress since last meeting.
Upon completion of the meeting, a Graduate Studies Progress Report and Graduate Student Annual Advisory Committee Checklist are to be completed and submitted to the graduate program assistant along with a copy of the MMGSRP as a record of the meeting and the appointment of the committee members.
M.Sc. committees shall consist of a minimum of 3 Faculty of Graduate Studies members (the list of these Faculty members can be found on the U of M website at http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/admin/index.html):
A Faculty member from another department. This person may be cross-appointed in the Department of Medical Microbiology but if they are, at the time the thesis is examined, a faculty member from another department not cross-appointed in the Department of Medical Microbiology is required (Advisory Committee versus Examining Committee).
Ph.D. committees shall consist of a minimum of 4 Faculty of Graduate Studies members:
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|Transition to the Ph.D. program
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The purpose of the Candidacy Examination is to test the suitability of students to progress to the advanced degree of PhD. The format for this exam in Medical Microbiology is a grant writing/defense style, effective September 1, 2001. The intention is totest the students’ ability to develop a research project by researching a field of investigation, identifying gaps in knowledge, developing a novel hypothesis to fill one or more of the gaps and designing specific objectives and experiments that will formally test the hypothesis. The Candidacy exam will be taken by all PhD students no later than 12 months prior to their expected graduation date and preferably much earlier than that.
The student must indicate to the advisory committee, usually at the advisory committee meeting, that they wish to proceed with the candidacy exam and the committee must approve. The student, in consultation with their Committee, selects a topic suitable for writing a grant application. The examination topic may not be directly related to the student’s graduate project or any of their previous projects, as the intent is to test their own ability to design a research project de novo. While choosing a topic that is completely new to the student is strongly encouraged, the topic may involve a similar scientific question applied to a different organism, or a different scientific question applied to the same organism studied by the student, but not both. It is at the discretion of the Advisory Committee if the topic is sufficiently distinct from their graduate project or previous work.
Once the general topic is approved, the student then will submit, usually by email, a two-page letter of intent (LOI) to their Advisory Committee. The LOI will contain the following, or similar, headings: Title, Background, Gaps in Knowledge, Rationale, Hypothesis, Specific Objectives with some experimental detail, and Significance. Each member of the Advisory Committee must respond to the LOI within one week, either granting the student permission to write the examination or suggesting where major changes need to be made. The comments from each committee member and the student’s revised LOI must be shared with the whole committee. Once all members of the committee have approved the LOI the student may then proceed to writing the full grant.
Timing of the process:
At the time the student receives permission to write, the date of the student’s presentation of the grant to the Advisory Committee is to be scheduled. This is normally 2 months following permission to write and should be no later than three months. All members of the Advisory Committee are expected to attend the Oral Presentation. Should a committee member be absent for an extended period then provisions should be made to connect that committee member by video or teleconference. Should that not be possible, the student’s PowerPoint presentation of the grant is to be provided to the committee member at least one week in advance of the oral presentation. By the time of the oral presentation the absent committee member should provide to the student’s advisor written detailed comments on both the grant and oral defense noting the pass/fail category and any required changes. The advisor will present these to the student and committee following the student’s oral presentation.
The student will have one (1) month from the date permission is received to write a CIHR-style grant application in the chosen field and submit it to their Advisory Committee. The grant will take the form of a normal CIHR operating grant. The grant will be composed of three major modules (CV, research and budget) plus the relevant CIHR pages. The grant must follow the CIHR guidelines for each module. The CV Module must be done using the Common CV web page using the CIHR format, including sections such as Most Significant Contributions. The Research Module must include a Summary page, a Progress to Date page, and an 11-page Research Proposal. The Summary page and Research Proposal can use section headings similar to the Letter of Intent. The Budget Module must include a one page budget summary table using the categories identified by CIHR and detailed budget justification. The budget must be justified for each year of funding requested. Terms of the grant are to be 3-5 years. The student should also provide mock letters of collaboration where appropriate.
The student should assemble the various components of the grant into a single PDF file and distribute to the Advisory Committee by email and hard copy.
The Committee is normally allowed one month to review the grant. The timing of the date of Oral Presentation of the grant is to be agreed upon at the time the student is given permission to write the full grant (see above for details).
Oral Presentation and Evaluation:
The student’s presentation consists of a 20- to 30-minute overview of his/her grant to the Advisory Committee, followed by a question and answer period not to last longer than 60 minutes. The student’s advisor is the Chair of the Oral Presentation proceedings.
The quality of the proposal and the performance of the student in the candidacy exam will be evaluated based on his/her originality, logical thinking, related knowledge, and the project's feasibility and potential to generate high quality/impact publications. Evaluation is generally verbal, unless a committee member is absent (see above). A student can be given a passing grade without any further modification or, may be passed but asked to make minor modifications to the grant based on the suggestions of the committee members. The required changes must be agreed upon by the whole committee and submitted in writing to the student. The student’s advisor is tasked by the committee to ensure all of the changes have been made satisfactorily before the Candidacy Examination Form is turned in to the Department Head.
If the student is deemed by his/her committee not to be satisfactory in grant writing and/or defense, the student will have failed the exam. Students who fail will, after consulting their Advisory Committee, either make major modifications to the first application or write another grant. The student's Advisory Committee determines if the application can be improved by modification or whether a new topic must be chosen for the second attempt. The second attempt must be completed and distributed to the advisory committee within one (1) month, and is then followed by a second presentation and question and answer evaluation. Students who fail the exam twice will be required to withdraw from the PhD program by FGS. On successful completion of this examination, the student will be considered a candidate for the PhD degree.
The following reference materials, which are helpful for the grant preparation, are available from the office of the Graduate Studies Coordinator and students are encouraged to consult them:
1. “CIHR Hints for Research Grant Applicants” (available on the University of Manitoba website)
2. “Top Tips for Getting Grants” (also available on the website)
3. Pages 1 and 8 of an actual CIHR grant application.
4. Guidebook for New Principal Investigators (Institute of Genetics, CIHR), available on the website.
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All graduate students must present their proposed thesis outline to the Advisory Committee for approval prior to writing the thesis (submit the Faculty of Graduate Studies "Thesis Proposal" form to the department following the presentation).
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