guidelines
guidelines

VII. Dissertation Defence

7.1 When beginning work on the dissertation all students are advised to obtain a copy of the current edition of Guidelines, Policies and Procedures for the Preparation of Theses from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at Carleton or the Handbook for Graduate Students of Trent University.

 

7.2 The final copy of the dissertation presented for defence must be carefully proofread and all errors corrected in typewritten form on all copies. A final copy with mistakes of fact, grammar, or spelling will not be approved for defence.

 

7.3 The student must prepare three draft copies for the Dissertation Advisory Committee’s certification that the dissertation is ready for defence. This draft, identified by the student and Dissertation Supervisor as the one they wish to have considered by the committee for final approval prior to defence, should normally be read within 4-6 weeks of submission.

 

7.4 The Dissertation Advisory Committee’s approval will be indicated on a form signed by all members of the committee, and submitted to the Director of the School or the Director of the Frost Centre. This form indicates that the committee accepts that the same, common final draft is ready for defence and is free from major or frequent flaws. This approval is required before the dissertation is submitted to the Faculty of Graduate and Post Doctoral Affairs at Carleton or the School of Graduate Studies at Trent, and the Examining Board. After the dissertation is submitted, there can be no changes in committee membership, without the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies at the home institution. The approval from the committee should be received at least six weeks before the intended date of the defence.

 

7.5 In preparation for defence, six copies of the dissertation are required and must be submitted to the Director of the School or the Director of the Frost Centre at least six weeks in advance of the intended date of defence. Students are responsible for informing their Dissertation Supervisor and the Director of the School or the Director of the Frost Centre of the date they intend to submit the six copies of the final dissertation for defence. This notice is expected to be given at least two weeks in advance of the submission date.

 

7.6 The Examining Board, appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies at Carleton or the Dean of Graduate Studies at Trent, consists of the Dissertation Advisory Committee, one eligible member from another department from the “home” university, one External Examiner from outside Carleton and Trent who is a recognized authority in the subject of the dissertation, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Carleton or the Dean of Arts and Science at Trent (ex-officio), the Director of the School or the Director of the Frost Centre (ex-officio), and the Dean of Graduate Studies at Carleton (ex-officio) or the Dean of Graduate Studies at Trent (or designate) who serves as Chair. Copies of the dissertation are distributed by the Director of the School or the Director of the Frost Centre to the members of the Examining Board, with one copy provided to the Dean of Graduate Studies at Carleton or the Dean of Graduate Studies at Trent. This copy will be available for examination in the Graduate and Post Doctoral Affairs office at Carleton or the Office of Graduate Studies at Trent by any member of the university.  The Dean assigns a Chair of the defence and corresponds with the external examiner about his/her responsibilities only, as well as distribution of the signed off notice.  The date, location, and composition of the examination board, are the internal departmental responsibilities and should be dealt with as the Schools Chair/Director instructs.  The date of the announcement must be at least 14 days in advance of the date of the defence. The Dean will require the submission of written comments from the External Examiner before allowing the defence to take place. The dissertation defence will take place at the student’s “home” university and will be subject to that university’s guidelines for dissertation defences.

 

7.7  In the case where a member on the Dissertation Advisory Committee is from the “other” university, each institution will cover their own professor’s travel expenses and accommodations for one night (to a maximum of $350) for the purpose of attending a defence.

 

7.8 At the oral defence the student is asked to present an oral summary (no more than 20 minutes) of the major arguments in her/his dissertation.

 

7.9 The dissertation may be accepted as submitted, with minor revisions, with major revisions, or rejected. Time limits may be set for corrections or re-submission of a revised dissertation. The dissertation is marked “satisfactory,” or “unsatisfactory,” and the oral defence is graded separately as “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.” The Chair of the Examining Board is expected to convey in writing to the student any modifications required by the Examining Board. In the case of a split vote on the dissertation, it is permissible for the Chair to approve the defence as ‘satisfactory’ if the majority makes this recommendation. The External Examiner must be included in the majority.

 

7.10 If major revisions are required, the Chair of the Examining Board will arrange a sub-committee from the Board, usually including the Dissertation Supervisor as Chair, to ensure that all the required revisions, specified in writing by the Board, are made. The Examining Board may choose to require a second defence by the student before the sub-committee. Upon written certification by the sub-committee that the required revisions have been made to their satisfaction, the Chair of the Examining Board will then authorize acceptance of the dissertation.

 

7.11 Minor revisions will be supervised by the Dissertation Supervisor who will certify in writing to the Chair of the Examining Board that the required revisions have been made, and the dissertation in the required five copies now meets all requirements for deposit in the Library of the “home” university.

 

7.12 Any revisions must be completed and accepted within the time limits established for the completion of the Ph.D. degree.

 

7.13 Members of the Dissertation Advisory Committee will submit the “Ph.D. Dissertation Committee members’ Final Report” to the Director of the School or the Director of the Frost Centre no later than one week after the Ph.D. oral dissertation defence.