V. Dissertation Proposal

5.1 A dissertation proposal of approximately 25 pages (excluding bibliography) will include a clear statement of research problem, including its theoretical significance, a review of relevant literature, a statement of the research plan and methods, an outline of chapter headings and sub-headings for the proposed dissertation, and a bibliography of materials most relevant to the proposal. Students whose work involves research with human subjects as defined by the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (questionnaires, interviews, for example) must gain the approval of the School or Trent’s Research Ethics Committee. Forms are available from the graduate program administrator of the School or the Frost Centre.


5.2 Final approval of the dissertation proposal should take place within 27 months of initial registration in the program. All students must complete their comprehensive exams before defending their dissertation proposal.


5.3 A dissertation proposal must be approved by the members of the Dissertation Advisory Committee. This committee will be selected normally no later than one month after the completion of the second comprehensive examination. The Dissertation Advisory Committee will be composed of a Dissertation Supervisor and two other faculty members. Both universities must be represented on the Dissertation Advisory Committee. A student may make a special request to the Director of the School or the Director of the Frost Centre to have an extra member added to the Dissertation Advisory Committee.


5.4 A meeting of the Dissertation Advisory Committee will be held to examine the dissertation proposal; however, the person from the other partner institution may send written comments in lieu of attendance. After the successful defence of the proposal, the Dissertation Supervisor will submit a form to the Director of the School or Director of the Frost Centre.  The dissertation proposal defence should be held within twenty-seven months from the beginning of the program to ensure timely completion of the degree.  The School of Canadian Studies and the Frost Centre cannot cover travel costs for members who wish to attend the dissertation proposal examination meeting.  However, members may attend the meeting at their own expense.  Out of town members will be contacted by conference phone on the day of the scheduled meeting.