Time to Completion Meeting

The Department of Molecular Genetics has put in place policies and procedures designed to reduce the time to completion of our Ph.D. program. Specifically, it is expected that, except in unusual circumstances, a Ph.D. should be defended no more than 5.5 to 6.0 years after commencing graduate studies in the Department. The “time-to-completion” (TTC) committee meeting is designed to assist in ensuring timely completion of the Ph.D. After 4.0 to 4.5 years in the graduate program, every Ph.D. student must have a TTC Committee Meeting. While this policy must be adhered to for students who joined the program on or after September 2007, students who joined the program prior to this date may elect to engage the TTC mechanism. The TTC meeting is conducted in the same manner as other committee meetings (including the four-pageprogress report as described above) with the following additional measures:

1.  In both the written progress report and at the TTC meeting, the student must present

  • a projected thesis outline and
  • a plan outlining exactly which experiments need to be completed along with a realistic estimate of how long this is expected to take. This time may not exceed one year (i.e., except for writing and defending the thesis, all other aspects should be completed within 5.0 to 5.5 years).

2.  After discussion at the TTC meeting the student, in collaboration with his/her supervisor, writes a summary document describing what was agreed to at the TTC meeting. This document is then signed by the student, supervisor and all committee members, and submitted to the Graduate Coordinator for review.

3.  Another, usually final, committee meeting is scheduled for the time projected at the TTC meeting for completion of experiments. At this meeting, the student is given permission to write the thesis.

4.  If it is clear before the meeting described in (3) that the student will not have completed the necessary experiments, a Steering Committee member attends this meeting to lead a discussion regarding how best to ensure timely completion of the thesis.

5.  In the event of (4), a final committee meeting must be scheduled within four months to ensure that the required progress had been made and that thesis writing can commence. Extensions to the SGS time limit of seven years for the total duration of a Ph.D. will be given only for rare extenuating circumstances. Students must apply for such an extension at least three months prior to the seven-year deadline.