Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program Policies and Procedures Manual July 2011

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1 Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program Policies and Procedures Manual July 2011 This manual summarizes background information and represents the official policies and procedures regarding graduate training in the Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program. Policies and procedures on the University of Calgary, Faculty of Graduate Studies website take precedence in case of conflict with the contents of this manual. The information will be of use to prospective as well as current graduate students, faculty and staff. Graduate Program Director Office of Research and Graduate Education Faculty of Veterinary Medicine TRW 2D09, 3280 Hospital Drive NW Calgary, Alberta (phone) (403) (fax) (403)

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3 Table of Contents THE FACULTY OF VETERINARY MEDICINE RESEARCH TRAINING PROGRAMS... 5 VETERINARY MEDICAL SCIENCES (VMS) GRADUATE PROGRAM... 6 VETERINARY MEDICAL SCIENCES ROTATION PROGRAM... 6 Rotations... 6 Arranging Rotations... 6 Failure to Find a Permanent Placement... 7 Financial Support During Rotations... 7 GRADUATE PROGRAMS AS PART OF RESIDENCY PROGRAMS... 7 ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION... 9 GRADUATE PROGRAM DIRECTOR... 9 GRADUATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE Purpose Responsibilities and Duties Composition of the Committee GRADUATE AND POSTGRADUATE TRAINING MANAGER THE SUPERVISOR: CRITERIA AND DUTIES FOR SUPERVISION Granting of Supervisory Privileges in the Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program Duties of Supervisors CO SUPERVISORS THE SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE Functions of the supervisory committee POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ADMISSION REGISTRATION First Year Registration Subsequent Years Registration Transferring to the VMS Graduate Program from another Graduate Program Transferring from MSc to PhD PROGRAM TIME LIMITS RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS STIPENDS/FINANCIAL SUPPORT Veterinary Medical Sciences Differential Fee Reimbursement Policy EMPLOYMENT WHILE REGISTERED IN A GRADUATE PROGRAM EVALUATION OF VMS GRADUATE STUDENTS Course Requirements Research Proposal Research in Progress Seminars and Journal Clubs Supervisory Committee Meetings Annual Progress Reports Meeting with the Graduate and Postgraduate Training Manager DOCTORAL CANDIDACY EXAM

4 The candidacy exam: written component The candidacy exam: oral component Prior to the candidacy exam Composition of the candidacy exam committee Deadlines for taking the candidacy oral examination How to prepare for the candidacy exam Conduct of the candidacy oral exam Post candidacy exam procedures Candidacy exam failures THESIS DEFENSE Prior to the thesis exam Composition of the thesis exam committee Conduct of thesis oral exam Post defense exam procedures Failed thesis and or defense: Convocation clearance PROGRAM TIMELINES MASTERS STUDENTS: PhD STUDENTS: Appendix A: Forms Specific to the VMS Graduate Program (Conditional) Letter of Commitment (sample) VMS Progress Report for Committee Meetings Report of Supervisory Committee Meeting VMS Confidential Trainee Report Research Proposal Approval (for Masters students only) Candidacy Exam Preparation (for Doctoral students only) NOTES

5 THE FACULTY OF VETERINARY MEDICINE RESEARCH TRAINING PROGRAMS The University of Calgary, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) is the first veterinary college located in the province of Alberta, and is Canada's fifth accredited veterinary college. UCVM has four departments: Department of Production Animal Health, Department of Ecosystem and Public Health, Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, and Department of Veterinary Clinical and Diagnostic Studies 1. UCVM is committed to meeting the animal and public health needs of the province, and strengthening the connections between human and animal health through its educational, research and outreach programs. UCVM faculty members supervise graduate students in the Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program in many broad inter disciplinary areas: Animal Health Policy Bone and Joint Health Clinical Sciences Comparative Pathobiology Ecosystem Health Epidemiology Equine Health Immunology and Infectious Disease Neuroscience Production Animal Health Public Health Reproductive Biology Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Veterinary Medical Education Wildlife and Zoo Medicine In addition to the Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program, some UCVM faculty members are affiliated with other graduate programs in the University such as Medical Sciences, Community Health Sciences, Neuroscience, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Molecular and Medical Genetics, Immunology, and Microbiology and Infectious Disease. The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has over 100 research and clinical trainees in various programs: Summer undergraduate research traineeships designed to provide rich exposure to research and promote graduate trainee recruitment; Graduate training linked to the completion of original research, leading to thesis based MSc and PhD degrees; Internships (one year) for DVM graduates to gain additional experience in specialty clinical areas; Residency* (three or more years) for DVM graduates, linked to completion of an MSc or PhD; Postdoctoral fellowships for research trainees that already have doctoral degrees. Further information on all of the research training programs can be found at * coming soon 5

6 VETERINARY MEDICAL SCIENCES (VMS) GRADUATE PROGRAM The key features of the VMS graduate program are: Wide range of research opportunities in biomedical, clinical and population level animal and public health science Generous graduate scholarships for top ranking VMS graduate students 2 Working within a research intensive veterinary school with close linkages to the medical school and other University of Calgary Faculties, and collaborations with partner agencies in the public and private sector An optional 4 6 month research rotation program to allow students a variety of work environments with different professors in order to make more informed decisions about supervisors 3 Strong training in basic research skills Training in communication, ethics and career options Minimal residency requirement to permit research work off site Guidelines for completion of MSc within 2 years, and completion of candidacy (qualifying) exam for PhD student within months Unique graduate scholarship opportunities Reimbursement of international student differential tuition fees 4 VETERINARY MEDICAL SCIENCES ROTATION PROGRAM The purpose of the rotation program is to allow students the opportunity to experience various supervisors and their research in order to make an informed choice regarding with whom they would like to continue their graduate studies. Rotations Rotations are only available to begin for September admission. Rotations are 8 weeks in duration, during which the student works closely with the supervisor or a member of the research team as part of an ongoing study, as well as focusing on their required course work 5. Three rotations and at least two of the three required courses should be completed by the middle of the second semester. Additional elective courses (1 for MSc and 2 for PhD) will be taken after consultation with the permanent supervisor (i.e. after the rotation is complete). At the end of each rotation, there is no expectation of significant progress in research per se, but rather that both the student and faculty mentor would be able to judge whether there is a mutual interest in a permanent supervisory relationship. Arranging Rotations Students interested in rotations must register for the September term no later than the current registration deadlines 6. Students are encouraged to seek advice in choosing their rotations by directly contacting potential faculty supervisors, from current students, and the Graduate Program Director. Students may find out further information on faculty and their research interests at After the student has been recommended for admission to the VMS Graduate Program, the UCVM Graduate and Postgraduate Training Manager will coordinate student placement for the first two rotations, based on the student s ranked list of preferences from their on line admission. Supervisors would be under no obligation to have a rotating student if they are not interested in recruiting a student that year. While supervisors may not have funding available when the student is in a rotation with them, they assume the financial responsibility for See p.16 for further details

7 the student when the student takes permanent placement with them (see below). The assignment of the first two rotations will be based as much as possible on the preferences of the student, but choices may be constrained by the availability of space within a faculty members research program. In almost all cases, students will be assigned to at least one of their two top choices. If/when supervisors for the rotation can be confirmed, the student s admission will be forwarded to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for final review and official offer of admission (usually by mid July). If a rotation supervisor cannot be found, or the student no longer wishes to participate in the program, the student s application may be cancelled. Students will be informed of their rotation assignments by August 1st. The choice of the third rotation is entirely up to the student, and should not be made until after the program has started in September. As the student gains knowledge of the UCVM faculty, a more informed choice of a third rotation can be made. Third rotations are arranged through direct communication between students and potential supervisors. Students should have their third rotations arranged no later than one week before the end of the second rotation (at the end of December). As soon as third rotation arrangements have been finalized, the Graduate Program Director must be notified. Students who are still undecided on a supervisor after their third rotation may, with approval by the Graduate Program Director, choose a fourth rotation. During the third rotation, or any time prior to that, a student should make arrangements with their preferred graduate program supervisor for permanent placement. At that time, the student and the graduate program supervisor would begin to submit applications for financial support 7. All deadlines stated in the following policies and procedures would begin from the date the student completed their last rotation. Failure to Find a Permanent Placement If a student is unable to find a permanent thesis supervisor after completion of their rotations, he/she may be required to withdraw from the program. Admission to the program does not guarantee that a student will be accepted by a supervisor for their thesis work. That being said, it is extremely rare for an accepted student to fail to find a suitable supervisor. Financial Support During Rotations Students will be paid the standard stipend by the VMS Graduate Program during the rotation period (prorated to $20,000 per year = $10,000 for 6 months), unless they have received an external or internal award/scholarship (e.g., Dean s Excellence Scholarship) in which case the monthly value of the award will be deducted from the monthly rotation stipend. A condition of the rotation stipend is that the student is making progress on completing their required courses. Rotation students with an award in excess of the standard monthly stipend will not receive a rotation stipend, but will keep the full value of their award during the rotation. After the rotation period, the student stipend becomes the responsibility of the student and permanent supervisor. Students who select their supervisor early and choose not to complete all three rotations would have the initial stipend curtailed, and the stipend becomes the responsibility of the student and the permanent supervisor. A letter from the supervisor, outlining their commitment to the training of the student, as well as their commitment to fund the student in accordance with the minimum VMS guidelines (at least $20,000 per year for the duration of their program) must be submitted to the Graduate and Postgraduate Training Manager. GRADUATE PROGRAMS AS PART OF RESIDENCY PROGRAMS UCVM is committed to the development of post graduate professional programs. Participation in residency programs will normally include the requirement for completion of a graduate degree in the Masters or PhD program. The graduate programs of residents are administered through the VMS Graduate Program (or other 7 7

8 appropriate program). The clinical portions of residency programs are administered through the Office of Community Partnerships. Normally, a joint supervisory committee that supervises both aspects of a student s training program will be established. 8

9 ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION The VMS Graduate Program is jointly administered by UCVM and the Faculty of Graduate Studies. All policies and procedures relating to the VMS Graduate Program are first approved by the UCVM Faculty Council. However, the Faculty of Graduate Studies has final authority over all academic policies relating to graduate programs. GRADUATE PROGRAM DIRECTOR 8 The Graduate Program Director is a faculty member appointed by the UCVM Dean and is responsible for the overall direction of the graduate program and, through the UCVM Graduate and Postgraduate Training Manager and graduate program administrative assistant, for the day to day operations of the program. At the discretion of the UCVM Dean, the UCVM Associate Dean Research and Graduate Education may serve as the Graduate Program Director. The Graduate Program Director is accountable to both the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the UCVM Dean. The Graduate Program Director s responsibilities include interpreting and implementing University and Faculty of Graduate Studies policies and regulations as they may apply to the program and its students and staff. Joint responsibility to both Deans includes regular review of program requirements, with revision as needed, and ensuring and enhancing graduate program quality. The accountability to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Dean includes ensuring that the rules and regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the University are followed within the program (as attested to by the Graduate Program Director s signature on documents), contributing to the periodic revision of those regulations through participation in Faculty of Graduate Studies Council and possibly its committees. The Graduate Program Director s responsibilities to the Dean of Graduate Studies include the following: A voting member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Council Working with supervisors to ensure students complete degree requirements in a timely fashion; Mentoring students to apply successfully for external and internal scholarships; For programs involving a thesis, reviewing annual student progress reports and supervisors comments on these, and acting on the reports as needed; Reviewing other recommendations to Faculty of Graduate Studies from supervisory committees, and in general facilitating administrative matters as appropriate; Serving as the first resource in cases of disputes between student and supervisor; Ensuring that the allocation of graduate student support provided annually by Faculty of Graduate Studies is fully spent each year, in accordance with Faculty of Graduate Studies guidelines for those funds; Assisting applicants and students to identify appropriate supervisory committee members; Promoting the program within and beyond the University; Ensuring that the program s entry in the Graduate Calendar accurately reflects the program s approved requirements and course offerings; Service on Faculty of Graduate Studies Council committees as requested. To accomplish these, it will be appropriate for frequent consultation and collaboration with the UCVM Graduate and Postgraduate Training Manager and graduate program administrative assistant, and as required with the 8 FGS council minutes, 16 December 2010 ( 9

10 appropriate Associate Dean of Faculty of Graduate Studies and others. Accountability to the UCVM Dean pertains to operations of the program and includes: Working within the UCVM leadership group and reporting through appropriate channels to the Dean; Meeting enrolment targets that may have been agreed upon; Maintaining academic rigor in the program; Preparing an annual plan and budget for the support of graduate students in the program, and monitoring the budget; Reviewing and updating the policies and procedures; Serving as Chair of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Graduate Education Committee. However, if the Director role is held by the UCVM Associate Dean Research and Graduate Education, then the chair will be appointed by the UCVM Dean from among the membership of committee. GRADUATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE Purpose The powers of the Committee derive from UCVM Faculty Council. The purpose of the Graduate Education Committee is to provide guidance and make recommendations regarding the VMS Graduate Program, as well as other aspects of graduate and post graduate education associated with UCVM, to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and UCVM Dean, as appropriate. Responsibilities and Duties The Committee will advise the Faculty, the UCVM Dean and the Graduate Program Director with respect to the development and delivery of the VMS Graduate Program; The Committee will recommend to the Graduate Program Director the admission, re admission, and transfer of graduate students into the VMS Graduate Program; Provide recommendations on graduate funding allocations and principles on scholarship competitions and internal and external awards for graduate students; The Committee will identify needs for and recommend graduate courses for inclusion in the VMS graduate training program; Review course proposals and calendar changes in accordance with university policy, and make recommendations to UCVM Faculty Council; Review and update the VMS Graduate Program policies and procedures, and make recommendations to UCVM Faculty Council; The Committee will advise and oversee the recruitment and mentorship of all graduate students working for UCVM faculty, regardless of which Graduate Program that they are enrolled in; The Committee will promote and oversee the recruitment and mentorship of undergraduate summer research trainees and postdoctoral fellows. Composition of the Committee The Committee will be composed of: i) Chair (Graduate Program Director; if the Director role is held by the UCVM Associate Dean Research and Graduate Education, then the Chair will be appointed by the UCVM Dean from among the membership of committee) (voting only in the case of a tie) ii) Representative from each of the four Departments who have experience in graduate education (appointed by the Departments)(voting) iii) A representative of new faculty members (appointed by the UCVM Dean) (voting) 10

11 iv) A current graduate student (nominated by the Veterinary Medicine Graduate Students Association) (voting) v) The Graduate and Postgraduate Training Manager (ex officio, non voting) vi) Graduate administrative assistant who shall act as recorder for the Committee GRADUATE AND POSTGRADUATE TRAINING MANAGER The Graduate and Postgraduate Training Manager is a staff position in the UCVM Office of Research and Graduate Education, reporting overall to the Associate Dean Research and Graduate Education, as well as the Graduate Program Director with respect to the VMS Graduate Program. The overall purpose of the position is to advance and support the graduate education and research training mission of the UCVM by supporting the creation, implementation, administration, management, evaluation and enhancement of the VMS Graduate Program as well as summer undergraduate, and post doctoral training programs in UCVM. In reporting to the Graduate Program Director, duties of this position include but are not limited to: i) Managing the recruitment, admissions and funding of graduate and summer undergraduate research students; ii) Managing operational aspects of the VMS Graduate Program including reporting requirements such as annual progress reports and reports from supervisory committee meetings; iii) Managing the awarding of graduate education and summer undergraduate research awards, internal and external; iv) Supporting the duties and activities of the VMS Graduate Program Director, as required to ensure their success; v) Actively identifying, organizing and managing activities to enhance the multifaceted education of research trainees, as well as to promote a sense of community; vi) Increasing the impact of UCVM research by helping to promote trainee interactions and highlighting trainee research success, both within and outside of UCVM. vii) Supervision of the day to day activities of the Graduate program administration assistant. GRADUATE PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR The VMS Graduate Program Administrator is a staff position in the UCVM Office of Research and Graduate Education, reporting overall to the Associate Dean Research and Graduate Education, as well as the Graduate Program Director with respect to the VMS Graduate Program. With respect to the VMS Graduate Program, duties of this position include but are not limited to: i) First point of contact for existing and prospective summer research students, graduate students, other post graduate trainees, as well as faculty supervisors seeking information regarding research and graduate education. ii) Administration, review and processing of documents related to summer research students, graduate students, other post graduate trainees from the time of application, through admission, in program and graduation with respect to Faculty of Graduate Studies and UCVM. iii) Receipt and review of applications to the Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program and UCVM studentship and fellowship awards competitions, and processing for review by Graduate and Postgraduate Training Manager and relevant committees. iv) Support all administrative needs of the Graduate and Post graduate Training Manager. v) Provide administrative support for Graduate Education Committee by scheduling meetings, helping to 11

12 develop agendas, distributing meeting packages, and acting as recording secretary. THE SUPERVISOR: CRITERIA AND DUTIES FOR SUPERVISION 9 Granting of Supervisory Privileges in the Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program The Faculty of Graduate Studies approves the initial appointment of a faculty member to supervisory status allowing supervision in any graduate program, subject to recommendation by that program s Graduate Program Director 10. A faculty member who is new to the University of Calgary and wishing to supervise graduate students in the VMS Graduate Program must initially request supervisory status through the VMS Graduate Program Director, and should include an updated curriculum vitae highlighting their previous supervisory experience, and a cover letter stating the rationale for the request. Upon approval by the Graduate Program Director a written recommendation will be submitted for approval by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Criteria for supervision in the VMS Graduate Program are as follows: i) Though not required, the supervisor normally has a recurring Academic Appointment at the University of Calgary; ii) The supervisor is actively engaged in research with an appropriate level of financial support to fund the proposed work of graduate students; iii) The supervisor commits to funding the stipend of graduate students for the duration of their studies in accordance with minimum stipends set out by the VMS Graduate Program 11 ; iv) The supervisor will be familiar with and adhere to the policies and regulations of the VMS Graduate Program and Faculty of Graduate Studies. Faculty members who have already received supervisory status at the University of Calgary in another graduate program and wish to supervise graduate students in the VMS Graduate Program, must also obtain approval by the VMS Graduate Program Director. Prior to approval, a University of Calgary faculty member s home program will be notified of their request. Supervisory status of faculty members: Faculty members will be granted supervisory status in the VMS Graduate Program in one of the following categories: A) Faculty members without previous experience of full time thesis based graduate students will require a co supervisor who has prior supervisory experience, until their first graduate student has successfully defended their thesis (for a Masters student), or candidacy exam (for a PhD student). B) Faculty members with prior satisfactory supervisory experience of full time, thesis based graduate students will have no supervisory restrictions. C) If a prospective supervisor does not hold a University of Calgary appointment, each instance of supervision or co supervision must be approved by the VMS Graduate Program Director and Faculty of Graduate Studies, and a co supervisor with supervisory experience who is a recurring faculty member must be appointed VMS Graduate Education Committee approved, 16 June Supervisor eligibility requirements 12

13 Any requests for changes in supervisory status must be made to the VMS Graduate Program Director by written request and must include an updated curriculum vitae that highlights graduate supervisory experience. Recommendations for changes in status will be reported in turn to the Faculty of Graduate Studies 13. Duties of Supervisors The supervisor acts both as a general mentor (with emphasis on guidance, instruction, and encouragement of scholarship and research) and as a judge of the graduate student s performance. Because of their own experience and involvement in research and related professional activities, supervisors should provide professional guidance and research stimulation to their students. A fundamental duty of the supervisor is to impart to their students the skills necessary to plan and conduct original research. Specific duties of the supervisor include: i) providing appropriate time commitment to the training of a graduate student for the complete duration of their studies; ii) developing a professional relationship with the graduate student conducive to research and intellectual growth; iii) providing constructive criticism to the graduate student in support of the highest standards of research and professional development; iv) working with the graduate student to establish a realistic timetable for the completion of the various requirements of their program of study; v) providing frequent and prompt comments on drafts of the research proposal and thesis, attempting to be critically constructive and encouraging; vi) scheduling the candidacy exam of PhD graduate students, and the committee meetings and thesis oral examination of MSc and PhD students. For further details on supervisory duties, all VMS Supervisors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Faculty of Graduate Studies Handbooks of Supervision for Doctoral and Master s Program Thesis based, and the Policy Governing the Relationship Between Supervisor and Student 14. Continuity of supervision throughout a graduate program is important to a graduate student s success. Except when applying for the VMS Rotation Program, graduate students must arrange a permanent supervisor for the duration of their program prior to acceptance into the VMS Graduate Program. The selection of a supervisor should be by mutual agreement between student and faculty member. During absences such as sabbatical or other leave, the supervisor must ensure that adequate supervision is provided to the graduate student 15. The supervisor must be officially appointed within one month after the initial date of registration by completing the Appointment of Supervisor and/or Supervisory Committee form 16 and submitting to the Graduate and Postgraduate Training Manager for review and signature by the Graduate Program Director. Approved forms will be forwarded to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for final review. Should a change in supervisor be required, the graduate student is required to meet with the Graduate Program Director to discuss the plan of action, and must officially record the change of supervisor by filling out the above form. CO SUPERVISORS In cases where a faculty member has Category A supervisory status (see above) but wishes to supervise a graduate student, there is a specific requirement that they find and appoint a senior co supervisor with For further information see and

14 previous supervisory experience. The role of the senior co supervisor is to provide supplementary guidance, instruction, and research stimulation on all duties as listed for the supervisor on a regular basis to both the supervisor and the graduate student. Graduate students whose project overlaps the expertise of two supervisors may also choose to have co supervision. In this case, one supervisor should be designated as the primary co supervisor. The co supervisory relationship benefits both the graduate student but also, in cases of faculty members who are new to supervising or who are new to UCVM, the junior supervisor can learn about program policies and approaches to supervision from the senior supervisor. Because of the latter benefits, new faculty are advised to become co supervisors of graduate students who are working with a senior faculty member, in cases where their expertise can benefit the student. This experience will help them in recruiting and advising students of their own and lend graduate teaching credentials to their curriculum vitae. Note also that a postdoctoral fellow, as defined in the University of Calgary Postdoctoral Fellow Policy 17, may also be appointed as a co supervisor. THE SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE 18 The Supervisory Committee is the primary vehicle for establishing and monitoring all aspects of the graduate student's program, and as such represents an independent element in the quality control of the graduate program. The supervisory committee functions to support both the student and supervisor, expanding the range of expertise and experience available to advise and assess the graduate student. The members of the supervisory committee will provide ongoing constructive criticism and discussion of the graduate student s ideas, methods, and performance, evaluation and encouragement; should be accessible to the graduate student for consultation and discussion; and should suggest other sources of information to the student. Committee members will serve on Candidacy Examination and Thesis Defense committees. In consultation with their supervisor(s), a graduate student s Supervisory Committee will be selected to include a minimum of two (for MSc students), or three (for PhD students) additional faculty members 19. If a student has a co supervisor, the supervisory committee will consist of the supervisor, the co supervisor, plus two (MSc) or three (PhD) additional members. In the case of the PhD committee, one member should come from outside the VMS Graduate program, and at least one member should have supervisory experience at the Doctoral level 20. At the discretion of the supervisor or the committee, additional members may be added, bearing in mind that 2 additional individuals must be added for the candidacy and defense examinations. Committee members may be any University of Calgary faculty member or non University personnel who have the appropriate expertise. Non University personnel may be approved to serve on supervisory committees by submitting a curriculum vitae to the Graduate Program Director for review and recommendation to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies 21. In the VMS Graduate Program, the Graduate Program Director must approve the composition of the committee no later than four months 22 after the initial date of registration to ensure the student will begin to receive guidance and feedback as early in their program as possible. It is the joint responsibility of the student 17 The Postdoctoral Fellow Policy defines a PDF as An individual, normally within 5 years of completion of a doctoral degree or 10 years of completion of an MD, DDS, DVM or equivalent, who is engaged in a temporary and defined period of mentored advanced training to enhance the professional skills and research independence needed to pursue his or her chosen career path. The Postdoctoral Fellow Policy mandates that assistance with the supervision of graduate students requires the agreement of the Faculty Supervisor Handbooks of Supervision for Doctoral and Master s Program Thesis based; Granting of Supervisory Privileges 19 VMS Graduate Education Committee approved, 24 November Handbooks of Supervision for Doctoral Program Thesis based 21 Doctoral handbook, section 3.0 Doctoral supervisory committee _BW_6_Final_Revised March_15 11_Jd 2.pdf. FGS Calendar, Veterinary MEdical Sciences, (. Supervisory Assignments. 14

15 and supervisor to ensure the Supervisory Committee is formed within the deadline. This information will be forwarded to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The Supervisory Committee will normally be chaired by the Supervisor, unless the Graduate Program Director recommends otherwise. Any changes to the composition of the Supervisory Committee require the completion of a revised Appointment of Supervisor and/or Supervisory Committee form 23 and the subsequent approval of the Graduate Program Director. VMS graduate students must meet with their supervisory committee within the first term (first four months) after initial registration to discuss topics including their proposed research, courses, and upcoming candidacy exam (for PhD students) 24. Since many decisions must be made in a graduate student s first year and it is critical to get off to a solid start, most graduate students will meet with their committee twice in their first year. Subsequently, students must meet with their Supervisory Committee at least once per year. At least one week prior to the meeting, the student will fill out and distribute a Veterinary Medical Sciences (VMS) Progress Report for Committee Meetings 25. This Report will allow the committee to review the progress of the student before the meeting, so the meeting time can primarily focus on discussion of the student s progress and their plan for the future. Minutes of committee meetings must be recorded by the Supervisor in order to clarify specific expectations to the student by filling out the Report of Supervisory Committee Meeting 26 form. Copies of the VMS Progress Report for Committee Meetings and Report of Committee Meeting must be completed and signed at the meeting by all members of the committee and the student. A copy must be forwarded to the Graduate and Postgraduate Training Manager to be inserted in the student s file. Any additional meeting minutes may also be forwarded for inclusion in the graduate student s file. Progress of the student will be monitored by the Graduate Program Director and any concerns will be dealt with in an appropriate fashion. Functions of the supervisory committee i) approve all aspects of the graduate student s program including course requirements; ii) approve the research proposal of the student (prior to 12 months for MSc, prior to months for PhD as a component of the candidacy exam 27 ) before it is submitted for final approval by the Graduate Program Director; iii) meet a minimum of once per year to assess the progress of the student in coursework and research; iv) meet at least three months prior to the Candidacy Oral Examination to discuss the scope of the Candidacy Examination and to suggest appropriate additional examiners (for PhD committees); v) at the appropriate time, provide approval to the student to proceed toward the thesis defense without further committee meetings (this approval is not necessarily an endorsement of the thesis research); vi) if a student drastically alters their direction or emphasis in their thesis research, a Supervisory Committee meeting will be called immediately to discuss proposed changes to the research proposal, anticipated time frame for proposed studies, and whether the changes will have a significant effect on completion of the thesis. Other considerations: Graduate students will have the opportunity to meet with the members of the Supervisory Committee in the absence of the Supervisor. If a graduate student's academic performance is judged to be below an acceptable standard as deemed by the members of the Supervisory Committee, this should be made clear to the graduate student in writing as early in the program as possible. Graduate students, upon recommendation of the Supervisory Committee, may be required to withdraw from the program for reasons of "unsatisfactory progress" VMS Graduate Education Committee approved, 24 November Appendix A 26 Appendix A 27 VMS Graduate Education Committee approved, 24 November

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17 POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ADMISSION 28 Admission to the VMS Graduate Program is formally granted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies minimum admission requirements 29, and requirements for international trainees 30, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine requires the following: 1. A Baccalaureate degree** or its equivalent from a recognized institution with a minimum admission grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 grade point scale or equivalent, as well as a minimum of 3.0 during the last 2 years (60 credit hours) of undergraduate study; 2. Proficiency in the English language. Applicants whose primary language is not English are required to provide proof of proficiency in English, such as a minimum TOEFL score of 580 (written test), or 92 (internet based test), or a minimum IELTS score of 7.0. There is no general right of admission to graduate programs 31. All graduate programs have limited enrolment capacities, and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Each graduate program determines whether to recommend the admission of a particular applicant to the Faculty of Graduate Studies based not only on the applicant's credentials, but also on the availability of resources for supervision and research, departmental research objectives, program balance, and other such considerations. Applicants who do not meet the above requirements will only be considered under exceptional circumstances. In the VMS graduate program, applications are reviewed by the Graduate Education Committee and formally recommended for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies by the Graduate Program Director. In some instances, applicants who do not meet the admission standards may be advised to enrol in graduatelevel courses as an Open Studies student in order to improve their undergraduate record and to reach acceptable standards. If this is the case, the applicant will be required to meet with the Graduate Program Director in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine prior to enrolling in Open Studies. International applicants that are applying from outside of Canada are not eligible for Open Studies. ** The Faculty of Graduate Studies requires a four year Baccalaureate degree or its equivalent as a minimum qualification for admission to graduate programs. While a DVM degree is not a requirement for entry into the MSc or PhD program in Veterinary Medical Sciences, trainees who have a DVM degree, or its equivalent from a foreign institution, would meet this minimum standard. One of the documents required for admission to the VMS Graduate Program 32, is a letter from the potential supervisor with a statement outlining their commitment to the training of the student, as well as their commitment to fund the student in accordance with the minimum VMS guidelines (at least $20,000 per year for the duration of their program). A formal Letter of Understanding outlining commitments and expectations of the supervisor (see below) may be submitted in place of a statement from the proposed supervisor in the admission process

18 It is highly recommended that a Letter of Understanding 33 be filled out and provided to the graduate student as soon as possible. The purpose of this letter is to ensure both the graduate student and supervisor are aware of the conditions of the graduate position prior to beginning their studies. The Graduate Students' Association Collective Agreement also stipulates that students should have an explicit description of duties, performance expectations, and hours to be worked in writing, kept on file in the student's department. Details and information provided in the Letter of Understanding will fulfill the requirement for a letter of commitment from the supervisor. All conditions of the letter are conditional prior to official acceptance of the student by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Veterinary Mecial Science Graduate Program. Applications to the VMS Graduate Program with all official supporting documents received by the posted deadlines will only be reviewed during one of the three review periods per year (March, June, or November) 34. Late applications will be reviewed during one of the next three review periods. REGISTRATION In accordance with the Faculty of Graduate Studies, all Graduate students must register annually, at the time of their registration anniversary 35. Registration ensures continuous standing in a program. Failure to register will result in automatic withdrawal. A Graduate student who fails to register by the deadline but wishes to continue in the same program may reactivate his/her registration by paying a reactivation fee of $ and completing a manual registration form 36. This must take place within four months of the registration date. First Year Registration Graduate students in their first year must complete the on line registration 37 through the myuofc portal through the PeopleSoft Trainee Center 38 before the fee deadline for that session 39. Please note that even if a new student is moving to Calgary and will arrive after the beginning of the registration term, he/she still responsible for registering and paying all associated fees. Students who do not complete this registration and pay fees before the deadlines will be withdrawn from the program. In addition, the Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program also encourages the student and supervisor to review further topics such as intellectual property and professional development as soon as the student begins their studies. This will ensure both the student and supervisor are clear on their respective duties, roles and expectations to create a productive and successful learning environment 40. Subsequent Years Registration Graduate students must register annually on the anniversary of their first registration 41 by completing the online registration through the myuofc portal (this is done even if the student is not taking any classes). Prior to this registration, VMS Graduate Students must have submitted at least one VMS Progress Report for Committee Meetings 42 form and Report of Supervisory Committee Meeting form 43 (completed for each committee meeting, at least once per year). 33 Appendix A 34 VMS Graduate Education Committee approved, 8 September _Graduate_Calendar_Feb _Third_Edition.pdf, Registration Registration Initialization For an example of topics to be discussed, see the University of Western s Template for Creating a Letter of Understanding Appendix A 18

19 Transferring to the VMS Graduate Program from another Graduate Program Graduate students will be required to submit a Change of Program or Status form 44 to the Graduate and Postgraduate Training Manager. Students will be considered on a case by case basis by the Graduate Education Committee who will make recommendations to the Graduate Program Director. Final decisions will be made by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Factors taken into consideration will include previous coursework/coursework to be completed, format of candidacy exam (for PhD students), and rationale for transfer. Program transfers must take place before a student s third annual registration 45. Transferring from MSc to PhD Within the first 18 months of first registration, and when a supervisor and supervisory committee feels the progress of a student is at a level consistent for Doctoral work, a recommendation may be made to the Graduate Program Director for the graduate student to transfer from the MSc to PhD program 46. Minutes of this meeting, a written recommendation signed by all committee members, and the Change of Program or Status form 47 are to be submitted by the supervisor to the Graduate and Postgraduate Training Manager. Students will be considered on a case by case basis by the Graduate Education Committee who will make recommendations to the Graduate Program Director. A revised Appointment of Supervisory Committee 48 form completed and signed by the student and supervisor may also be required. If the change is approved, the Graduate Program Director will submit a letter of recommendation for the change in status to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. It is recommended that the transfer be effective in the month of the student's Annual Registration to facilitate the calculation of tuition fees. The student should be made aware that transferring to a PhD will affect their tuition fees as they will pay full program fees until the term immediately following successful completion of their candidacy exam 49. A student transferring from the MSc to the PhD program is expected to fulfill the minimum expectation of the three required courses (VETM600, VETM601, VETM605 or equivalent) and two additional graduate level courses prior to completing their PhD candidacy 50. The student will be required to write and defend their research proposal, appropriate for a PhD project, and complete other requirements of the candidacy exam within 6 months of transferring 51. It should be noted that the defence of the MSc thesis, normally required by 12 months, does not qualify as the candidacy exam. Transferring from PhD to MSc Program Students who are in the PhD program, even after successful completion of the candidacy exam, may elect to transfer into an MSc program if circumstances change. This should be discussed at a meeting of the supervisory committee and minutes of this meeting including a written recommendation signed by all committee members, and the Change of Program or Status form should be submitted to the Graduate Program Director. PROGRAM TIME LIMITS 52 Expected completion time for full time study towards an MSc is two years, with a maximum time of four years. Graduate students in full time PhD programs are expected to complete in four years with a maximum time of six years. Only under unusual circumstances will the Graduate Program Director recommend that the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, grant an extension beyond the program time limits. Otherwise, the graduate student will be required to withdraw from the VMS Graduate Program. 43 Appendix A _Graduate_Calendar_Feb _Third_Edition.pdf, Program Transfer 46 VMS Graduate Education Committee approved, 1 December VMS Graduate Education Committee approved, 1 December Time limits 19

20 When an extension is granted, the graduate student is no longer guaranteed funding and will work out arrangements with their supervisor independently. The student will make arrangements with their supervisor in regards to the completion of their thesis. When an extension is not granted, a student may continue to work on the thesis but there is no expectation that funding will be provided by the supervisor. With the approval of their supervisor, the student may then reapply for admission to the VMS Graduate Program for the semester in which they plan to defend their thesis. RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS 53 It is recognized that for field studies or international research, students may be required to do work outside of Calgary. However, graduate students enrolled in the VMS Graduate Program are normally expected to have a minimum residency at the University of Calgary of one term during their first year of studies. Any exceptions must be approved by the Graduate Education Committee. This will ensure students are present to participate in their required courses and establish a connection with their research peers and supervisor(s). Students are required to return to the University of Calgary at least once per registration year for their annual committee meetings, candidacy exam (for PhD students), research in progress seminars, and thesis defense. Every attempt will be made to accommodate students to participate in the seminar series and other required courses through videoconferencing or suitable alternative methods, although the presentation of the students Research in Progress seminar must be done in person. Permission for this minimum residency must be requested in writing and will be dealt with on a case by case basis by the student s supervisory committee, and approved by the VMS Graduate Program Director. For extended absences of students, the program of study and accommodations required for a student to complete the program (courses, seminar series) must be addressed in a letter at the time of admission by the student s supervisor and subsequently approved by the VMS Graduate Program Director. STIPENDS/FINANCIAL SUPPORT Full time graduate students in the VMS Graduate Program will be offered a stipend of at least $20,000 per year for the duration of their program (normally 2 years for MSc and 4 to 5 years for PhD students). Stipend funding comes from a variety of sources, including grants, external salary awards, teaching assistantships, and UCVM graduate scholarships 54. Further information on funding opportunities can be found at Veterinary Medical Sciences Differential Fee Reimbursement Policy 55 International students are required to pay an additional differential fee, which is equivalent in value to their International student tuition fee 56. International students registered in the VMS Graduate Program will be directly reimbursed the full value of their differential fee each year (i.e. it will be deposited as a scholarship in to the same bank account as their stipend). While graduate students may be approved by the Graduate and Post Graduate Training Manager to set up a payment plan 57 to pay tuition and general fees on a monthly basis, students are responsible for paying their own fees (tuition and general) by the deadlines stated in the Graduate Calendar 58 so that no late charges are incurred. 53 VMS Graduate Education Committee approved, 29 July VMS Graduate Education Committee approved, 8 June Fees and Expenses

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