Intellectual Development and Educational Experience of the Student

The Program is designed to provide students with skills needed to assume a leadership role in modern science and technology:

  •  mastery of the dissertation topic
  • intellectual autonomy
  • proficiency at critical analysis
  • effective communication skills
  • a collaborative, multidisciplinary ethos

The student will achieve these outcomes through his/her dissertation work, course studies, formal training in research methodology, mentorship by a diverse team of experts, teaching assistantships, several visiting speakers’ programs, preparation of journal and conference papers, and active participation at external scientific meetings.

Program Regulations

 (a) Admission Requirements

Admission to the PhD Program is governed by Lakehead University's general regulations for graduate programs, but is also subject to the availability of a prospective research supervisor(s).

Normally, an applicant to the Program would be expected to have completed a Master's degree, fulfilling basic requirements in Chemistry and Materials Science. Exceptional students in year-1 of a Master's degree program may apply for transfer into the PhD Program provided that they have successfully completed four one-semester courses (2.0 FCE) and have had their research proposal approved by the Program Committee. Note that these courses cannot be applied to the course requirements for the PhD program.

 (b) Program Committee

The Program Committee consists of all core faculty members of the PhD program, and is chaired by the PhD Program Coordinator.

 (c) Supervisory Committee

The Supervisory Committee will consist of at least three members, of whom two are core faculty. The Chair will be a core faculty member who is the primary supervisor or co-supervisor of the student. Note that in those instances where primary supervisory duties are shared, all co-supervisors together represent one member of the Supervisory Committee. Other Committee members will be core or non-core faculty who participate in the teaching of graduate courses. The student must complete and submit to the Graduate Coordinator the Composition of Supervisory Committee” form once the composition of the committee has been determined, which should be determined no later than the end of the first term (semester).

The Supervisory Committee will develop the candidate’s academic plan, in consultation with the student, and relay their recommendation to the Graduate Coordinator for approval.

 (d) Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination (i.e., CHMS6010) will assess the student's general preparedness for the PhD degree and specific areas in his or her chosen area of study and research. It will also assess the student's ability to integrate material from divergent areas, to reconcile theoretical, methodological and empirical issues, and to think creatively. The comprehensive examination will be an oral examination conducted by the Comprehensive Examination Committee. The student’s Supervisory Committee, in consultation with the student, will set up the Comprehensive Examination Committee, consisting of the Supervisory Committee and at least one additional examiner. The student must complete and submit the “Composition of Comprehensive Examination Committee” form once the composition of the examination committee has been determined. The student must meet with the Comprehensive Examination Committee to discuss and agree upon the content of the comprehensive examination, and submit the completed “Scope of Comprehensive Examination” form to the Graduate Coordinator prior to the examination. The comprehensive examination may also include a written component, if recommended by the Supervisory Committee.

The comprehensive examination must be completed no later than 12 months after initial registration. Only two attempts at the candidacy examination will be permitted. Students who fail the second attempt will be required to withdraw from the PhD Program.

(e) Research Seminars

The student is required to present a public “research proposal” seminar within the first year of his/her Program (i.e., CHMS6050). The “Approval of Dissertation Proposal” form must be completed and submitted to the Graduate Coordinator following the completion of the seminar. Students are expected to attend all graduate and speaker series seminars within their general field of study over the duration of their Program. In particular, all students must register for CHMS6600 in the first year of their program, and CHMS6601 in their second year (CHMS6600 and CHMS6601 are compulsory seminar courses).

 (f) Dissertation and Defence

The dissertation is presented in traditional thesis format. It must be original, and represent independent work that will significantly advance knowledge in the fields of chemistry and materials science. Review of the dissertation will be by the student’s Supervisory Committee and by an examiner external to Lakehead University with expertise in the student’s area of research.

The student must successfully defend the dissertation in a public oral presentation and in an examination. The Examination Committee normally consists of the student’s Supervisory Committee and the External Examiner. If the External Examiner cannot personally attend the defence, he/she may participate by audio/video conferencing or by proxy (represented by the student’s Examination Committee).

Please note that the PhD dissertation review process is conducted through the Graduate Studies office. The Manager of Graduate Studies first reviews the document (to ensure proper formatting, pagination, grammar, spelling, etc.) before it is sent to the examiners for review. All communications with the examiners -- including the evaluation forms, preference for electronic or hard copy, details regarding review length of time for review, and provision of the dissertation to the examiners, etc. -- are conducted between the examiners and Graduate Studies. The results of the reviews (examiner reports, lists of corrections, etc.) are then sent directly from the reviewer to Graduate Studies. Finally, Graduate Studies sends the results back to the Coordinator of the program.

(g) Progress through the Program

The residency requirement will be a minimum of one year (three terms), of which two terms must be consecutive.

Full-time students will be expected to complete all their program requirements (courses, comprehensive exam, proposal seminar, dissertation and defence) within a minimum of nine terms (three years) and up to a maximum of twelve terms (four years) of continuous full-time registration in the PhD Program.

Students who have previously completed a Master’s Degree are required to complete a total of seven (7) full-course equivalents (FCE) at the graduate level, consisting of the PhD Dissertation (CHEM 6901; 6.0 FCE) and two (2) one-semester courses (1.0 FCE) recommended by the Supervisory Committee. Additionally, students must present a research proposal seminar and pass the comprehensive exam within the first year of their program.

Students who do not have a Master’s Degree must complete the course requirement of a Master of Science or equivalent (i.e., 2 FCE at the graduate level) plus the course requirements of the PhD program.

A minimum grade of 70% is required for every course undertaken as part of the program.

During the second year of registration and once a year thereafter, students are required to present an annual research progress report to the Supervisory Committee detailing the achievements of the previous year and the objectives for the next year. This report may take the form of a presentation or a written report, or both, as determined by the Supervisory Committee. Permission to continue to register in the program depends on a satisfactory report. The results of this report are to be communicated to the Graduate Coordinator.

After considering the grades obtained in course work and the recommendations of the Examination Committee, the Program Committee recommends to the Faculty of Graduate Studies whether the student has met the requirements to graduate.

Last revised: August 29, 2017