Student Information > Graduate studies > Doctoral studies: A step-by-step approach

Doctoral studies: A step-by-step approach



Length of programs and planning your studies
 
 
Length of programs

The prescribed length for full-time doctoral programs is 12 terms (4 years).

You can submit a request to extend the program by a maximum of one year. Consult the by-laws respecting the length of programs.



Doctoral exam – DGA1030

The doctoral exam counts for nine credits, and takes place over three terms. Each stage must be completed successfully in order to be eligible for the next stage, and all three stages of the exam must be completed successfully in order to earn a “successful” notation on your transcript for the doctoral exam.

Each stage of the doctoral exam corresponds to three credits. Therefore, you must successfully complete six course credits and/or research credits during each term in order to maintain your status as a full-time student. It is your responsibility to register for each stage of the doctoral exam via ChemiNot.
 
Doctoral exam stages Completion schedule
     Full-time           Part-time
DGA 1031 – Research Problematics (3 credits)
  1. Identification of the research subject (5%)
  2. Preparation of research specifications (75%)
  3. Oral presentation (20%)
 2nd term 3rd or 4th term
DGA 1032 Written exam (3 credits)
  1. Follow-up exam (50%)
  2. Dissertation (50%)
3rd term 4th or 5th term
DGA 1033 – Oral exam (3 credits)
  1. Submission of a research plan
  2. Presentation before a panel of examiners
 4th term 5th or 6th term

For questions concerning the doctoral exam (formation of the panel of examiners, selection of exam materials, the exam process, etc.), please contact your Thesis Director, the Program Director, or the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. studies office) (A-1140).


Research Problematics (DGA1031) → Consult the detailed procedure

The objective of the Research Problematics activity is to help you to get a handle on your research subject as soon as possible as you begin your studies. It comprises the following three steps:

1) The first step involves working with your Research Director to identify your subject. In order to complete this step, you must fill out the form entitled "Research subject identification – Doctorate" following thesis instructions:


Actions to be taken by the student:
  1. Arrange a meeting with your Thesis Director.
  2. Fill out the electronic version of the form entitled Research subject identification form – Doctorate. The Dean of Studies office does not accept handwritten forms.
  3. Have the form signed by the appropriate individuals.
  4. Submit the form to the Program Director.

Actions to be taken by the Thesis Director:
  1. Sign the form entitled "Research subject identification – Doctorate"
  2. Attach a copy of the Co-Director’s CV (if applicable) if the Co-Director comes from outside of ÉTS.

Actions to be taken by the Program Director:
  1. Evaluate the "Research subject identification – Doctorate" forms submitted by students who are registered for DGA1031.
  2. Send the forms to the Dean of Studies Office.

Naming a Co-Director:
   The Co-Director is officially named when the Identification du sujet de recherche form
   is submitted. If the Co-Director comes from outside of ÉTS, a detailed CV must
   accompany the form.
 

2) The second step involves developing a preliminary version of your research specifications (written work), under the supervision of your Research Director.

3) Finally, the research specifications must be presented orally to all of the candidates registered for this activity during mandatory seminars. Students are not only responsible for presenting their own research problematics, but are also expected to assist with the presentations made by other students.

Note: During the course of the term during which this activity (DGA1031) takes place, the Research Director will be called upon to form the panel of examiners that will be involved in the subsequent steps of the doctoral exam, namely the written exam (DGA1032) and the oral exam (DGA1033).
Consult the description of the formation of the panel of examiners.

Confidential research projects and those that involve human subjects must be identified as such so that ÉTS can take appropriate measures with respect to protection. It is very important to identify thesis types of research projects properly on the Identification du sujet de recherche (Identification of research subject) form.
 Confidential research projects and projects that involve human subjects:
Confidential research projects:
• Contact the Service du partenariat et du soutien à l'innovation et à la recherche
  (SPSIR)
(514 396-8800, #7392) in order to establish a confidentiality agreement.
• Consult the reference document.
• Consult the Policy and by-laws respecting intellectual property.

If the research project is subject to a compliance review (human subjects, use of animals, hazardous materials or controlled substances, etc.):
• Consult the procedure for a student whose project requires a compliance review
• Consult the information concerning the Research Ethics Committee.
• Consult the Policy respecting ethics applicable to research involving human subjects (in French).

Confidential research projects and those that involve human subjects must be identified as such on the Identification du sujet de recherche (Identification of research subject) form.


Written exam (DGA1032) → Consult the detailed procedure

The objective of the written exam activity is to verify your basic knowledge with respect to the field of activity, your general knowledge, and your mastery of the specific fields related to the subject of your thesis. The written exam is divided into two components, as follows:

1) The follow-up exam, which is administered in a classroom. You have 3 hours and 30 minutes to answer the questions that you receive during the exam. Reference material is permitted, and you can consult whatever documentation you require on-site (on paper) in order to answer the questions and demonstrate your mastery of the subject. You can be allowed to have access to a computer (or a Wifi device) only if your supervisor has given his permission to the Graduate studies office. 

2) The dissertation, which is worth 50% of your score for the written exam. This is a document that you must write (within a period of 7 days) pertaining to one or more themes involving the specialized fields that are specifically related to the subject of your thesis.

The written exam takes place once during each term. The Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office) will inform you of the date by e-mail (sent to your ÉTS email address). The date is also indicated on the course schedule for DGA1032.


Oral exam (DGA1033) → Consult the detailed procedure

The main objective of the oral exam (DGA1033) is to establish the potential for originality that characterizes your research project, to provide a detailed description of the manner in which the subject will be dealt with, and to demonstrate the feasibility of the research project. The oral exam also serves to delve deeper into the questions that appear on the written exam. The oral exam comprises the following two steps:

1) First, you must submit your Research subject proposal, which contains a description of the research problematics, a listing of the objectives to be attained, a critical review of the literature on the subject, the methodology that you expect to follow, the types of results you expect to generate, a bibliography, and an activity plan in the form of a schedule.

2) You must then present your Research proposal orally, explaining and justifying the development of your project.

The Research Director will determine the date for the oral exam, and then inform the student and the Dean of Studies Office.



Writing a thesis


Style guide and formatting template

The research report must comply with the style and presentation standards contained in the  Guide de rédaction d’un rapport de projet, d’un mémoire ou d'une thèse (in French). (Style guide for research reports, dissertations, and thesis). Using the formatting template and consulting the formatting verification checklist will make this process easier for you. In the case of a thesis, the compliance of the formatting must be approved by the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office) before it is submitted for evaluation.

Language

In general, the thesis is written in French. However, a thesis can be written in English as long as the student and the Thesis Director have taken the necessary steps to ensure the linguistic quality of the document. You must obtain approval from the Dean of Studies if you wish to write your thesis in any language other than French or English.

Linguistic quality

Regardless of which language it is written in, you must ensure that your report is written properly. The Research Director is responsible for ensuring the linguistic quality of reports, and is authorized to refuse to submit the report if the quality of the language is not satisfactory.


 
Submitting a thesis


Conditions and procedures for submitting a thesis

In order to be eligible to submit your thesis, you must have accomplished the following:

  • Completed the academic activities required for your program.
  • Obtained a minimum cumulative average of 3.0.
  • Obtained authorization from your Research Director to submit your thesis.
  • Submitted at least one peer-reviewed article for which you are the main author to a scientific journal or submitted a preliminary patent application pertaining to your research subject. The Research Director must approve the list of journals to which the student intends to submit articles.
  • Obtained approval of the compliance of the formatting of the thesis from the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office).


Approval of the formatting

Before your thesis can be evaluated, you must obtain approval of the compliance of the formatting from the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office). The first step is to obtain a personalized form entitled Approbations initiales en vue du dépôt (Preliminary approval leading to submission) from the Bureau des cycles supérieurs. During this step, it is important to verify the title and the confidential nature of your thesis, because they may have changed.

  1. Have the form signed by your Director (and Co-Director, if applicable), who must confirm that the thesis has been completed and is ready to be submitted for evaluation.
  2. Return the form to the Bureau des cycles supérieurs, along with a spiral-bound copy of your thesis with a plastic cover for verification of the formatting.
  3. The Bureau des cycles supérieurs will verify the formatting within 5 business days. You will be given a list of the corrections to be made, or they will be indicated directly on the document (Section 2 of the form).
  4. Once you have made the corrections, you must submit the corrected version for verification. For each round of verifications, you must submit a spiral-bound copy of your thesis with a plastic cover, and the Bureau des cycles supérieurs will verify the formatting within 5 business days.
  5. Once the formatting is deemed to be compliant, the Bureau des cycles supérieurs will inform you of this fact, either verbally or via e-mail.
  6. You can then go to the Bureau des cycles supérieurs to pick up a personalized Autorisation officielle de dépôt pour évaluation (Official authorization to submit for evaluation) form, and take the necessary steps to submit your thesis for evaluation (see the following procedure).



 Required form:
  • Approbations initiales en vue du dépôt (Preliminary approval leading to submission), available from the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office)

Actions to be taken by the student:
  1. Pick up the form entitled Approbations initiales en vue du dépôt from the Bureau des cycles supérieurs.
  2. Have the form signed by the Research Director (and Co-Director, if applicable).
  3. Submit the form to the Bureau des cycles supérieurs, along with a spiral-bound copy of your thesis with a plastic cover.

Action to be taken by the Research Director:
  1. Ensure that the thesis is ready to be submitted for evaluation, and sign the form entitled Approbations initiales en vue du dépôt.

Action to be taken by the Co-Director (if applicable):
  1. Ensure that the thesis is ready to be submitted for evaluation, and sign the form entitled Approbations initiales en vue du dépôt.
 


Submitting a thesis for evaluation

You must present the personalized Autorisation officielle de dépôt pour évaluation (Official authorization to submit for evaluation) form to your Research Director, who is the main individual empowered to authorize the official submission of your thesis. In order to authorize the official submission, the Research Director must fill out and sign the form. If there is a Co-Director, this individual must also sign the form.

The form is divided into the following sections:

Proposal for the formation of the panel of examiners

The Research Director recommends the members of the panel of examiners. To the extent possible, the members are the same as for the doctoral exam. The panel must include an additional independent external member, who must come from outside of ÉTS, must posses a Ph.D., and must not have had any links to the Research Director, the Co-Director, the student, or the student’s research project for a period of at least five years. If such an independent external individual was a member of the panel of examiners for the doctoral exam, the Dean of Studies must ensure that independence has been maintained.

Confidentiality

In order for the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office) to ensure proper follow-up, it is essential to verify the confidential nature of the thesis when it is submitted for evaluation, because this status may have changed since the Identification du sujet de recherche (Identification of research subject) form was submitted. If in doubt, please consult Confidentiality of dissertations and thesis.

Thesis examination

A proposed date for your thesis examination must be set when your thesis is officially submitted for evaluation. The calculation for determining the date must take into account a minimum of 45 business days from the date of submission, which includes up to 40 days for the members of the panel of examiners to evaluate the thesis and 5 days for the process of signing and distributing copies of the thesis to the members of the panel of examiners.

Once the Autorisation officielle de dépôt pour évaluation (Official authorization to submit for evaluation) form has been filled out and signed, the student must submit this form to the Bureau des cycles supérieurs, along with a spiral-bound copy of the thesis with a plastic cover for each member of the panel of examiners.

The submission of the thesis and the formation of the panel of examiners only become official once they have been authorized by the Dean of Studies, at which time the thesis will be distributed to the members of the panel of examiners by the Dean of Studies Office, which is exclusively authorized to do so..


Required form:
  • Autorisation officielle de dépôt pour évaluation (Official authorization to submit for evaluation), available from the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office)

Actions to be taken by the student:
  1. Pick up the form entitled Autorisation officielle de dépôt pour évaluation from the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (A-1140).
  2. Have the form filled out and signed by the Research Director (and Co-Director, if applicable).
  3. Submit the form to the Bureau des cycles supérieurs, along with the required number of spiral-bound copies of your thesis with plastic covers (one copy for each member of the panel of examiners).

Action to be taken by the Research Director:
  1. Complete all sections of the form entitled Autorisation officielle de dépôt pour évaluation, and sign the form.

Action to be taken by the Co-Director (if applicable):
  1. Sign the form entitled Autorisation officielle de dépôt pour évaluation.
 



Evaluation of the thesis and the thesis examination


Evaluation of the thesis

The evaluation of the thesis is carried out using the form entitled Évaluation individuelle de la thèse (Individual thesis evaluation), which is distributed to the members of the panel of examiners. It includes an evaluation grid (Section 1a) and a comment sheet (Section 1b).

1. The Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office) will send the following documents to the members of the panel of examiners:
  • A copy of the thesis.
  • A copy of the form entitled Évaluation individuelle de la thèse (Individual thesis evaluation).
  • A copy of the form entitled Autorisation à la soutenance (Authorization for thesis examination).
  • A copy of the form entitled Entente de reconnaissance de confidentialité (Confidentiality recognition agreement), if applicable.
 
2. The members of the panel of examiners then have a maximum of 40 business days to evaluate the thesis and send the form entitled Autorisation à la soutenance to the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (A-1140), along with the form entitled Entente de reconnaissance de confidentialité, if applicable. They must keep the form entitled Évaluation individuelle de la thèse.
 
3. If the Avis décisionnel (Notice of decision) forms that are received from the members of the panel of examiners are unanimously in favor of proceeding with the thesis examination, the Bureau des cycles supérieurs will convene the thesis examination. If the Bureau des cycles supérieurs has not received all of the Autorisation à la soutenance forms by two days before the proposed date for the thesis examination, it will be cancelled or postponed..
 
4. If the Avis décisionnel (Notice of decision) forms that are received from the members of the panel of examiners require major corrections, the thesis examination will not be held, and the student will have a period of 12 months to make the required corrections and present a revised version of the thesis. The same panel of examiners will then proceed with the second evaluation of the thesis, following the same procedures and based on the same criteria as was the case for the first evaluation..


Forms (sent to each member of the panel of examiners, along with a copy of the thesis):
  • Évaluation individuelle de la thèse (keep this form until the thesis examination).
  • Autorisation à la soutenance (Authorization for thesis examination) – to be returned to the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office) within the prescribed time limit.
  • Entente de reconnaissance de confidentialité (Confidentiality recognition agreement), if applicable – to be returned to the Bureau des cycles supérieurs.

Actions to be taken by the evaluators:
  1. Evaluate the thesis by completing Sections 1a and 1b of the form entitled Évaluation individuelle de la thèse (keep this form until the thesis examination).
  2. Send the form entitled Autorisation à la soutenance to the Bureau des cycles supérieurs within the prescribed time limit, and attach the form entitled Entente de reconnaissance de confidentialité, if applicable.
 


Evaluation of the thesis examination

The thesis examination, which constitutes a mandatory activity, is convened by the Dean of Studies on a date that is recommended by the Research Director in consultation with the members of the panel of examiners. The thesis examination is open to the public unless a request for confidentiality has been made (See point 2. Thesis examination of the reference document pertaining to confidentiality).

During the thesis examination, the members of the panel of examiners will question the student about the research, which will give the student an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of the field and to orally explain certain concepts in greater depth. The thesis examination is evaluated using Section 2 of the form entitled Évaluation individuelle de la thèse.


Required form:
  • Évaluation individuelle de la thèse (Individual thesis evaluation) – Section 2
  • Avis décisionnel (Notice of decision) – in the thesis examination file that is given to the Chairperson

Actions to be taken by the evaluators:
  1. Evaluate the thesis examination by completing Section 2 the form entitled Évaluation individuelle de la thèse.
  2. Give the form entitled Évaluation individuelle de la thèse to the Chairperson of the panel of examiners.
  3. Sign the form entitled Avis décisionnel.
  4. Give the annotated copies of the thesis to the Chairperson.

Actions to be taken by the Chairperson of the panel of examiners:
  1. Collect the duly completed and signed forms entitled Évaluation individuelle de la thèse from each evaluator.
  2. Collect the copies of the thesis from the other members of the panel of examiners.
  3. Fill out the form entitled Avis décisionnel, and have it signed by all members of the panel of examiners.
  4. Submit all of the documents to the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office) immediately following the thesis examination.
 



Corrections and final submission


Minor corrections

In most cases, minor corrections are required following the thesis examination. Working under the supervision of your Research Director, you have 40 working days (following the date of the thesis examination) to make thesis corrections, have them approved by Director, and submit the final version of your thesis, along with the form entitled Attestation de conformité des corrections (Confirmation of compliance of corrections).


Required form:
  • Attestation de conformité des corrections (Confirmation of compliance), which is included in the package that is sent to the student following the thesis examination. The form is also available from the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office).

Actions to be taken by the student:
  1. Meet with the Research Director in order to discuss the corrections requested by the members of the panel of examiners.
  2. Make the requested corrections, and submit them to the Research Director for approval.

Actionto be taken by the Research Director:
  1. Approve the corrections that the student was requested to make using the form entitled Attestation de conformité.
 

 Final submission
 
Once the corrections have been made to the thesis, all that remains to be done is to submit an electronic copy of the thesis to the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office), along with the required attachments, as listed below:

  • An abstract of the dissertation (approximately 150 words).
  • The form entitled Attestation de conformité (Confirmation of compliance).
  • The form entitled Non-Exclusive License to reproduce thesis from Library and Archives Canada.
  • The form entitled Code de sujet (Subject Code) from Library and Archives Canada.
  • The form entitled Autorisation de consultation et de reproduction (Authorization for consultation an reproduction) from ÉTS.

Students who do not submit the final version of their thesis by the end of the term following the term during which their thesis examination was held will be considered to have abandoned the program, and their files will be closed.

 Dissemination and printing of non-confidential thesis

The electronic copy of your thesis will be sent to the ÉTS library, where it will be accessible to the public, subject to copyright restrictions (the library no longer carries printed copies).

If requested by the student or the Director at the time of final submission of the thesis on the form entitled Attestation de conformité des corrections (Confirmation of compliance of corrections), the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office) will send a printed copy of the thesis to the student and/or the Director (and the Co-Director, if applicable). The student and the Director may request additional printed copies, but they will be charged for thesis copies.

 Dissemination and printing of confidential thesis
 
In the case of a confidential thesis, the electronic copy will be saved on the library’s server, but neither the thesis nor the notice will be visible until the period of confidentiality has elapsed.

In addition, confidential thesis are not printed. Once the period of confidentially has elapsed, it is the responsibility of the student and/or the Director to request printing of the thesis, and to submit the unbound copies of the thesis to the Bureau des cycles supérieurs.


Award of Excellence

If the student obtains a notation of "Excellent" following the thesis examination, and if the panel of examiners recommends that the student be nominated for the ÉTS Award of Excellence for the best master’s thesis and the best doctoral dissertation, the student will receive an e-mail from the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. Studies Office) to this effect, inviting the student to submit an application for the Award. The e-mail message will contain all of the required information (rules and link to the application form).