Procedure for the oral exam (DGA1033)

1. Specific structure

At this point, the student undertakes the oral stage of the doctoral exam before the panel of examiners. The oral exam focuses primarily on the student’s research program, and consists of the following two components:

  • Drafting of a proposed research plan;
  • Oral presentation before the panel of examiners.

2. Proposed research plan

In anticipation of the oral exam, students must prepare a proposed research plan (approximately 30 to 50 pages) based on the research specifications stipulated within the context of DGA1032. This plan must contain detailed information concerning the following elements:

  • A description of the problem that is being addressed;
  • The objectives to be attained;
  • A critical review of the relevant literature in order to position the work within the context of the existing work in the field and to evaluate the originality of the project;
  • The proposed methodology that will be followed in order to attain the objectives, including the tools required for completion of the project (materials, software, etc);
  • The type of results expected;
  • Potential industry spin-offs (impact and effect on industry or from a socio-economic perspective);
  • The bibliography (list of conference papers, journals or other sources used when drafting the research plan);
  • An activity plan in the form of a work schedule, covering the period up to the expected date of the thesis examination.

Students must also compile a list of peer-reviewed scientific journals to which they intend to submit one or more articles, including a description of the subjects of the articles that they intend to submit. This list must be submitted to the panel of examiners for approval, and must reflect the unique character of ÉTS in terms of the applied nature of the research that is undertaken. At least one of the journals must be recognized as being read and appreciated by members of the specific socio-economic group from which the problem arises.

The oral exam may take place at any time during the session in which the student is registered for this activity. However, the Research Director is responsible for determining the date of the oral exam, in cooperation with the members of the panel of examiners and the student, and informing the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. studies office).

3. Distribution of the research plan

The student is responsible for sending the proposed research plan to the Research Director, the members of the panel of examiners and the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. studies office) by e-mail at least 20 working days before the oral exam. The Research Director must ensure that the members of the panel of examiners have received the document. This period allows the members of the panel of examiners to familiarize themselves with the student’s research proposal.

4. Presenting the research plan before the panel of examiners

The student presents the research plan orally on the date that is established with the cooperation of the Research Director. The panel of examiners then questions the student with respect to the plan. If they deem it necessary, the panel of examiners may revisit certain questions that were addressed during the follow-up exam..

5. Decision of the panel of examiners

Once the question period is completed, the panel of examiners deliberates behind closed doors. Their decision must be unanimous, and is final. The Chairperson of the panel of examiners conveys the decision to the student immediately, and informs the student of any recommendations made by the panel of examiners. The Chairperson also fills out the form entitled Évaluation de l’examen doctoral et décision du jury (Doctoral exam evaluation and decision of the panel of examiners), which must be signed by all members of the panel of examiners, and send it to the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. studies office). The panel of examiners must submit their comments and recommendations, and may suggest that the student take certain courses or explore other avenues of research, or even redirect the student’s work.

6. Results

Students who pass the oral exam are authorized to continue work on their projects up to the stage of the thesis examination before the panel of examiners. Students who do not pass the oral exam will be advised by e-mail, using the ÉTS e-mail address on file at the Bureau des cycles supérieurs (Graduate and Ph.D. studies office), that they may exercise their right to retake the oral exam a single time. A student who has already exercised this right will be expelled from the program.