Role of the TAC and Procedures for the Annual Research Progress Report
Monitor the student’s progress in the program.
Provide advice on the conduct of the research project.
Discuss and approve the student's Thesis Proposal.
Provide the Graduate Program Director and the Graduate Studies Committee with advice and recommendations concerning the student's suitability for remaining in the program, or for fast-track from the MSc program to PhD program (if applicable).
Complete and submit a TAC Report after each meeting, which will be shown to the student and kept in his file. The report includes:
A rating of the student's progress and performance (satisfactory or not satisfactory)
Written comments on the student’s progress and performance
Complete and submit the Annual Progress Report.
Procedures for the Annual Research Progress Report
Prior to the TAC meeting, the student completes his section of the Annual Research Progress Report and submits it to the supervisor.
The supervisor(s)’s sections should be completed during the TAC meeting in collaboration with the TAC members.
The student is responsible for submitting both reports (TAC Report and Annual Research Progress Report) to the Faculty of Medicine Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office (RGN2016)
The Graduate Program Director will then fill out his section.
Failure to submitThe Annual Research Progress Report will automatically result in a severe condition, preventing the student from enrolling for the next term. If the reports are submitted after the deadline to pay tuition fees, it then results in late tuition fees.
Composition of the TAC
The committee is established by the supervisor(s) in consultation with the student.
The Graduate Program Director makes the final approval of the TAC members.
The committee should consist of members (experts) knowledgeable in the areas important to the research topic.
The committee is composed of:
For the MSc
The supervisor (and co-supervisor, if applicable)
At least two additional members – one of which must be a member of the program. (except for epidemiology)
For Epidemiology: at least one additional member
For the PhD
The supervisor (and co-supervisor, if applicable)
Three additional members (experts), including at least one from the program. (except for epidemiology)
For Epidemiology: At least one of the members has an appointment with the School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SEPHPM).
Frequency of Meetings
Please note in addition to the required TAC meetings outlined below, the supervisor or the student can choose to hold as many additional TAC meetings as deemed necessary.
At least one week prior to the meeting, the student must submit to the members of the committee a thesis proposal. (See section below for guidelines on writing a Thesis Proposal.) At the TAC meeting, the student should bring a copy of the TAC report form and the Annual Research Progress Report form.
EPI: First meeting within twelve months of the first enrolment.
BCH, CMM, MIC, NSC: First meeting within four months of the first enrolment
The 2nd meeting must be held within 16 months of initial enrolment.
Note: The second meeting can be held earlier if deemed necessary by the supervisor(s) or the student. At least one week prior to the meeting, the student must submit to the members of the committee the following documents:
Summary of Progress (2-5 pages, double-spaced excluding figures written summary by the student).
Plan of action to complete the MSc degree.
Copy of the last TAC Report.
The last meeting should be scheduled two months before the expected date of completion set at the second meeting. At least one week prior to the meeting, students must submit to members of the committee the following documents:
Final Summary of Progress.
Copy of the last TAC Report.
PhD students (all PhD programs)
The first meeting must be within four months of initial enrolment. At least one week prior to the meeting, the student must submit to members of the committee the following document:
Thesis Proposal (See section “Writing a Thesis Proposal” below for guidelines)
The second meeting must occur within 12 months of the initial enrolment.
Note: The second meeting can be held earlier if deemed necessary by the supervisor or the student.
Subsequent meetings must occur within one year of the previous meeting. At least one week prior to the meeting, the student must submit to the members of the committee the following documents:
Guidelines for students studying in Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and Neuroscience.
These guidelines are intended to help students write the research proposal for their first TAC Meeting. These guidelines do not apply for the progress report and research proposal for the transfer from MSc to PhD program.
The supervisor must help the student by revising the research proposal and by suggesting changes if necessary.
The research proposal should be typed and double-spaced.
The research proposal must be submitted a minimum of 1 week prior to the TAC Meeting.
Part 1: Introduction
The Introduction must include a review of the pertinent literature and a critical evaluation of previous studies.
The last part of your Introduction must clearly lead to the problems or questions you intend to study. The Introduction is expected to be between 4-5 pages.
Part 2: Objectives and Hypothesis
Each objective and hypothesis must be clear, concise and short; i.e., no more than 2 lines.
Part 3: Research Plan
Describe the experimental approach you intend to use to test your hypotheses.
Describe in general the experimental conditions (e.g. drugs to be used, time of exposure, specific conditions that animals are exposed to) and techniques to be used (e.g. RT-PCR for measurement of mRNA, Western blot to quantify proteins, measurement of membrane potential using patch clamp technique, etc.)
Do not include details like how RT-PCR and Western-blot are done, or the description of saline solutions that will be used to measure membrane potential.
The Research plan is expected to be between 4-5 pages.
Part 4: Results
If preliminary data are available, then present them as it is done in a manuscript to be submitted. That is, describe briefly and concisely your data in a "Results" section.
Figures and tables must be added at the end of the proposal. Each table and figure must have a legend. The legend must briefly describe the methods used.
Do not describe the results because it will be redundant to your Results section. If preliminary data are not available, then briefly describe the results that are expected
Part 5: Conclusion
The conclusion should be a short paragraph that summarizes the objectives and significance of the research in terms of new knowledge to the field.
TAC Meeting Procedures
This is an example of a TAC meeting. It is a guide to help the process. It is up to the student and members of the TAC to decide on the final procedures.
The members, if they wish, can have a short discussion before the meeting starts while the student is absent. This meeting should be brief.
Presentation by the Student:
First meeting – Research Proposal
A short summary of his/her research proposal
A description of the hypotheses and approaches
Preliminary data (if available) as well as their significance
Subsequent Meetings- Update on Progress
presents a summary of the hypotheses
presents his/her results obtained so far and their significance
describes future experiments (if applicable)
describes any changes in the research project from the previous meeting
After the presentation, the members of the Advisory Committee
can ask questions regarding the student's progress
can ask questions regarding the significance of his/her results
can ask questions regarding his/her future plans
Members are encouraged to challenge students in regards to the significance of the results. It is also very important that the committee members point out the strong and weak aspects of the student’s progress. Members should not hesitate to propose new approaches if they realize that the project has potential problems.
Following the discussion, the student is asked to leave the room.
Members discuss the student progress.
The TAC Report is written and signed by all members of the TAC Committee.
The supervisor(s) then completes his section before he submits the report to his student.
It is the responsibility of the student to read the report, complete the last section, sign his name and submit the TAC Report and the Annual Research Progress Report to the Faculty of Medicine Graduate Studies Office (RGN 2016)
TAC Reports and the Annual Research Progress Reports are kept in the student’s file.
Failure to hold an annual TAC meeting, timely submission of the TAC report and/or failure to submit the Annual Progress Report will automatically result in a severe condition, preventing the student from enrolling in the next term. If the reports are submitted after the deadline to pay tuition fees, it then results in late tuition fees. Two unsatisfactory TAC meetings will result in withdrawal from the graduate program.