eDefence departmental procedures
Several procedural changes will come into effect since we have transitioned from having the external examiner physically attend doctoral oral defences to having them virtually attend:
- Your letter to the external examiner should not state that we will be bringing them here to St. John’s. Instead, your letter should include a statement similar to this: Doctoral oral defences at Memorial are conducted using web-conferencing software. Once the student can proceed to the oral defence, the School of Graduate Studies will contact you regarding the technical details of e-attending.
- The Beatrice Watts Boardroom (IIC 2014) has been configured for optimal web-conferencing and will be used as the sole location for oral defences. To facilitate bookings, please confirm with Ruby Barron (email@example.com) as to the availability for specific dates and times (9:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.).
- The School of Graduate Studies arrange for technical compatibility testing with the external examiner in advance of the oral defence. Examiners will have to download Blue Jeans app; they must have a high-speed Internet connection. Some examiners do not have access to a webcam. In this event the examiner will still see the video feed from the conference room and the student's presentation live.
- For the oral defence, the School of Graduate Studies will handle all the technical aspects of the eDefence, from set-up, contacting the external examiner and operating the webcams. The defence itself will proceed as per your departmental practice.
- Requests for anyone else other than the external examiner to e-attend must be made in writing to the Dean of Graduate Studies well in advance of the oral defence.
The Dean has put aside a modest annual budget for flying in external examiners. Requests for these exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis:
- Departments shall make a formal, written request to the Dean, detailing the reasons why the examiner should be physically present and not attending via web-conferencing.
- Decisions are based solely on merit, i.e. the examiner’s pre-eminence in his/her field, and not on a first-come-first-serve basis. Departments who wish to fly in an examiner should start planning well in advance.
- If the request is approved, the maximum amount of funding from the School will remain at $1000.
- Additionally, a strict requirement will be that the external examiner must give at least one graduate seminar during his/her visit.
- The deadline to make the request should be no less than 2 months before the oral defence.
 Required technology is pre-installed on 98% of the world’s computers.