Defence at Memorial

Remote Defence

The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) is committed to maximizing all available resources to meet the needs of Memorial's graduate students. The School of Graduate Studies currently uses Webex to run the video aspect of defences, allowing external examiners to attend PhD oral defences remotely from anywhere in the world. Due to Webex’s built-in redundancy, we are able to offer stable and secure defences. There is no additional software for examiners to install, and the interface is truly user-friendly.

The use of web-conferencing software, webcams and teleconferencing allow external examiners (and in some cases committee members) to actively participate remotely without impacting the traditional process of an oral defence.

External examiners can test your Defence compatibility by clicking here. If you have any questions or concerns please contact School of Graduate Studies.

What are the benefits?

1. Greatly increased pool of eligible external examiners. No longer will the external examiner's physical location be a consideration in their appointment, but rather his/her expertise will be the key factor.

2. Travel delays/disruptions will no longer cause oral defence postponements.

3. Greater flexibility in scheduling defences – external examiners now only need to commit to several hours of their time as opposed to several days.

4. Component of the School’s green initiative – the carbon footprint for external examiners is completely eliminated.

5. A greatly increasing doctoral student population equals greatly increasing costs of flying in examiners. Not only does that mean that funds currently must be re-allocated from other areas, but these funds can and should be put to much better use elsewhere in graduate education, e.g. graduate student conference travel.

6. Elimination of a significant amount of paperwork for departments since they will no longer have to co-ordinate travel arrangements and costs.


Hybrid Defence

Partial in person participants and other members via Webex. Please note all members must wear a mask. No audience members in the boardroom only via Webex. The PhD candidate, once at the podium, can choose remove their mask for the presentation and questioning portion of the defence. If they choose to remove their mask, two metres distance must be maintained between the student and all others in the room.

Those members attending in person must be aware of the below.

  • Stay home when sick
  • Complete the daily self-assessment (also available in the MUNSafe app) before coming to campus
  • Wear a mask at ALL times. Only the student once at the podium can remove the mask for the presentation and questioning.
  • When seated, maintain two-meters physical distance and keep mask on.
  • Review and follow all posted signage
  • Maintain physical distancing
  • Wash or sanitize hands on a regular basis (note: there are sanitization stations set up at the main entrance of buildings)
  • Open windows where available and feasible
  • For more information, please visit: