Defence at Memorial
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.
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.