For PhD candidates

Once your oral defence has been approved, the School of Graduate Studies will coordinate details with your department. PhD Candidates will be responsible for preparing and practicing their presentation in advance of their defence date.

About your presentation

All defences will be delivered remotely. PhD Candidates are responsible for sharing their presentation with the participants of the defence. Most presentation formats work with WebEx, however, we suggest the use of a PowerPoint presentation converted into a PDF.

If you have any questions or would like to use an alternative format, please contact the School of Graduate Studies well in advance of your defence date to ensure that we can accommodate the desired format.

We recommend you provide us with your final presentation at least 48 hours in advance so we have a copy of your presentation for emergency purposes.

Run Through

Defence Group Run Throughs take place the first Wednesday of each month at 12 noon (NT). In the event of a holiday or closure, we will reschedule for the following day. During the session, we talk about the procedures, outcomes, software equipment, and final steps. If you would like to attend these sessions, please view the events calendar and click the meeting link to join.

PhD Candidates may request a private link to test your equipment and/or do a run through of your presentation with friends or colleagues.

Defence Day

Pre-defence meeting

The examination board will meet to review the defence rules and procedures 30 minutes prior to your start time.

During your presentation

Before you enter the meeting, please ensure you have your presentation and thesis open on your computer. At your designated defence time, you will be required to join the meeting via video conferencing link provided to you.

Guests are welcome (the defence is open to the public) and encouraged to remain muted. Recording of the thesis defence is not allowed, nor is the use of cell phones, cameras or any other recording devices unless used for the purposes of the examination presentation.

Once in the meeting, the Chair of the defence will ask you to share your presentation and to begin presenting. A typical defence presentation lasts approximately 15-25 minutes.

Questions will begin once the presentation is complete; typically beginning with the external examiner. At this time, you are to stop sharing your presentation. If needed, the option for digital whiteboard and annotation is available.

After the first round of questions you will be offered a short break before the second round begins. The defence will go on for as many rounds of questions as necessary, but typically concludes after 2 rounds.

The Chair will create a breakout room for the Examining Board, the candidate’s Supervisory Committee, and the Department Head or representative, to deliberate.

Only the voting members of the Examining Board may vote on the outcome of the thesis and oral defence.

Once they have come to a decision, the chair will end the breakout room and everyone will join the original meeting to inform the student the outcome of their defence. The result should only be given to the candidate without other audience members in the room.

If you have any questions or concerns about the defence process or have technical inquires please contact School of Graduate Studies.

Contact

School of Graduate Studies

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000