Graduate Studies Definitions
CIHR: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, a Federal Government agency which provides funding for research in Health.
Defence (Dissertation/ Thesis/Major Research Paper): An oral examination is the final step towards completion of some Master’s and all PhD degrees. The oral defence involves the student giving a presentation, then answering questions posed by an examination committee, in order to defend the MRP, thesis, or dissertation.
Directed Studies: An individualized study course, which allows students to explore a subject specific to their program of study and research interest.
Dissertation: A written work of research culminating in a PhD degree. The dissertation is based on an individual research conducted by a student and must be defended before a Doctoral Dissertation Examination Committee.
Examination Committee: A committee normally consisting of a student’s Supervisor Committee, External Examiner and Chair, which makes a decision regarding the outcome of a Student’s MRP or Thesis oral defence.
Faculty Advisor: Faculty Advisors assist students with the development of their research topic outline for a research-based route as well as navigate through the program.
Graduate Coordinator/Chair: Each graduate program has a Graduate Coordinator or Graduate Chair. The Graduate Program Coordinators/Chairs are very important contacts for all graduate students and the main liaison between the graduate program and the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). Questions regarding a specific program should be directed to the Graduate Program Coordinator or Chair.
Leave of Absence: An interruption in a student’s studies for a compelling reason (medical or personal matter such as parental leave) requiring temporary absence from the university for a minimum of one term to a maximum of three terms.
Major Research Paper (MRP): A written work of research culminating in a Master’s degree. The MRP is based on an individual research conducted by a student and supervised by their Faculty Advisor/Research Supervisor. In some programs, such as Master of Arts, History, the MRP must be defended before an Examination Committee. In other programs, such as Master of Education, the MRP does not require an oral defence.
NSERC: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, a Federal Government agency which provides funding for research in natural sciences and engineering.
Research Supervisor: For research-based programs, graduate students are assigned a Research Supervisor. Depending upon the program, the Supervisor may be assigned at the time of acceptance into the program, or within a specified period once the student has commenced her/his program.
Residency Period: All students must successfully complete a prescribed number of credits at Nipissing University. Consult the graduate regulations for more information about program-specific residency requirements. (Note this includes online credits - "residency" does not refer to a student being physically located on campus.)
SSHRC: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, a Federal Government agency which provides funding for research in social sciences and humanities.
Supervisory Committee: For research-based programs, and depending upon the program, a Supervisory Committee normally consists of one to three other faculty members, aside from the Supervisor. This committee aids in the supervision and ultimately the examination of the thesis research.
Thesis: A written work of research culminating in a Masters degree. The thesis is based on an individual research conducted by a student and supervised by their Faculty Advisor/Research Supervisor. The Thesis must be defended before an Examination Committee.
Time-to-Completion: The normal time allowed for completion of a graduate program. This period includes the residency period, plus time allowed for the completion of the thesis, MRP/Thesis or course work. Time-to-completion varies for each program.
Tri-Council: The Federal Government’s three research fund (scholarship & grant) granting councils, NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHRC. The councils are responsible to the Government of Canada for the administration of research funds.