Examiner and Chair (Dual Role)


  1. Participates dually as a voting examiner and the examination Chair (reviews thesis, or research proposal, and prepares questions/feedback, but also runs the examination proceedings – “keeps the peace”)
  2. Must familiarize themselves with the appropriate IMS Examination Rules of Procedure; instructs those present as to their duties, instructs the supervisor to carefully document items for revision and modification
  3. Represents the IMS and SGS administration and conducts the examination according to the rules of procedure
  4. Protects the student's interests
  5. Ensures only the approved examination committee members are present and quorum has been met; will contact IMS if there any issues
  6. Submits the exam results (Chair’s Summary Form) to IMS within 24hrs of the exam

Eligibility Criteria 

  1. A member of the UofT graduate faculty with some expertise in the field
  2. Must have an active IMS graduate appointment; may have additional graduate cross-appointments
    • If an Examiner without an IMS appointment is chosen, the supervisor must identify an IMS faculty member to serve separately as the Chair. This additional faculty member will only assume the role of Chair, and does not have to read the thesis nor participate in the questioning.
  3. Must be ‘arms-length’ to both the supervisor and the student
  4. Not affiliated with the student’s research project in any way, nor collaborating with the supervisor or student in the last 6 years on research papers or reviews, and have no other perceived or actual conflict of interest* 
  5. Must not share the same primary academic department as the supervisor
    • Primary academic department =  the department with which the Faculty member gets their first UofT appointment (IMS is never a primary academic department)
    • In the case of larger academic departments such as the Department of Medicine, Surgery or Psychiatry, they cannot share the same Division as the Supervisor

*Conflict of interest is as defined by CIHR.

In addition: 

  • If the supervisor and an examiner appear together on grants then that is a collaboration
  • If the supervisor and an examiner appear together on a paper with one of them as first or senior author, then that will be deemed a collaboration
  • If, however, the supervisor and an examiner appear together as middle authors on multi-author paper, then the extent of the apparent collaboration needs to be explained

Important Notes

  • Any joint publications can easily be searched in pub-med and should be checked carefully by the student and supervisor before submission of the examination package to IMS

Any collaborations or conflicts of interest (including shared academic departments) identified by IMS can significantly delay the examination and may result in the need to replace the examiner and/or reschedule the examination.