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Faculty Involvement

Student giving poster presentation to IMS faculty judges


As a member of our faculty you play a vital role in graduate education at the Institute of Medical Science. We hope that as an IMS faculty member, you will make the most of the opportunities afforded to you with membership.  Your involvement will enhance your own career development as well as contribute to an enriching experience for IMS students. Below is a list of the different activities you can be involved in.

Student supervision
As a supervisor or co-supervisor you will act as a mentor to graduate students. Students look to their supervisors for guidance and support throughout their program. Genuine interest and enthusiasm, as well as kind, critical appraisal is highly valued. Students also meaningfully contribute to your research. Student supervision is reserved for Associate and Full IMS members. Associate members can supervise MSc students and Full members can supervise MSc and PhD students. If you are currently recruiting new students, please get in touch with Hazel Pollard and update your faculty profile on our website.
Program Advisory Committee (PAC) member
Serving as a PAC member provides you with opportunities to provide guidance to graduate students’ research projects and connect with other faculty members. Supervisors and/or students will reach out to you directly about sitting on a PAC. PAC meetings are held every 6 months throughout a student’s program.
Examination Chair
Acting as an examination chair for a student’s defense is an important role. As an exam chair you ensure that the process of the oral exam is fair and orderly; that the student is truly being examined and challenged and that the high standards of scholarship are met. The chair represents both the IMS and SGS Administration. SGS PhD Final Oral Exams may only be chaired by full faculty members. IMS exams include Qualifying, MSc-PhD Transfer, MSc and PhD defenses. Chairing is a 2-3 hour commitment. You will receive emails with calls for chairs from our Thesis and Examination Officer. We also offer a chair workshop for new faculty, details of which will be sent to you by email.
Examiner for students’ defenses
Examiners bring their own unique perspectives and critical evaluation to students’ research and help us ensure the quality of our graduate programs. IMS supervisors will approach you directly to serve as an examiner or internal appraiser for their students’ exams, such as PhD Qualifying, MSc-PhD Transfer, MSc and PhD Final Oral Exams.
IMS Scientific Day - Judge
The Annual Scientific Day is the academic highlight of the year. The event celebrates student achievements, teaching excellence and provides opportunities for faculty and students to interact. We need faculty to participate as judges for the student competitions. Acting as a judge for our Alan Wu Poster Competition is a great way to learn more about the diverse research our students are doing and to engage with other faculty members. If you are not able to attend the event, you can still participate as a volunteer to review manuscripts for the Laidlaw Manuscript Competition. If you would like to take part in Scientific Day please email ims.scientificday(at)utoronto.ca
Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)
SURP is one of our most popular programs. Undergraduate students participate in the program from across Canada and internationally, to spend their summers involved in projects relating to biomedical research. We encourage our faculty to serve as supervisors for these budding young researchers. The program includes weekly lectures (June – August) given by eminent researchers from U of T. The SURP research day is held in mid-August each year and judges are needed for both the oral and poster presentations. Participating in SURP is a great way to recruit potential graduate students to your labs. Please contact Elena Gessas if you would like to participate in the SURP program.
The IMS provides opportunities to gain teaching experience needed for academic promotions. The lectures cover a wide range of topics from fundamental biomedical research skills to central topics in translational research. The best lecturer and best course director awards will be given annually. If you are interested in contributing to course development please get in touch with Sarah Topa.
The IMS provides a number of opportunities to serve on various committees, allowing you to bring your own vision to the IMS, contribute to the department’s strategic direction and advance your own career. The committees include the following: Executive Committee, Awards Committee, Admissions Committee, Curriculum Committee and the Appointments Committee.