IMS Student Handbook

2023-2024 Academic Year

Mingyao Liu

Welcome to the Institute of Medical Science

On behalf of the Institute of Medical Science (IMS), I would like to extend a warm welcome to you, whether you are enrolling for the first time or continuing your program with us.

In 2021 IMS launched its Strategic Plan: Community, Connections and Impact. The plan highlights our vision, mission and top three priorities: improving student-driven graduate training, connecting our IMS community of scholars, and attracting and engaging diverse and talented students and faculty. I am inspired by the progress we have already made in reaching our goals, and looking forward to what we will accomplish next. I encourage all of you to read the Strategic Plan.

The IMS provides graduate training for students from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds. Students with Health Care Professional and/or Arts and Science degrees engage in research on the common theme of "health and disease". You will graduate with a Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree from the University of Toronto, School of Graduate Studies - Division IV, Life Sciences. The Student Handbook provides an overview of information important for both students and supervisors.

I hope this year will be productive and enjoyable for you. I look forward to meeting each of you throughout the year at the IMS academic and social functions. Please feel free to arrange a meeting with me to discuss any issues you may have with regards to your graduate training at IMS. This can be arranged through Alicia Sam, IMS Executive Assistant. You may also reach me directly by e-mail.


Mingyao Liu MD, MSc

Director, Institute of Medical Science
Professor, Department of Surgery
Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Senior Scientist, James & Mary Davie Chair in Lung Injury, Repair and Regeneration

Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, University Health Network

We've moved our Student Handbook fully online.

Click the links below to find all the information you need to succeed as an IMS graduate student. 

IMS Community

The IMS is one of the largest graduate units at the University of Toronto with over 500 students and 600 faculty members. The IMS is run by a dedicated team of academic administrators and administrative staff and supported by a number of committees. There are also a number of fantastic student-led associations and groups that you can become involved in.

Staying Connected

The IMS Student Listserv includes all registered doctoral (MSc & PhD) students. It is updated at the beginning of each semester (September, January and May). The email address used is the one listed in your ACORN account. 

Graduate Program

The IMS aims to provide an enriched graduate culture with emphasis on scholarship in translational medical research, and advanced research training for both physician and non-physician graduate trainees leading to MSc and PhD degrees.


You are strongly encouraged to apply for all awards for which you are eligible. There are dozens of awards, internal and external to the University. As award competitions become available, they will be announced to you and the faculty via email.

Fees & Funding

The University of Toronto requires that all new and continuing doctoral stream students receive an annual student stipend. A “stipend” refers to the funds a student receives during the program funding commitment period.

Graduate Courses

Completion of graduate course requirements is an essential part of ensuring that you have a working knowledge of the fundamentals in your chosen discipline, are adequately specialized in your field, and have a broad appreciation of modern health sciences.

Degree Completion

You will graduate from the University of Toronto, School of Graduate Studies - Division IV, Life Sciences with either a Master of Science (MSc) OR Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).  Eligible MSc students also have the option of transferring to the PhD, i.e. doctoral program, hence the term doctoral-stream programs.


The Student Handbook was last updated on September 14, 2023.