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Application Information

In order to apply to the DCS program, candidates must either (a) have commenced PhD studies[1] in the year of application or (b) have applied to, or been accepted into, a PhD program with a proposed start date of September of the following year or earlier.  In either case, the research must be conducted at the University of Western Ontario and be of relevance to dentistry.  All DCS candidates must submit a full application to the DDS program (December 1 deadline) as well as the following information to the Admissions Coordinator, Dentistry:

  1. A one-page summary describing the proposed program of research.  This should be prepared by the candidate in consultation with the proposed or actual supervisor, and should include an explanation of the relevance of the proposed research to dentistry.  The supervisor must be a member of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) with PhD-supervisory status.
  2. A one-page statement from the candidate describing her/his (i) career goals, (ii) reasons for applying to the DCS program, and (iii) research interests and accomplishments (maximum one page in total).
  3. A curriculum vitae, including a list of awards, prior research experience and publications (abstracts or full publications if applicable).
  4. Two confidential letters of reference (emphasizing the student's aptitude for research) should be sent directly by the referees to the Admissions Coordinator, Dentistry.

All DCS candidates who meet the minimum standards for admission to the DDS program will be interviewed as part of the DDS interview process (April).  Subsequently, these candidates will be interviewed by the Dentistry Research Committee (the Chair of the Dental Admissions Committee will be a member of the Research Committee for this meeting).  The Research Committee will assess the suitability of the candidates and the relevance of their projects as preparation for a career in academic dentistry and/or oral-health research.

The principal criteria for assessment of the candidate will be (a) demonstrated evidence of superior academic achievement, (b) demonstrated or potential research excellence and (c) aptitude and motivation for a career in academic dentistry.  By the end of May, up to two candidates will be accepted into the DCS program.  Candidates whose PhD applications have not been approved by the graduate program and SGPS by the time of the Research Committee meeting will not be considered.

Should a candidate be found acceptable for the DDS program but not for the DCS program, a position in the DDS class will be offered, entering in September. However, students accepted into the DCS program will not have an option to enter the DDS program immediately.

The PhD Degree Component

DCS students are expected to complete their PhDs within four years.  Under extenuating circumstances, and following consultation with the PhD supervisor(s), the Chair of the Admissions Committee and Assistant Director (Research) may agree to extend this period by up to two years.

Students in the DCS program will only be admitted to the DDS class if all requirements of the PhD degree (including thesis examination and oral defense) are completed by the end of July of that year.  (SGPS allows a defence to be successful only if the minor corrections to the thesis can be made in less than two weeks.)  This requirement is necessary to allow the Dental Admissions Committee to finalize the list of the incoming class.

Admission into the DDS component of the DCS program is dependent upon successful completion of the PhD degree approved by the Research Committee.

The DDS Degree Component

The DCS student will be assigned a mentorship committee (while in the dental degree program) that will meet with the student at least once a year to discuss progress towards achieving a successful career as a clinician-scientist.  The Assistant Director (Research) will be a member of each mentoring committee.  Students are expected to maintain an active involvement with research (i.e. summer research programs).

[1] In the case of graduate programs that do not have a direct-entry PhD program, DCS candidates will initially be registered for an MSc degree.