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Advisory Committee

An advisory committee is established by the student in consultation with the supervisor. At least one member of the Program Committee is included on each advisory committee.  The program representative will chair the committee. At least two other members are chosen for their expertise in an area related to the proposed research topic. Appropriate experts from outside the Neuroscience Program and Western University may be included.

The Advisory Committee:

  1. Guides the scientific progress of the student and ensures that the objectives of the graduate program are met.
  2. Is responsible for making recommendations to the program committee for the transfer of master's students to the PhD program.
  3. Is responsible for establishing the scope of the comprehensive exam for PhD students, in consultation with the program committee.
  4. Is responsible for the MSc and PhD students, respectively, normally approves the thesis before it is submitted to the Program and to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for examination.

Within one month of entering the graduate program, students and their supervisors select two other faculty members to serve as an Advisory Committee.  Once the members have been chosen, email  The neuroscience program committee will assign a member of the program committee as an additional advisor/program representative and has to approve the final advisory committee (this is mostly done by email and should take no more than 3-5 days). 

Each student meets with their Advisory Committee within the term of entering their program. Subsequently, each student meets with their Advisory Committee at approximately six-month intervals; this schedule is particularly important for M.Sc. students because of the short duration of their training program. These meetings, which generally last for about 1 hour, focus on the proposed research, progress to date and future plans. Students should be prepared to make a short (5-10 minutes for first meeting, ~15-20 min for subsequent meetings) oral presentation of their project outline and recent research findings.

First Meeting: At least one week in advance of your meeting, please submit a brief thesis proposal to your committee members (1 page maximum). Provide an outline of your thesis proposal, including background, hypothesis, context, objectives, and methodology.

Subsequent meetings: In addition to the brief oral presentation, a written report (no longer than ~5 pages), along with your previous meeting report, must be distributed by the student to members of the Advisory Committee at least one week before the meeting.  It should be structured in the way outlined below and should also highlight milestones reached since your last meeting. Your first progress report might also focus more on the background, methods and anticipated results, rather than on results.

 Progress report outline:
a.      Abstract (200 words)
b.      Introduction (500 words)
c.      Results – just figures and legends
d.      Discussion less than 500 words

Meetings can be convened by the student, the supervisor, or any member of the Advisory Committee. In addition to these formal meetings, members of the Advisory Committee can monitor the progress of the student by attending laboratory meetings at which students present reports on research. Advisory committee members should also attend presentations made by students in seminars.

Please print the Advisory Committee Form, fill in your information on first page, and bring this form to the advisory committee meeting. Please also bring a copy of the form from last meeting. After the advisory committee meeting, the form needs to be submitted to the Neuroscience office, the students keeps a copy.

Pages 1-3 are mandatory.  Review pages 4-9 and print those that are applicable

1.    Schedule at least two months in advance
2.    Speak with your supervisor first to determine their availability.  This will help you send a more limited Doodle Poll to your advisory committee.  Faculty receive a lot of meeting requests – be considerate and try to limit your options to a maximum of 10 dates/times.