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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 and will act as the committee chair. 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.

Within one month of entering the graduate program, email the names of your chosen advisors and your thesis topic to The neuroscience program committee will assign a 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 their first term. 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.  Be prepared to give a 5-10 minute presentation.

Subsequent Meetings

In addition to the brief oral presentation (15-20 mins), 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.

PhD Roll-Over

After discussing this option with your supervisor, you will need to arrange a committee meeting. When scheduling the meeting please plan for 1.5 hours. In addition to your 5 page progress report you will also need to send your advisory committee a one page plan for your PhD project, and you should be prepared to discuss the rationale and conduct of the proposed project. A roll-over must be approved before the sixth term of Master's registration

Every member of the advisory committee has an important role to play. Here we have outlined the roles and expectations of all members.

You must 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

At each meeting a rating will be given regarding your progress. If a student receives a second unsatisfactory rating a mandatory meeting will be scheduled with the Director of the program. A second unsatisfactory rating could result in a withdrawal from the program.

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.