A notice is sent to the Graduate Secretary/Coordinator of the Unit* indicating the earliest date (tentative, pending receipt of reports) that the defence may take place. The date chosen for the oral should be at least two weeks after the stated expected return of the examiners' reports. At least two weeks' notice must be given to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, to allow time to arrange for a Pro-Dean, check the student’s file, etc. Delays in obtaining consent of a nominee to serve or in receiving reports will delay the holding of the defence.
Should an oral defense need to be postponed at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances, the Thesis Office must be informed immediately by telephone followed by documentation from the Pro-Dean including agreement of the candidate as to all particulars of the re-scheduled examination.
The Unit* is responsible for the following (but students should check with the Unit* to determine any specific policies for delegation) The unit should refer to these guidelines when inviting external examiners to the oral defence:
- Contacting all members to ensure their acceptance and availability to serve on the Oral Defence Committee. This responsibility should not be delegated to the student, but may be delegated to the supervisor following approval of the committee composition by the Unit*;
- Ensuring that all members of the Committee and External) are given a PDF copy of the thesis well before the oral defence. Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will provide a PDF copy to the Pro-Dean
- Making local arrangements including booking the room and ensuring that any required audiovisual and video-conference equipment is available and functional;
- Refer to the Thesis Unit for any exceptional requests (e.g., videoconferencing);
- Ensuring that all course grades are submitted two weeks before the oral defence takes place.
*Unit refers to a department or a school or an institute or a division, in the case of Experimental Medicine.