Research Project / Tracking

The second year of the program is normally devoted to an individual research project (MDPH691D1,D2), leading to the M.Sc. thesis. The procedure for selecting a project is for the student to discuss possible projects with potential supervisors on a one-to-one basis at the start of the second (winter) term of the first year. Supervisors with potential projects will also usually be asked to present their proposals in an open session early in the semester. It is recommended that students have 3 or 4 such discussions before reaching a decision. Each instructor has the authority to accept or refuse any given student and projects are allotted according to the priorities of the supervisor. However, no firm arrangement should be reached before the mid-term break in the winter term, so that every student has a fair chance to become acquainted with the available projects. Once a firm arrangement has been reached, after the mid-term break, the project should be "registered" with the MPU office.


Research projects commence at a time agreed upon by the supervisor and student, usually in the Spring or Summer of the first year. Students are encouraged to start their project at this time to ensure timely completion, and should aim to have their initial thesis submission - if not their final submission - completed within two years, by August of the second year of the program. Carrying the project into a fifth or sixth semester must be arranged with the supervisor and entails additional registration fees. Extensions beyond the university's official time limitation of three years are unusual and require special permission from the university (including registration for submission).

Progress Tracking

McGill requires annual tracking of students' progress toward the degree, including MSc thesis students. Progress tracking is performed through the myProgress interface. Regulations on Graduate Student Research Progress Tracking, also the fillable .pdf tracking form itself, can be found here.

Tracking Report deadlines for MSc Medical Physics students are:

• June 15 (first year): MSc Year 1 Objectives = initial tracking report (outlining the project/thesis objectives, study plan, etc) - mandatory;

• June 15 (first year): MSc1 Letter of Agreement = thesis research Agreement with supervisor - mandatory;

• December 15 (second year): MSc2 interim report = status update/progress in thesis research project - mandatory;

• June 15 (second year): MSc2 follow-up report = progress report - optional [not required if submitting initial thesis during Summer, second year].


The right to a research project does not apply to a student who has not completed all requirements for one or more of the four "core" courses and obtained the necessary pass marks. A first-year student in this position may nevertheless go through the process of selecting a project. However, no firm agreement may be reached between the supervisor and the student, i.e., the project cannot be registered until the case has been referred to the Program Director who will submit it to the Graduate Committee. Only after the Graduate Committee has given its approval may the student begin the project. Moreover, the student should be aware of the fact that failure to abide by the "16 months rule", stated in the Course Completion section, may involve withdrawal from the program even though he/she is already undertaking a research project.

Financial Support

The agreement between the project supervisor and the student will often include a financial provision, i.e., a graduate student stipend and/or salary as Research Assistant, but the amount (if any) and duration of such financial support will vary from case to case. Students are therefore advised to discuss this aspect of the project with prospective supervisors before committing themselves. Students who are eligible for NSERC, CIHR, FRSQ or FRQNT are expected to apply and will generally be supported by the MPU. Potential students are encouraged to seek financial support from all eligible sources of scholarships before or during their application to the M.Sc. program. Students whose application for a government grant is successful for the first year can hold the award during the MSc1 year. Students are usually funded by their supervisor after they complete the coursework and join a research group, at the end of the Winter semester..

Right to Research Project

Every student, who has obtained the 27 credits for the first-year courses, has the right to an individual research project. Any student who, having secured the 27 course credits, nevertheless has difficulty in making arrangements for a project, should report this fact to the Program Director who will then assist the student in obtaining a suitable project. This right to a project does not extend automatically to a student who has not yet obtained 27 credits. However, in practice, it will be assumed that a first-year student who has passed the three "core" courses in the first term, will eventually obtain the full 27 credits and the "right" to a project might therefore be extended to such students.



September, 2022

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