Women & Gender Studies Institute

Thesis & Proposal


A student’s research formally begins with the submission of a dissertation proposal to the dissertation committee. Your thesis committee should consist of four faculty members, which includes a supervisor from the WGSI graduate faculty, and at least three committee members must be WGSI Faculty or Affiliate Faculty. The dissertation proposal is normally about 20-30 pages (not including references); it should draw in significant part on the work done for the comprehensive exams. The proposal is expected to: clearly state the issue that your doctoral project seeks to address; situate your research in the relevant debates; indicate the contribution your research is anticipated to make; describe methods/approaches; include a tentative timeline; contain a bibliography. The student will submit a proposal to all committee members. The committee will approve the proposal after a student’s satisfactory completion of the written submission, and oral exam. The dissertation proposal must be approved by all committee members no later than May 1st of the second year of Ph.D. studies, for students admitted with an M.A. degree. It should be accepted no later than April 1st  of the third year of Ph.D. studies, for direct-entry students. Students whose projects require human subjects’ approval will submit an ethics protocol and have it approved before fieldwork can begin. You may submit this at the same time as your PhD proposal, but should aim to have it completed by June 1st in time for the scheduled meetings of the Research Ethics Boards, in order to allow time for the review process  which can take 6-8 weeks: ·        http://www.research.utoronto.ca/faculty-and-staff/research-ethics-and-protections/humans-in-research/ ·        http://www.research.utoronto.ca/forms/protocol-submission-for-supervised-and-sponsored-research/ ·        Meeting dates of REBs: http://www.research.utoronto.ca/about/boards-and-committees/research-ethics-boards-reb/ 


Each student will complete a dissertation based on original research conducted by the candidate on a topic in women and gender studies that has been approved by the supervisory committee. The dissertation must constitute a significant contribution to the knowledge of the field, and be based on research conducted while registered for the Ph.D. program. It will be submitted and evaluated according to the procedures specified by the School of Graduate Studies.