Rehabilitation Sciences Institute

Frequently Asked Questions

RSI Comprehensive Exam & Dissertation Information

​​​​​​These resources provide PhD students with additional information regarding their comprehensive exams and writing their dissertations

What are the components of the application process?

The components of the application process are:

  1. Two copies of the official transcripts from each university previously attended.
  2. A letter of intent describing the proposed research program, outlining the research question(s), rationale and general methodology for the work to be undertaken. It is advisable that this document is developed in conjunction with the potential supervisor.
  3. Two letters of recommendation. It is recommended that these be from individuals who can assess your academic potential.
  4. A Recent Curriculum Vitae (CV). Ensure that you highlight your publications/presentations and any previous awards or scholarships.
  5. A Letter from potential supervisor indicating financial and supervisory support.

What happens if I am accepted, conditional on funding?

Your supervisor and you are responsible for notifying RSI office that funding has been secured so that the condition can be lifted. If you have only partial funding from scholarship or supervisor stipend, you and your supervisor can speak to the Graduate Coordinator and Graduate Administrator to see if they can recommend other sources of funding.

If the full funding cannot be secured, you should consider deferring admission to a later date to provide additional time to apply for funding.You can defer admission for up to one year. After this period, you would have to re-apply to RSI.

What if I am not accepted?

If you are not accepted into RSI, speak to the Graduate Coordinator to understand the reasons. The Graduate Coordinator will outline the rationale for the committee’s decision and will make recommendations for a future application.

What is the required financial support for students?

The University of Toronto has committed to provide a minimum of $15,000 plus tuition fees for eligible doctoral-stream students. For Canadian students, the minimum funding requirement for RSI students is $25,500 for MSc and PhD is $26,500 per year. The RSI policy is that graduate students should have financial support throughout the fundable period of the program. Support is derived from External Scholarships (e.g. OGS, NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR), supervisor stipends, Departmental/Internal award. If you receive a competitive external award, you may receive a top-up to the total stipend.

What should I do when I am approaching a faculty member as a potential supervisor?

Remember that faculty members receive multiple requests. Make sure your request stand out. Instead of a generic request, personalize the approach.

Things to consider in your request and interactions with potential supervisor:

  1. Highlight your strength and accomplishments in a cover email or letter.
  2. Send the faculty member a copy of your curriculum vitae and marks. This component is important so that the potential supervisor can be confident that you meet the minimum criteria for admission.
  3. Ascertain that you and the faculty member match in terms of research interests. A telephone conversation or in person meeting may help establish this.
  4. Make sure the faculty’s style matches your own. It is highly recommended that you ask the faculty to put you in touch with their other trainees that currently work or have worked closely with him/her.
  5. Consider sharing some of your scientific writing with the faculty.
  6. Work with the faculty to apply for funding.

When I graduate from RSI, can I work clinically in rehabilitation?

NO, as a graduate from RSI, you cannot practice clinically in the field of rehabilitation. If your interest is in working clinically, consider applying to an entry to practice Master’s degree in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy or Speech Language Pathology.