Some common questions and answers to consider for faculty interested in supervising a potential graduate student:

What should I do when I am approached by a student interested in being my graduate student?

You may get several requests to consider supervising students. Please always respond.
If it is an international student and you are unsure of their eligibility, refer them to RSI office.

If you are not interested, inform the student and let him/her now that you are presently not taking students or not taking students with his/her qualifications.

If you are potentially interested in taking on a student, consider the following:

  1. Does the student meet the minimum criteria for admission to RSI? Ask the student for his/her curriculum vitae and marks. See next question for minimum criteria
  2. Do the student’s interests match yours? A telephone conversation or in person meeting may help establish this
  3. Does the student’s style match yours? Although a meeting or phone call may be helpful, you may also consider putting the student in touch with other trainees that have worked closely with you
  4. Is the student writing at the level to ensure success? You may request a written sample from the student to get a feeling for their writing. You many also choose to use an anti plagiarism software to ascertain that this is her/his independent work
  5. How do you work together to obtain funding? It is best that you develop a plan with the student on how to obtain funding. Consider scholarships that he/she could apply for and make sure you have input into the application. Consider your own financial situation and the amount you could contribute to the student’s stipend (see below for more detail on funding)

What are the minimum admission requirements for RSI?

MSc: Candidates for the MSc degree must have graduated with an average of B+ in senior level courses in the final two years of a four-year degree program from a recognized University, with a strong undergraduate science background, including a course in research design and/or statistics, and the equivalent of a four-year University of Toronto Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy, or Physical Therapy, or a related field.

PhD: PhD applicants must have graduated with an A- from a relevant (i.e. MScOT; MScPT, MSc. (in related field) master’s program.

What are the components of the application process?

The components of the application process are:

  1. Two official transcripts from each university previously attended
  2. A Letter of Intent describing the applicant’s proposed research program
  3. Two letters of recommendation
  4. A Recent Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  5. A Letter from Potential supervisor indicating financial and supervisory support

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 $24,500.00 for MSc and PhD is $25,500 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 a student receives a competitive external award, he/she may receive a top-up to the total stipend. A student cannot self-fund.

How are admission decisions communicated?

Decisions on admission are communicated to the student only. The student is then expected to let the potential supervisor know.

What happens if the student is accepted, conditional on funding?

The student and supervisor are responsible for notifying RSI office that funding has been secured so that the condition can be lifted.

If the student has only partial funding from scholarship or supervisor stipend, the student and supervisor can speak to the Graduate Coordinator and Graduate Administrator to see if they can recommend other sources of funding. RSI will consider supplementing student to the required level of funding, if the student already holds a partial scholarship or supervisor has provided a significant stipend. RSI will not cover the whole financial package of a first year student.

If the student’s full funding cannot be secured, the student should consider deferring admission to a later date to provide additional time to apply for funding.

What if the student is not accepted?

Student who are not accepted into RSI are encouraged to 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 if a student has sufficient funds for the first year but not a future year?

Although RSI will not cover the whole financial package of a first year student, it will cover it in future years if the student provides evidence of application for external funding and he/she is in academic good standing.

Can my graduate student work for me as an RA?

In the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, the entire stipend is received as supplemental (T4A) income since Teaching Assistant salary payments are not considered part of the guaranteed graduate student stipend. Hence the relationship between the graduate student and supervisor is not an employment arrangement. The source of graduate student stipends may include the supervisors’research grants and in some cases industry contracts. To avoid conflict of interest, it is strongly recommended that supervisors not employ their graduate students whether the work is thesis-related or not.