Research paper and Theses

Overview of the roles and responsibilities

The purpose of this section is to clarify the roles and responsibilities for the student, thesis supervisor and thesis committee members.


Major Research Paper

The research paper, which is shorter than the thesis, consists of extensive research and strict methodology that includes about 40 to 75 pages. The project leads you to discover the world of research, by designing and conducting your own research project and presenting your results in a coherent research report.

Enrolment to the research paper is mandatory each term until it is successful.

For more information, please consult the Major Research Paper Guide.

Master's Thesis

The Master's thesis should reveal that the candidate is able to work in a scholarly manner and is acquainted with the principal works published on the subject of the thesis. Insofar as it is possible, the thesis should be an original contribution.

The Master’s thesis is usually about 100 pages long. In the sciences, the document is often shorter. Depending on the discipline, the duration can vary significantly; however, students are usually expected to complete their programs within two years.

The writing of the thesis must conform to the rules of methodology established by the academic unit. If the thesis consists of a series of published articles, it must conform to university and academic unit guidelines for such theses. It is important that the manuscript be of good quality in order to permit its reproduction.

You will find on the website of the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies all the necessary information concerning the thesis. In addition, we invite you to consult the Master's Thesis Guide.

Doctoral Thesis

A doctoral thesis must make a significant contribution to knowledge in a field of study, embody the results of original investigation and analysis, and be of such quality as to merit publication.

The doctoral thesis is usually about 250–300 pages. In the sciences, the document is often shorter. Like the Master’s, the duration can vary significantly, but, students are usually expected to complete their programs within four years.

The writing of the thesis must conform to the rules of methodology established by the academic unit. If the thesis consists of a series of published articles, it must conform to university and academic unit guidelines for such theses. It is important that the manuscript be of good quality in order to permit its reproduction.

You will find on the website of the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies all the necessary information concerning the thesis.

*Please note that, as of June 1, 2019, comprehensive exams and thesis proposals will be managed by the academic secretariat educplus@uOttawa.ca.

Comprehensive Examination:

*Prior to beginning their comprehensive examination process, students must send their doctoral Committee Member list to the academic secretariat at educplus@uOttawa.ca.

Doctoral students undergo a comprehensive examination involving both a written and an oral component. The student must pass the comprehensive exam to proceed to the next stage of the program.

Students must register for the “PhD Comprehensive Examination” (EDU 9998) after their course work is finished or when registering for their final session of course work. Registration is compulsory for each session until the comprehensive examination is completed. Students normally take the comprehensive examination within 2 sessions of completing their course work. Students may register for the comprehensive exam at the same time as courses, but should normally take the exam once all courses have been completed.For more information, please consult the Comprehensive examination guide.

Thesis Proposal

Students are required to submit a research proposal before formally starting the research for their thesis. This process includes two parts: the writing of the proposal and its oral presentation. A research proposal can be considered a ‘road map’ in which one outlines the steps that will be taken during the execution of one’s research project. You can find in the Thesis proposal guide all the relevant information regarding the proposal.

Submission of thesis for evaluation:

The Faculty of Education considers a thesis as officially submitted for evaluation once all of the following documents have been provided:

Doctoral students must submit a service request through uoZone four weeks before submitting their thesis for evaluation, failing to do so will delay the evaluation process. This request must include the following documents:

a) The List of examiners for the evaluation of the thesis form, which must include between four and seven examiners, of which three are internal and one external. External examiners must meet the criteria specified in Academic Regulation 11-7– Theses.

b) The Conflict of interest with the proposed external evaluators form, specifying that the external examiner does not have any conflicts of interest with the doctoral student or thesis supervisor. Check the examples of conflicts of interest.

c) The abstract of the thesis.

d) The external examiner’s curriculum vitae (CV). If possible, such CVs should include the day and month of the examiner’s birth to facilitate access to our evaluation portal.

The service request will be sent to the program director, and then to the vice-dean, for their approval.

Review how to submit a service request.

It is incumbent upon the thesis supervisor to contact the external examiner(s) to ensure that they can participate in the thesis evaluation and defence.

The Approval of Doctoral Thesis Deposit form must be signed by all committee members and thesis supervisor and must be submitted with the thesis in uoZone.

Check the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website for information on thesis submission, evaluation and defence.

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