Procedure for DGA 1031, Research Problem

1. Identifying a research topic

The first step is for students who are registered for DGA1031 to identify a research topic, in collaboration with their research supervisor. They must determine the title of their dissertation and create a summary of their dissertation project. Students must complete each section of the Identifying a Research Topic — Doctorate form. The research topic is then evaluated by the program director and counts for 5% of the evaluation of the DGA1031 activity. 


Description of the form’s sections

Identifying industrial partner(s)
The participation of one or more industrial partners must be mentioned at the very beginning of research on the Identifying a Research Topic form. The student enters the name or names of companies that have agreed to contribute to his or her research. 

Confidentiality 
In order for the Office of the Dean of Research to protect the rights of students and researchers, it must be informed of confidential dissertations. A doctoral dissertation that requires “confidential” treatment should ideally be identified as such at the very beginning of the student’s work using the Identifying a Research Topic form (check the appropriate box). The dissertation’s confidentiality status (if applicable) will also be confirmed when the dissertation is officially submitted. 

Research project involving human subjects
Research projects that involve human subjects (i.e. survey by questionnaire or interview, conducting tests that involve handling human remains, collecting/using confidential data from individuals, etc.) must be identified as such on the Identifying a Research Topic form (check the appropriate box) and is subject to the ÉTS Research Ethics Policy. To ensure compliance with ethics regulations, a file must be prepared for the ethics committee. See the Ethics of Research with Human Subjects section. 

Framework
The research supervisor is identified at the time of admission. However, the official identification of a co-supervisor must be done on the Identifying a Research Topic form. If the suggested co-supervisor is external to ÉTS, the form must be accompanied by a detailed résumé before it is submitted to the program director. 

Signatures 
The Identifying a Research Topic form must be signed by the student, the research supervisor and the co-supervisor (if applicable) before being submitted to the program director within the timeframe specified in the DGA1031 course curriculum. Finally, the program director signs it and sends it to the Graduate Program Office. 

2. Written work

As part of the DGA1031 - Research Problem activity, students must also produce written work in the form of a 25- to 35-page preliminary research proposal, developed under the supervision of their research supervisor. This proposal counts for 75% of the DGA1031 activity. 

The proposal must present the specific question and objectives of the student’s research, along with a methodology and an estimate of the benefits of the project. More specifically, it must contain the following elements:  

  • A description of the problem
  • The objectives to be met
  • A critical review of the literature that situates the student’s work among other similar work and assesses its originality
  • The methodology for meeting the objectives, including the tools needed for the project (materials, software, etc.);
  • The type of anticipated results
  • The potential benefits to the industry (impacts and implications for the industry or socio-economic benefits)
  • A bibliography (list of conference articles, newspaper articles or other sources used to write the research plan)
  •  Activity plan in the form of a work schedule up to the date planned for the defence 

A paper version and electronic version of the research proposal must be turned in to the research supervisor before the end of the semester. The electronic version of the written work will ultimately be sent to the jury members by the research supervisor in order for them to prepare the written exam (DGA1032). 

3. Oral presentation

As part of the DGA1031 - Research Problems activity, students must give an oral presentation that counts for 20% of DGA1031 and that is evaluated by the doctoral program director. Each student registered for the activity presents his or her work orally to all other registered students on a date that is defined by the program director. All students who are registered for DGA1031 are required to attend these presentations, and unjustified absences can lead to a failing grade for the activity. 

The student’s research problem must be presented in a sufficiently popularized form so that all program candidates as well as specialists from a variety of backgrounds can appreciate its content. The presentation is followed by a discussion period with the audience. 

4. Exam correction and results

When the research proposal is submitted, the research supervisor completes the applicable results form and sends it to the program director within the specified timeframe.

After the oral presentations, the program director completes a results form for each student, taking into consideration topic identification (5%), written work (75%), and the oral presentation (20%), and sends the final results of the DGA1031 for all students to the Graduate Program Office. Once the Graduate Program Office has received the results, it delivers them to students.

Students who successfully complete their research problem can register for stage 2 of the doctoral exam, which is the written exam (DGA1032). If a student fails, he or she will be advised by the Graduate Program Office (at his or her ÉTS e-mail address) that he or she can then take the course again the next semester. Re-taking the course is only authorized once. 

5. Composition of the jury in preparation for the written examination

In the middle of the semester during which the student is registered for DGA1031 Research Problems, the research supervisor begins composing the jury for the written exam (DGA1032) and the oral exam (DGA1033) within the specified timeframe. The Graduate Program Office will send the research supervisor the forms and guidelines for this purpose.

At the end of the semester, the research supervisor sends jury members the student’s research proposal so that they can prepare their question(s) for the written exam.