Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Doctoral Program Application Process
For details about the Doctoral program, including admission requirements, visit Doctoral Program.
As your first step, please email email@example.com for information on the PhD program and the application process including identifying a supervisor.
Important Dates for September 2020 Intake
Applications for the September 2020 intake open November 1, 2019. The application deadline is April 30, 2020. The Admissions Committee typically meets in February to review any completed applications and to begin issuing admissions offers. The Admissions Committee meets again at the end of April.
We strongly encourage international applicants to apply by January 15, 2020. This will allow us to put the names of successful international applicants forward for consideration for prestigious award opportunities available for international students at the University of Toronto. This will also ensure that successful international applicants have sufficient time to obtain any required study permits and entry VISAs.
School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Online Admissions Application
Applicants to the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) program must complete the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Online Admissions Application.
Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing Entry Awards
All applicants to the PhD program — irrespective of eligibility for funding, employment or financial status — must complete an online entry award application as part of the admission application process. Applicants must complete BOTH the SGS Online Admissions and the Lawrence S. Bloomberg award applications by the deadline to be considered for admission.
An interview with the Admissions Committee may be required. Should this be the case, we will contact you by email to arrange an in-person interview or, if this is not possible, an interview by telephone.
Interviews may take place anytime from February through June.
GUIDE TO COMPLETING THE ON-LINE APPLICATION:
PhD THESIS SUPERVISION and FUNDING POLICY FORM
As your first step, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the PhD program and the application process including identifying a supervisor.
You will be able to download this form from the SGS on-line application once you have made your application fee payment. Applicants will complete the form and have the potential PhD supervisor sign-off before uploading the form to the SGS application site.
LETTER OF INTENT: ACADEMIC RESEARCH and CAREER PLANS
The Statement should be limited to 1500 words and should cover the following elements:
- state the research questions or a specific area that interests you and why it needs to be researched;
- describe how your personal background and life experiences contributed to your research interests and to your decision to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Toronto;
- discuss your interest in and preparation for PhD studies in nursing
- outline your career plans and discuss how doctoral education is relevant to your professional goals, and your area of research interest within the nursing profession;
- discuss why you think the program at the University of Toronto is a good fit for you given your interests and plans.
You will be asked to upload your CV to the on-line application. Please use the categories listed below when you are developing your CV. If a particular heading does not apply, you may leave it out.
- Academic education (post-secondary degrees, diplomas, certificates)
- Continuing education & certification (including workshops, professional development)
- Awards and honours (e.g. practice awards from employing organization, bursaries, scholarships)
- Professional employment
- Peer-reviewed presentations / publications / research (e.g. workshops, conferences, journal references)
- Current membership in professional organizations
- Committees (e.g. work-related, professional)
- Clinical / administrative / practice innovations (please provide brief descriptions or examples)
- Membership in research oriented organizations (please specify role) or research activities
- Relevant volunteer activities
A SAMPLE OF YOUR SCHOLARLY WORK
Please upload to your application a sample of your written work. Ideally this should be a research article or scholarly report on which you are the first author. If this is not available, then you should submit a sample of a graded paper from your last degree (Master’s level) written within the last 5 years.
TWO LETTERS OF REFERENCE
Letters of Reference are submitted electronically through the SGS on-line application. You will need to provide the referees’ email addresses. Please communicate with your referees in advance to confirm their contact information. After you pay the application fee, we will contact your referees by email and ask them to submit their recommendation electronically.
- Academic/Supervisor Reference. One reference should come from the professor who supervised your Master’s thesis or who is most familiar with your research.
- Academic Reference. One reference from a professor/lecturer who taught you and graded your written work during your previous degree and who can speak to your academic abilities. An alternate academic reference might come from someone who has taught you in a continuing education course or someone you know professionally who can speak to your academic abilities or research potential (e.g., ability to carry out research and analysis, ability to express ideas in writing and orally, potential to master complex theories and ideas). You might approach a senior figure in the nursing community whom you know through research work, committee work, conferences, etc.
ELECTRONIC OR SCANNED TRANSCRIPT(S)
You will be asked to submit both an electronic copy of your transcript as well as an official paper transcript.
You are required to upload one electronic or scanned transcript from each post-secondary institution you have attended to the on-line application so that we may assess your file immediately. Scanned copies of transcripts must be up to date and must include the transcript “legend” which is usually printed on the back of the paper transcript.
- Please scan your transcript in grayscale at the lowest dots per inch (dpi) setting that results in a legible document. We recommend 72 dpi whenever possible.
- The file must be in .PDF format. Image files, such as those in .jpg or .bmp formats, must be converted to .PDF before uploading.
- The file size of each scanned transcript file to be uploaded must not exceed 3 megabytes (Mb).
- If your transcript is double-sided, please be sure to scan the front and back of each page.
- The transcript legend (usually printed on the back of a paper transcript) must appear at least once for every scanned transcript submitted.
- Scanned documents must be clearly legible and print on standard CDN/U.S. 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper.
- Do not upload a document that is password-protected or that contains macros.
- University of Toronto students may submit a screen capture of their academic history from the Student Web Service of ROSI in place of a transcript. However, if you have attended multiple institutions, the other universities’ transcripts (with legend) must still be included in the file in chronological order.
You will be asked to submit both an electronic copy of your transcript as well as an official paper transcript. In addition to uploading a copy of your transcript, you should also order your transcript(s) from each university you have attended. Transcripts must be received by the Faculty of Nursing in an official envelope that is sealed and signed by the issuing institution across the seal. You may include a one page cover letter to support your application if you believe the marks you received do not reflect your performance due to extenuating circumstances. In the case of University of Toronto transcripts only, applicants may submit an ACORN print-out of grades rather than an official University of Toronto transcript.
ENGLISH PROFICIENCY TEST RESULTS
International applicants must submit a copy of their English proficiency test scores. Applications with unsatisfactory test scores will not be assessed. This requirement should be met at the time you submit your application.
All applicants to the PhD program, regardless of eligibility for funding and employment or financial status, must complete an award application as part of the process of applying for admission. You will be directed to the award application from the SGS application site or you can access it directly from our Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing site.
An interview with the Admissions Committee may be required. If this is the case, we will contact you by email to arrange for an in-person interview or, if this is not possible, an interview by telephone. Interviews typically take place from February to June.
How to submit official transcripts and other documents required:
U of T Transcripts
In the case of University of Toronto transcripts only, applicants may upload and submit an ACORN print-out of grades rather than an official University of Toronto transcript.
You will be asked to submit both an electronic copy of your grades from ACORN (a print-out or legible screen capture) as well as a hard-copy of your grades printed from ACORN. This applies to University of Toronto transcripts only. If you have attended other institutions as well, you will need to submit official transcripts from those institutions.
You may include a one page cover letter to support your application if you believe your marks do not reflect your performance due to extenuating circumstances. Please upload the cover letter with your electronic transcript.
NOTE: If you have an academic record at the University of Toronto prior to September 1998, you will need to order a U of T Transcript as we are unable to access your grades on ACORN.
NB: You are required to arrange official transcripts from the School of Continuing Studies (SCS), University of Toronto to be sent directly to the Faculty. The Faculty does not have access to records of the School of Continuing Studies.
All Other Transcripts
You will be asked to submit both an electronic copy of your transcript as well as an official paper transcript.
- You are required to upload one electronic or scanned transcript from each post-secondary institution you have attended to the on-line application so that we may assess your file immediately. Scanned copies of transcripts must be up to date and must include the transcript “legend” which is usually printed on the back of the paper transcript.You may include a one page cover letter to support your application if you believe the marks you received do not reflect your performance due to extenuating circumstances. Please upload the cover letter with your electronic transcript.
- You should also order your transcript(s) from each university you have attended. Transcripts must be received by the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, PhD Admissions, 155 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 1P8 in an official envelope that is sealed and signed by the issuing institution across the seal.
Proof of English Facility
English proficiency test scores can be submitted directly by the test centre to the School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto. Alternately, test results can be sent directly to the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, PhD Admissions, 155 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 1P8. Please refer to the School of Graduate Studies website for details around our institutional code number, acceptable tests, and minimum score requirements.
International and internationally-educated applicants may have to submit additional documents such as English translations of academic records and copies of original degree diploma. Please refer to international student and international student resources for details. Additional documents should be sent to PhD Admissions, Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, 155 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 1P8.
How to ensure documents have been received:
You can login to your application to check the status of your references. Once your referee submits his/her recommendation, you will be able to see that it has been received. Remember, it is up to you to ensure that you submit the correct contact information for your referee. It is also up to you to ensure your referee submits his/her recommendation by the application deadline.
Once we have received your official transcript(s), we will confirm receipt in your application within 48 hours. Login to your SGS application to ensure your transcript has been received.
If you submit additional documents such as English Facility results, we will confirm receipt of the documents in your SGS application. Login to your SGS application to ensure receipt.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
What is the grade average required to be competitive to enter the PhD Program?
The minimum grade average required is a B+ in your Master’s program.
I am in my final year of study and grades for my final year will not be available until May, which courses will be considered for my grade average?
Completed courses will be considered for grade average calculation at the time of our admissions review. The Admissions Office will recalculate your final year average when you submit final transcripts with all completed grades.
Equivalent degrees – Non-nursing master’s degree
I have completed a non-nursing master’s degree (e.g. MSc or MEd or MPH or MSW), is this considered equivalent to an MN degree? Can I apply to the PhD program?
If you have completed a BScN degree, we may consider your non-nursing master’s degree in lieu of an MN degree for admission to the PhD program. You will need to make a case in your Letter of Intent outlining how your education has prepared you for the PhD program.
When will I be notified whether I am admitted to the program?
We will start issuing admission offers as early as the end of February until the end of April on an on-going basis.
Is there a waiting list? When will students be notified if they are placed on a waiting list?
There is no wait list for the PhD program. Students will normally hear from the Admissions Committee with a final decision by the end of April.
How to prepare for entry to the PhD program once you have received an offer of admission:
Accepting the offer of Admission
You will receive your offer of admission by mail and by email. You can use either copy to respond to the offer. To accept our admission offer you need to complete and return the School of Graduate Studies Confirmation Form (fax to 416-978-8222 OR scan and email to email@example.com). We will email you to confirm receipt.
Clearing admission conditions
If your offer of admission has conditions, these will be outlined in your offer letter. You are required to clear all conditions by the due date (usually August 31) indicated on your offer of admission letter. Failure to clear outstanding conditions may jeopardize your entry to the PhD Program. Typically conditions will require that you submit a document (final transcript, letter, diploma) to show that you have fulfilled the condition. Please submit documents to:
Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing,
155 College Street,
Toronto, ON, M5T 1P8.
We will email you to confirm receipt of documents and to indicate the condition has been cleared.
You can access ACORN as soon as you have accepted your offer of admission. To log in for the first time, you will need your student number, which is located on your Offer of Admission letter. Visit the ACORN home page for instructions on logging in for the first time and setting up a password.
Take some time to explore ACORN. ACORN is where you will do many important things including enrol in courses, monitor your student financial account, print your tuition invoice, and obtain tax documents.
TCard, UT email and UTORid
Your TCard is your University of Toronto student card and is your key to many services and activities at the University and off-campus. Once you have obtained your TCard, you will be able to set-up your UT email account and you will be assigned a UTORid.
Fees, Registration, and Enrolment
A breakdown of your tuition and supplementary fees for the coming year is typically posted in ACORN in mid to late July. You can login to ACORN to monitor your student account and to print out your tuition invoice, once it is available.
You are considered registered as soon as you have paid tuition and incidental fees or have requested to register without payment (i.e. fee deferral). For information on registering without payment (i.e. fee deferral), visit the Graduate Fees section of the SGS website.
Full details on enrolling in courses will be emailed to all students by the Registrar.
Paying your tuition
School of Graduate Studies (SGS): SGS usually holds an orientation session during the first week of September. SGS will email you with full details over the summer.
All newly admitted PhD students: The Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing hosts a welcome luncheon typically held the first Monday of the academic year. Full details will be emailed to new students over the summer.
Information about PhD Supervisors
As a PhD applicant, at the time of application, you must have a faculty member agree to supervise your thesis work if you are admitted to the PhD program. This agreement fosters a close link between a student’s research interest and those of the prospective supervisor, which in turn helps to promote the student’s success in the doctoral program and its timely completion. To help you select a supervisor:
- Read “Selecting a Supervisor” (below)
- To identify a faculty member who might be an appropriate match with your research interest, review the list of potential PhD supervisors and their key areas of research (below). You can also visit our website to read the faculty biographies.
- Contact the faculty member(s) by email to discuss your research interest and to determine if she/he would be willing to supervise you. In preparation for that discussion, you should become familiar with the faculty member’s research by reading a selection of her/his publications; be ready to talk about your own research activities; and be willing to submit any publications you have had in the last five years.
- When you have found a potential match, you will need to have the faculty member sign the PhD Thesis Supervision Form and Funding Policy Acknowledgment Form, which is to be submitted with your application package. You will access this form in the SGS on-line application.
The number of faculty members in the position to take on new PhD students varies year to year depending upon current supervision load, leaves and sabbatical plans. Junior faculty members, working in collaboration with senior faculty members, from time to time agree to supervise doctoral students.
Selecting a Supervisor
After choosing a PhD program, selecting a supervisor is perhaps the next most important decision you’ll make in pursuing doctoral studies. Your supervisor is your guide through the program as a whole, and specifically in reaching the milestones that lead to successful completion of a thesis. The investments both you and (s)he make are huge and the fit must be mutual.
When you meet faculty at Bloomberg who are prospective supervisors, they will be assessing whether or not they are in a position to help you given their interests and constraints/commitments and your skills, strengths and aspirations. You in turn will be focusing on whether or not there is a good fit for you, in terms of their interests and your needs. Prepare for meetings with prospective supervisors by reading their work and drafting questions to ask of them. Here are some documents we suggest:
- Canadian Association for Graduate Students. Your Future: A Guide for Potential Graduate Students:
This document is offers guidance in selecting a graduate program and a supervisor, as well as in seeking financial support for graduate study. Pay particular attention to the specific questions you can and should ask of a potential supervisor.
- The School of Graduate Studies website also has excellent material for prospective and current students.
Pay particular attention to Graduate Supervision: Guidelines for Students, Faculty and Administrators.Like the other guide from the CAGS above, this document contains a helpful list of questions for potential supervisors.
Ideally, you and your supervisor will be interested in the same subject matter and/or population and share preferences for research methods (i.e. qualitative vs. quantitative, and even in terms of specific designs within these traditions, such as randomized trials). However, sometimes successful student/supervisor pairings bring together individuals who are not necessarily exact matches on all of these parameters and sometimes matches that are not immediately obvious can turn out to be logical and fruitful. Keep some points in mind:
- Your precise research question and design usually crystallizes in the first year or two of doctoral work, as you complete course work, attend seminars, and have discussions with your supervisor and committee. Your applicant statement must provide some early ideas that you have about possible projects that reflect an understanding of research and researchable questions. You are normally looking for fit, broadly speaking, rather than a supervisor who is an exact match for the specific question and design you may have at the time of your application.
- A mutual interest on the part of a student and his/her supervisor in a common clinical phenomenon or in similar concepts or research methods can be what it takes to make a strong match, rather than common specialization in a particular disease or age group or both.
You and your supervisor will assemble a committee of faculty members to oversee your thesis work. These professors offer additional viewpoints on your work as it evolves and complement your supervisor’s expertise, particularly in specific subject matter or technical aspects of your research.
Supervisor Name Keywords for Research Interests Charlene Chu Gerontology, geriatrics, intervention design, person-centred care, mobility and physical health of older adults, physical activity, technology development (hardware, software, m-health, AI), Methodological expertise: feasibility studies, pilot studies, user-centred design with end users and stakeholders, mixed methods
· Creating and assessing an innovative gaming surface for older adults in long-term care;
· gamifying a digital cognitive assessment tool for older adults;
· developing an in-home sensor system to monitor social isolation and functional decline in older adults in the community.
Kristin Cleverley Mental health care access and transitions, youth and family engagement in mental health and addictions research Tracey Colella Transitions in cardiac care (acute care into cardiac rehabilitation (CR)) with key interest in social support, technology, sex differences, vulnerable populations, cardiac rehabilitation access and models of care for delivery of CR Aaron Conway Cardiovascular, procedural sedation and analgesia, anesthesia, simulation, patient safety, alarm fatigue, machine learning, data science, psychometric/clinimetric analyses
· Automating pre-procedural fasting instructions. The candidate will lead a program of research involving: 1) predictive modelling of procedure start times using a large retrospective database of cardiac cath lab procedure scheduling information; and 2) user-centered design principles to create an alert system optimally suited to patient and clinician requirements for the delivery of automated pre-procedural fasting instructions.
· Automating sedation state assessments. Procedural sedation is used to attenuate the pain and distress that may otherwise be experienced during diagnostic and interventional medical procedures. The ‘ideal’ state is when the patient is pain and anxiety free, not moving and with normal vital signs. The candidate will lead a program of research focused on automatic classification of sedation states based on a combination of video, audio and physiological monitoring inputs
Lisa Cranley Knowledge translation, healthcare provider decision-making, facilitating evidence-based practice, quality and safety in long-term care, qualitative and mixed methods.
· Implementing an intervention to foster meaningful engagement and shared decision-making in long-term care: A mixed methods approach.
· Examining relational coordination and resident, staff, and quality and safety outcomes in long-term care
Craig Dale Adult pain, oral health, critical illness, symptom management, patient-family communication, patient-oriented outcomes, qualitative and quantitative methods Cindy-Lee Dennis Perinatal, Postpartum depression, Breastfeeding, Randomized controlled trials Denise Gastaldo Social determinants of health, Migration, Gender, Qualitative research, Health promotion Quinn Grundy Corporate influences on health, Conflict of interest, Health policy, Pharmaceutical policy, Digital health, Qualitative research Edith Hillan Maternal and neonatal health within a global context, technologies which can improve access to healthcare in rural and remote settings particularly point of care devices Lindsay Jibb Pediatric cancer, pediatric community-based cancer care, symptom assessment and management, mHealth intervention development and evaluation, qualitative and quantitative methods, systematic reviews Linda Johnston Emotional and social burden in parenting medically complex children, long term outcomes following NICU, international child health Samantha Mayo Cancer, cancer survivorship, symptom management, symptom biology, cancer-related cognitive impairment, malignant hematology, stem cell transplantation, quantitative and mixed method studies Linda McGillis Hall Nursing management; health services and systems research; regulation; health policy; nurse migration and mobility; work environments; patient safety and quality outcomes; mixed methods Kathy McGilton Gerontology, rehabilitation, care delivery models, preventing functional and cognitive decline, pragmatic trials, dementia Kelly Metcalfe Cancer, genetics, decision making, cancer prevention, cancer treatment, psychosocial functioning, young women with breast cancer, genetic testing, cancer surgery Carles Muntaner Social inequalities in health, employment and working conditions, global health, race/ethnicity, health and social policy, welfare state, politics, mixed methods Sioban Nelson History of Nursing and Health Care; Policy issues in nursing and the health professions; Professional regulation; Scopes of Practice; Mobility and the Global Health Workforce. Monica Parry Cardiovascular care, sex/gender, patient-oriented research, mixed methods systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, health outcomes (pain, function, quality of life)
· Development and Usability Testing of HEARTPA♀N. The overall goal of this program of research is to develop and systematically evaluate an integrated smartphone and web-based intervention (HEARTPA♀N) to provide evidence-informed symptom triage and self-management support to reduce pain and increase health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in women with cardiac pain. Students will have an opportunity to learn more about patient-oriented research and the traditional (e.g., sex, diabetes, physical inactivity, ethnicity, etc.) and non-traditional (e.g., pregnancy, menopause, autoimmune diseases, psychosocial, etc.) risk factors for cardiovascular disease
Elizabeth Peter Nursing ethics, bioethics, qualitative and philosophical approaches Martine Puts Geriatric oncology, gerontology, quality of life and functional status of older adults, frailty, qualitative studies, quantitative studies, mixed methods studies, epidemiology Bonnie Stevens Pediatric pain, measurement and assessment, knowledge translation of evidence into practice, role of context in influencing outcomes, qualitative and quantitative methods Jennifer Stinson Pediatric pain, mixed methods research, e-health, m-health, chronic disease self-management, patient reported outcome measurement development Robyn Stremler Sleep and related outcomes in pediatrics, pregnancy, postpartum, parents/caregivers; hospitalization experience for children/parents; eHealth/mHealth interventions, digital therapeutics, wearable sensor technology Ann Tourangeau Patient safety, Outcomes research, Nurse work environments, Nurse retention, Accessing and linking large databases, Survey methods, Theory development and testing Kim Widger Paediatrics, palliative care, quality of care, indicator development, instrument development, scoping reviews, use of administrative data Amy Wright Maternal/child health, neonatal nursing, health care access and utilization, Indigenous health and well-being, community-based research approaches, culturally safe care, qualitative research
Please visit our Faculty Directory for more information about and contact details for potential PhD supervisors.
If you have difficulty identifying a supervisor, please contact Dr. Edith Hillan (firstname.lastname@example.org), Acting Director of the PhD Program, for assistance.