PhD

Cell and Systems Biology

Study mode:Full-time Languages: English Duration:5 years
Foreign:$ 21.6k / 1 Academic year(s) Deadline: Feb 13, 2022
StudyQA ranking:1045

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The CSB PhD program aims to produce scientists who will form part of the next generation of independent researchers in cell, molecular and systems biology, and become future high-level teachers, frontier-expanders, and decision-makers in these fields of inquiry.   In keeping with this, PhD graduates are expected to emerge from the program as independent and autonomous scientists, producing a written thesis that describes original research that stands as a testimony to their ability to generate publishable, stand-alone contributions to the peer-reviewed scientific literature.  As part of their training, PhD students will acquire skills in the communication of scientific research (including teaching skills), and acquire broad-based knowledge of the theory and practice underpinning their chosen field.

The Ph.D. is a four- or five-year program for students entering with an M.Sc. or B.Sc. degree respectively.  Promising students may seek to transfer into the Ph.D. program from the M.Sc. program after 12 months of study. All students must pass an appraisal examination within 20 months into the program.

The CSB PhD program objectives are achieved through:

  1. independent research in the laboratories of CSB faculty;
  2. successful completion of high level graduate courses;
  3. oral presentations at formal Department seminars and informal group meetings, and,
  4. production of a thesis that contains work that can stand alone as a publishable, peer-reviewed contribution to the scientific literature.
  • CSB1020H/F, LEC 0108 – Molecular Biology of Gene Expression
  • CSB1020H/F, LEC 0124 – Current Techniques in Neuroscience
  • CSB1472H/S, LEC 0101 – Computational Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • CSB1025H/S, LEC 0101 – Methods in Genomics and Proteomics
  • CSB1020H/S, LEC 0123 – Neuroscience of Behavioural State Control
  • CSB1020H/S, LEC 0109 – Molecular Biology of Cancer
  • CSB1020H/S, LEC 0105 – Evolutionary Genetic Analyses using PAML
  • CSB1020H/F, LEC 0125 – Cell Signaling in Health and Disease (Summer 2017 offering cannot be requested on ROSI/ACORN until March 20, 2017)
  • CSB1020H/F, LEC 0107 – Cell Biology of Gastrulation (Summer 2017 offering cannot be requested on ROSI/ACORN until March 20, 2017)
  • CSB1020H/F, LEC 0116 – Interpreting Microscopy in Cell Biology (Summer 2017 offering cannot be requested on ROSI/ACORN until March 20, 2017)
  • CSB1020H/F, LEC 0101 – Integrative Physiology of Stress (Summer 2017 offering cannot be requested on ROSI/ACORN until March 20, 2017)
  • CSB1018H/F, LEC 0101 – Advanced Microscopy and Imaging (Summer 2017 offering cannot be requested on ROSI/ACORN until March 20, 2017)
  • A one-page statement describing your interest in Cell and Systems Biology, your goals, and your reasons for choosing this department for graduate studies. Include a list of names of potential supervisors and areas of research in which you are interested.
  • A current copy of your résumé or CV.
  • Three letters of reference are required. These letters should be submitted electrically by the referees, who will automatically be emailed instructions when the student sumibts an online application and has paid the application fee.  Reference letters can be mailed to the department; however, we strongly recommend that referees submit the letters online.
  • Scanned copies of academic transcripts form each university attended.
  • GRE scores are required for applicants without a degree from a Canadian university.  International applicants should submit GRE scores from the General Test and the subject test in Biology.  *Note that GRE scores will not be required in 2017.
  • International applicants whose language of instruction at their previous university was not English must submit an official English Language Facility Test (e.g. TOEFL).  
  • Official transcripts of your academic record (from each university attended) sealed in an envelope and signed by the issuing institution. Transcripts received unsealed or unsigned are not acceptable. Current or former University of Toronto students do NOT have to provide a transcript from the University of Toronto.

Financial Support

Departmental Support

All CSB graduate students, whether domestic or international, in the first year of an M.Sc. program or the first four years of a PhD program (first five years if entering directly from a bachelor’s) are in the University’s “funded cohort”. This means they are provided an annual stipend, which for the 2016-2017 academic year is $18,000 (M.Sc.) or $18,500 (Ph.D.) plus tuition and fees.  Domestic students receive a total of approximately $26,492 (M.Sc.) or $26,992 (Ph.D.) and international students receive approximately $40,604 (M.Sc.) or $41,104 (Ph.D.) because of higher tuition fees.

This stipend covers tuition fees, incidental fees and living costs. The stipend consists of a University of Toronto Fellowship (UTF), a contribution from the thesis supervisor’s grants, and a required 140 hours as an undergraduate teaching assistant.  Students will receive a document outlining details of their annual stipend in August, prior to their arrival.

External Scholarships

Students holding major external scholarships from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) or the Ontario Graduate Scholarship program (OGS) receive the annual stipend plus a “top-up” of $1,500 (provided the student is in the funded cohort) or $2,500 for those holding a NSERC CGSM, NSERC PGSD, or CIHR CGSM.  Stipends will be even higher for students holding scholarships of higher values such as the NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGSD).

* Note that the online application for NSERC/CIHR CGSM scholarships must be completed by December 1st.

Admission Awards

CSB endeavours to attract the most outstanding graduate students possible in a very competitive market. To achieve this the Department awards a limited number of admission scholarships to graduate applicants judged to be exceptional by the Graduate Admissions Committee. Criteria include academic performance, research accomplishments and potential, and receipt of major scholarships (NSERC, CIHR, OGS). These awards are valued at $3,000, and are in addition to the stipend that students would otherwise receive. No application is necessary as every applicant offered admission is automatically considered.

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