The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs (FGPA) is operating remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our staff continue to work diligently in responding to your electronic correspondence.  We are happy to help. If you have a question, please do not hesitate to email us at graduate_studies@carleton.ca.

For other FAQs relating to COVID-19 and Carleton University, please visit Carleton’s COVID-19 website.

FAQs

Academic Programs

Fall 2021 Academic Programs

I have a question related to my research. Where can I go for help?

The Carleton Office for Research Initiatives and Services has prepared this list of FAQs. You may also want to talk with your research supervisor.

Is there an update about programs for this Fall (2021)?

As we look towards the fall, we are starting to see messaging by Canadian universities suggesting preparations for a significant return to campus while at the same time emphasizing health and safety. We deeply share our colleagues’ desire to gather in person again and, like them, we also recognize that there are still many open questions at this time. Will the rate of vaccination accelerate quickly enough to support a significant return in the fall? What rules and regulations will be in place with regards to physical distancing or capacity limits? Will international mobility resume?

Check out the President’s latest information on this topic by clicking here.

Drawing on broad health and safety, operational and legal expertise, we are setting up the appropriate protocols, procedures and mitigation measures – in line with public health guidelines – for a gradual and safe return of faculty and staff to campus in advance of the fall term. Should epidemiological data, vaccination rates and public health recommendations all go in the right direction, we will be ready for a significant return to our beautiful campus.

 

Winter 2021 Academic Programs

Has the university released any plans yet for the 2021 winter term?

Sept. 29, 2020:  Last week the Carleton Senate officially confirmed the recommendation of the Carleton University Scenario Planning (CUSP) Working Group that the winter semester proceed online, with some leeway for selected optional instruction on campus (e.g. specific labs, capstone projects, recitals) if circumstances allow. In other words, we will essentially be following a similar approach for the winter term as we did for the fall term.

July 15/20:  As course registration has begun for the Fall and Fall/Winter terms, we must start looking ahead to the next major milestone: planning for the Winter 2021 term. We remain hopeful that it will be possible to welcome some students back to campus in January; however, it seems very unlikely that the pandemic will be fully resolved by then.

In planning for Winter 2021, we must remain responsive to evolving public health guidelines. We will continue to be guided by the key principles outlined by the Carleton University Scenario Planning working group, and we will continue to place the health and well-being of students, staff, faculty and the broader community above all other considerations. If public health restrictions are eased such that some face-to-face instruction could resume, we recognize that many students may not be able – or may not be comfortable – to return to campus.

Course instructors have been advised to develop their Winter 2021 term courses in a manner that will allow them to be delivered remotely. If Carleton University is able to offer face-to-face instruction in the Winter 2021 term, some courses may be available to graduate students in face-to-face format; remote delivery, however, will likely remain the primary mode of instruction.

We remain hopeful that we will be able to partially reopen our physical spaces over the coming months and offer some on-campus activities when it is safe to do so. In particular, graduate students who have program elements – notably memoirs and theses – requiring specialized research facilities will be contacted, when their lab or research space is ready to safely open.

These are challenging times, but the Carleton community is committed to continuing to support you in every step of your academic journey.

Stay safe and well,

Patrice Smith

Dean, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs
Carleton University

 

International Students

Who can help me with an immigration question such as study or work permits?

The International Student Services Office (ISSO) has certified Immigration Advisors who can provide guidance to students. You can contact the ISSO at isso@carleton.ca. You can also review the ISSO’s FAQ website by clicking here.

Is there any special financial assistance for international PhD students?

Yes but only due to the pandemic or an emergency.

I am an international graduate student and I have some questions about my status. Where can I go for help?

At this timethe International Student Services Office (ISSO) is providing services remotely during their regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday). The best way to connect with the ISSO is by email. You should receive a reply to your inquiry within 2-4 business days. There are several FAQs available on the ISSO’s website that provide useful information.

I am a Graduate student with questions about why UHIP coverage during the Summer Term. What should I do?

For graduate students registered in a degree program, your UHIP coverage will be valid until August 31, 2020 whether or not you enroll in the Summer Term. This includes graduate students who take a Leave of Absence in the summer term.

However, if you are registered as a Special student, your UHIP coverage is valid only for the term(s) you are enrolled in classes. For example, if you are registered in Winter term classes as a Special student, your UHIP will expire April 30, 2020.  If/when you register for summer classes, your UHIP will be reinstated for the period May 1 to August 31, 2020.

Kindly note that UHIP does not cover the cost of prescription drugs, and dental and vision care. These are offered through the supplemental plans with the Graduate Student Association (GSA), and students should consult with them directly about how non-registration may impact coverage.

Graduation Ceremonies

Will there be a Spring 2021 (June) graduation celebration?

To celebrate your academic success, the University will be hosting a Virtual Graduation Celebration in June 2021 along with a number of Grad Celebration events within faculties the week of June 21-25. Notifications have been sent to all graduates. Celebratory videos will be available at 7 a.m. EDT on Monday, June 21. You can find further information regarding these celebrations by clicking here.

Funding

How Will RA payments be made this fall (2020)?

The following explains the process by which Research Assistants will be paid for 2020-21. Payments for all Type A Research Assistants (fixed payment not linked to specific hours worked) will be applied directly to their graduate student account for this year, rather than what happened in the past e.g. being paid over four months via payroll. The full amount of the RA (rather than the 92% that Payroll limits the grads to) will be applied to their student account.

Faculty and students both still use the Grad RA Payment System to set up the funding. Data from that system will be applied to the student account.

For domestic students, a T4A will still be issued. For international students, a T4A-NR (same form, for a non-resident) will be produced. Students will be able to request a refund of the amount applied to their account in excess of their tuition fees.

How do I get an extension for my Tri-Council (NSERC/SSHRC/CIHR) Award?

As announced on April 22, the Government of Canada committed $291.6M to support students and postdoctoral researchers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through the federal research funding agencies. All award holders of research training programs covered by the Tri-agency Research Training Award Holder’s Guide (TARTAHG) that end between March and August 2020 can benefit from a four-month extension, provided they meet certain conditionsClick here to view more details. Note: Instructions will be sent to eligible students but they must complete an online form through the Tri-council. The deadline to submit the form is July 9th.  Award extensions will not be applied to student accounts until the decisions are sent to the institution. Completing the online document is only the first step in the process.

Incoming students who request to defer their admission and have an external award, may only defer by FOUR months or they lose the funding and must reapply next year. The following information is posted on the Tri-Agency website.

“Training award recipients (master’s, doctoral, and postdoctoral) may defer the start date of their award, or request an unpaid interruption of up to four months for reasons related to the COVID-19 situation. For master’s and doctoral award holders, this can be adjusted to align with the next available start date (May 1, 2020; September 1, 2020; or January 1, 2021).”

If I take an LoA, can I still receive RA funding?

This is possible but it is up to your supervisor to decide how he/she wants to handle this. Please consult with your thesis research supervisor regarding details around a Research Assistantship, as FGPA does not directly administer RA funding.

If I am not registered (NR), do I have to pay fees this summer (2020)?

No, you do not.

I am in need of financial assistance? Where can I go for help?

Students in financial need should take advantage of the financial assistance programs announced by both the provincial and federal governments, as applicable. Students who are in need of emergency assistance and are not eligible for other government programs, can complete the Student Emergency Fund In-Take Form available to graduate and undergraduate students to receive funding for essential expenses that may have arisen as a result of COVID-19.

Given that TA and Scholarship funding will be moved to the next available term after a LOA, will my OGS also automatically be moved forward, or do I need to make arrangements for this?

If you take a Leave of Absence and have remaining terms in your official time to completion, then the OGS funding will be deferred to the next available term (that does not have an OGS award already in place).

Do students need to contact SSHRC, NSERC or CHIR to defer this award?

You cannot defer your award. However, you can defer your registration for a term by taking a Leave of Absence and your funding will be moved to the next term.

Incoming students who request to defer their admission and have an external award, may only defer by FOUR months or they lose the funding and must reapply next year.  Please see below.  The following information is posted on the Tri-Agency website.

“Training award recipients (master’s, doctoral, and postdoctoral) may defer the start date of their award, or request an unpaid interruption of up to four months for reasons related to the COVID-19 situation. For master’s and doctoral award holders, this can be adjusted to align with the next available start date (May 1, 2020; September 1, 2020; or January 1, 2021).”

Professional Development

What professional development resources are still available to me?

FGPA continues to remotely offer one-on-one writing consultations to assist you with writing-related challenges, or to discuss the effectiveness of your research and writing strategies. To request a consultation by phone or through other electronic means, please fill out and submit this web form.

Campus Services

How can I get my student ID card if I’m taking courses online in Fall 2020 and not physically present on campus?

New students should submit a photo through MyPhoto.Carleton.ca.  An email will be sent to you when the photo is reviewed (this starts in July) and will have further instructions. Students who are not physically on campus do not need a student ID card.  Library Access and other services are available remotely using your Carleton login credentials.  All details and instructions can be found on the Campus Card website.

Is the Carleton Bookstore still offering services?

The Carleton University Bookstore continues to offer lots of services including:

  • Free Shipping with all domestic orders through the Carleton Bookstore website This includes various formats of course materials, supplies, apparel, technology, and more.
  • The Bookstore’s rental return date is April 25. To get a FREE return label for your current rental, please contact Kelly, the manager at the Bookstore at  0936mgr@follett.com. If you need your book until the April 25, please return it right after you are finished with it.
  • Textbook adoptions are still being accepted. If you are teaching a course during the summer term, be sure to submit your textbook adoptions ASAP to give the Bookstore time to get physical and/or digital copies of the materials you need. Submit your textbook adoption form.
  • If you have questions or concerns, please contact Kelly at 0936mgr@follett.com.

How can I access mental health support?

There are several FAQs on the University website that talk about support and services for students. Click here to view the FAQ about mental health services.

Thesis

What if I have a defence (PhD, Masters or Proposal defence) or my comprehensive exams are taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic?

FGPA is using online approaches, such as ZOOM, to facilitate defences remotely. For PhD defences, Information Technology Services (ITS) has been very helpful in successfully conducting several defences so far. Associate Dean Paul Keen will continue to coordinate the remote thesis defences with students and their committees. All other defences (Masters defences, proposals, etc.) will continue to be coordinated by the departments/program. ITS is available to help with facilitating the remote/online defences. Program/Departmental staff/faculty may contact Jonathan Lindsay in ITS (Jonathan.Lindsay@carleton.ca) for help and support in arranging the remote defences/thesis proposals. Arrangements for comprehensive exams are also being coordinated by the department/program. Graduate students should contact their graduate supervisor if they have questions about these elements of their program.

Will I be given extra time to complete my thesis or degree due to the COVID-10 pandemic?

Carleton University Senate (on the recommendation of the Graduate Faculty Board) has recently approved the extension of PhD times-to-completion (to 6 years). In addition, newly approved regulations require that decisions regarding extensions would be coordinated within the programs/departments. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the way in which we operate and we are grateful for the departmental commitment to supporting students with compassion and flexibility during this difficult time.

Masters students and Graduate Diploma students who display summer 2020 as the final term and are in good standing in their program will have their time of completion extended by one term. Summer registration is not mandatory for this accommodation.

Doctoral students who display summer 2020 as their final term of completion and believe they are unable to meet the timeline should contact their department/supervisor and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral affairs to discuss their needs and progress.

Can I still defend my thesis or dissertation in time to finish my program in the Winter 2020 term?

Yes, provided that a defence date can be arranged based on the availability of the thesis committee and external/internal examiners. The defence date must take place before June 12, 2020 and allow time to complete any final revisions. The thesis or dissertation in its final, defended form, must be uploaded no later than June 12.

Leave of Absence

Can I change my LOA to registered status?

In our effort to remain as flexible as possible, it is possible to do this, depending on the student’s circumstances.

If I take an LOA in May, can I cancel this LOA in July if research possibilities become available?

Yes, you can. If you alert FGPA, we will register you retroactively for the term.

Whare the program implications if I take a leave of Absence or ‘Not Registered’ (NR)?

Masters and Graduate Diploma students who display summer 2020 as the final term and in good standing in their program will have their time of completion extended by one term. Summer registration is not mandatory for this accommodation.

Doctoral students who display summer 2020 as their final term of completion and believe they are unable to meet the timeline are required to correspond with their department/supervisor and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral affairs to discuss their needs and progress.

If I take a summer Leave of Absence, will I be exempted from paying back my OSAP payments before I return in the fall?

FGPA is not directly responsible for the administration of OSAP, however, we are happy to refer this query to the AWARDs office, which is directly responsible for the administration of OSAP.

Research

What if I haven’t defended yet but my research has been interrupted and I can’t progress in my work?

Please contact our Graduate Registrar at Joanne.Bree@carleton.ca if you would like to request a leave of absence (LOA). We are cognizant of the fact that the collective response to COVID-19 may result in interruptions in your research and requests for LOA will be reasonably accommodated.

Library

Is there any new information about services being offered by the Library for the winter 2021 rwem?

In light of the recent announcement from the Province of Ontario regarding restrictions that came into effect on December 26, 2020, the library building, including the study space and ASC consultations by appointment, will now be closed to the public (students and faculty) until further notice.

Online services resumed as planned on Wednesday, January 6. Our curbside pickup/mailing and scan-on-demand services resumed Monday, January 11.

Will those students currently on leave due to parental responsibilities, or who take a Leave of Absence for the summer, be given online access to the library?

While the parental leave policy has not yet been approved by Senate, we are working with the library to determine what accommodations could be arranged to allow access for in-progress students, who take a Leave of Absence.  There are some limitations however around online licencing agreements that may restrict usage.


Can I book a grad student study space in the Library this term (Winter) 2021?

Due to the closure of most floors of the Library, they are not accepting applications for 2020/21 grad student spaces. The Library will be updating the Grad Spaces page on a regular basis

 

Summer Academic Term 2021

Has the University released any plans for the summer academic term 2021?

The Carleton Senate confirmed at its meeting of January 29 that the summer 2021 term will be held mostly online. The plan outlined in the Carleton University Scenario Planning (CUSP) Recommendation for Summer 2021 is to “continue the approach adopted for the fall and winter terms, specifically, that we plan for a predominantly online summer term. We anticipate that some on-campus learning may be possible depending on public health developments.” Last summer saw a heightened demand for courses and, accordingly, we are developing an extensive summer schedule that will allow students across all faculties to take advantage of the quieter months to advance their studies.

Are you planning on taking a Leave of Absence for the summer 2021 term?

If so you need to apply by: May 13 for early summer courses and May 20 for full summer courses.

 

Income Tax 2020 Return

What impact could the COVID-19 pandemic have on my income tax return for 2020?

Please read this page for more information on this subject.