16. Evaluation Report format for PhD Thesis

16. Evaluation Report format for PhD Thesis

PhD in Computer Science

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Thesis Evaluation

Thesis Submission

The thesis submitted by a candidate for the PhD degree must comply with the following conditions:

  1. It must form a distinct contribution to knowledge and afford evidence of originality either by the discovery of
    new facts or by the exercise of independent critical judgment duly certified by the concerned supervisor. It must
    not include research work for which a degree has been already conferred.
  2. It must be written in English language and the writing quality of the dissertation must be at par with the
    standards of publications in a peer-reviewed ISI indexed journal in the field of research.
  3. For any part of the thesis, which has been published before the submission of the thesis, a list of published
    work should be appended at the end of the thesis.
  4. The thesis must meet the similarity index requirements as per HEC policy.
  5. The thesis must be formatted and bound in accordance with the specifications mentioned in the most recent version
    of Thesis Guidelines .
  6. Upon completion of all PhD study / research requirements, the candidate shall submit to Dean (Research), through
    the HoD, four soft-bound copies and one soft copy (pdf format) of the thesis on a CD along with an application
    form duly approved by her / his PhD Supervisor / co-supervisor for the evaluation of his / her thesis.

Thesis Evaluation

  1. The Rector shall appoint a panel of external reviewers on the recommendations of the
    Head of Department and supervisor from the comprehensive list of reviewers approved
    by CGSR. This panel will include three external reviewers, preferably from
    technologically / academically advanced countries.
  2. Controller of Examinations will send the thesis to the approved reviewers with the
    request of thesis evaluation within a period of six weeks after sending the thesis to the
    reviewers. A copy of the letter shall also be forwarded to Dean Research, relevant
    Department Head / Director of the affiliated institute.
  3. Controller of Examinations will receive the evaluation reports and forward it to Dean
    Research for further processing. A copy of the evaluation reports shall also be sent to
    the relevant Department Heads / Director of the institute.
  4. The relevant Department Head / Director of the institute shall also keep track of the
    report received. In case of a delay of more than six weeks, the Department Head /
    Director of the institute, under intimation to Dean Research, shall initiate a request to
    the Controller of Examinations (PIEAS) for a reminder of the evaluations.
  5. After a thesis has been sent to a reviewer, any query / request with the reviewers
    regarding the thesis evaluations shall be communicated through the Controller of
    Examinations (PIEAS) only.
  6. In case, an external reviewer does not respond within 3 months, and two satisfactory
    reports have been received, the student will be allowed to defend her / his thesis in
    front of the panel of thesis examiners.
  7. In case two or more evaluation reports are not received within a period of three
    months, the procedure from claus 6-b(i) will be repeated for appointing new
  8. Each reviewer in the panel will assign one of the three categories to the thesis given
    below. The reviewer will also be required to provide a detailed evaluation and critique
    of the thesis on the prescribed pro forma.

    • Satisfactory (S): The thesis meets the degree requirements in scope, contribution to
      knowledge and research methodology. Some minor improvements in one or more
      of the following may also be suggested: presentation and analysis of results,
      layout and quality of writing.
    • Major Revision required (M): The research problem considered in the thesis satisfies
      the requirements of a PhD degree but the thesis requires major changes in one or
      more of the following: scope, contribution to knowledge and research
      methodology. A re-evaluation of the thesis would be required in this case.
    • Unsatisfactory (U): The thesis does not satisfy the expectations and requirements for
      a PhD degree.
  9. The following table describes the action in response to thesis evaluation reports:
    Only two reports have been received
    SS Schedule the PhD Defence if the third report is not received within three months, otherwise proceed
    to get the third report as per defined procedure.
    UU Failure in obtaining the PhD degree.
    SM, SU, MM, MU Proceed to get the third report as per defined procedure.
    Three reports have been received
    SSS Schedule the PhD Defence.
    SSM, SSU Revise the thesis. Thesis review by a Re-evaluation Committee (see sub clause ).
    SMM, SMU,MMU, MMM Revise the thesis. Re-evaluation of the thesis by the external reviewers. Two or more Satisfactory
    reports of the re-evaluations are required in order to continue the PhD studies,otherwise failure in
    obtaining the PhD degree.
    SUU, MUU, UUU Failure in obtaining the PhD degree
  10. In case of thesis major revision, the candidate will be required to resubmit a revised
    thesis within one year. In case of thesis re-evaluation by the external reviewers, the
    student has to pay the thesis evaluation fee again.
  11. A three-member thesis Re-evaluation Committee to review a thesis, if required, shall
    be constituted by Dean Research in consultation with the relevant HoD.
  12. Any minor modifications / revisions shall be incorporated without referring again to the
    external reviewers, and supervisor shall make sure that appropriate changes have
    been done in the thesis by the student before scheduling the final defence. The student
    will prepare and submit a point by point summary of the changes incorporated in the
  13. In case, an external reviewer does not respond within 3 months, and two satisfactory
    reports have been received, the student will be allowed to defend her / his work in front
    of the panel of thesis examiners for final open defence.
  14. In case two or more evaluation reports are not received within a period of three
    months, the procedure from step ‘6-b(i)’ will be repeated for appointing new

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McGill.CA / Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies / Thesis / Thesis Guidelines / Thesis examination
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  • Thesis Guidelines
    • General requirements
    • Preparation of a thesis
    • Initial Thesis Submission
    • Thesis examination
      • Thesis examiners
      • Evaluation of written thesis
      • Thesis examination failures
    • Doctoral oral defence
    • Final thesis submission
    • Thesis FAQ
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Evaluation of a Written Thesis

Examiners are asked to evaluate the thesis according to the criteria in the respective thesis examiner report form for a  Master’s  or  Doctoral  thesis. Examiners provide an overall judgment of ‘passed’ or ‘not passed’. For Master’s students, this evaluation determines whether or not the thesis is ready for final submission, even if minor changes are recommended. For Doctoral candidates, this evaluation determines whether or not the candidate is ready to proceed to the oral defence.   


If the thesis meets the general criteria for the degree sought, as well as those listed on the examiner’s report form (see: Master’s Examiner report form ; Doctoral Examiner report form ), it should be evaluated as ‘Passed’, even if some changes are recommended.

If the overall judgement is ‘Passed’, examiners are asked to provide:

  1. A report that includes any recommendations for minor revisions to the thesis (i.e., stylistic or editorial changes that can be completed in three weeks or less).
  2. For doctoral theses, External Examiners who will not be at the oral defence must also provide a list of questions to be asked of the candidate at the oral defence. 


Not Passed

An evaluation of ‘Not Passed’ should be given if:

  • Major revisions are needed, such as:
    • the need for a new study, experimentation, or significant additional research or reformulation.
    • the need to address major problems with the presentation of the work. Stylistic or editorial changes are not normally considered to be major revisions, but if the quality of the presentation is so poor that extensive rewriting is required, the thesis should not be passed.
  • At least one of the Criteria for the Evaluation of the Thesis (see Master’s Examiner report form ; Doctoral Examiner report form ) is judged as unsatisfactory.

Examiners are asked to identify required changes clearly in their reports. The supervisor or another designated person will ensure that the student corrects the thesis and that it appropriately reflects the examiners’ suggestions for revisions prior to re-submission of the thesis.

The candidate will normally revise and re-submit the thesis for re-assessment, usually by the same examiner. If/when review of the revised thesis is required, the Thesis Unit will contact the initial examiner to determine their availability. In rare cases, a revised thesis may be sent to a new examiner if the first examiner is not available to re-examine the thesis. For more, please see  Thesis examination failures.   

If the revised thesis is again ‘not passed’, the student will be withdrawn from the University unless the decision is reversed through an appeal to the Hearing Committee (Bias, Error, or Misrepresentation ).

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