Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. For the upcoming cohort, when does the eligibility period begin?
A1. For the cohort of 2017, a candidate must have received his or her PhD or equivalent no earlier than January 1, 2002.

Q2. Will there be any exceptions to the 15 year eligibility period?
A2.  Yes, the RSC will consider an exemption period of up to three years for those who have had a career interruption for the purpose of maternity, childrearing, illness, or health-related family responsibilities.

Q3. What information should be included in the cover letter? In the letter of reference?
A3.1. The cover letter must be prepared by either a Fellow, a Member of the College, or in the case of IM nominations, the President or CEO of the university of organization. This person (or institution) is the “primary nominator”. The cover letter should introduce the nomination and indicate why the candidate is appropriate for Membership and how the nominee responds to the selection criteria. The nomination letter should not repeat information in the detailed appraisal of the nominee.
A3.2. The letter of reference does not need to be prepared by a Member or a Fellow. Good letters of reference tend to be “fact heavy.” Assertions about quality of work should be backed up by reference to some objective source that can confirm the assertion. When speaking about impact, it is helpful to indicate in what way the candidate’s work has made a practical or theoretical impact in the discipline in question. External measures such as citation indexes should also be mentioned in letters if they are current measures in the discipline in question.

Q4. Can current Members of the College be nominated for Fellowship?
A4. Yes. Members of the College can be nominated for Fellowship following normal nomination procedures. Membership in the College will neither help nor hurt a nomination to the Fellowship.

Q5. Are there any citizenship or residency requirements? 
A5. Yes. College members must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents at the time of election, at the Annual General Meeting in November.

Q6. For how long is a nomination dossier valid?
A6. Dossiers submitted for the College will expire once the incoming cohort is named.

Q7. Will nominees who are not successful be eligible for nomination in subsequent years?
A7. Yes. Unsuccessful nominees may be re-nominated up to two times, as long as they still meet the eligibility requirements.

Q8. What is meant by “the conditions of membership”?
A8. “Conditions of membership” is an allusion to the oath of the RSC. Members of the College will commit to upholding the values of the RSC; to maintaining good standing during their seven-year term; to paying their dues; to attending meetings; and to serving the Society in a voluntary capacity to the extent possible.

Q9. Do Members of the College pay annual dues?
A9. Yes. The annual dues for Members of the College will be equivalent to half the dues associated with membership as a Fellow of the Society.

Q10. Is there a maximum length for a prospective nominee’s CV?
A10. Yes. While CVs of up to 50 pages in length will be accepted, the length of a CV in pages does not correlate to the merit of the candidate. CVs ought to address a candidate’s entire career.

Q11. My prospective nominee has two PhDs. Which one will be considered in determining the 15-year eligibility period?
A11. The most recently obtained PhD or equivalent will be considered. However, in cases where a habilitation qualification (or equivalent) is being pursued or has been attained, the candidate’s PhD is deemed to be the highest degree. In addition, time spent completing the habilitation qualification (or equivalent) is not considered a break in career.

Q12. My prospective nominee is an artist with a BA. Is this person eligible?
A12. Yes. As it would for an artist with an MA, the 15-year eligibility period begins when he or she receives the degree in question.

Q13. Is a scholarly degree a prerequisite for membership in the College?
A13. No, a scholarly degree is not a prerequisite for membership in the College. The 15-year eligibility period would be understood to begin at the onset of a nominee’s professional career.

Q14. What is considered a PhD equivalent for those in medicine?
A14. Certification by the FRCPC is considered an equivalent for those studying medicine outside of Quebec. For those studying medicine in Quebec, the equivalent is the Collège des médecins du Québec. The exception to this is nominees who practice family medicine, in which case the MD itself would be considered the equivalent.

Q15. My prospective nominee’s dossier has been submitted for consideration for Fellowship. Is this individual eligible for nomination to the College?
A15. No. At any one time, an individual may be nominated for either Fellowship in the Society or Membership in the College, but not both.