Finding a Supervisor

Domestic Students

Although it does not guarantee admission, selecting a potential supervisor is very helpful in terms of deciding on a course of study and structuring the Letter of Intent required for application. Domestic students can be accepted before finding a supervisor, but they cannot register without one.

International Students

As part of their application, international students MUST have a confirmation, in writing, of their RSI graduate supervisor and a guaranteed source of funding from a recognized international funding agency, a government scholarship from their home country, or guaranteed funding from the prospective supervisor.

How to Find a Supervisor

All students must find an appropriate RSI faculty member as their supervisor before the beginning of their program.

A supervisor must have an Associate Member SGS appointment to supervise MSc students and a Full Member appointment to supervise PhD students.

Choose a field of research that is of interest to you. Feel free to contact potential supervisors. Student and supervisor should discuss an appropriate research project, funding strategies, and review the general terms of supervision when considering an association.

When Talking to a Potential Supervisor

You may want to:

  • Discuss your qualification to become a graduate student at UofT such as your grades, research experience, and additional scores (e.g., English proficiency score)
  • Discuss a potential topic or topics of research and availability of funding
  • Discuss and decide if an MSc or PhD is your program of choice, and if there is a collaborative program that you would be a good fit for you
  • Ask the potential supervisor about their previous experiences in supervision, the number of students they supervised, an average time to program completion for the students in the past, and their supervisory philosophy
  • Ask to meet other students mentored by the same supervisor and discuss their experiences

Potential Supervisors:

The following is a list of RSI faculty who have funding and are currently looking to recruit students. Please note that this list is constantly changing so be sure to check back for more updates:

Faculty Member Description of research Looking For Contact
Deryk Beal

My research program consists of two integrated streams: (i) developmental speech and language neuroscience  and (ii) neurorehabilitation. We use neuroimaging (EEG, fMRI, DTI) and neuromodulation (tDCS, TMS) tools to explore the neural mechanisms of development of motor skills, speech and language and in turn understand how these mechanisms are impacted by neurodevelopmental disorders and brain injury. We then leverage this knowledge to devise and test novel treatments for children with rehabilitation needs.

Gillian King

Topics related to (1) client engagement, resiliency, and outcomes in pediatric rehabilitation, (2) understanding environmental qualities and client experiences in the context of various intervention approaches, including solution-focused coaching, and (3) promoting the development of service providers’ skills and strategies, including listening and engagement skills.


Fiona Moola

Dr. Fiona Moola is a scientist, professor, and director of the HEART Lab at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and Ryerson University. Dr. Moola is looking for a MA/PhD student to undertake QUALITATIVE & ARTS-BASED RESEARCH in VISUAL ARTS. Specifically, the desired MA/PhD student will do their thesis on investigating the complex relationship between children and youth with disabilities and the visual arts, in Ontario. The student will be utilizing an arts-based research methodological approach, to generate sociological knowledge by exploring the artistic experiences and artistic creations of children and youth with physical disabilities in Ontario. This will be a funded MA/PhD.

(Master of Arts)

Those interested, please send your CV and cover letter, with the Subject Heading ‘Paintbrush Study – MA Student Application’ to Nivatha Moothathamby at
Kelly O’Brien

Dr. Kelly O’Brien’s research is focused on episodic disability and rehabilitation in the context of HIV and chronic disease. Her Episodic Disability and Rehabilitation Research Program includes profiling the episodic nature of among adults aging with HIV over time (Episodic Disability Framework), examining effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions (physical activity and exercise interventions) on health and disability outcomes among adults living with HIV (Community-Based Exercise Study), and developing and assessing the properties of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) of disability (HIV Disability Questionnaire (HDQ).

Jennifer Rabin My research has two primary directions. As the neuropsychology lead in the Harquail Centre for Neuromodulation, my research characterizes the cognitive, behavioural, and psychosocial changes associated with novel neuromodulation strategies. This includes low-intensity focused ultrasound (FUS) to open up the blood-brain barrier in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and high-intensity FUS to treat severe psychiatric and neurological conditions, like depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and essential tremor. Another line of my research combines multi-modal neuroimaging with sensitive cognitive measures to better understand how lifestyle factors may delay the onset and progression of dementia. MSc
Timothy Ross

Dr. Ross is a Scientist at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. He is also a Registered Professional Planner and an Assistant Professor (status) with the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Ross’ research explores how children with disabilities and their families experience and view their community spaces (e.g., schools, playgrounds, hospitals, transportation environments). This research is oriented toward planning and designing more accessible and inclusive communities that account for the presence and diversity of childhood disability. His research program currently looks at four key topics: (1) education access, (2) transportation and mobility, (3) inclusive play, and (4) addressing institutional ableism. Questions about ableism and its normalcy within the planning and design of our built environments, services, and systems are central to Dr. Ross’ research.