1.2 The Supervisor

The supervisor is directly responsible for the supervision of the student's program. In this capacity, the supervisor assists the student in planning a program, ensures that the student is aware of all program requirements, degree regulations, and general regulations of the department and the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), provides counsel on all aspects of the program, and stays informed about the student's research activities and progress.

The supervisor is also charged with ensuring that students conduct their research in a manner that is as effective, safe, and productive as is possible.

The supervisor must prepare a program of studies for the student, arrange for and attend all supervisory committee meetings and examinations, ensuring that these are scheduled and held in accordance with GPS regulations, and must review the thesis both in draft and in final form.

Graduate Supervisory Guidelines

The supervisor, with the support of the home department and the GPS:

  • Provides an environment for the student that is conducive to research and in which the student can grow intellectually;
  • Provides appropriate guidance to the student on the nature of research and the standard expected, and is accessible to give advice and constructive feedback; at the beginning of the supervisory relationship, the student should be made aware in writing of the expectations held by the supervisor and the department that are not already defined in the Calendar and the Graduate Program Manual;
  • With the student, establishes a realistic timetable for completion of various phases of the program;
  • Considers a graduate student a junior colleague;
  • Ensures that there are sufficient material and supervisory resources for each graduate student under supervision;
  • Works with the student to establish the supervisory committee as soon as possible after the start of the program and ensures that it maintains contact and formally meets at least once a year with the student;
  • When going on leave or an extended period of absence, ensures that the student is adequately supervised by the provision of an acting supervisor. In the case of doctoral students, this should be a member of the supervisory committee;
  • Ensures that the student is aware of the student's guidelines and, when necessary, assists the student in meeting these;
  • Sets up committee meetings and examinations after consultation and with full knowledge of the student;
  • Maintains open communication with the student concerning any problem; and in the event of a conflict in the supervisor-student relationship, discusses the issues with the student and graduate coordinator in a timely fashion (see Resolving Conflicts in Supervisor-Student Relationships in the Calendar).

(FGSR Council, 1989/06/19)