3.3 Research Responsibilities

A graduate student’s research is expected to generate original data that would make a significant contribution to the body of knowledge in the area of the thesis. Although independent research on their own projects should be the core of a graduate student’s effort, collaborative work on other projects are expected and encouraged. Collaboration will expand the breadth of knowledge, the number of publications, and help continue the culture of collaboration both within the Faculty, and with other faculties and universities.


Graduate students are expected to uphold the high standards of research integrity:

The Faculty is committed to fostering and maintaining an environment that supports and promotes the responsible conduct of research.  As graduate students engage in research activities, they must be aware of the ethical, social, and legal implications of their work. To ensure they uphold high standards of research integrity, graduate students are expected to be familiar with all regulations and policies relevant to research.  

All graduate students should:
  • understand the needs and requirements for ethics approval as appropriate.
  • understand the issues around confidentiality and disclosure of research information.
  • understand how to properly store research information to ensure safety and security (for example, storage of raw data to protect confidentiality and intellectual property).
  • maintain excellent records of their work.
  • provide the supervisor with access to all records of their work and research materials.
  • provide all original research materials (notebooks, tapes, computer hard drives, and disks, etc) to the supervisor upon completion of the degree. Graduate students are entitled to retain a copy of their material, as appropriate.
  • be familiar with the Intellectual Property Guidelines of the University of Alberta.

Graduate students are expected to respect the research environment:

Research is often conducted in collaboration with supervisors, other faculty members, research assistants, and other graduate students. Graduate students are expected to work safely and effectively in a group or team environment.  

All graduate students should:

  • complete all safety training required by the supervisor, Faculty, and University.
  • follow all safety regulations imposed by the supervisor, Faculty and University.
  • treat their colleagues with respect.
  • respect the workspace and equipment of others and be aware that facilities and resources are often shared.
  • keep their workspace safe, tidy and healthy for all.

Graduate students will disseminate their research findings through oral and written presentations of their work:

Dissemination of research findings is an important element of any research program. Abstract acceptance at conferences and manuscript publication are standards used by the academic community to judge the contributions of others. These activities also provide an opportunity for graduate students to practice their oral and written communication skills. The Graduate Studies Committee therefore encourages students to consider disseminating their research findings.

Some suggested dissemination activities include:

  • Aim to publish in top-tier journals in your area of research.
  • Produce 1-2 peer-reviewed publications from an MSc thesis.
  • Produce 3-5 peer-reviewed publications from a PhD thesis.
  • Present your findings at suitable regional, national, and international meetings.