Graduate Supervision Guidelines

Graduate student supervision is a unique role in which faculty member(s) have an integral role in guiding a student through the processes necessary for successful completion of the degree. Supervision can take many forms depending on the program, the nature of the research or scholarly project, disciplinary standards, supervision style, student learning style and needs, and other factors. In addition to helping students learn the scientific or scholarly investigative process, supervisors act as mentors by supporting personal and professional growth via activities such as introducing students to the scholarly and professional culture in their discipline and supporting them to explore career opportunities. This relationship often extends beyond the degree itself.

Other individuals may be involved in a student’s supervision and mentorship, including the Supervisory Committee and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Graduate Academic Unit (GAU); the guidelines presented here extend to these individuals. This resource is intended to inform graduate students as well, to ensure they recognize that they have agency in the pursuit of their training and their degree.

This resource is organized into two sections: one developed primarily for supervisors, and the other for students. The content of these sections differs in emphasis and language, but supervisors and students may benefit from reviewing both sections.