Supervisory Relationship Policy

A graduate student’s relationship with their supervisor is vital to a positive experience in graduate school. Ideally, this relationship is the foundation that moves you closer to your goals. A great supervisor oversees your academic work, is passionate about your subject area and invest in your success. However, new relationships can sometimes be bumpy and there are tools available to help you on your path.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies has recently revised the Graduate supervision policy, and it is intended to help you prepare for a fruitful relationship with your supervisor

Make sure you read the Supervisory Relationship Document and other materials provided on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website. This can be found here.

The Office of the Ombudsperson has also put together a resource page which goes into the details and dynamics of the supervisory relationship, as well as a Checklist of Expectations for Graduate Supervision Relationships. This checklist can help guide conversations around workloads, communication, deadlines, and progress.

The Canadian Association of Graduate Studies (CAGS) has a “Practical Guide” to Grad Studies in Canada available here.

Please note this item was last updated in 2012 and some elements (particularly those related to cost of living) may be out of date.

CAGS has also produced their guidelines for creating a Letter of Understanding on supervisory relationships, which you can find here.

The guidelines give suggestions for important conversations to have with your supervisor when you begin your program.