Supervision Guidelines for Faculty – Section 10: Appendix 2 – Checklist for Supervisors

  • To establish a collegial environment, I will:
  • Create a positive work and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment.
  • Provide advice on professional development and both academic and non-academic career opportunities.
  • Be available to my student as the first point of contact for conflict resolution or during moments of transition.
  • I will undertake the following academic mentoring activities:
  • I have discussed funding issues with my graduate student, including:
  • Level and duration of research-related funding that will be provided to the student including support for conferences and travel for research. Assist with review of grant applications, as appropriate.
  • Availability of research and study space as well as the protocol for requesting additional resources or equipment.
  • I have discussed academic program issues with my graduate student, including:
  • How and when the supervisory committee will be formed, the role of the supervisory committee as well as my role as supervisor in selecting appropriate and eligible members.
  • Ensuring that the supervisory committee meets a minimum of once per year to assess the progress of the graduate student.
  • Frequency, length, and format of individual and/or group meetings including the preferred method of communication and timelines for feedback.
  • Roles and responsibilities of others involved in the student’s research program (e.g., postdoctoral fellows, lab managers, fellow students, etc.) and lab etiquette.
  • Expectations for student work hours and vacation.
  • Any extended absences (i.e., sabbatical, research leave, conference travel, etc.) for myself or others critically involved in the student’s research and a plan for continuity of supervision.
  • Advising and approving, if appropriate, all aspects of the student’s academic program including courses, comprehensive/qualifying/field examinations, language, seminars, internship/practicum, thesis proposal requirements, etc.
  • How an external appraiser will be selected for the student’s Final Oral Examination.


Section 1: Introduction
Key topics: How can these guidelines help you?

Section 2: Supervision and Mentoring
Key topics: Defining key terms; General characteristics of good supervisory practice; Effective supervision and mentorship strategies

Section 3: Supervisory Styles
Key topics: How do supervisory styles differ across grad units and disciplines? What characteristics do students of all disciplines value in a supervisor?

Section 4: Effective Supervision in Practice: From the Initial Stage to Finishing Up
Key topics: Agreeing to Supervise a Student; Setting up a Committee; Program Timelines, Good Progress, and Academic Standing; Funding; and Submitting the thesis for the Final Oral Examination

Section 5: Supporting Students to Completion and Beyond
Key topics: Guiding principles that may help your student through the final stages of their PhD; Graduate Professional Development and career preparation

Section 6: Creating Equality and Equity When Working with Students
Key topics: Defining “equality” and “equity”; How experiences of grad school differ among students; Considering students’ backgrounds (e.g., students with family responsibilities, First Nations students, international students, students with mental health issues, students with writing support needs, etc.)

Section 7: When a Student May Need Accommodations
Key topics: Accommodations vs. time-limited academic adjustments; Defining “accommodations”; Disclosure and Confidentiality; Available resources

Section 8: When Problems Arise
Key topics: Identifying potential sources of problems in the student/supervisor relationship; Who can you talk to?; Vignettes

Section 9: Appendix 1 – Resources