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Introduction to the Guide for Graduate Research and Supervision

Successful graduate education involves complex interactions among various partners engaged in knowledge acquisition, management and conversion. One key to the success of a research-based graduate program is fostering an open environment that is conducive to effective and responsible learning and research. Such an environment is created by a joint effort of senior administrators of the University, Faculties and academic units (departments or schools) offering graduate programs, staff, graduate supervisors, members of advisory committees and graduate students.

While it is important to acknowledge that graduate students are partners in the University enterprise, it is equally important to recognize their differential power status, especially as it relates to their supervisors. Some students may feel at risk if disagreements arise with their supervisors. One goal of this guide is to provide direction to students on both self-advocacy and resources to support students, at various levels across the University.

At the same time, faculty members in their role as advisors often benefit from support and mentoring by multiple groups, including their peers at the department level. The University strives to create an environment that supports all its members and provides various services and avenues of support to help manage conflict that are suited to the needs of the parties involved.

This guide outlines key roles and responsibilities vital to a collaborative approach to graduate education and should be read in conjunction with the regulations set forth in the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar and pertinent University policies.  The audiences for this guide include research graduate students, those who supervise or serve as advisory committee members for graduate students, and university faculty and staff who support graduate students and graduate studies.  The goals of this guide include: articulating roles and responsibilities for the intended readers; providing a statement of best practices that can help facilitate establishing common expectations among stakeholders; and serving as a reference and providing links to additional resources.

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