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Roles and responsibilities of advisory committees


Where applicable, the advisory committee acts as a partner with the student and the supervisor in guiding and advising the student on research issues, and assisting supervisors in their monitoring functions. Members are selected based on their complementary fields of expertise, and the nature and planning of the research project. The members provide to the student expert guidance or advice in specific areas of the student’s research work; for the supervisor, advisory committee members provide critical and constructive feedback on the student’s research.  The role(s) of advisory committees should be made clear to both the committee members and the student, including the level of commitment and their participation in research milestones, such as comprehensive exams, research proposals, and thesis defences.  


As with all stakeholders, effective and well-structured communications are necessary to create positive relationships between students and their committees.  To this end, advisory committees should:

4.1   Meet as required (faculty member/department dependent) to review the student’s progress and provide advice. Advisory committees should meet at the request of students or supervisors. Meetings should be arranged as required to support the student’s progress meetings should occur at least once per year or more frequently as necessary.

4.2   Be reasonably accessible in terms of timely and appropriate communications with students when called upon for general guidance, consultation or discussion on academic progress or research projects.

4.3   In the case of a thesis, provide students with discipline/field specific guidelines of writing conventions of the discipline and direct them to appropriate University requirements for preparing theses

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