Part 3: Student & Supervisor: Rights & Responsibilities

Supervisor responsibilities

NOTE: The following policies and guidelines apply to both supervisors and co-supervisors.

Criteria for supervisors

Supervisors must:

  • Be members of the School of Graduate Studies
  • Have a record of distinguished and ongoing scholarly research
  • Be currently active in a research area related to the student’s research interest
  • Possess research expertise in the student’s research area

Members of the School of Graduate Studies who are supervising graduate students should inform the School of Graduate Studies of all study leaves or extended absences from campus. During such absences, supervisors ensure that an alternative Supervisory Committee member is designated as an acting supervisor (all changes to the Supervisory Committee must be approved by the Management Graduate Programs Committee), and that the School of Graduate Studies is informed.

Role and responsibilities of the supervisor

In general, the role of the Supervisor is to act as both an academic mentor, and an evaluator of the student’s performance. The supervisor must provide professional guidance, and help the student acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to plan and conduct original research.

The supervisor’s responsibilities include:


  • Make a commitment to supervise the student throughout his or her program.
  • Give the student ongoing guidance on expected academic standards and the nature of research.
  • Be open and accessible to the student.
  • Give the student advice and constructive criticism, in support of high academic standards.
  • Respect the student as a junior colleague in research.
  • Acknowledge the student’s contributions to presentations and publications, including joint authorship if appropriate.
  • Respect the University’s policies on intellectual property and the ownership of data and information.

Regulations and requirements

  • Share with the student, at the start of the program, the expectations of the supervisor, the program, and the School of Graduate Studies.
  • Ensure all School of Graduate Studies and program regulations and requirements are met, including those related to coursework, funding, thesis work, and the Master’s Thesis oral defence. Refer to Requirements for Degree in the Master of Science (Management) Programs section of the Graduate Studies Calendar (
  • The supervisor recommends the External Examiner for the Thesis Examination Committee to the Management Graduate Programs Committee; a completed Conflict of Interest form ( with the External Examiner’s curriculum vitae is required.


  • Keep in contact with the student, and meet with the student and Supervisory Committee according to the program requirements.
  • Regularly communicate with the Supervisory Committee and Management Graduate Programs Committee regarding the student’s progress.
  • Notify the student and Supervisory Committee members of any anticipated change and subsequent approved change of the structure of the Management Graduate Programs Committee by the School of Graduate Studies.


  • In consultation with the student, establish a realistic work schedule for the program, with specific milestones.
  • Fulfill all duties related to completing the Statement of Progress and Standing form (
  • Help ensure there are sufficient financial and material resources to perform the research and support the student. Where required, write statements of commitment of financial support for the student.
  • Ensure the student has adequate supervision at all times during the program.

Research environment

  • Provide an environment conducive to research and intellectual growth.
  • Help ensure a research environment free from harassment, discrimination, and conflict.


Students and Supervisors must make every effort to maintain the student/Supervisor relationship. As graduate programs are very specialized, there may not be another faculty member qualified to act as a Supervisor. Both the student and his/her Supervisor must commit to completing the program of studies.

When there is a conflict that jeopardizes the student/Supervisor relationship, and it cannot be resolved by discussion between both parties, then the student or faculty member should contact the the Director of management graduate programs. The Director, possibly working in conjunction with the School of Graduate Studies, will attempt to resolve the problem through mediation and discussion.

Members of the School of Graduate Studies

For the regulations regarding criteria for membership, processes for membership, and duties and responsibilities of members of the School of Graduate Studies, refer to the School of Graduate Studies Governing Principles (/graduate-studies/governing-principles).