Finding a Supervisor
A supervisor is a faculty member who mentors a graduate student in their research. Many research-based graduate programs expect students to identify a prospective supervisor prior to applying for admission. It is best to check with the graduate program you will be applying to, to find out if this is expected. If so, you will need to identify a potential supervisor in your desired field of research.
Here are some tips for finding a prospective supervisor:
When investigating prospective supervisors, follow these guidelines:
Developing productive relationships with your research supervisor and supervisory committee is one of the most important and rewarding aspects of being a graduate student.
For detail information on this, please visit the Policies and Guidelines section of our website.
The Research Supervisor
Your supervisor is the key person in your graduate degree program. The principal role of the supervisor is to help students achieve their scholastic potential and to chair the student’s Supervisory Committee. The Supervisor will provide reasonable commitment, accessibility, professionalism, stimulation, guidance, respect and consistent encouragement to the student.
Supervisors should be available to help their graduate students at every stage, from formulation of their research projects through establishing methodologies and discussing results, to presentation and possible publication of dissertations. Graduate supervisors must also ensure that their students’ work meets the standards of the University and the academic discipline.
Any Faculty member who is a member of the University of Lethbridge School of Graduate Studies is eligible to serve as a graduate student supervisor. Generally, this means any tenure-track Faculty member who has been approved to supervise by their home Faculty and is a:
Supervision of a student can be shared by two co-supervisors. At least one co-supervisor must meet the criteria above. Upon approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies, other well-qualified individuals may serve as co-supervisors.
Individuals requiring special permission from the Dean of Graduate Studies to serve as a co-supervisors:
Requests for the Dean's approval of a co-supervisor must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies by the Graduate Program Advisor or Head of the Department. Requests must be made at the time of formation of the committee, and must include details of the composition of the committee, a brief rationale for the appointment, and a copy of the individual's CV. Approval is valid for a period of five years.
If a student's supervisor leaves the University but the thesis is close to completion the supervisor may, with the permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies, continue. In this case, a co-chair of the supervisory committee who is a full-time member of the School of Graduate Studies must be appointed. If the supervisor is unable to continue, every effort should be made by the graduate program to secure a new supervisor for the student.
If the Chair is on study leave or any other leave exceeding two months, it is highly recommended that an interim co-chair who is a member of the School of Graduate Studies be appointed.
The Supervisory Committee
The supervisory committee consists of your supervisor and at least two other individuals (normally faculty members). Its role is to provide support by broadening and deepening the range of expertise and experience available to you and your supervisor. The committee offers advice about and assessment of your work.