Working closely with a supervisor in the development of a research project, thesis, or dissertation is an integral part of most graduate degrees. At Queen's, we recognize the importance of a positive and productive relationship between students and supervisors. To support a strong culture of graduate supervision, the SGSPA has developed a suite of resources for both students and graduate faculty as they navigate the supervision relationship. Underpinning all supervision activities and resources at Queen's is the Queen’s Graduate Supervision Policy.

As a foundation for effective graduate supervision at Queen’s, the SGSPA endorses the following principles for graduate supervision:

  • Mutual Respect: Maintain a positive learning and research environment through respect, exercising understanding in times of difficulty and support for the achievement of milestones.
  • Open Communication: Early and ongoing communication is essential.
  • Goal-directed Learning and Progress Monitoring: Discuss and establish learning and research goals.
  • Responsive and Timely Feedback: Be reasonably accessible by providing descriptive, actionable, and timely feedback.
  • Leveraging Resources for Wellbeing and Success: Leveraging university-wide resources can support both students and supervisors in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities.

Supervision Policy, Handbook, and Resources

Clear understanding of expectations can help maintain the productivity of this essential relationship. To ensure both faculty and students understand their roles and responsibilities, the SGSPA has developed a Senate-approved Graduate Supervision Policy. The policy includes:

  • Queen's commitment to graduate supervision
  • Roles and responsibilities for graduate students, graduate supervisors, graduate programs and the SGSPA
  • Description of leave procedures
  • Description of conflict resolution procedure

The following graduate supervision resources are available to support productive supervision relationships.

  • Graduate Supervision Handbook (20 MB): This handbook outlines key resources, opportunities, and policies related to graduate education and supervision at Queen’s.


  • Setting Expectations: A Resource Guidebook for Graduate Students and Supervisors (6.7 MB): This guide helps establish shared expectations and is a useful tool to use at the beginning of each academic year. Thematically organized, with sections offering questions and prompts to encourage discussion across foundational aspects of the supervisory relationship (communication, feedback, progression, publication, funding, etc.), the guide also contains a Goal Setting Plan and a Program Planning Guide.






  • National Centre for Faculty Development and Diversity Website 

    The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) provides on-demand, online access to mentoring, tools and support to help individuals grow and be successful in academia.   

    Through Queen's institutional membership with NCFDD, we are committed to supporting faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students progress through their academic career by developing and honing skills including research, writing, strategic planning, networking building and finding work-life balance. 

The Graduate Supervision Policy stipulates that new faculty members should participate in graduate supervision orientation and training offered by the SGSPA, the Centre for Teaching and Learning, or equivalent, normally within one year of appointment to the University. The SGSPA has the following training opportunities available to faculty members. All faculty members – new and continuing – are welcome and encouraged to take the course and attend our retreats.

Foundations for Effective Graduate Supervision Course for Faculty Members

Faculty Retreats on Graduate Supervision

Fall Faculty Supervision Retreat – May 9, 2024 from 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM

  • Theme: Exploring the Complexities of Graduate Supervision
  • Location: TBA        
  • Registration Details: TBA

Spring Graduate Supervision Lecture: Dr. Amy Warren

Mark your calendar! Dr. Amy Warren, Associate Vice-President (Academic) and Dean of Graduate Studies at Memorial University, will share insights about accessibility and inclusivity in graduate supervision and education. Drawing on her extensive experience, Dr. Warren brings a fresh perspective to this topic, sharing strategies for supporting our developing practice as graduate supervisors.

  • Date: May 13, 2024
  • Location: Gordon Hall, Room 302 or Online (Zoom)
  • This Event is Open to Queen’s Faculty Members: Please RSVP here

As students and supervisors discuss a research project, they may wish to refer to the Thesis and Dissertation Showcase page, which features examples of dissertations produced following a range of formats and styles. The SGSPA is committed to supporting high-quality research that advances diverse fields of inquiry. We further support diverse forms of knowledge creation and representation.