Working closely with a supervisor in the development of a research project is an integral part of most degrees. At Queen’s, we recognize the importance of positive and productive relationship between student and supervisor. In order to support a strong culture of graduate supervision, the SGSPA is developing a suite of resources to support both students and faculty in navigating this relationship.

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 policy on graduate supervision, which includes a conflict resolution path.

The Supervision Handbook (6654 KB) contains the Graduate Supervision Policy along with other key resources to help students and faculty manage this important relationship.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these remote supervision guidelines (94KB) were developed by the SGSPA to support supervisors and students in navigating remote work. The guidelines encourage faculty and students to discuss, plan, and act with consideration for everyone’s preferences and abilities for working in a virtual collaborative space.

This one-pager (962kb) is intended to act as a guide for some key questions and issues that students and supervisors should discuss at the start of their relationship and then revisit periodically to ensure their expectations are aligned and negotiate any differing expectations.

The SGSPA has developed a series of flowcharts that are intended to support students and supervisors. Each flow chart documents the path to addressing and resolving various challenges students might encounter during their time at Queen’s, whether related to an academic or non-academic issue. Faculty may wish to refer to these documents to help their students access the support they need.

Each year, the SGSPA offers as series of workshops to support faculty in their supervisory efforts. Upcoming offerings will be advised on the SGSPA Faculty and Staff Portal.

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.