The supervisory committee is set up shortly after the student starts the program. The first supervisory committee meeting is to take place within the first 6-9 months of the student entering the graduate program.
For Master’s students, the supervisory committee will consist of the supervisor and at least two other faculty members. For Ph.D. students, the committee will consist of the supervisor and at least two faculty members – at least one committee member must be from outside the Department. In both cases, meetings will include the supervisor and will be chaired by the Graduate Program Advisor (or a designated member of the Graduate Program Committee). The task of the committee at the first supervisory committee meeting will be to assess the student’s research proposal and identify any courses that might be helpful to the student in acquiring or refining the expertise required to carry out the proposed research. At subsequent meetings (held at least annually), students will submit a progress report (at least 2 weeks before the scheduled meeting) in order that the committee is able to assess the progress in the research project. The format of the meeting will typically involve an oral presentation outlining the main results and possible problems, followed by a question/discussion period with members of the committee. It is the student’s responsibility to organize the annual supervisory committee meetings in consultation with the Graduate Secretary.
Minutes will be taken by the Chair, and these records of the committee’s deliberations will be kept in the student’s file, following sign-off by both supervisor and student.
At the second and subsequent meetings, evaluation forms are to be completed by both the supervisor and the student to monitor the effectiveness of the student-supervisor relationship and identify areas of possible improvement. Although individuals may be reluctant to share negative criticisms, there is a need for transparency in this process of mutual assessment – the discussion should be open and frank, and individuals on both sides must be accountable for their written comments on the assessment forms.