Managing Your Progress

Communication issues are the most frequent source of misunderstandings between graduate students and their supervisors. Completing a Supervisory Agreement and using this checklist will reduce misunderstandings and expedite your degree completion.

Your senior supervisor is responsible for filing your annual progress evaluation (GGR 1.8.1) within your department; having regular communication checkpoints will inform that evaluation.

Every semester

  • Establish your goals for the semester: courses, research, writing, teaching.
  • Establish a a regular meeting schedule with your senior supervisor. You should report on your progress since your last meeting and discuss where you need help or advice from your supervisor.
  • Discuss your plans for professional development: conferences, learning new techniques. Allot enough time to request financial support for travel or acquiring equipment, if needed.
  • Discuss your plan and requirements for financial support.
  • If you need ethics or safety approvals for your research, discuss the application process with your supervisor and allot enough time to get the approvals.
  • Discuss your post-graduation career plans.

At least once a year

  • Write down your goals and your timeline for achieving them
  • Meet and discuss your annual plans with your entire supervisory committee
  • If applicable, get an assessment in writing of your progress from the previous year
  • Discuss your requirements for financial support
  • Discuss plans for major absences, either yours or those of your committee members (this should include time for family, recreation and vacations)
  • Review your long-term plan for completion of your degree. Ensure that the current year's plan is consistent with the long-term plan. 
  • Consult the Library's thesis website to save yourself time when you're ready to begin writing
  • Discuss your plan for publishing research results. Discuss co-authorship of papers. See Research for more information and guidelines.
  • Consult with your supervisory committee about your career goals following graduation. They are a valuable part of your professional network and can help you establish realistic post-graduation goals.
* SupervisoryAgreement.doc
Agreement Template