Setting yourself up for a great start with your supervisor is essential for your grad school success.
Here are some guidelines and tips to help you maintain a positive working relationship with your supervisor:
Communicate: Meet with your supervisor and/or Graduate Program Director to align your goals and objectives. Share any obstacles or challenges you may be facing outside of academia that may affect your availability or performance.
Understand the expectations: Agree upon and commit to the Student and Supervisor Framework [link to PDF; file in Planner card] to set expectations. You can adjust the framework at any time during your program as your situation evolves.
Be flexible: Your supervisor is human just like you. They may have other teaching, research and personal obligations and may not be able to respond to your questions immediately.
Stay informed: Touch base with your supervisor regularly to update them on your progress and to get feedback. Schedule regular phone, email, or in-person meetings.
Be respectful: During your program, you and your supervisor may disagree. Minor disagreements can be resolved by maintaining open and respectful communication. If you find yourself in conflict with your supervisor and are unable to resolve the situation on your own, connect with your Graduate Program Director.
Student and supervisor agreement
If you and your supervisor agree, you should complete the Student and Supervisor Framework to help manage your working relationship and expectations.
Having a clear understanding of expectations from the beginning is critical for a successful relationship. Since relationships and expectations can evolve with time, this form can be revisited as needed.