Promote resources that support student research
The University has physical, financial, and other resources in place to support supervisors and graduate students in their research. As a supervisor, you may have an office, books, and equipment; perhaps you also have a grant, a subscription to journals not easily accessible in the library, or other resources. Identify the resources you have that can be shared with supervisees for mutual benefit and refer students to resources set aside for them.
Create an inventory
Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows often have very different infrastructure and resources available to them depending on their supervisors. Create an inventory by itemizing everything that supports your research, such as:
- a grant or other funds;
- out of print primary texts;
- office space on campus;
- additional computers; and
- lesser-known resources.
Then, return to the list and decide what you can share.
Help supervisees benefit from the University’s an intellectual climate
Graduate students tend to thrive when they feel a part of the academic community. The intellectual climate at McGill offers a variety of ways for students to immerse themselves. Consider recommending some of the various opportunities listed below to your supervisees.
- Dissertation defences in your faculty
- Guest lectures
- Department events (assemblies, socials, etc.,)
- Local conferences, symposiums, etc.,
- Competitions (e.g., McGill’s 3MT Competition)
- Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
- Professional development workshops and resources (e.g., Skillsets, PD.Education, CaPS, etc.,)
- Any other McGill or scholarly events you are attending or helped organize
Know your infrastructure
McGill’s infrastructure has recently attracted special attention because the many historic buildings on the two campuses pose questions about the balance between tradition and state-of-the-art research. Federal funding has transformed several of the buildings on the downtown campus, in some cases with innovations of technology and engineering, and in others with preservative renovation of the architectural heritage that makes McGill iconic. As it pertains to supervision, the infrastructure may include:
- supervisor’s equipment, organized information, and funding
- work/study/office space for supervisees on campus, including carrels and reserved spaces for graduate students
- faculty/building computing facilities
- library resources (e.g., books, journal subscriptions, rooms for group work, computers, printers, workshops, etc.)
- digital infrastructure (e.g., IT resources for students, like printing, software, etc.)
There is also a lot of funding earmarked for graduate students at McGill. The GPS Funding webpage provides or links to all the relevant information about fellowships, awards, and applications related to many sources of funding.
Where and how do supervisees want to study and work?
This question could of course be answered by graduate students and postdocs, and you could ask them. Consider what the ideal might have been in terms of available space, qualities of the space, amount and timing of funding, opportunities to use new equipment or consult rare books, etc.
Consider the statements below. Are they true in relation to your department or faculty?
- Students have access to the equipment necessary for their research.
- Students have a suitable working space, such as an office or lab.
- There is appropriate financial support for research activities.
- There is adequate provision of computing resources and facilities.
- The library has a collection of extensive up-to-date information.
You can ask the same question if you are a graduate student or supervisor. In both cases, remember that your department, faculty, and McGill in general also often have further resources that are not always apparent, especially to newcomers, and so it is important to ask senior faculty, department chairs, students, and administration.