Being a Supervisor

Roles and responsibilities

As a supervisor, you should learn about your responsibilities and how they change over the years, but most importantly you should learn why and how well-defined expectations help prevent problems and ensure success. Monitoring your student's progress is a process that encourages both of you to define and discuss expectations, thereby improving communication and the supervisory relationship.

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Interacting with supervisees

You and each of your supervisees are in a professional, often near-peer relationship. The characteristics of this relationship affect your job satisfaction and the educational experiences of your supervisees. Its qualities, styles, and interactions can be diverse, but evidence and experience support some practices more than others.

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Improving your supervisory practice

At McGill, the improvement of graduate supervision is a priority. The planning document entitled “Achieving Academic Priorities: ASAP 2012-2017” states that McGill will “implement, in partnership with units across the University, a program to enhance all aspects of graduate supervision” (p. 39). Supervisors are not alone in implementing enhancements but may work with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and other units.   

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