Advisory Committee & Meetings


In conjunction with the thesis supervisor (and co-supervisor, if applicable with McGill ID and affiliation only), each IPN student must organize and select the members of their Advisory Committee.

Members of an Advisory Committee must include:

  • Thesis supervisor (and co-supervisor, if applicable with McGill ID and affiliation only);
  • Two (maximum three) other professors who are familiar with the research field of your project. These committee members can be from other universities.

Important Note: Please consider the location of your members when selecting your committee. While you can hold your meetings online, you should consider time zone issues and the availability of your members. With this in mind, it will not be an acceptable reason if you have issues scheduling your meetings.

Responsibilities of an Advisory Committee

  • Serving as resource people to provide advice and to guide the student during their enrolment in the program; 
  • Meeting with the student to evaluate progress and discuss their research program on an annual basis;
  • Reviewing the written thesis proposal, attending the oral presentation and/or candidacy examination, and attending the student's thesis research seminar (which is to be done prior to the writing of the student's thesis).


Advisory Committee Meetings


An initial meeting with the student and their Advisory Committee must take place within the first year of starting the program. Not doing so will result in a research failure. An Advisory Committee meeting consists of the student orally presenting their research and work that has been accomplished to date. The presentation may last about 30 minutes, and will be followed by a question and answer period. Once the meeting has ended, members of the committee will meet in a closed session to evaluate the student's progress.

All members of the Advisory Committee must attend these meetings.

Scheduling Meetings

It is the student's responsibility to arrange the date, time, and venue of their Advisory Committee meetings, and to ensure that all members of the committee can attend. To facilitate the process of scheduling these meetings, you are highly encouraged to use Doodle, a web-based scheduling program. 

Initial & Consecutive Meetings

After the initial meeting, which must take place by the end of your first year of entering the IPN, an Advisory Committee meeting needs to be scheduled at least once every 12 months. Advisory Committee meetings are no longer mandatory once you successfully complete your Thesis Seminar.

Extension Policy

Starting January 2023, time limits will be strictly enforced. Extensions will no longer be granted due to scheduling difficulties as you are expected to start planning for meetings many weeks in advance, especially once you start getting reminders. MyProgress sends out automatic reminders to the student and their supervisor 12 weeks before any deadlines. As such, extensions will only be granted for extenuating circumstances, and upon special request to ipn [at] before the due date of your meeting. Your request will then be forwarded to the IPN Directorship Committee for review. In all cases, extension requests must be well-documented for reasons that were outside of the student's control.

In cases where an extension is not granted, you are expected to meet the milestone deadline. Any missed or late milestones will be treated as a research failure and entered in your McGill record as an unsatisfactory milestone. Please be mindful of all your milestone deadlines as research failures may affect your funding, and two sequential failures could result in your withdrawal from the program.


Unsatisfactory progress will be noted if the student has shown research deficiencies during the meeting(s), or if the student failed to hold an Advisory Committee meeting. In this case, another meeting must be scheduled within four (4) months.


Students, along with their thesis supervisor (and co-supervisor, if applicable) are responsible for organizing their Advisory Committee Members by the end of their first semester

As aforementioned, it is mandatory for each IPN student to organize their initial Advisory Committee meeting within the first year of starting the program. Thereafter, the student must organize a committee meeting at least once every twelve (12) months. Advisory Committee meetings are no longer mandatory once the committee agrees that the student is ready to complete the Seminar/Ph.D. Thesis Seminar. 

Your progress forms should be uploaded to MyProgress.

More information here:

o MyProgress
o Milestone upload instruction:



Form Submission  Deadline
PDF icon Advisory Selection Committee Form

By student,
to MyProgress

By end of 1st semester
PDF icon GPS Graduate Student Research Progress Tracking Report

The Progress Tracking Report form, prepared by GPS, must be completed at every committee meeting.
The student is encouraged to complete the 'Progress' and 'Objectives' sections with their supervisor in
preparation for the upcoming committee meeting. The rest of the form will be completed by the Advisory Committee at the meeting itself. The student should e-mail a copy of the report to the IPN admin office, and keep a copy as reference material for the next meeting. 

PDF icon instructions_-_progress_tracking_report.pdf

By student,
to to MyProgress

1st meeting report due right after the initial meeting takes place (by end of 1st year)

Consecutive reports due right after each annual meeting takes place


Important Notes

Ph.D. Candidacy Examination may substitute an Advisory Committee meeting.


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