Finding a Supervisor

In order to be considered for admission into IPN's graduate programs (except the Ph.D. Rotation stream), it is mandatory that you have secured a supervisor by the 2nd application deadline. If our admissions office is not informed of who your supervisor will be by this specific deadline, your application will be declined.

IPN is proud to have a large network of faculty researchers who supervise our graduate students and their research projects. Today, IPN comprises more than 230 Principal Investigators who are affiliated with multiple departments within McGill University, and who conduct their research in various sites across the city of Montreal. 

Since the confirmation of a thesis supervisor is mandatory for an IPN applicant (exception: Ph.D. rotation applicants), we have decided to answer our applicants' two most pressing questions:

"WHEN should I start looking for a supervisor?
"HOW should I secure a supervisor?"

WHEN do I start searching for an IPN supervisor? 

If you are an undergraduate student considering graduate school, you should start thinking about securing a thesis supervisor as early as the start of your penultimate semester. It can take a considerate amount of time to decide on where you want to go to study, which university you want to study in, and who you want to train with. Hence, the earlier you start searching, the better. Furthermore, there are various studentship awards you can apply for in the last year of your undergraduate studies. Many of these awards have early deadlines, hence make sure to talk to your program's Administration Staff to learn more. 

If you are a graduate student considering graduate studies in IPN, you are in a slightly different position. For instance, if you are an M.Sc. candidate wishing to pursue a Ph.D. degree in IPN, you should start looking for a supervisor as soon as you can after you decide to finish your M.Sc. in your current location (even if you don't have permission to write your thesis just yet, you can still start looking). This will be important for funding deadlines as well. We advise you to inform your current supervisor that you are considering pursuing your Ph.D. in a different program, under the direction of a different supervisor, because your current supervisor may be contacted by your prospective ones to obtain a reference report. 

Having said all of this, we encourage you to apply to the IPN by submitting your online application form and supporting documents by the appropriate application deadline, even if you have not confirmed a supervisor as of yet. After having applied, you can then continue your search for a supervisor. Note that you must inform our admissions office as to who your supervisor will be by the second application deadline.

HOW do I secure an IPN supervisor? 

  1. View our comprehensive database of IPN supervisors
    • As can be seen, our database provides you with the flexibility of searching for IPN supervisors whose current work align with your research interests and goals. 
  2. Once you've gathered a list of supervisors you would like to work with, start contacting them. 
  3. When contacting your preferred supervisors, you are highly encouraged to follow our advice listed down below: 
    • Your e-mails should be concise and well-written;
      • Indicate the reason(s) for wanting to join their lab;
      • Demonstrate, through your text, that you have a good understanding of their research (hence, read a few of their publications);
      • Explain why you believe joining their lab will help propel you towards your research goals;
      • Mention that you are interested in applying for awards.
    • Attach your Curriculum Vitae, which should not only include your academic achievements, but should also list your extra-curricular activities that demonstrate qualities of determination, creativity, and perseverance.
  4. Once you've reached out to your preferred supervisors, you must now wait for a response. Do not feel discouraged if you do not receive any replies.
  5. Once you have confirmed a supervisor for your IPN studies, inform our admissions office at ipn.admissions [at]