Supervision & advising

Dr. Daniel Scott, School of Child and Youth Care, and his research assistant Jessica Evans are studying formative childhood experiences.
Dr. Daniel Scott, School of Child and Youth Care, and his research assistant Jessica Evans are studying formative childhood experiences.

Your supervisor is a faculty member who will mentor you while you study at UVic. They will guide your research and the resulting thesis, project or dissertation. This relationship is one of the most important resources at your disposal.

Find a supervisor

We feature our UVic faculty on our graduate program pages. Explore them to find available superviors who match your research area of interest.

Advising and program contacts

Advising and program contacts such as your graduate adviser and graduate secretary know the ins and outs of your program and degree. They’re often familiar with the teaching and research schedules of faculty members. Where necessary, they may help you to create an initial list of available and compatible graduate supervisors.

The supervisor-student relationship

A great supervisor oversees your academic work, is passionate about your subject area and invested in your success. This mentor may work with you to identify research and teaching roles, members of a supervisory committee and career opportunities that will carry you beyond your degree. Ideally, this relationship is the foundation that moves you closer to your goals.

Given the academic stakes involved, this is not always an easy relationship to negotiate. Like any partnership, this one can see bumps in the road. Keep in mind that if you encounter challenges, a range of supports are available to help you work out a mutually agreeable path and, where necessary, to make a change. Your best bet is to take the time to research your options and clarify expectations with a potential supervisor before agreeing to work together.

The Graduate supervision policy will help prepare you for a successful relationship with your supervisor.

Academic supervision

There is some variation when it comes to academic supervision at UVic, so be sure to confirm the specific details with your academic unit.

At UVic, you may be assigned a supervisor or be expected to find your own. In some instances, you must identify an available supervisor before you begin your studies. No matter the process, it pays to do your homework up front.

Research potential supervisors

Learning as much as you can about the faculty members who you will be working with increases your chances for success. A potential supervisor may be more open to you if you:

  • make contact well in advance of your desired academic entry point
  • develop a statement of your research interests and preferred areas of focus
  • spend time exploring their research, publications, funding sources and CVs
  • assess your preferred working style and the potential for compatibility
  • sit in on their classes or visit their research settings
  • consider the mutual investment required