Getting Things Done

Computing at UVic

  • NetlinkID is used for accessing MyPage, logging on to various services, and as part of your UVic email address.
  • Email: Your UVic email address is yournetlinkID@uvic.ca, and your email can be accessed through https://mail.uvic.ca. Although you can use MyPage to set a non-UVic preferred email address for the university to contact you, you must use your UVic email in your role as TA when communicating with the students you TA. This is because BC privacy legislation forbids personal information being stored on a server outside Canada. The easiest solution is to use your UVic email address as your routine and preferred address.
  • Wifi: The campus network is UVic. To set this up, follow the instructions hereEduroam is also available and gives you access at many universities around the world (and at many airports in Europe), but you must set this up before you travel.
  • VPN: UVic's Virtual Private Network allows you to connect to UVic's network from anywhere in the world, for example to access online journals. Once you have logged in, it is the same as being connected from within UVic.
  • Uvic network drive: you can connect to 1 GB of personal space at \\home.uvic.ca\yournetlinkID. Use this to store any documents that cannot be stored on your computer for privacy reasons (e.g., TA grades, any sort of personal information).

Spending Money

  • Science Stores is at Petch 168 and has an inventory of common chemicals and other supplies (pens, lab books, etc). Please check that you are not ording a duplicate of something in the lab before you order it. You will be asked for a stores account number, which is something like BOM5.
  • For more exotic chemicals and other items that are not in stock, you will need to fill out a Stores Requisition. Add your details under "User Details", Stores account is as above, FAST account is a number like 12345-57250 (there are another 4 digits depending on the category, but stores will fill this in for you). Email the form to your supervisor, who will then forward it to scistore@uvic.ca with an approval.
  • If you are going to be ordering a lot of stuff you can do it via web requisitions (you need to get registered for this, and you must be an employee, i.e., with a TA appointment).
  • For items above $2500, you will need two quotations so consult your supervisor before ordering.
  • Petty Cash. For inexpensive items (below $20) that you can easily buy yourself (say at the hardware store), you can just buy it and give the receipt to the Receptionist for reimbursement. More expensive reimbursements may be possible through the Admin Officer, but you should consult first because not all items or amounts are eligible.
  • Bookstore/Computer Store. You can get Science Stores to generate a requisition, and then walk the requisition over to the Bookstore/Computer Store to pick up the purchased item.
  • Posters are available from Blink Printing (part of UVic Printing Services) located dowstairs from the Bookstore. You will need a FAST account number. You can get posters slightly cheaper from the Faculty of Fine Arts.
  • Travel. If you are travelling and will be claiming your expenses, make sure you keep all your receipts. If you are flying, you need to keep your boarding passes (which means that you have to save a snapshot of your boarding pass if use your mobile device for boarding passes). For hotels, keep the statement you get at the end of your stay proving that you have paid (or make sure you request that). In general, a Visa slip is not enough to prove payment; you need the itemized receipt (exceptions: taxis, gas, parking). For food you can optionally skip the receipts and claim a specified amount for each meal. You need proof that you actually attended the conference, which is most easily done by submitting your name badge. It may be useful to fill out the travel expense form as you go so you don't forget stuff. Under "Details or Purpose of Trip", you must indicate why your travel is an appropriate charge to the grant funding it - consult your supervisor. Page 2 of the form has some instructions.
  • Travel - getting money ahead of time. If you can't afford to pay an expensive airfare or conference registration fee and then wait until after the conference for reimbursement, you can submit these receipts ahead of time in the hope you'll get the money back before your credit card bill comes. You still need to include them on the travel expense form, but you subtract off the money you already received. If you really need the money before you buy the item, there is a mechanism to get a travel advance. Note that even with some money in hand from a travel advance, it is safer to buy a plane ticket with a debit card (possible at least for Air Canada), than by adding money to a credit card, which you cannot "withdraw" if the purchase is not approved (some banks will not allow transactions above your credit limit even if you have added money to the card); in any case check with your bank.

When Things Go Wrong

General

The university has a range of people and services to help you manage your life and health while you are a graduate student, and you can find most of them through the UVic website. Some of these are

In this section the focus is on getting help with progressing through the steps of your graduate program, both coursework and research.

The university operates on the principles of natural justice, which means that you have the opportunity to have your side of the story heard and to be fairly treated, and progressive discipline, which means that most matters are dealt with at first informally, and then if a problem persists, more formally and with greater penalties at increasingly higher levels within the university. You have the opportunity to appeal a decision at one level to a higher level. For most issues related to graduate studies, you supervisor will be the first point of contact in solving problems. If not resolved, then you move up the chain of authority: your supervisory committee (you have the right to call a supervisory meeting), the Graduate Advisor, Department Chair, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Dean of Graduate Studies, Senate Committee on Appeals.

If your supervisor is unable to assist you in problem solving, or if you have a problem with your supervisor, the Graduate Advisor can be consulted on a confidential basis. The Associate Deans of Gradute Studies are also available for confidential consultation on any aspect of your graduate program.

The faculty of graduate studies has a web page that lists all the Graduate Studies policies.

The Omsbudsperson is a resource person on campus who helps you interpret university procedures, find the right procedure to solve your problem, or put you in touch with the right person on campus to help you.

Failing Courses and Degrees

It is sometimes said that a "B-" (70-72%) is a failing grade for a graduate course, but this is a relatively common occurrence that simply calls for some remedial action. Every grade of B- or less has to be reviewed by your supervisory committee and a recommendation made to the Dean of Graduate studies. Sometimes, if you are only are slightly below, your other coursework and research is going well and there are extenuating circumstances, there may be no action taken other than require a certain GPA bar for upcoming work. More commonly, you will be required to take the course again, or take another course in your next term and meet a certain grade threshold. If your grade is C+ or below and there do not seem to be any extenuating circumstances, there is a possibility that you will be required to withdraw. The detailed rules are in the Graduate Supervision Policy Sec. 7.15.

The more common scenario requiring withdrawal is if you get a second grade of B- or below. Here again, your supervisory committee must meet and make a recommendation for appropriate action, which may be a recommendation for withdrawal, i.e, you would fail your degree and your transcipt would be annotated with "academic failure". If a recommendation for withdrawal is made by your supervisory committee, it will be considered by the Graduate Advisor, Graduate Studies Committee and the Chair of the Department, who will seek further input from you. If they reccommend withdrawal to the Dean and the Dean accepts this recommendation, you will have an opportunity of appealing the Dean's decision to the Senate Committee on Appeals. It is likely that before the Dean makes a formal decision, you will be asked to meet with an Associate Dean and present your side of the story. In any case, you may request a meeting with the Dean (Graduate Supervision Policy Sec. 9.2)

The Graduate Supervision Policy Sec. 6.15 lists other factors that (singly or in combination) can lead to you being withdrawn from your degree - aside from low grades in coursework, these include things such as unsatisfactory research progress, academic misconduct (e.g., plagiarism), safety violations, and repeated failure to complete tasks or attend meetings. These violations all need to be documented (typically in your term evaluations). Once the decision is made for withdrawal, it takes place at the end of the academic term in which the decision is made.

Problems with your Supervisor

Occasionally interpersonal conflicts with your supervisor will escalate to the point that the the relationship is dysfunctional. Well before this point, you should seek the confidential advice of the Graduate Advisor, who will try to solve these issues informally, or through meetings of the supervisory committee.

The supervisory relationship can be severed in two ways. You may decide to withdraw from the supervisory relationship (Graduate Supervision Policy Sec. 11.4), in which case you will need to find a new supervisor. Alternatively, the supervisor may withdraw (Graduate Supervision Policy Sec. 11.2), in which case the department is responsible for continuity of supervision and for locating a new supervisor. In either case, this is a serious issue that has implications for your ongoing funding and other issues, such as whether or not your research to date can be included in your thesis. Read the Graduate Supervision Policy and consult the Graduate Advisor.