Graduate Student Supervision

Guidelines for the Appointment of Graduate Supervisors

  • Graduate supervisors must be able to provide effective supervision in the area of the student's research.
  • Faculty members must have sufficient qualifications such as a graduate degree to supervise graduate students.
  • A faculty member must normally have a PhD (or equivalent combination of experience and training) to supervise a PhD student and should have demonstrated success in the supervision of Master's candidates. 
  • Supervisors should have sufficient research experience to provide effective supervision in the area of the student's research. In many cases this level of experience can best be demonstrated by the holding of a graduate degree. 
  • Faculty members without previous experience in graduate supervision (e.g. junior or clinical faculty members) are advised to co-supervise students along with a faculty member who is experienced in graduate supervision. 
  • More details are provided in the document: Recommending the Appointment of Graduate Supervisors Guidelines.

Responsibilities of Supervisors and Graduate Students

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies is the point of contact for graduate student related matters in the Faculty of Medicine.

The responsibilities of supervisors and graduate students document provides detailed information that all graduate students and supervisors need to understand. 

The Assistant Dean, Graduate Studies (Medicine) acts as the academic unit head for matters related to graduate students and as a graduate officer for the Faculty of Medicine. Forms for graduate students requiring the signature of the academic unit head can therefore only be signed by the Assistant Dean, Graduate Studies (Medicine). 

Funding for Graduate Students

Full-time students in thesis-based Master's or PhD programs must receive a minimum stipend of $12,000 per annum per student. Faculty members may apply to Research and Graduate Studies to request leverage funding of $6,000 per annum per student toward the $12,000 minimum stipend. This leverage funding may be requested for up to three students per faculty supervisor. The duration of the leverage funding is normally two years for students in a Master’s and four years for students in PhD programmes and students must maintain a defined academic standing. 

Faculty members should contact for more information.

Internal and external scholarships
The Dean's Fellowship Award recognizes academic excellence and is awarded to Master's and Doctoral students by the Dean of Medicine on the recommendation of the Assistant Dean, Graduate Studies (Medicine). For more details and how to apply for the Dean's Fellowship Award, refer to the RGS website. 

The Translational and Personalized Medicine Initiative (TPMI) offers scholarships to Master's and PhD students who are supervised by a faculty member who is connected to the TPMI. The proposed research project must also pertain to TPMI projects or sub programs such as Centre for Health Informatics and Analytics (CHIA) or Newfoundland and Labrador Support Unit (NL SUPPORT). For more information contact

Students are to be encouraged to apply for external awards.  Especially noteworthy are the scholarships offered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Refer to the RGS website for upcoming scholarship opportunities and deadlines. Applications for external student scholarships must be submitted to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies for faculty and institutional approval. 

Graduate Student Admission Process - key points

  • Faculty members may advertise graduate student positions on the program or divisional/discipline website. If a student applies for a graduate program without specifying a supervisor, faculty members involved in the program may choose to supervise the applicant (the applicant must fulfill admission requirements to be accepted into the program). Information about graduate program applicants is made available through the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (RGS). RGS also emails interested students a list of faculty members upon request. 
  • Faculty members may accept graduate students for a thesis-based program any time of the year (some diploma and Masters programs have specific application deadlines, see programs of study document for details about each program).
  • Graduate students must have a supervisor to be accepted into a thesis-based graduate program.
  • Potential graduate students should apply at least four months prior to the desired start date. Refer to the School of Graduate Studies website for application details and procedures. 
  • Faculty members who want to accept a potential student or applicant should contact for necessary forms and more information.

Supervisory Committee

Students in diploma and non-thesis-based degree programs must have a faculty advisor. Students in thesis-based degree programs must have supervisor and a supervisory committee which will be appointed for by the Dean of Graduate Studies, on the recommendation of the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies. It is the responsibility of the graduate student supervisor to to identify a minimum of two other faculty members with the appropriate expertise to serve as members of the supervisory committee. Normally, the members of the supervisory committee are not members of the thesis examining committee or the comprehensive examining committee. Supervisors must convene a meeting with the student's supervisory committee at least once a year.