MSc OEH Advisors

All incoming students are given a faculty advisor when they begin the program. For thesis students, the advisor has a slightly different role, and they are referred to as a Thesis Supervisor.

Below are the guidelines that relate to the relationship between the different types of advisors and the student.

* Students should be aware that while these advisor roles are in place to provide each student with support, ALL students are welcome to ask any faculty or staff for help or advice when needed.

Faculty Advisors

What is the purpose of the project student-faculty advisor relationship?

To help with concerns such as these:

  • Students struggling with big picture, e.g., how does the course material fit together?
  • Students needing to understand how to integrate what they learn in different classes.
  • Students having difficulty identifying the environmental components/context of their course work.
  • Students complaining of lack of contact with faculty and not knowing about, or understanding, faculty research.
  • Students concerned that the project-based masters program may not create the same graduate level learning experience as the thesis program.

How is it supposed to work?

The following is a guideline for student-advisor interactions:

  • Make appointments to meet on a regular basis with a specific topic/agenda for each meeting.
  • At the first meeting, the advisor should discuss the student's expectations of graduate school and relate our expectations of graduate student performance and learning processes (e.g. independent study/research, integration, critical thinking).
  • Early advising sessions can assist with administrative matters such as course selection, project vs. thesis, etc.
  • The advisor and student should discuss the student's weaknesses, strengths, and interests.
  • The advisor and student should discuss the student's career goals to help direct the student with the future career in mind.
  • Another type of interaction is active tutoring, including:
    • challenging the student to integrate concepts from multiple courses in meaningful ways (for example, discuss a recent seminar or a recent paper with the student).
    • demonstrating integration of research techniques into professional practice.
    • comparing and contrasting environmental & occupational issues.
    • discussing integration/context issues raised by the student.
    • reinforcing hygiene principles, such as:
      • anticipation, recognition, evaluation, control
      • ethics
      • measurement validity & reliability, etc.

Thesis Supervisor

Faculty supervising graduate student theses should set up a regular schedule to meet with the student. Ideally, the first meeting should occur in the first month of enrolment or the first month in which the student decides to choose a thesis topic under the faculty member's supervision.

Student-Supervisor Ground Rules Checklist

The following checklist is modified from the Handbook of Graduate Supervision. It should be reviewed at the initial meeting, then again each year, at the same time that the Annual Progress Report is completed.

  • How frequently you will meet and why
  • Applicable funding sources and the duration of such funding: who is responsible for obtaining funding for student support and operating costs of the research
  • The student’s role with regard to data collection and analysis
  • The supervisor’s role with regard to data collection and analysis
  • Who will train the student to do technical, statistical, or analytic work, and the role of School or other research staff
  • Expectations and procedures with respect to hours, weekend work, lab / computer access, and provision of office space (if any)
  • A timeline for the research program, which may include research proposal writing, ethics approval, data collection, data analysis, manuscript writing, and thesis writing
  • Presentations at conferences and meetings: how many, how often and who pays
  • Safety or other considerations which may need to be completed before working, such as training programs, standard office or laboratory etiquette, or laboratory attire
  • The use of university computers, software, and accounts for research, personal use, etc.
  • Expectations with respect to recording, storage of, and access to data (see below)
  • Discussion of how authorship will be handled, and the role of the student in multi-collaborator research projects (see below)
  • Discussion of supervisory committee members: how and when these should be selected and their role
  • Expectations regarding turn-around time for feedback on chapters, presentations, applications, etc.

Scholarly Integrity

(excerpted from UBC Policy 85)

In order to maintain integrity and to avoid misconduct, members of the University involved in teaching, research, scholarship and professional or creative activity shall:

  • evaluate the work of students fairly
  • recognize and acknowledge the intellectual contribution of others
  • ensure that authors of published work include all and only those who have contributed intellectually
  • use scholarly and scientific rigour in obtaining, recording and analyzing data and in reporting results
  • not use new information obtained through access to confidential manuscripts or applications seen as a result of peer review
  • maintain integrity in using research funds

Key points

1. Storage and access to primary data

Keep a complete set of verifiable data. All primary data must be recorded in clear, adequate, original and chronological form. In scientific departments, a record of the primary data, regardless of ownership, must be maintained in the laboratory and cannot be removed. Original data for any study must be retained in the unit of origin for at least five years after the work is published or otherwise presented (if assurances have not been given that data would be destroyed to assure anonymity). Supervisors and collaborators will have unrestricted access to all data and products of their collaborative research (if assurances have not been given that access to the data and/or products would be restricted to assure anonymity).

2. Authorship

All authors listed in a publication should have been involved in the research. Each is expected to have made a significant intellectual or practical contribution, understand the significance of the conclusions, and be able to share responsibility for the content and reliability of the reported data. The concept of “honorary authorship” is not acceptable.

In the event that a researcher involved in the research disagrees with the content or conclusions of a publication, the Principal Investigator may proceed to publish the results and the dissenting researcher may elect to have his or her name removed from the list of authors of that publication. The dissenting researcher may independently write his or her own publication.

3. Role of collaborators in research projects, including students

Research conditions for all involved in a research team should be outlined in a letter from the Principal Investigator before team members become engaged. Entitlement to ownership of primary data, software, and other products of research can vary according to the circumstances under which research is conducted. A shared understanding about ownership should be reached among collaborators, especially between supervisors and their graduate students, before research is undertaken.

Co-Op Faculty Advisor

Additional to student's faculty advisor, students taking the project option (SPPH 598) will be allocated a co-op advisor.

The co-op advisor is there as additional support during your co-op placement during the summer, to give support or advice to ensure you are achieving the best possible learning experience at your co-op placement.