Supervisor Issues?

Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions

1) No, your supervisor can’t just fire you if you are in clear academic standing.
This is a very complicated process during which he will have to answer a lot of uncomfortable questions.

2) You supervisor or anyone else for that matter cannot be hostile towards you or threaten you in any way shape or form and for any reason.
Ontario Tech Policy establishes that harassment and discrimination are never acceptable and will not be tolerated. This includes comments that are intimidating and/or hostile as well as verbal or physical assault or imposition of academic penalties.

3) Your funding cannot under any circumstance be cut under the value that is specified as minimum funding in your contract.
This is literally the meaning of minimum funding. (Note that this only applies if you are still in the time limit outlined by your contract). You can find out more about minimum funding here.

4) There is no official working hours requirement.
The appointment of a student under a GRA is not an employer/employee relationship but rather a  student/mentor or advisor relationship, there should be no expectation of a set number of hours imposed on the student. However, it is expected that, as mentor, the faculty member will advise the student on what tasks and research the student will be required to accomplish in order to complete a thesis based on the standards of the Faculty or  Graduate program or field of study.

If you feel harassed and/or treated unfairly the following are your points of contact:

Talk to a student:

  • Your graduate program representative
  • Your lab-mates and colleagues. They may have already gone through what you are now.

For problems in your capacity as a TA:

  • PSAC (your union). You can reach them through their Facebook page.

In your faculty:

  • Your Graduate Program Coordinator. They are your link between faculty and the SGPS.
  • Your Graduate Program Director. That’s a professor.

Student Life:

School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS):

Sources