After a student is being accepted to the program, the School appoints temporary supervisors to him or her for the duration of the probationary period. Temporary supervisors advise on course choices and provide early mentoring.
Taking into account the research topic and the candidate’s preferences, and based on faculty availability, the Doctoral Program Committee appoints a permanent thesis supervisor to the Probationary Doctoral Candidates before the end of the Winter semester. After the successful Comprehensive Examinations the Doctoral Committee revisits and finalizes the list of supervisors.
Supervisors are responsible for communicating with their supervisees on an ongoing basis. For Probationary Doctoral Candidates this will typically include recommending coursework, and assisting in the prospectus design and preparation for the Comprehensive Examination. For Doctoral Candidates, supervisor responsibilities also take on assistance in preparing the student for dissertation research, matters concerning the formulation and writing of the PhD dissertation. Supervisors regularly request written work and/or research results with a view to providing the necessary feedback within an agreed period of time. Supervisors` responsibilities also include informing the student about the satisfactory or unsatisfactory progress of his/her work.
In advanced stages of the PhD candidacy, supervisors assist students in the preparation of works for scholarly conferences and publications. Beginning with the second year, supervisors convene twice a year the Supervisory Panel for each doctoral student, and prepare the draft of the panel reports that evaluate the students' progress.
Following a successful Comprehensive Examination, a Supervisory Panel is set up for each doctoral student. The Supervisory Panel shall consist of the student’s primary supervisor and two other faculty members.
Starting in the student’s second year, members of the Supervisory Panel meet with the student approximately every six months, no less than twice a year. As a rule, the meetings of the Supervisory Panel with the students will take place in the Fall semester and after the Annual Doctoral Conference. The first panel is supposed to judge the quality of a submitted chapter. The second should evaluate the student’s performance at the Annual Doctoral Conference and at other academic fora, and it should comment on the overall progress of the dissertation, detailing whether the student’s progress is deemed satisfactory or unsatisfactory.