Incoming students are assigned a faculty supervisor at the time of admission, based on the student’s initial declaration of research interests. The selection committee will assign the provisional supervisor at the time of acceptance. The permanent supervisor is normally finalized by the end of the first academic year.
Students begin to work with their supervisor in the first year toward the development of a proposal that will be defended at the end of the second year. Once a proposal draft has been completed a committee is established to review the proposal and sign off on it going to a defence. Once the proposal is defended and the student has gained ethics approval, the next stage is to conduct research and write the dissertation.
Dissertation supervision and committee membership vary in the program. Candidates may choose a single or co-supervisory format for their committee with 2-3 additional committee members providing expertise on particular aspects of the research project.
The primary supervisor must be a tenured Trent graduate faculty member. Other committee members can be chosen from the Regular or Associate Graduate Faculty categories. In addition, the program can appoint individuals to sit on student committees as Special Graduate Faculty. This category is normally reserved for individuals who do not have university faculty appointments. Elders and Knowledge Holders are often appointed to committees as Special Graduate Faculty.
Appointment of Members to a Supervisory Committee
Students wishing to have an individual appointed to their committee should discuss this with their supervisor. Once the supervisor has signed off, the student may confirm with the individual that they are available and interested in serving on the committee. Once confirmed the student would request a CV from the individual and submit this to the supervisor. The supervisor will then submit the request and the CV to the program to be reviewed by the program committee. Once the committee approves an individual to serve on a committee, they will receive a letter from the program. Appointments are usually for 5 years (but can be renewed if necessary).