Doctoral (PhD)

Your supervisor typically serves as the chair of your Supervisory Committee. The doctoral supervisory committee must include at least two other faculty members. Supervisory committee members may be drawn from within IRES, other UBC departments or from outside of UBC; however you must have a majority of your committee be G+PS members. Your supervisor(s) will help you with selecting your committee.

The major task of the supervisory committee is to supervise and evaluate the comprehensive examinations, dissertation research proposal, and final dissertation. You may be able to change the composition of the supervisory committee by consulting with your supervisor and/or the RES Graduate Advisor.

G+PS Graduate Student Responsibilities

G+PS Supervisory Responsibilities


RES Doctoral Student Supervisory Committee Policy:
Number of members: UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) requires that a Ph.D. committee be comprised of at least 3 members. IRES recommend that committees have 3 members, but recognizes that 4 or more members may be appropriate in some cases.


IRES representation: In almost all cases, the supervisor will be an IRES core or “Core Associate” (CA) faculty member. This provides sufficient IRES representation. In the few cases where the supervisor is not an IRES core or CA faculty member, the committee must be vetted by the RES Graduate Advisor or IRES Director. In all cases, there must be at least 1 IRES core or CA faculty member on the committee. (For further information on “Core Associates,” see the IRES Policy on Faculty Associates.)


Extra-academic representation: In keeping with IRES’ focus on applied research, it is recommended that committees be comprised of 2 academics and 1 (or more) nonacademic professionals.


Non-G+PS Members: A committee can include member(s) who are not UBC G+PS faculty members with approval from the Dean of G+PS. Non-G+PS members include professors at other universities, research associates, etc. The student or supervisor should make the request in writing to the RES Graduate Advisor, providing a rationale for the non-G+PS members inclusion on the committee and include the proposed committee member’s c.v. The RES Graduate Advisor can then approve a formal request be made to G+PS.

Details on Non-G+PS Members as Supervisory Committee Members


G+PS membership: A majority of the committee members must be G+PS members, i.e., tenure track assistant, associate, or full professors. This is a G+PS requirement.


IRES-recognized committees: In some cases, the best committee for a student may not meet the G+PS membership requirement. In particular, a committee of 3 may be desired, in which only person A is a UBC tenure-track faculty member, while persons B and C are faculty members at other universities, adjunct faculty, 2 research associates, practitioners, etc. In this case, at the recommendation of the supervisor, IRES can add a core or CA faculty member (person D) so that the full committee meets G+PS membership requirements.