Supervisory Committees and Meetings

In consultation with your supervisor, arrange a supervisory committee as soon as the thesis topic is known. The first committee meeting must be held within the first eight months of study. A committee meeting should ideally be held within the first three months of study. Please email the names of your committee members to the Graduate Coordinator G+PS recommends meeting regularly with your committee and to have at least one formal meeting per year.

After the meeting, please submit the committee meeting report to the Graduate Secretary. This information is maintained in your file and may be forwarded to the Department Head. The Department Head may decline to sign student reappointments or applications for awards if this program requirement has not been met and students will be ineligible for the PhD tuition award.

Selecting your Committee

Your committee should consist of:

  • A minimum of three members: your research supervisor (Chair) and at least two additional faculty members who are familiar with your research topic.
  • At least one member of the committee other than the supervisor must be a full member of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
  • All members must be at least Assistant Professors and ideally be members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies
  • If you want to appoint a supervisor who is not a member of UBC you must seek the permission of the Dean of Graduate and Post Doctoral Studies.
  • However the majority of the committee members must be from UBC

Scheduling a Meeting

Regular meetings of a student with his/her advisory committee can provide valuable feedback. Moreover, this process can identify and resolve small problems before they become large ones. With this in mind, hold at least one committee meeting per calendar year (see Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies regulations). The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies may require a supervisory committee report in order to release the stipends of multi-year awards: NSERC, CIHR and 4YF studentships recipients. Students are permitted to have more than one meeting per year if they wish.

Students arrange a meeting with the Committee and then request the Graduate Secretary to book a room, providing information regarding the number of people attending, date(s) and time(s) of meeting and if a projector is required. It is best to provide alternate schedules in case the first choice is not available.


A week prior to the meeting
Present each committee member with an Annual Report that includes a summary of activities and a short (e.g. 3-5 pages) written description of the project and research plan. – Guidelines for preparation of BMB Graduate Student Annual Report

At the meeting
Provide a 15-20 minute oral presentation, followed by a question and answer period.

After the meeting
The supervisor, in consultation with the student and committee will complete a committee meeting report (MSc or PhD) to record your progress and make recommendations as appropriate. Provide a copy of this report to the Graduate Secretary in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.