Additional Policies and Procedures

Every candidate for a degree is responsible for making their own formal and timely application for graduation. Please consult the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website for further information.

The department encourages graduate students to publish their research, and will assist wherever possible.  Assistance may include:  informing new graduate students (in seminar courses and other for) that publication of research papers is a realistic option; discussing publication possibilities when helping graduate students to conceptualize their arguments for papers, and when providing feedback on papers; and circulating ‘calls for submissions’ to journals, conferences, or edited volumes among graduate students who are conducting relevant research.  The department will cover photocopying and mailing costs for materials submitted by graduate students to journals, publishers, or conferences.  The Head of the department will circulate news of graduate student publications, via special memo if necessary, and will keep a file of published graduate student work when graduate students are willing to provide copies.

Graduate students are eligible for the Graduate Student Travel Fund from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies only once per degree program. The Travel Fund provides one-time travel support to a maximum of $500 per graduate student who presents a paper or poster at an official conference or symposium (student workshops are ineligible). Travel expenses may be reimbursed directly to students or to faculty supervisors if they advanced funds for their students’ travel. Any eligible travel expenses incurred while enrolled full-time in a degree program are eligible for the Travel Fund and may be submitted at any time to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Reimbursements will only be made after travel is completed. It is important that the application includes confirmation that the paper has been accepted at the time of submission, whenever possible.  No payments can be released without proof of acceptance. Eligible expenses are: travel – economy airfare prices, accommodation, conference registration, meals (per diem rate of $40/day or actual receipts).  Original receipts are required for reimbursement.

Senior doctoral students are also eligible for travel grants from the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA) to present papers at the annual meeting of the Association.  However, to be eligible, students must have been members of CPSA for two years prior to application.  Doctoral students should thus consider joining the Association early in their studies.

Please note that no funds are available retroactively for a previously attended conference.

Travel assistance may also available from the Department for graduate students presenting work at professional conferences. Details each year on how to apply will be provided to students.

Each year the Department offers professional development workshops for graduate students on areas such as Teaching Assistantships, finishing the M.A. in one year, field research, grant applications, and job market strategies. Announcements will be made in advance of each event, and students should consult the Department website.

Graduate students are also encouraged to take part in the teaching instruction and resources provided by the Center for Teaching Learning and Technology.  Students are also encouraged to consult the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website for information on workshops.

According to University procedure, appeals of grades must be made within four weeks after the announcement of final results.  The Head should select a qualified member of the faculty to review the grade.  The identity of the reviewer should be confidential to both the instructor whose grade is being appealed and the student.  If possible, the identity of the student should be protected from the reviewer.  To facilitate a fair review, the reviewer must have access to relevant course materials and the instructor’s comments, and be appraised in writing of the basis for the student’s disagreement with the grade.  The reviewer should not be appraised of the instructor’s original grade.  Based on the reviewer’s assessment, and, if appropriate, after separate consultation with student and the instructor, the Head shall make a determination to raise, lower, or leave unchanged the grade.

Plagiarism is intellectual theft. It occurs when an individual submits or presents the oral or written work of another person as his or her own. This applies to draft work and oral presentations as well as to final submissions. Failing to properly cite the work of another also constitutes plagiarism, even if it is accidental.

According to Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies procedures, plagiarism by graduate students will be reported to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. For complete details on the process and disciplinary procedures, download the document  Dealing with Plagiarism by Graduate Students, or go to Dealing with Plagiarism in the Policies and Procedures section of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

  1. Keep a current contact information on file. The Department of Political Science uses email as the primary mode for sending information vital to the successful completion of your degree, as well as announcements for opportunities or events related to the department. It is extremely important that you keep your contact information, including your local phone number and email address, up to date in the Department’s records. If your email address changes or you stop regularly checking an email address you have given us, you must inform us. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are receiving emails from the program by keeping your contact information current.
  2. Read and respond. Graduate students are expected to be reachable by, and respond promptly to emails from, their course instructors, supervisor, and the graduate program. You should be checking the email address we have on file for you at least daily. It is professional best practice to respond to all messages from those you work with – in this case, your instructors, your supervisor, or the graduate program – within 48 hours. Non-responsiveness leads to concerns about your wellbeing and about your engagement with your academic work. In the event of multiple attempts to communicate via email without success, the graduate program will file a report to Early Alert to ensure that you are safe and have the opportunity to receive appropriate academic and personal support.
  3. Use an address for TA work. If you are working as a Teaching Assistant for the term, you must regularly check your account. This is the account assigned to you as an employee of the University. TA-related emails will thus come through your address, which is different from the account that you received when you registered as a new student. You can always have one UBC account forward to the other. However, under BC privacy law, you may only use an official UBC email account for TA or other teaching-related activities since such communications may include personal information about students.
  4. If you will be out of email contact: We understand that graduate students travel during their time in the program, both for academic/research purposes and personal reasons. Travel may sometimes leave you inaccessible via email for a period of time; however, it is important that we know when you plan to be unreachable. Students are expected to inform the graduate program (Graduate Program Assistant or Graduate Program Coordinator) and your supervisor if they will be out of email contact for a period of more than 4 days in a row. Consistent with standard professional practice, students should also set up an “away from email” auto-respond on the email account that we have on file and indicate in the auto-respond message when they will be resuming email use. Moreover, if there is an alternative way of reaching you during this period, such as phone or text, please let the graduate program and your supervisor know.

As graduate students you are expected to take responsibility for the progress of your degree completion, including, and but not limited to (taken from

  • Make a commitment and show dedicated efforts to gain the background knowledge and skills needed to pursue your research project successfully.
  • In conjunction with your supervisor, develop a plan and timetable for completion of all stages of your thesis project, adhere to a schedule and meet appropriate deadlines.
  • Meet with your supervisor when requested and report fully and regularly on progress and results.
  • Maintain registration throughout the program and (for international students) ensure that study permits and (where applicable) employment authorization documents are kept up to date.
  • Keep your supervisor, graduate program advisor and Enrolment Services informed about your contact information.
  • Give serious consideration to the advice and criticisms received from your supervisor and other members of your supervisory committee.
  • Keep your work space tidy, safe and healthy; show tolerance and respect for the rights of others.
  • Be thoughtful and reasonably frugal in using resources provided by your supervisor and the University, and assist in obtaining additional resources for your research or for other group members where applicable.
  • Conform to University, Faculty and graduate program requirements, including those related to deadlines, dissertation or thesis style, conflict of interest.
  • When your degree program requirements have been met, terminate your work and clean up your work space.
  • Return borrowed materials to your supervisor, graduate program, library or reading room, etc. when your project has been finished or when return is requested.

The following suggestions can make your life a lot easier:

  • Review the literature regularly and keep your literature survey up-to-date
  • Maintain exemplary records of your experimental/theoretical work (so that others can replicate your results)
  • While your supervisor is required to be reasonably available for consultation, it is your responsibility to keep in touch with your supervisor
  • Make yourself available to your supervisor for regular meetings at mutually acceptable times
  • Follow the university’s policy regarding ownership of intellectual property

Any lapse from the above duties may result in delay of your academic progress, or may result in academic or financial penalties, disciplinary action, or withdrawal from your program by the University. Discussion of expectations can foster open communication between supervisors and students and prevent misunderstandings that might otherwise arise. It is very important for you to meet and discuss these expectations with your supervisor (or temporary faculty advisor) as early as possible, or at the first term of your graduate program.

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