Academic units are encouraged to nominate individuals associated with their respective departments, colleges and schools who are actively engaged in furthering the education of graduate students and enhancing the research, scholarly and artistic work at the University of Saskatchewan for membership in the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS).

Appointments made to the CGPS

A nominee may be eligible for membership within the CGPS provided at least one of the following three criteria are met:

  1. the nominee has had previous experience supervising graduate students and/or has taught graduate-level course work in at least two of the last three years or
  2. the nominee has conducted a peer review, or has had an article, book or exhibition of artistic work published or accepted for publication within the last three years or  
  3. the nominee has had substantial involvement in ongoing research which offers resources and opportunities for graduate students

Nomination for appointments within the CGPS must have the support of the head of the academic unit and the office of the dean/executive director of the college/graduate school supporting the graduate program. 

Roles of college members on student advisory committees

On rare occasions, individuals may be appointed to the university without holding a PhD or equivalent degree.  The eligibility of those without a doctoral degree to be appointed as members of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and participate on graduate student advisory committees will depend on the individual’s highest degree credential and previous experience and level of involvement in research.  Table 1 defines the minimum experience and academic credentials to be eligible to participate in each of the roles on a graduate student’s advisory committee.  All appointments to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and any limitations to involvement on graduate student advisory committees require approval by the dean of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.  The possible roles that an appointee may hold shall be specified in the letter of appointment.

Table 1:  Minimum experience and academic credentials to be eligible to participate in each of the roles on a graduate student’s advisory committee [1]


UG degree

UG degree + Professional Designation

Master degree


Member of Advisory Committee

No additional experience required

No additional experience required

No additional experience required

No additional experience required

Co-supervise Master student with experienced faculty

Not eligible

No additional experience required

No additional experience required

No additional experience required

Supervise Master student

Not eligible

co-supervised at least 1 master student to successful completion

No additional experience required

No additional experience required

Co-supervise PhD student with experienced faculty

Not eligible

No additional experience required

No additional experience required

No additional experience required

Supervise PhD student

Not eligible

co-supervised at least 1 PHD student to successful completion

co-supervised at least 1 PhD student to successful completion

No additional experience required     

[1] Nominations for appointment within the CGPS must be supported by the head of the academic unit and the office of the dean/executive director of the college/school supporting the program.  Such nominations are at the discretion of the dean of CGPS.


Graduate Faculty Membership in the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS) is held for the purpose of furthering the education of graduate students and enhancing the research, scholarly and artistic work at the University of Saskatchewan. Individuals with academic appointments within other colleges/schools may be nominated as members of graduate faculty within the CGPS. This includes tenured, probationary, continuing term, emeriti, or in some circumstances academic programming appointments. Membership in the CGPS faculty is for five years (July through June), renewable for as long as the member remains in good standing and active in graduate and postdoctoral studies.

A nomination for membership can be made using the nomination for membership form found on the College Membership page.


Medical graduate faculty members must be a licensed Saskatchewan physician or a clinical PhD, holding a clinical appointment in the individual’s respective health region as well as an academic appointment in a department or a division within the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. A medical graduate faculty membership is subject to the limitations outlined by The University of Saskatchewan Act with respect to the statutory definition of a faculty member and as defined by the Procedures Manual for Medical Faculty.  Graduate medical faculty members are members of graduate faculty within the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.  Appointments as graduate medical faculty within CGPS are valid for five years (July through June), renewable for as long as the member remains in good standing and active in graduate and postdoctoral studies.  CGPS graduate medical faculty wishing to be involved in the education of graduate students and/or involvement with postdoctoral fellows within a second academic unit may be recommended for a one-time appointment and/or be nominated for associate membership.

A nomination for membership can be made using the membership nomination form found on the College Membership page.


An individual who is not an employee of the University of Saskatchewan whose knowledge, expertise and skills contribute to the academic unit’s research and teaching functions with respect to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, may be recommended for appointment as an adjunct professor (USFA collective agreement 13.1.2). Adjunct professors are members of graduate faculty within the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and are encouraged to participate in the affairs of the college as appropriate. Memberships are valid for five years (July through June), renewable for as long as the member remains in good standing and active in graduate and postdoctoral studies.  (e.g. Adjunct professors usually hold a PhD and an academic appointment at another university.  Adjunct professors are also commonly employed within a government-funded laboratory or have an affiliation to USask through research collaborations.)

A nomination for membership can be made using the membership nomination form found on the College Membership page.


Professional affiliates may be self-employed, may be employed in staff positions at the university, or may be members of external organizations. These individuals will normally have valuable skills, education, and experience, without necessarily meeting criteria required for appointment in a tenure-track faculty position.  Professional affiliates cannot be research supervisors, although they are eligible to serve on graduate student advisory and examining committees and are able to teach graduate courses, when their qualifications are appropriate. Academic units may recommend individuals be appointed as professional affiliates whom they wish to have associated with their research, graduate teaching, or professional program(s). Professional affiliates are not considered members of the CGPS faculty and they shall serve without additional salary from USask.


A nomination for membership can be made using the membership nomination form found on the College Membership page


A one-time member may be appointed to serve on a graduate student advisory committee, teach a graduate-level course or serve as an external examiner of a master student’s thesis.  At minimum, the one-time member is expected to be a subject matter expert and typically have an earned degree equivalent to or advanced beyond that sought by the student. Generally, one-time members are non-CGPS members who have specific expertise in a specialized area and wish to contribute to the program of an individual graduate student.

In no case may a non-member of the CGPS faculty serve as sole research supervisor of a graduate student. Non-members may assist with the direction of a graduate student’s research, following approval by the Dean, by being appointed as a co-supervisor. One of the co-supervisors must be a member of CGPS.  At minimum, a non-member of CGPS faculty serving as a student’s co-supervisor is expected to have expertise relevant to the research being conducted, and typically have an earned degree equivalent to that sought by the student being co-supervised.  The same expectations apply to non-members being appointed as advisory committee members and Master’s external examiners.

The Dean of the CGPS retains the authority to reject a recommendation for a non-member’s participation based upon alternative factors not indicated above.  Further, the Dean may also allow exceptions to any of the expected criteria indicated above, after considering additional factors indicated in an appeal by the Graduate Chair, Department Head or Executive Director of the unit making the recommendation.

One-time memberships can be requested directly through the service desk using this form.


The CGPS is dependent upon academic units for information and action in the administration of graduate programs. While the academic unit Head or Dean/Executive Director carries the responsibilities outlined below, it is traditional and preferable that these be delegated to a Graduate Committee and/or Graduate Chair. Consequently, the position of Graduate Chair is of critical importance in ensuring the success of the program and of individual students.

The nature of the responsibilities of Graduate Chairs differs between academic units. Each Graduate Chair has a formal role and responsibilities relating to the CGPS Graduate Council, including the College’s Executive, Awards, Nominations, Academic Affairs, and Programs Committees.

These guidelines are intended to enhance the effectiveness of shared efforts in graduate admissions, program administration and the general flow of information. They indicate the areas of responsibility identified as important by the CGPS for the good management of graduate programs.

The Graduate Chair normally carries out the following:

Recruitment/Selection/Admission of Graduate Students

  1. Information - Responds to queries regarding graduate programs in that particular academic unit, prepares or assembles appropriate informational material, coordinates graduate recruitment activities.
  2. Internal Consultation - Presides over the academic unit Graduate Affairs Committee and executes the results of its discussions and decisions.
  3. Admissions - Reviews all documentation needed to consider student applications for admission to the unit, consults with appropriate staff (usually involving the Graduate Affairs Committee), forwards a recommendation for admission to the CGPS when the unit has so decided, and informs the applicant about the outcome of the application. If the unit decides negatively, the decision may be challenged to the Associate Dean (Programs) or appealed to the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee. When the unit has decided positively, the unit is encouraged to so notify the applicant. A copy of the letter must be sent to the CGPS. This notification must clearly state that the unit's recommendation is to recommend admission, but the actual admission is made by the CGPS.
  4. Consults with the CGPS in all matters regarding student admissions and credentials.

Administration of Graduate Program

  1. Ensures that appropriate records for each graduate student in the unit are kept.
  2. Ensures that an Advisory Committee is named in a timely way for each graduate student.
  3. Ensures that graduate course offerings, supervisory resources, and other facilities are adequate to meet the needs of graduate programs and submits a Program of Studies.
  4. Ensures that information on student programs and progress is kept up-to-date.
  5. Ensures that Advisory Committees meet at least annually with the student, with minutes and Progress Reports are entered in PAWS.
  6. Takes appropriate action when there is reason to believe that students are not making satisfactory progress in their program.
  7. Ensures that the student has met all program requirements before requesting approval of the external examiner for thesis dissertation defences; consults with CGPS in scheduling oral dissertation defences; submits the name of the approved university examiner for doctoral defences and arm's length examiner for master's defences; and ensures that all convocation forms are submitted in a timely way to CGPS when a student applies to graduate.
  8. Is responsible for regular review of graduate course offerings; facilitates systematic graduate program review.
  9. Ensures that CGPS policies, regulations, procedures, and deadlines are known by graduate students, faculty members, and staff.
  10. Coordinates and deals with correspondence to and from the CGPS; advises the CGPS of any particular problems or concerns.
  11. Advises the CGPS Associate Dean in matters regarding goals and objectives pertaining to the delivery of graduate programs.
  12. Coordinates development of new graduate courses and programs; arranges for the revision of courses and programs as appropriate; oversees the deletion procedures for graduate courses and programs; works collaboratively with the CGPS in the implementation of Catalogue revisions; prepares necessary documentation for Special Case graduate admissions.

Scholarships/Awards [under review]

  1. In consultation with the Graduate Affairs Committee, coordinates the submission of recommendations for University Graduate Scholarships to the CGPS Awards Committee.
  2. Coordinates submission of graduate student scholarship and fellowship applications to external funding agencies and for all other external awards, providing information, material and advice as appropriate.
  3. Administers Graduate Teaching Fellowships in collaboration with the CGPS and the academic college.
  4. Graduate Chairs in academic units belonging to the Devolved Scholarship System will follow their own academic unit scholarship action plan, approved by the CGPS, as to how they are to administer their university graduate scholarship funds from the CGPS.
  5. As much as possible coordinates and provides information to students and to the CGPS on all available sources of funding; works to enhance funding sources.
  6. Ensures that graduate students who receive teaching/service assignments are properly supervised and that they and their supervisors are fully informed in advance about the nature of the assignments and CGPS/University policies and regulations which govern them; facilitates the offering of instructional development training to graduate students.
  7. Works collaboratively with the CGPS Director of Graduate Awards and Scholarships.

General Duties

  1. Facilitates and authorizes on behalf of the unit, student registration in courses and any changes in registration which conform to the student's Program of Studies.
  2. Informs students regarding the policies, requirements and regulations of the CGPS and of the unit.
  3. Ensures students receive ongoing research supervision, meet regularly with their supervisors, and the quality of supervision is adequate; investigates when there is reason to believe relations between students and supervisors are not satisfactory.
  4. Counsels individual graduate students and engages in discussions with student organizations as appropriate, ensures necessary resources, facilities and support are available to graduate students.
  5. Ensures academic unit and university policies in areas such as safety, academic integrity, sexual harassment, Intellectual Property, etc., are known by students and faculty; mediates as necessary when students, instructors, supervisors or Advisory Committees come into dispute and, if necessary, reports such occurrences to the CGPS Dean; follows through when any such matters become the subject of formal investigations or hearings.


Approved New Section 18.7
by CGPS Council October 27, 2022 
November 1, 2022

PURPOSE: To provide guidance for the roles and responsibilities of Graduate Affairs committees in departments/schools/colleges including distribution and adjudication of scholarship and awards. A key principle with respect to scholarship and admissions is to ensure that the awarding of recruitment scholarships and funding packages are done through a robust process with more than a single person making decisions and are fully coordinated with the admission process. The following includes guidance on best practices for the full suite of responsibilities and incorporates input from the CGPS’ Graduate Academic Affairs Committee and its Awards and Scholarship Committee.


  • A Graduate Committee is required for every dissertation/thesis-based graduate program.
  • The Graduate Committee is located either at a departmental level or college/school level. For small departments all faculty members may be defacto members or the committee may be constituted through an organized subset of departments.
  • The Graduate Committee will consist of at least 3 members: the Graduate Chair, plus at least 2 other members of the department, the college, or the subset of departments in which the graduate program located. The members must be tenure-track or tenured faculty who are eligible to be on the supervisory committees of graduate students in that program.
  • Each Graduate Committee member must be committed to principles of equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Where voting is required, meetings are preferred but email votes are sufficient.

GRADUATE COMMITTEE SCOPE: The Graduate Committee is responsible for the following general activities as they relate to the programs it oversees:

  • determining criteria for assessing applicants for admission;
  • assessing applicants based on admissions criteria, voting on student admissions, and recommending admissions to CGPS;
  • determining criteria, where applicable and/or required, for assessing graduate student applications to scholarships, awards, and/or other funding allocated by CGPS to the graduate program;
  • assessing student applicants for CGPS-distributed funding (scholarships, awards, other) according to the established criteria, voting on the distribution of this funding, and overseeing recommendations to the CGPS Awards Committee for CGPS-distributed funding;
Scholarships and Awards
  • overseeing and tracking the submission of graduate student scholarship, award, bursary, fellowship, and/or other funding applications to external funding agencies;
  • Developing processes that align with the CGPS Awards Policy that includes (i) assessment criteria for ranking applicants, (ii) how equity, diversity, and inclusion will be addressed, and (iii) a timeline for adjudication; and allows for notification of successful award recipients at the time of admissions.
  • Ranking all incoming applicants to the program (or a subset/shortlist of applicants, if the Graduate Committee requests this) according to the implementation plan;
  • Setting policies for eligibility for scholarships such as matching requirements for access to stipend support for Master’s students and doctoral students where grants support such funding.
Program Requirements and Oversight
  • regularly reviewing program requirements as listed in the University Catalogue and to ensure programs stay current, and proposing updates as necessary;
  • developing and annually reviewing program-specific guidelines and policies that are readily available for students and faculty (e.g., requirements of faculty to fund student stipends, description of doctoral candidacy assessment, dissertation/thesis formatting).
  • overseeing program course offerings, including adding new courses or deleting unnecessary courses;
  • determining criteria for matching supervisors (mentors) and students, and matching supervisors (mentors) and students based on those criteria;
  • serving as a temporary advisory committee for dissertation/thesis-based students if one has not yet been formed;
Additional Duties
  • anything else deemed appropriate and/or necessary by the department, college, school or subset of departments.