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Graduate Supervision (Research & Academic)

Research Programs

Are you thinking of enrolling in a research-based master’s or doctoral program?

First, you need to fill out an application.

You do not need to choose a research supervisor to guide you in your studies and research work before you submit your application. However, it is preferable to undertake the process quickly, because a professor (your future research supervisor) must necessarily endorse your application in order for you to be admitted.

  • Have you already contacted a professor in your field of interest? Write his or her name in your application. This does not mean, however, that the professor will commit to accepting your application sight unseen.
  • If you did not write the name of a research supervisor on your application, it will be passed around the department. A professor who is interested in your profile and in your research interests may then contact you or accept your application.

To identify a research supervisor, you have 4 options:

  1. Consulting the directory of professors by research expertise to identify a research supervisor working in your area of interest.
  2. Consulting the list of research projects.
  3. Discussion with the professors who have taught you, if you are in your preparatory semester with a view to entering a master’s program.
  4. Discussion with the department’s graduate program co-ordinator to learn about the programs of study related to your field of research.

You can then contact one or more professors in person or by email. To help you contact professors, we invite you to fill the Student-Professor Contact Form (.dot) and attach it to your email. You should also introduce yourself, list the strong points in your CV, specify the program that interests you and discuss the following points with the professor:

  • How do the subjects the professor works with interest you? Show that you have done your homework.
  • Is the professor available to work with you?
  • Can the professor provide financial aid, and if so, what kind? If you have a bursary, mention it.
  • Can the professor give you contact information for a member of his/her research team so that you can speak with that person and tour the laboratories?
  • What is his/her preferred supervisory approach?
  • Any other questions that seem relevant to you.

In response, the professor will let you know whether your profile is of interest to him/her, and as needed may suggest other professors whose work is a closer fit with your interests.

  • Established expertise in the discipline (content, methodology, international contact networks, etc.);
  • A genuine interest in your research topic;
  • A desire to guide you in your work (availability, feedback, help in defining your research topic, support in planning the various stages of your project, etc.);
  • Encouragement for you to publish the results of your research.
Academic Supervisor (DESS/M.Ing)

Are you thinking of enrolling in a professional master’s program or a specialized graduate diploma (DESS)?

First, you need to fill out an application.

You do not need to choose an academic supervisor before you submit your application.

  • Have you already contacted a professor in your field of interest? Write his or her name in your application. This does not mean, however, that the professor will commit to accepting your application sight unseen.
  • If you did not write the name of an accademic supervisor on your application and your application is accepted, a supervisor you will then be assigned.
Responsibilities of the academic supervisor
  • Help students develop their study plan.
  • Oversee their research activitiess.
  • Report to the graduate committee of the department or program concernedaire if he or she deem a student’s progress unsatisfactory.
  • Possibly direct thesis project (6 to 15 credits) or internship (6 credits).

Consult the directory of expertises to identify a supervisor working in your area of interest.

Supervision Terms

Official Documents

For all other information regarding supervision, please refer to:

POLICY : Supervision Policy for Graduate Students
TERMS AND CONDITIONS : Terms and Conditions of the Supervision Policy for Gradute Students (.pdf)

Questions to ask in order to enjoy a quality supervision

Good graduate-level supervision is based on a friendly, professional relationship between student and supervisor. This assumes that you speak frankly with your supervisor before and throughout your program of study.

TO FIND GOOD IDEAS: List of questions that will help you establish a trusting high-quality relationship with your supervisor (.pdf)

Changing Academic or Research Supervisor

It is possible to request a change in research supervisor while you are in the program using the Changing academic or research supervisor form (.pdf).You can also contact the graduate student association (AÉCSP) for information about student life for graduate students.

In Case of Conflict

Polytechnique Montréal’s policy on graduate student supervision (Politique d'encadrement des étudiants des cycles supérieurs) aims to ensure qualified supervision for all graduate students. In spite of the policy, conflicts or disputes may still arise between students and their academic or research supervisor.


  1. Try to resolve the situation by discussing it with your academic or research supervisor.
  2. Should this prove unsatisfactory, you may consult the graduate studies coordinator concerned or even the department director in order to find a departmental solution to the problem.
  3. If the conflict or dispute persists, you may turn to the Director of Graduate Studies and the institution’s ombudsman.
  4. You may also, at any time, seek aid from the education representative at the Polytechnique Montréal’s graduate student association (AÉCSP).
  5. Lastly, you may invoke Article 12 (“Appeals”) of the Graduate Studies Regulations.
Advisory Committee

The advisory committee is a group of 3 or 4 experts who, by sharing knowledge and skills, constructively support the research supervisor in his or her doctoral supervision work, and provide advice to doctoral candidates throughout their training. The advisory committee also aims to empower doctoral candidates with regard to their success and in meeting the quality criteria in their scientific, as well as personal and professional, development.

Assistance from an advisory committee is optional. It is created at the suggestion of the research supervisor or at the request of the doctoral candidate with the supervisor’s agreement.

Objectives of the advisory committee

  • Provide additional advice to the doctoral student and support his or her motivation.
  • Support the supervisor in his or her role.
  • Improve follow-up by interspersing the doctoral student’s progress with regular feedback sessions.
  • Accelerate project start-up time and encourage the student to meet success criteria within a reasonable time frame.
  • Help overcome roadblocks in critical situations.
  • Assist with better professional opportunities.
  • Encourage interdisciplinarity.
Benefits for students Benefits for professors
  • They obtain additional advice about their project, their training and their future career.
  • The committee can help reduce interpersonal difficulties.
  • They are encouraged to enrich their scientific, personal and professional competencies.
  • They have access to regular in-depth assessment.
  • Contact with other people can help sustain their motivation.
  • They have support in facing the growing diversity of doctoral students’ training programs, values, cultures and approaches.
  • They have help when facing difficult situations and to bolster doctoral students’ motivation.
  • They can enhance the quality of doctoral students’ work thanks to the stimulus provided by researchers and experts who are operating outside the project itself.

FOR MORE INFO: How the advisory committee works (.pdf)