Information for Supervisors

As an overall position, CoGS will be accommodating whenever possible. We encourage graduate programs and supervisors to adopt a similar lens of understanding.

To support student success and strong supervisory relationships we recommend that all supervisors and their graduate students revisit their mutual expectations and reframe them to address our current situation.


  • Supervisors of incoming students (especially Master’s) should consider whether they can make available a back-up plan for research to complete the degree in the event that it does not become possible for the student to attend campus.
  • In cases in which research to complete the degree can only be performed on campus, supervisors/programs should make students aware of the risk that they may be unable to complete the degree.
  • Where appropriate, students should be made aware of the option to defer admission, and of what options the program is offering to defer awards. COGS is allowing deferral of entrance awards.
  • Students who are not in Canada cannot be employed as Teaching Assistants.
  • To support graduate students who have yet to receive all or a portion of their funding from UBC research or unrestricted grants because they have been unable to travel to Canada due to COVID-19 restrictions, a Graduate Research Stipend (GRS) distribution process is being made available to allow supervisors to provide funding to these graduate students.

  • In the event that students arrive on campus at a future date, they should be paid in accord with any funding letter that was provided pre-COVID from then onward.

  • Students whose funding package has been modified due to COVID should be provided with a new funding letter.
  • Funding that is provided will be applied to the student’s tuition account. If the student does not have a direct deposit set up for a Canadian bank, any funding in excess of tuition and other fees will be provided to the student by wire transfer if possible. If this is not possible the funds will be kept in the student’s SSC account until they are able to receive them.


Based on the findings of a specially convened task force,  UBC Vancouver and Okanagan Behavioural Research Ethics Boards have updated their review processes to allow for the limited resumption of on- and off-campus in-person behavioural research.

Please note that the following guidance does not apply when health authority sites are being used for research or when researchers are accessing health authority patients or records. Please contact your Health Authority or Health Institution for guidance in these instances.

The intention of the new process is to permit studies at this time that are beneficial to the participants and/or are urgent due to circumstances related to the research outcomes or researcher constraints.  To assist in this, departments will determine which studies meet these criteria prior to submission to BREB.

BREB has created a Guide for Assessing Benefit and Urgency to assist departments in deciding which projects should move forward at this time.

Researchers will also be required to complete new BREB forms for all face-to-face/in-person research:

For further details, see UBC Behavioural Guidance during the COVID-19 research restrictions:….

If you have any questions concerning this process, please contact Lisa Shearer, Associate Manager, BREB at


Wherever possible, incoming students are asked to arrange for the submission of official transcripts and other documents via mail or email to the College of Graduate Studies.  Our deadline for submission of official documents for September 2020 admission is August 31, 2020.  If your incoming student is not able to meet this deadline, please ask them to email and provide details of their specific situation.


Master’s thesis defences and PhD oral examinations are currently being held remotely.

Scheduling defences will proceed as per standard practice and policy.

Resources to support remote defences are listed below.


A new emergency fund has been established by the university to mitigate salary shortfalls for research trainees and research staff where project funding from industry or foundations has been lost or interrupted as a result of COVID-19. Principal Investigators/Supervisors can apply to this fund for payments to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research staff.

Applicants to this fund may also be eligible to access new funding from Mitacs to support research training opportunities for their impacted graduate students. Please visit


On May 26, 2020, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (UBCV) and the College of Graduate Studies (UBCO) co-hosted a webinar entitled “Supervision in the COVID-19 Context” led by Theresa Rogers, Associate Dean, G+PS, and Jennifer Jakobi, Dean Pro Tem, COGS,

The webinar focused on three key areas: