researcher holds a flask

Graduate Supervisory Experience Survey


At the Office of the Vice Dean, Research and Health Science Education (RHSE), we are committed to making sure you are academically supported in your graduate training. An important component of this training involves your supervisory experiences as a thesis-based master or doctoral student.

To help us learn about your supervisory experiences as a graduate student, we created the Graduate Supervisory Experience (GSE) Survey, thanks to funding from the School of Graduate Studies Innovation Fund. In summer 2018 we created a task force made of departmental chairs and graduate students across our 10 thesis-based MSc and PhD programs. Chaired by Dr. Allan Kaplan, a survey was developed to capture key aspects of students' graduate supervisory experience, based on the 2017 SGS Graduate Supervision Guidelines for Faculty and Students. We consulted with several provostial offices across the university, as well as the Office of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy. The survey was piloted in Fall 2019.

The primary objective of this survey is to help us understand your supervisory experiences as a graduate student. Although participation is voluntary, we encourage you to participate because we use the results from this survey to improve your educational experience. We share insights from the survey with Temerty Faculty of Medicine educational leaders so that we can ensure you get the best educational experience possible.

The survey will be launched for a third time in May 2023, across the 10 thesis-based graduate programs. To help raise awareness of this project, Yasman Mohammadzadeh (Project Coordinator, Data and Awards) will be meeting with research graduate students by department, starting late March 2023. We encourage all students to check their emails and attend these meetings.

Questions may be directed to


To view results from the survey, explore our interactive dashboard

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the GSE survey mandatory?

No. Participation in this survey is strictly voluntary and raw data collected will be treated as strictly confidential. To participate, you will need to login using your UTORid and password. This information is only required to:

  1. Verify the identity of each participant
  2. Prevent non-eligible students from participating
  3. Avoid duplicate survey results from being submitted

Participants will also have the opportunity to win prizes!

Who has access to my data?

All data collected for the survey will be stored, encrypted and protected through appropriate technical and process protections by the Temerty Medicine. Only specific staff from the Office of the Vice Dean, Research and Health Science Education (RHSE) will have access to the data, specifically, the Graduate Affairs Officer and the Project Coordinator, Data and Awards. These individuals will be responsible for reviewing the raw data (qualitative and quantitative) and analyzing it to prepare aggregate results. RHSE will be responsible for reviewing the data. Raw data is not be reported to Temerty Medicine stakeholders or external organizations without the graduate student’s written consent, except as required by law (please refer to FAQ question - If I have experienced inappropriate behaviour, do I report this in the survey?).

How are the results reported?

All qualitative and quantitative data will be analyzed and reported in aggregate form. In addition to frequency tables for each question, results may be stratified by different variables (e.g., junior male respondents verses senior male respondents), as required. We anticipate enough respondents to ensure anonymity; currently there are over 2000 students across the 10 thesis-based graduate programs. However, in the event that stratification may lead to the identification of a given student, the results of this type of analysis will not be reported. The number of responses will always accompany each result reported. Results will be complied to create two types of reports: an overall faculty report and an individual department report. The survey is meant to serve as a quality assurance tool to inform the assessment of the effectiveness of graduate student supervision.

Who has access to the results?

All students, faculty, departmental Chairs/Directors and Temerty Medicine educational leaders will have access to the overall faculty report. Departmental quantitative reports will be shared with the Chair, faculty and students of the relevant graduate unit (e.g., biochemistry chairs, students and faculty, will only receive the biochemistry report). The departmental reports may be shared with the Dean, as requested.

If I have a complaint, who should I submit it to?

All students are protected by the Governing Council Statement on Prohibited Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment. If you are experiencing discrimination or harassment, resources are available to assist you in reporting your concerns and finding a resolution. Please refer to the Office of the Vice-Provost's Student Complaint Processes.

If I have experienced inappropriate behaviour, should I report it in the GSE survey?

For the purpose of the Graduate Supervisory Experience survey, inappropriate behaviour is defined as any behaviour that constitutes as discriminatory, violent or harassing; this also includes sexual violence and harassment. Inappropriate behaviour is also referred to as egregious behaviour.

This survey is not intended to identify and address complaints of harassment, violence or discrimination against a graduate primary and/or co-supervisor. The Temerty Faculty of Medicine and University of Toronto take complaints of this nature with the utmost seriousness and have established policies and guidelines for disclosing such behavior and ensuring it is addressed in a timely way.

If students decide to comment on inappropriate behavior of their primary and/or co-supervisor (e.g., sexual harassment, discrimination, violence) in this survey, the University is obligated to investigate such alleged behaviour. In the course of such an investigation and in consultation with the student reporting the inappropriate behaviour, his/her name and the name of the faculty supervisor in question may be required to be revealed in confidence to the appropriate University official.

The following University documents provide specific definitions for these types of inappropriate behaviours, as well as the process for raising concerns regarding these types of conduct:

Students who wish to report inappropriate behaviour from any member of the University of Toronto community (i.e., students, staff, faculty) can direct these concerns to any of the following individuals:

I was invited to complete the GSE survey but I have already graduated. Should I complete it?

Yes! We encourage you to complete the survey. As a recent graduate, you will have had two or more years of experience with your graduate supervisor. Your feedback will provide an in-depth perspective of the quality of your supervisory experience.

Why didn't I receive an invitation to complete the GSE survey?

For the first cycle of the GSE survey, we have only invited thesis-based graduate students in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. However, we are open to working with non-research stream programs to explore ways to include other types of graduate students in future iterations of the survey.

How long will the survey be available to complete?

The survey will be available until May 31st.

Has this been done before and are there any future plans?

The supervisory experiences of our graduate students have never been explored using a standardized survey tool at the faculty/divisional level. The information gathered will be helpful in raising awareness of the learning experience of our graduate students. It will also be used to design tools and sessions for faculty and students to ensure the best learning environment.

Are there prizes for participating?

Yes! We have over 15 prizes. Students who have completed their survey by the deadline, will be automatically entered in a random draw to win a prize. Prize winners will be contacted after the survey end date, May 31st.