Resolving issues

You can expect guidance from your faculty and department throughout your candidature and examination. If problems arise, the information on this page will help you to take a considered approach to manage any issues.

What is the process?

Issues are best resolved informally in your department or graduate school whenever possible. Your first step is to talk to your supervisors or graduate research administrators. It is a normal part of any working relationship that issues can arise from differences of opinion or expectation. Take a look at the Working with my supervisor page for advice about building an effective professional relationship with your supervisors.

You can also find helpful tips on resolving issues early on the Student Union's Supervision page.

For advice on issues relating to your academic progress or wellbeing during your candidature, refer to the Managing difficulties during candidature page.

If you can’t resolve the issue with your supervisor, please consider the following approach:

Revisit the discussion
Talk to your supervisor
Consult on the issue
Talk to your advisory committee chair
Seek further advice
Talk to your graduate research coordinator
If still unresolved
Talk to the department head

Approaching an issue

Step 1 - Consider the basis for your concern

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my concern reasonable?
  • What kind of resolution am I seeking?
  • What is the most appropriate action for me to take?
Step 2 - Seek advice

Speak to the following people:

  • Graduate research administrator
  • Supervisor
  • Advisory committee chair
  • Graduate research coordinator
Step 3 - Reconsider your concern

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has my issue been resolved?
  • What would resolve the issue?
Step 4 - Determine your next step

Decide what you're going to do:

  • Take no further action
  • Continue discussions towards an informal resolution
  • Take further action on the unresolved issue

What if my problem still isn't resolved?

Very occasionally, some issues may not be so easily resolved. If you can't reach a satisfactory solution within your faculty or department, you may wish to seek additional advice. Other options independent of your faculty or department include:

If your problem cannot be resolved in this way, you can submit a formal complaint or grievance.

Note that the formal process requires you to outline a history of the issue and your previous attempts to resolve it.