Tips for Grad School Success

As my experience supervising graduate students grows, I’ve recognized some common questions or challenges. I’ve created these quick tips pages to help make explicit some of the “unwritten rules” or tacit knowledge gained through graduate school. Nearly every page addresses a topic that doesn’t have a single authoritative answer. My advice here represents my own perspective and is informed by my own university and disciplinary contexts. I am intending this advice for the graduate students I work with directly, although there may be points here that are useful for others. As always, consider the advice I give here as one perspective on the issue, to be compared and supplemented with other resources.

Working with your thesis committee

Navigating co-authorship

Writing an academic CV

Working with your supervisor to get feedback on written work


(questions asked by my own students)

List of links to helpful resources around the web

Am I missing anything?


If there are topics or questions you would like to see here,   please let me know  .

I’m indebted to my past research assistant, Eamon Colvin, for identifying many of the resources linked to in these documents, and collating the questions from students that appear in the FAQ document.

Meredith Vanstone,

Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine

DBHSC 5003E, McMaster University

100 Main St. W., Hamilton, ON L8P 1H6