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Information for Prospective Students

     I welcome inquiries from students who are interested in having me be their graduate or Honours thesis supervisor. Please feel free to email me ( to have a preliminary discussion of our shared interests. You can also review my website to see the types of projects I have supervised in the past. Normally, I take on one new graduate student and one new Honours student each year. Below, I have outlined what you can expect from me as a supervisor, as well as what I expect of students who I supervise.

Honours Thesis Overview
Under Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos' Supervision

If I accept you as an Honours student, as your supervisor, I will assist you in developing a research question and appropriate methodology. I will also assist you in learning how to collect, analyze, and write up your data. This will be done through regular meetings, as well as review of written materials and oral presentations. Of note, it is customary for one of my Ph.D. students to be a co-supervisor for your Honours thesis, and the Ph.D. student often provides initial feedback on written materials and assists with data analysis. This is an excellent experience for the Ph.D. student and offers the Honours student extra support.

The following will give you a general outline of my expectations for Honours students:

  1. Your course outline for PSYC 400 will include a due date for your full proposal (i.e., literature review, research questions, proposed methods, proposed analyses, and a discussion of anticipated results and how they will advance current knowledge). Although the full proposal is only 10-12 pages, it will likely undergo numerous revisions, so it is best to start early. A tentative timeline for you to submit different sections of the proposal for feedback is provided just above.

  2. By September, you will finalize a topic and proposed methodology for your Honours thesis. Topics are typically related to some aspect of Internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (ICBT) and are developed collaboratively, considering student interests, what is realistic to achieve in the time frame, and what will effectively build upon past research. Some students use the data available through the Online Therapy Unit or PSPNET. (Click here to see examples of Honours theses).

  3. From September to the end of March, you will be expected to attend and contribute to research meetings to discuss your research. Some are led by the Ph.D. student co-supervisor alone, while others involve other students or research assistants in my lab. Most meetings are currently via Zoom. Generally, these meetings involve checking in on your progress, establishing goals for the week, and answering questions. Email support is also provided.

  4. Typically, by October 15th, you will prepare a draft of the literature review and method section for your Honours thesis proposal. Following revisions, this will be handed in to the Honours coordinator for marking later in the semester.

  5. Typically, by November 15th, you will prepare a presentation on your project and practice this in front of me and members of my lab. This presentation will also be given in your Honours thesis seminar at a later date.

  6. From September through the end of January, you will be involved in data collection and data entry. This takes a variable amount of time, depending on the nature of your project. This will require making a database for data entry. If you collect data through the Online Therapy Unit or PSPNET, you will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement. You will also need to complete the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS) Course on Research Ethics (CORE) prior to data collection.

  7. Data analysis typically begins in the winter semester. This can be a time consuming process, and you should expect to devote considerable time to it. Members of my team may be able to support you with analyses.

  8. It is expected that March will be spent on final data analysis, and the write-up of the results and discussion sections. The first draft of your Honours thesis is typically due to me by mid-March, in order to ensure that I have enough time to mark and make suggestions for revisions before the end of the term. Your final draft is typically due in early April.

  9. Typically, in the first week of April, you will be required to submit a poster presentation of your Honours thesis. More details are available from the Honours coordinator.

  10. Once the class is complete, if the results are interpretable and contribute to the field, you will be asked to assist with the preparation of an article for publication. Authorship will depend on factors such as contribution to the study question, methodology, final data analysis, and write-up of the article.

Note: Honours students are typically provided with space/computers in my lab to assist with completion of their thesis. Honours students are also typically offered additional opportunities to get involved in ICBT research.

Graduate Supervision:
Memorandum of Understanding/Research Agreement

As your graduate supervisor, I will assist you in your graduate research, including identifying relevant literature; conceptualizing/refining research questions; identifying appropriate methodology; designing your research; selecting/constructing relevant questionnaires; preparing ethics applications; collecting/ analyzing/interpreting results; and writing up your thesis/dissertation. Further, I will assist you in presenting your research at professional conferences and in peer-reviewed publications. The expectation with graduate research is always that you take the lead on the above activities and that I offer assistance.

My assistance will be provided through regular meetings and review of written materials and oral presentations. I will aim to have feedback to you within ~3 weeks (the recommendation of the FGSR).

Depending on the project, several manuscripts/presentations may result from graduate research. It is also possible that supplementary manuscripts/presentations will result from your graduate research (e.g., answering questions that were not part of your original graduate project).

If possible, I will discuss decisions regarding manuscripts/ presentations. Within reason, extra time will be given if personal circumstances (e.g., sickness) interfere with you leading the preparation of manuscripts/presentations. Timely presentation and publication of research, however, is paramount, as information collected becomes quickly out of date. Therefore, if personal circumstances arise that interfere with your ability to lead manuscripts/presentations, it is expected that, as your supervisor, I will take on the primary responsibility of the manuscripts/presentations.

Given that we have a professional obligation to publish and present the research we have conducted, following the completion of your data collection/analysis and write-up of your graduate research (but not necessarily the defense of your research), my expectation is that you will work with me on peer-reviewed manuscripts and presentations in a timely manner (i.e., within six months of data collection/analysis and write-up).

Should you not work with me on manuscripts and presentations within 6 months of completing your data collection/analysis/write-up, I will proceed with leading the preparation of manuscripts/presentations and may invite other students or colleagues to participate in the manuscripts/publications in order to facilitate timely dissemination of the research.

Regardless of who leads the preparation of manuscripts/presentations, order of authorship on the research products will be determined using the American Psychological Association guidelines for determining order of authorship (i.e., consideration is given to conceptualizing and refining the research idea, designing the study, analyzing the data, and writing up the paper).

Manuscripts that are based in part on data collected as part of the graduate research (that were in no way substantial to the original graduate research) would most likely result in you being included as a co-author, but not as the first author. The order of authorship will not necessarily be the same on each manuscript/presentation.

(see the APA's Statement on Authorship)

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