Procedures for Adjunct Professors


Honourary Adjunct Professors (HAPs) are appointed to provide supervision to graduate students in the Biology Department. Application for HAP status is normally linked to taking on a graduate student and may be considered in parallel with the student's application to the Biology Department graduate program.


Applicants normally hold a full time position at another academic or government research institution, and are eligible to apply for tri-council research grants (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR), although exceptional cases will be considered by the Biology Appointments and Awards Committee (AAC). Applicants must be able to meet the requirements for graduate supervision in the biology department.

Privileges and responsibilities

  • Membership in the biology department Committee of the Whole.
  • Full use of university libraries.
  • Membership in one or more graduate streams (Ecology and Evolution, Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology, Agriculture).
  • Eligibility for membership on graduate student supervisory committees.
  • Supervision of graduate students. To assist with departmental procedures and regulations, an HAP must recruit a full-time member of the department as an internal supervisor for each student supervised, before the student is accepted.
  • Eligibility of supervised graduate students for Dalhousie Graduate Scholarships.1
  • Eligibility for suitable space for supervised students.
  • Responsibility to serve as an examiner at Admission to Candidacy Exams.2
  • Responsibility to serve as an examiner at Preliminary Exams.2
  • Responsibility to serve as an examiner at Thesis Defenses.2
  • Responsibility to teach in the Graduate Module Class (BIOL 5705) in accordance with departmental requirements.3

Application procedure

Applicants should be aware of the privileges and responsibilities of HAPs (see above). They should also be aware of procedures for admission and supervision of Graduate Students in Biology. This information is available through the biology office or website.

Application for an HAP position is made to the Chair of the Biology Appointments and Awards Committee. The application package should include:

  • A covering letter indicating the name and degree program of the graduate student(s) to be supervised, and acknowledging the rights and responsibilities associated with HAP status in the biology department.
  • A letter of nomination by a faculty member in biology, usually one who collaborates or shares a common academic interest with the applicant.
  • The applicant’s CV and specific documentation of prior experience in undergraduate and graduate teaching.
  • Three letters of reference (one of which can be from the nominating member).

The Chair of the AAC will acknowledge receipt of the application and inform the applicant if further information is required.

Appointment procedure

The AAC considers the application and makes a recommendation to the Committee of the Whole (COW), which votes four to ratify the recommendation at its next meeting. The Chair of the AAC will inform the applicant its recommendation and the decision of the COW. The Department Chair forwards positive decisions, along with any comments, to the Dean of Graduate Studies. The appointment is made by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Appointment term

Appointment as an HAP is normally for five years.

Reporting and renewal procedures

Renewal for another five-year term is awarded in cases where the HAP has fulfilled his/her responsibilities and is supervising a continuing student in the biology department or has another student pending.

Renewal is subject to documented evidence that the HAP has satisfactorily fulfilled his/her graduate teaching responsibilities, including:

  • Participation in Admission to Candidacy Exams, Preliminary Exams and Thesis Defenses of Biology graduate students, including students supervised by other members of the biology department. This responsibility is commensurate with that of full-time faculty in Biology.
  • Teaching in the Graduate Module class (BIOL 5705) in accordance with biology department requirements5.

This information should be provided to the Chair of the AAC in two reporting periods:

  • An interim report due in July of the third year of the appointment.
  • A final report due in July after the five-year term.

The Biology Department will notify HAPs when these reports are due and provide report forms. It is the responsibility of the HAP to keep a record of his/her teaching and participation in graduate committees and exams.

The interim report allows for a performance review by the AAC, which forwards its assessment to the HAP.

After the five-year term of appointment, the AAC will review the record of the HAP, including the interim and final reports and any other relevant information (e.g. from the Chair of Admissions and Graduate Director), and make a recommendation for renewal (where this is requested) to the COW for ratification. If the HAP has a student in progress after the fifth year and the AAC finds that renewal for another five-year term is not appropriate, they may recommend an extension for the HAP until the student has completed their program. In such cases, there will be no further opportunity for renewal.

Following the recommendation of the AAC and the vote of the COW, the Chair of the Biology Department submits a request for renewal to the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Submitted by Bob Scheibling, (Chair AAC) 5 March 2004
Approved by COW Motion 914, 24 March 2004


  • 1 Priority in the allocation of Dalhousie Graduate Scholarships is given to students supervised by FT faculty in the Biology Department.
  • 2 HAPs must be available not only for the Admission to Candidacy Exam, Preliminary Exam and Thesis Defense of their own student(s), but also those of graduate students supervised by other members of the department.
  • 3 HAPs are required to teach a module (consisting of about 8 hours of lecture, discussion or equivalent) whenever they accept a new student in the Biology Department, or once every three years, whichever comes first.
  • 2,3 Normally, all meetings, exams, and modules are held at Dalhousie University.
  • 4 That COW remove the provision of a ratification vote on recommendation by the Appointments and Awards Committee (AAC) regarding appointment of Adjunct Professors and Adjunct Research Associate.  Faculty will be apprised of new applications and the associated documents (applicant's letter and CV) will be available through the Biology Office.  The opinions of faculty will be solicited by the AAC in each case, and considered in deliberations regarding the recommendation of the AAC to the Dean of Graduate Studies. Approved by COW Motion 969, October 27, 2007
  • 5 Honourary Adjunct Professors who are not in good standing in terms of fulfilling their responsibilities as laid out in section 3 of the "procedures and Guidelines for Application, Appointment and Renewal" (e.g. having not taught a recent graduate module) will not be allowed to start supervision of new graduate students.

Approved by COW Motion 916, November 26, 2004
Updated December 2008