Student Responsibilities

Workday Student Support

Graduate students can find "how to" guides and support information on our Workday support page.

All work submitted by students (including, without limitation, essays, dissertations, theses, examinations, tests, reports, presentations, problem sets, and tutorial assignments) may be subjected to review by the University for authenticity and originality. The University may use software tools and third party services including Internet-based services such as Turnitin. By submitting work, you consent to your work undergoing such review and being retained in a database for comparison with other work submitted by students. Please see the Policies and Procedures section of our website for details.

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Student Declaration

Complete UBC Policy: Student Declaration

You are responsible for reading and ensuring that you understand the complete text of the above UBC policy.

When you register as a UBC graduate student for the first time, you have initiated a contract with the University and are agreeing to be bound by the following declaration:

"I hereby accept and submit myself to the statutes, rules and regulations, and ordinances (including bylaws, codes, and policies) of The University of British Columbia, and of the Faculty or Faculties in which I am registered, and to any amendments thereto which may be made while I am a student of the University, and I promise to observe the same."

Students are required to inform themselves of the statutes, rules and regulations, and ordinances (including bylaws, codes, and policies) and to any amendments thereto applicable at the University. For policies and procedures issued by the Board of Governors, see the University of British Columbia Policy and Procedure Handbook or the Office of the University Counsel for the official text. For policies issued by the Vancouver Senate, see the Senate for up-to-date copies.

The University authorities do not assume responsibilities for others that naturally rest with adults themselves. This being so, the University relies on the good sense and on the home training of students for the preservation of good moral standards and for appropriate modes of behaviour and dress.

This section of the web site provides additional information about your responsibilities as a UBC student to uphold the policies of the University.

For more information, please see the Policies and Procedures section of this web site.

Sources of Policies

The UBC Academic Calendar contains policies approved by the UBC Senate.

The Office of the University Counsel web site contains policies approved by the UBC Board of Governors.

Academic Honesty and Standards

Senate policy in UBC Calendar: Academic Honesty and Standards

All UBC students are expected to behave as honest and responsible members of an academic community. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.

  • Make sure you know the standards for academic honesty
  • Be aware that standards at UBC may be different from those at other institutions
  • Consult with your instructor or supervisor if you are unsure of the standard of academic honesty

Students who are under investigation for possible academic dishonesty may be placed on academic hold until the President has decided on a course of action. Students on academic hold are blocked from all activity in the Student Service Centre.

 

Academic Freedom

Members of the University enjoy certain rights and privileges essential to the fulfillment of its primary functions: instruction and the pursuit of knowledge. Central among these rights is the freedom, within the law, to pursue what seems to them as fruitful avenues of inquiry, to teach and to learn unhindered by external or non-academic constraints, and to engage in full and unrestricted consideration of any opinion. This freedom extends not only to the regular members of the University, but to all who are invited to participate in its forum. Suppression of this freedom, whether by institutions of the state, the officers of the University, or the actions of private individuals, would prevent the University from carrying out its primary functions. All members of the University must recognize this fundamental principle and must share responsibility for supporting, safeguarding and preserving this central freedom. Behaviour that obstructs free and full discussion, not only of ideas that are safe and accepted, but of those which may be unpopular or even abhorrent, vitally threatens the integrity of the University's forum. Such behaviour cannot be tolerated.

For more information, please see the Policies and Procedures section of this web site.

Academic Integrity

UBC Calendar: See Discipline for Academic Misconduct

G+PS website: Dealing with Academic Misconduct by Graduate Students

Download PDF of G+PS website: Dealing with Academic Misconduct by Graduate Students

Plagiarism is intellectual theft. It occurs when an individual submits or presents the oral or written work of another person as his or her own. This applies to draft work and oral presentations as well as to final submissions. Failing to properly cite the work of another also constitutes plagiarism, even if it is accidental.

Plagiarism by graduate students will be reported to the Faculty of Graduate Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. For complete details on the process and disciplinary procedures, download the document Dealing with Academic Misconduct by Graduate Students, or go to Dealing with Academic Misconduct in the Policies and Procedures section of this website.

You are responsible for understanding what constitutes plagiarism, and for ensuring that you do not commit any act of plagiarism under any circumstances.

Websites to help you understand plagiarism:

UBC Learning Commons: Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

UBC Wiki: How to avoid plagiarism. How to avoid plagiarism. How to avoid plagiarism.

Additional UBC resources on plagiarism and academic integrity:

UBC Calendar: Academic Misconduct

UBC Learning Commons: Academic Integrity

Turnitin

UBC subscribes to Turnitin, an online system that compares written material with the Web and with other material submitted to its database.

For more information, see Policies & Procedures, Turnitin, or contact the Turnitin Administrator by e-mail at turnitinsupport@exchange.ubc.ca or phone: 604-827-5183.

Academic Misconduct

UBC Calendar: Discipline for Academic Misconduct

For more information on plagiarism, please see Dealing with Academic Misconduct in  the Policies and Procedures section of this website.

Plagiarism

Download complete document: Dealing with Plagiarism by Graduate Students

Plagiarism is intellectual theft. It occurs when an individual submits or presents the oral or written work of another person as his or her own. This applies to draft work and oral presentations as well as to final submissions. Failing to properly cite the work of another also constitutes plagiarism, even if it is accidental.

Plagiarism by graduate students must be reported to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. For complete details on the process and disciplinary procedures, download the document Dealing with Plagiarism by Graduate Students, or go to Dealing with Plagiarism in the Policies and Procedures section of this website.

Your department or Faculty may have additional information about plagiarism.

You are responsible for understanding what constitutes plagiarism, and for ensuring that you do not commit any act of plagiarism under any circumstances.

Turnitin

UBC subscribes to Turnitin, an online system that compares written material with the Web and with other material submitted to its database. Faculty, staff and students can upload submissions and check for duplication of material in other sources and possible plagiarism. Please go to Turnitin on the UBC Learning Technology Hub website.

For further information, please email turnitin.support@ubc.ca

 

Non-Academic Misconduct

UBC Calendar​​​​​

Please read the full Senate policy in the Calendar.

Use of Degree Status Designations

It is a matter of academic integrity that students, both current and former, correctly represent their degree program status and credentials. These guidelines are provided to help inform students of the appropriate ways in which to represent themselves. Students should not use designations that are not officially sanctioned by the University nor should they use acronyms that might be misunderstood by members of the general public who are not well-versed in academic requirements.

Students in master’s programs should not identify themselves as degree candidates (e.g., MA candidate) because candidacy is not an officially recognized degree program status at the master’s level, only at the doctoral level. The appropriate designation is to merely identify as a student (e.g., MASc student in Geophysics).

Students in doctoral programs (viz., EdD, DMA, PhD) may identify themselves as degree candidates only when they have been officially advanced to candidacy (by completing all required coursework, passing the comprehensive examinations, and having an approved dissertation proposal), and not before. This degree program status should be expressed in words (e.g., EdD candidate, PhD all-but-dissertation) and not using acronyms that might be misunderstood by non-academics. In particular, acronyms such as PhD(c) or PhD (ABD), for example, should not be used as they could be mistaken for a conferred degree with some specialization.

Former students who have not earned their credential may identify themselves as former students (e.g., former UBC PhD student in Neuroscience), but should not give any indication that they maintain any current degree status.

Ethical Issues

Research Ethics

Any research or study conducted at UBC facilities (including UBC's affiliated hospitals) or undertaken by persons connected to the University that involves human participation or data must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate Research Ethics Board. (For animal studies, please see the Animal Care website). Review and approval must be completed before the research starts. Both master's and doctoral students are responsible for ensuring that approval has been obtained for any research they may be involved in.

For work with humans, the Office of Research Ethics has prepared a checklist to help you determine whether or not you require research ethics review. Please download "Human Research Ethics Requirements Checklist for Graduate Students" from the BREB Guidance Notes page.

Certificate Numbers in Thesis

The numbers of the UBC Certificates of Ethical Approval for all research involving humans or animals reported in your thesis must be listed in the Preface. Please include the number of the original certificate pertaining to the research in your thesis, and the numbers of the certificates for any significant changes or additions that were approved.

NOTE: Please do not include copies of certificates in your thesis.

Personal Information

The final copy of your thesis must be free of all personal information as defined in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Please see UBC Access and Privacy for more information.

“Personal information” is defined as “recorded information about an identifiable individual”, e.g. biographical, financial, educational and employment information. As an exception, the name and work contact information of an employee is NOT considered to be personal information. It is your responsibility to ensure that personal information is removed completely from the PDF and cannot be discovered by searching.

You MUST have permission from research participants before including their names or other information about them in the Acknowledgements.

Signatures are considered to be personal information, and must be removed from the final copy of the thesis.

IMPORTANT: Once your thesis is in the Library's electronic repository, cIRcle, you will not be able to make changes.

Research Ethics Board Contacts

For research involving animals, fish or cephalopods, contact the UBC Animal Care Committee.

For research involving human subjects, human tissue, human stem cells or data collected on human subjects, contact the Office of Research Ethics.

For research involving human subjects, either directly or indirectly, which are non-invasive to the person, contact the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board (BREB). The BREB reviews all research involving interviews, focus groups, aptitude testing, internet surveys, telephone polls, or psychological experiments.

For medical research such as clinical trials, epidemiological studies with blood or tissue samples, medical imaging, rehabilitation or exercise programs, genetic banking of tissues or human stem cell research, contact the Clinical Research Ethics Board (CREB).

Ethics FAQ

The ethics certificate has expired so I can’t get a copy any more. What should I do?

The file is still online under the “inactive” tab on the researcher’s home page. Prior to 2006 (advent of the online system) the researcher was sent a hard copy of the certificate which should be kept for at least five years.

The certificates for my research are not in the online database, and we can’t find the original paper certificate. What should I do?

Contact the relevant Research Ethics Board. They will provide the number, or will email copy of the database record showing that the study was approved.

How do I find out the numbers of my ethics certificates?

You should be able to obtain copies of Certificates of Approval from the Principal Investigator (usually your supervisor). If you are not able to do this, please contact the relevant Research Ethics Board.

I conducted research on human or animal subjects, but was told I didn’t need ethical approval, so I don’t have an ethics certificate. What should I do?

Please email graduate.thesis@ubc.ca as soon as possible with this information.

What is a ‘TCPS certificate’ and is it the same thing as an ethics certificate?

All graduate students are expected to complete the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS) tutorial prior to filling out an ethics application. A certificate of completion is provided upon successfully completing this tutorial and you are expected to retain a copy of this certificate.

Other online tutorials such as the new "Course in Human Research Participant Protection" (CHRPP) also provide certificates of completion. These certificates should not be confused with the certificate of ethical approval.

You must successfully complete an application for ethical approval before you start your research. The Certificate number from a UBC Research Ethics Board that specifically approves your research must be included in the preface of your thesis or dissertation.

NOTE: The TCPS tutorial is administered separately from the UBC Ethics Office. The Ethics Office cannot provide you with a copy of the TCPS certificate. You must print it off when you complete the tutorial – you cannot go back later and obtain a copy.
 

My research was approved, but we didn’t get an ethics certificate. What should I do?

A certificate is always granted when a study has received approval.

Who can get online access to the certificate of approval?

Anyone who is listed as a study team member or a contact on the original ethics application has online access to the application and should be able to access the certificate of approval. It appears in the title section of the study home page under a link that says “Current approval certificate: [view]”.

Continuous Registration

UBC Calendar​​​​​

From the Calendar:

"Students must remain continuously registered until the degree is completed, except for periods of time for which the student is away on an approved leave of absence. Failure to register for two consecutive terms may result in the student being required to withdraw."

Graduate students should only register in courses that are part of their graduate programs. If students do register in courses unrelated to their grad programs, they are still responsible for completing the courses with the required minimum grades for graduate students, or must re-take or make up the course. Graduate students cannot graduate with unresolved or failing marks.

Note: Continuous registration includes the summer term.

*Exception: Students in master's programs that are delivered entirely online, and who pay fees per course or per credit, are not eligible for leaves of absence. They can take time away from their studies by not registering in courses. The five-year maximum time in program still applies.

Intellectual property

All members of the UBC community must be knowledgeable about intellectual property so they can protect their own rights and respect the rights of others. Intellectual Property touches on a number of university policies (Scholarly Integrity SC6, Research LR2, Inventions Policy LR11). These policies apply equally to all students, faculty and staff. Read more

Scholarly Integrity

All researchers and scholars are expected to behave in accordance with UBC’s Scholarly Integrity Policy (SC6). This includes acting with honesty, accountability, openness and fairness in the search for and dissemination of knowledge. Please review the additional information on the Scholarly Integrity Initiative website. Read more

Respectful Environment and Bullying and Harassment Prevention

UBC envisions a climate in which students, faculty and staff are provided with the best possible conditions for learning, researching and working, including an environment that is dedicated to excellence, equity and mutual respect. All UBC students should familiarize themselves with the Respectful Environment Statement and understand their role in fostering an environment in which respect, civility, diversity, opportunity and inclusion are valued. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that upholds the Statement’s principles in all communications and interactions with fellow UBC community members and the public in all university-related activities.

For graduate students, especially the ones interacting in the capacity as Research Assistants or Teaching Assistants, the information how to prevent bullying and harassment is very important, as well as understanding the available resources and ways of reporting incidents.

Student Safety Abroad

An increasing number of UBC students undertake international travel for the purpose of study, research, work, volunteer and service learning as part of the UBC experience. Such activities can expose students to certain health and safety risks.

Policy SC12, Student Safety Abroad, sets out a process for approving international student travel for university activities. Its purpose is to enable student travelers to be informed of and manage the risks associated with travelling abroad, and to help the University respond to emergency situations in areas to which UBC students have travelled.

Graduate student should review the Student Safety Abroad website for information to help plan for a safe trip and access the mandatory Student Safety Abroad Registry.

If you have any questions about the policy, please contact the Student Safety Abroad Advisor.