First Steps for new Student Prograds Users

What to do first to get your profile and progress up and running in Prograds

Welcome to Prograds. Here are some things you can do right away to get your Progress page full of your progress and accomplishments so your department, supervisor, and committee can easily see where you are.


First, you create your account with a link sent to you by your program office.

The link is program-specific, so make sure the sign-up page shows the program you’re in.

You will enter your program start date. This doesn’t have to be the exact date if you don’t know it. The first of the month that you start will work fine.


Once your account is created…

1. Populate your Profile

This isn’t too exciting, but you should go to your Student Profiles page and fill in some details. Just click on the little person icon in the header bar.

  • Your picture. At top right, click to upload a headshot picture.
  • Research Title. Fill it in, even if it’s provisional.
  • Location. If your department would find it useful, put in where you live. Only the department administrators and graduate director can see this, not your faculty.
  • Leaves. You can’t edit this, but if you have had any leaves of absence and your administrator has put them in, check that they’re correct.
  • Supervisor and Committee. THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, but you can only set these if the Department has enabled students to set these themselves. If the department doesn’t allow this, you’ll have to wait for them to set your supervisor and committee.
  • Stage Transitions. Again, you can’t edit these, but if these have been provisioned by your department, check that the dates are correct and contact your administrator if they’re not right.
  • Courses. You can populate your courses — adding new ones when necessary — guided by this page: Populating my Courses.

2. Populate your Progress Page

Use the button in the header to go to your Progress page. This is the one you’ll use all the time and your supervisor and committee will see.

The guide to this page is here: The Student Page

Start by marking any complete milestones and requirements. Those will go to a “needs approval” status. Your supervisor or department administrator will eventually get to approving them.

If you have a CV, use it to populate the Events feed on the right. This is a great place to put conference papers, awards, even meetings.

If your Department has allowed it, you can add funding and employment items.

3. Populate the Working On area

The Working On items are chronological left to right and track your academic progress on your research project.

If you think of your thesis/dissertation as a project you can map out tasks that or sections you’ll have to complete: things like research design, subject recruitment, lab work, field work, archival work, data gathering, data analysis, and so on. All those things can be planned with dates looking forward.

In the near future, Prograds will have a calendar view of all the items on this Progress page that can be filtered to just show the Working On items. That way you’ll get a Timeline or Gantt chart view of your project.

For more guidance (for you AND your supervisor), check out our blog post on using digital tools for better dissertation progress. If you’re bold, ask your supervisor to read it. Make sure you take charge of how you’re going to show your progress, share your work for comment, and communicate about all that (with strict regularity).

4. Get your supervisor and committee on board

The faculty don’t have anything to see when they sign up before students do. So now that you have some content in there, just ask your supervisor and committee to log in and make sure they can see you in their dashboard and click through to your Progress page. (But if your supervisor and committee aren’t set, they will need to wait until this happens.)

One way to encourage your advisors to use Prograds is to test out the Messaging system in Prograds. For now, it only goes outbound — it doesn’t receive email replies. You get to the messages page from a button at top-right of your progress page. When you compose a message, you indicate if there should be an email notification with the content of the message going to your supervisor alone or both supervisor and committee.

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Last updated on June 17, 2022