Panorama taken from the patio by Linguistics. Photo by Poonam Upadhyay.

Tips and Tricks

July Update for Graduate Students

June 29, 2015

Happy Canada Day! Hope you take a break on Wednesday to enjoy the celebrations around the city.

Awards and Funding

Grad Student Society Grants
Professional Development Grants
 for travel occurring between August 1 and November 30, apply by July 2.

NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships closing soon
Effective August 31, 2015, NSERC will no longer be accepting NSERC IPS applications. Please submit completed applications to by August 4, 2015 to apply for this opportunity. Going forward, Mitacs’ Accelerate program will become the primary delivery agent for federally supported graduate-level industrial research and development internships.

Financial Aid
SFU Financial Aid has two upcoming deadlines for students with demonstrated financial need.

External Awards

External Awards with no deadlines 

Awards Timelines 
We recommend scanning ahead because it takes time to prepare your awards applications and request letters of recommendation. 

See our Awards Timeline page.



Job and Volunteer Postings

TA/TM/Sessional Job Postings
The Graduate Studies website hosts the central job posting system for all TA/TM/Sessional jobs at SFU. Postings for the fall term are now going up.

Graduate Student Society Executive Director
The GSS at SFU seeks a dedicated, experienced not-for-profit manager, ideally with experience in students’ societies, to fulfill the exciting and rewarding position as Executive Director of our dynamic organization. Hours: 35 – 40 hours a week. Salary: 70,000 per year (plus benefits)

SFU 50th Anniversary Ambassadors
SFU is looking for 15 engaged and creative student leaders from across SFU to act as community ambassadors, promoting over 150 50th Anniversary-related events taking place throughout the 50th Anniversary year. $750 honorarium. Apply by July 10.

Chinese-speaking tour guides
SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs is looking for Chinese-speaking tour guides who have some acting training and/or are clear and charismatic speakers. It's for their upcoming huge presentation this fall that includes exhibits with Hong Kong artist/innovator Jeffrey Shaw along a work by legendary playwright Robert LePage. Email me if you're interested ( and I'll put you in contact with the person who's hiring for the positions. Must be available from September 10–October 16. The job is part-time.

Back on Track Cartoonist
The Back on Track Program is recruiting a student for a part-time paid position, developing the artwork for a graphic novel/comic being created as supplementary material for students taking the Back on Track Program. $16/hour, part-time, 10-15 hours a week. Apply on myInvolvement by July 6. Job ID 3241.

SFU Student Temp Pool
SFU's Student Temporary Pool provides employment opportunities for qualified SFU students registered in credit courses in the semester of employment.

SFU Dining Services
Dining Services is looking for part-time staff (does not have to be a student; could be good for partners/spouses looking for work on campus.)

Indigenous Student Centre Tutors
Undergrads can request tutors as needed. Fill out the Application to Tutor form to add yourself to the available tutors database. Rate is $25-$35 an hour depending on qualifications.

The Peak
Do you like to write? Take photos? Illustrate? The Peak is always looking for new contributors — and they pay, too. Contact or join a weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 1 pm in MBC 2900. Something you want to see covered in the paper? Send your tips to

Mitacs Jobs
Job postings at Mitacs, specifically Business Development Specialists, all across Canada. PhD required.

Mitacs Accelerate Paid Internships

SFU Student Ambassador Program
SFU's Student Ambassador Program is open for applications from students. Ambassadors get a few perks in return for short-term volunteer work.

New Graduate Student Orientation Volunteers
Would you like to help us welcome the new group of graduate students this September? Email Pamela Tannouri at or sign up through the Student Ambassador Program.


Student Jobs 
Many student jobs come up with very short notice, so we only have enough time to post them to the graduate students' facebook group.  

Professional Development

APEX Professional Development Program                                  Thinking about your transition after grad school? Wondering what you should put on your resume? Wondering how a web presence might help you find the job of your dreams? Check out the APEX workshops offered throughout the summer. View them all and register in MyInvolvement.

APEX Certificate Program
Anxious about your future? Not sure how to approach potential employers or build your network? Trying to understand how the skills and knowledge you're building in grad school will translate in the professional world after academia? Come to an info session and learn how the APEX program can help.  This program is free for grad students! Register for an info session.

Body-Voice-Space: An Intensive Two-Day Voice and Presentation Skills Boot Camp
August 25–26, 9:30–3:30 pm, Burnaby campus. Registrations are open until workshop is full.

Research Commons Space & Workshops 
The Research Commons is a spacious and airy working area in the Bennett Library (7th floor), where graduate students can work on their research and writing in the company of other graduate students. (Link for door code.)

They run drop-in writing labs and other programs aimed at getting you through the thesis finish line. 

Note: There is currently grad student writing space available at Harbour Centre, Thursdays 3:30–6:30 pm and Fridays 10:30 am–2 pm.

Thesis Boot Camp
Registration for August 26–27 Thesis Boot Camp at SFU Surrey now open. (Air conditioning in August!)

Mitacs Step Workshops 
Mitacs workshops are in high demand among all disciplines. They are free one and two-day professional development workshops for grad students and postdoctoral fellows, fully catered.

You can attend any session that Mitacs offers in BC (not only the ones held at SFU!). Coming to SFU this summer: 

See list of all upcoming workshops & register here (click on BC tab). Unlinked courses listed above will be posted to the Mitacs website shortly. We'll send out alerts on Facebook and Twitter (see bottom of this email for links). Note that Mitacs workshops are open to graduated grad students for two years after graduation.

Support over Suicide / Students in Distress
Free workshops for students in leadership roles from Health and Counselling Services, Harbour Centre, July 17 in Vancouver.

Professional Development Roundup


APEX Professional Development Calendar  
A full list of all professional development opportunities is updated regularly on our website. You can also add it to your personal SFU Connect calendar. Instructions are at the bottom of the page.



President's Dream Colloquium on Traveling for Health, Fall 2015
Through this colloquium, we seek to challenge participants’ understanding of what forms travel for health is taking and what impacts medical tourism is having both within Canada and internationally.

Applications are now open for this interdisciplinary colloquium graduate course and free public lecture series — all disciplines welcome. More course information.

President's Dream Colloquium Lectures

SFU Educator Talks
Both a learning experience and a social gathering, SFU Educator Talks will celebrate innovative teaching and bring educators together for a informal night of learning, fun and networking. Volunteers welcome!

SFU Scientific Programming Study Group
Our group meets on a weekly basis for peer-facilitated study-sessions on topics under the broad umbrella of using computers to do scientific research more effectively and efficiently. This includes using Python for DNA sequence analysis, plotting and statistical analysis of environmental data in R, automating repetitive tasks with the shell, general best practices in coding, using tools such as Git and Github to collaborate effectively with others, and much much more.

GSS Mini School
You can now register for courses taught as a part of the first GSS Mini School. All courses are taught by graduate students. GSS members get a discounted rate on all courses.

GSS Build Your Own Event Contest
Do you have an awesome event idea? Want a chance to win a $100 gift card? Then enter the first ever: GSS Build Your Own Event Contest! Submit your idea by: June 30 at 11:59 pm. Voting will take place from July 3–27 and the winner will be announced at the GSS 8th Birthday Party on July 29 at the Highland Pub!

SFU 50th Anniversary

Events around Campus 

Events around Vancouver


BC Lions Football
BC Lions tickets on sale for July 10 game.

Canadians Baseball
Canadians Tickets on sale for July 23 (7:05 pm) and July 24 (1:05 pm) games. Purchase in the GSS offices. Price for one game: Grads $12.50 / Non-members $14.
For both games: Grads $23.50, Non-members $26.50

Discounted Playland Tickets
The GSS has arranged for group sales for graduate students so that you can order cheaper tickets for Playland and the PNE.

The Beach Boys, Pat Benatar, the New Pornographers, Boyz II Men, and Hall & Oates, and more are all coming to Vancouver this summer for the PNE's Summer Night Concerts. If you buy through the GSS's code, a single day pass is $12 and season's pass for all 2 weeks of the PNE event is $42.50.



GSS Birthday at Highland Pub
Celebrate the 8th anniversary since the GSS became a Society on July 29 from 3-5 pm at the Highland Pub! There will be lots of appetizers, cupcakes and one free drink for each grad student! Register at eventbrite for the event.

Tips and Tricks

U-Pass/Compass Card
Don't forget to activate your U-Pass/Compass card for July! It takes 24 hours to take effect.

Confirmation of Enrollment Request
If you need a confirmation of enrollment letter, you can do it yourself through GoSFU.

Open Access Fund
If you're publishing in an Open Access journal, the SFU Library has an Open Access Fund that graduate students can access.

SFU PhD Students Group
New Facebook group just started to connect PhD students with each other.

Research Assistant Working Group
The Research Assistant Working Group (RAWG) examines issues related to research assistants at SFU. The RAWG is open to any graduate student at SFU, regardless of whether they have a research assistant contract. For more information or to get involved, please contact Abhishek Nanjundappa, Director of University Relations, GSS, at

Get Your Own SFU website
SFU graduate students can get their own personal websites under (also available to clubs and research groups). It will be under SFU's easy-to-learn content management system. To request your own SFU grad student website, email

Research Studies

Contest Roundup

Reading Roundup
Free Access to
All members of the SFU community have free access to through the SFU Library.

It's a great way to pick up new skills in everything from presentation skills to Photoshop to Excel to street photography and far more.




Graduate Student Business Cards
SFU graduate students are able to order business cards through SFU Document Solutions. The cost is $35 for 100 cards.


International Graduate Students

Implied Status: How to keep your immigration documents valid
Processing times for study permit extensions and work permit applications made from inside Canada are currently over 80 days. If you need to renew your study permit in the next six months, we recommend you begin the process earlier. If you have recently applied to renew your study permit or applied for a post-graduate work permit, you may find yourself in implied status. If you have questions or need clarification, please speak with one of SFU's International Student Advisors/Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants.

Renewed Your Study Permit? Reminder to renew your SIN and BC Services Card/Care Card.

Trip to Harrison Hot Springs
International Services for Students is organizing a day trip to Harrison Hot Springs on Saturday, July 18. Tickets are $15.

BC Provincial Nominee Program Updates
On March 31st, the BC PNP implemented a 90-day temporary pause on new applications to most categories. The BC PNP is anticipated to reopen to new applications with a redesigned process in July 2015. If you are interested in options to stay in BC permanently, stay tuned to their website on or after July 2nd for updated information.

New students: If you have any questions about getting settled in Vancouver or at SFU, you are welcome to contact Carolyn Hanna, our International Graduate Coordinator, at or drop by the Maggie Benston Centre, Room 1500.

Indigenous Graduate Students

Save July 25–26 for a SAGE Writing Retreat
SAGE will host a writing retreat on July 25 & 26, 2015 at SFU Surrey. More information will be sent about the registration and the structure of the writing retreat later this month. Dr. Michelle Pidgeon will be the faculty mentor for the writing retreat. Info:

Job Postings at Reconciliation Canada
Jobs open: Partnerships Coordinator, Partnerships Manager and Executive Assistant  

Operation Blue Sky: Aboriginal Health Initiative
$35k in prizes for a workable idea for improved community health and wellness outcomes in remote Aboriginal communities.


Graduate Students in the News

Researchers study how BC can manage its future water supply
Steven Conrad, REM PhD student, was interviewed by the Vancouver Sun.

Are 3,500 Airbnb listings are eating into Vancouver's supply of rental housing?
Karen Sawatzky, Urban Studies master's student, was interviewed in the Georgia Straight and on Global News.

Joshua Cairns is new Executive Director of Sustainable SFU
Congratulations to Joshua, Master's in REM.

Josh Silberg, REM master's student, was profiled in NatureJobs.

Bright lights help alertness for night drivers, shift workers
CTV News featured research from Denise Weisgerber, PhD student in Psychology. 

Terrorism in Canada; striking a balance between protection and freedom
Video interview with Joshua Labove, PhD candidate in geography.

City of Burnaby hands out environment awards
Kyle Empringham, REM master's alumnus, received a Communications Star for co-founding StarFish Canada.

Master's research on food security reaps Trudeau award
Congratulations to Anelyse Weiler, recent MA grad, who has received a $180,000 Trudeau Scholarship for her doctoral research at the University of Toronto.

New Westminster's Mayor Cote uses degree to solve real-world problems
Jonathan Cote, Metro Vancouver’s youngest mayor, just received his MA in Urban Studies.

EMBA graduate to blaze new trails
Ian Campbell, hereditary chief of the Squamish Nation, was one of the first graduates from Canada's first Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership.

Doctoral grad first to earn dual PhD in computing science
Xianta Jiang was the first graduating PhD student in SFU's Dual Degree Program (DDP) in Computing Science, jointly run by SFU and Zhejiang University in China.

Pioneering research wins best thesis award
Erin Cullingworth, who graduated with an MA in education, won the 2015 G.M. Dunlop Award for best master’s thesis from the Canadian Association for Educational Psychology

Age doesn’t matter; ideas do
Our oldest graduand at Convocation was 79-year-old Meg Penner, who graduates with a master’s in humanities on June 10 — it's her fifth degree.

Would you like to be in the news?
SFU News would like to write about the interesting research, field schools, or international exchanges that students and faculty are pursuing this summer. Simply drop them a line explaining what you're involved in, and where, and they'll follow up. Email Diane Luckow,

Dates and Deadlines

Monday, July 6, 2015
Registration opens for Fall 2015 term. Please look at your courses through Class Search at

July 6–24, 2015
Work-Study Application Period for Fall term

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Last day for graduate students to drop classes with a WD on their transcripts.

Friday, July 31, 2015
Deadline for other Western universities to receive application forms for SFU graduate students to take courses elsewhere under the Western Deans' Agreement for Fall 2015.

Monday, August 3, 2015
BC Day. All classes are cancelled and offices are closed.

Monday, August 10, 2015
Last day of classes.
Last day for graduate students to drop classes under special procedures applicable in extenuating circumstances (WE on transcript).

August 12-21, 2015
Examination period. If you are a current TA and want to pay to extend your TSSU medical insurance for up to two terms, application forms are due by the end of the term. (See also: All HR forms.)

Friday, August 14, 2015
Last day for graduate students who completed in Summer 2015 to apply for graduation (October convocation).

Friday, August 28, 2015
Fully graded date (transcripts requested for 'after grades' will be printed). Last day for submission of all graduate degree requirements for 2015 Summer term (library submission deadline).

September 9, 2015
Save the date for SFU's 50th Anniversary Celebration. Events will take place all day. (The cake is not a lie.) There is a Celebrate and Savour event that evening, $35 for students.

More dates and deadlines

Health plan deadlines

Degree Completion this Term?
If you think you will be completing your degree this term, please go ahead and Apply to Graduate.

It doesn't cost any anything for you to apply, and if you don't complete your degree requirements, we just cancel the application, and you can re-apply in the future.

(It's much trickier to add you to the graduation list after the graduation application deadline.)


Grad Students Facebook Group 
Advice and support, movies, free food — plus last-minute job postings and awards alerts: 
(SFU email ID required to join)

If you'd like to help us welcome the incoming graduate students over the summer, we have another group just for new students.