30,000 km of flight — Grad student Simon Valdez's photo (above) is a finalist in the NSERC Science Exposed competition — and he'd love to get your people's choice vote! He's photo #11: " In the time between the banding and this picture, this tiny, nine gram bird migrated from Canada to Mexico four times, an impressive 30,000 km of travel."

monthly update

July Update for Graduate Students

July 06, 2016

Reminder: TA and TM job postings will be up from July 4–18. Apply soon!

Awards and Funding

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS)
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
are open to current and incoming doctoral students (includes international students) who demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement. SFU's deadline is September 15, 2016. Sign up for the August 25th writing workshop.

Grad Student Society Grants
Professional Development Grants
of $500 for travel occurring between October 1 and January 31, 2017, apply by September 1.

External Awards

External Awards with No Deadline

SFU Alumni Awards
The Alumni Association invites you to nominate candidates for the SFU Outstanding Alumni Awards.

SFU Staff Achievement Awards
Has an SFU staffer gone out of the way to help you out? Nominations are now open for Staff Achievement Awards. Deadline is Monday, September 19, 2016.

SFU International Engagement Fund
SFU's International Engagement Fund is intended as seed money to initiate and support international collaborative programming and research, particularly work focused in SFU's identified global regions of priority. Maximum funding available is $5,000 per proposal. October 4 deadline.

Awards Timelines 
We recommend scanning ahead because it takes time to prepare award applications and send reference requests. 

See our Summer Awards Timeline page.


Bonus tip: Keep a running list of awards that you can apply for in your personal calendar. Even if you've missed this year's deadline, it will probably come up again next year and then you'll have more time to get your application in.

Job and Volunteer Postings

TA / TM / Sessional Job Postings for the Fall term
New in the TSSU contract: TA/TM jobs for the Fall 2016 term will be posted from July 4–18, 2016.

SFU Temp Pool and Student Temp Pool
SFU's Temp Pool and Student Temp Pool provide employment opportunities for SFU students. See also all SFU job postings, updated every Tuesday and Thursday.

Fall 2016 Student Jobs
We're regularly updating the Roundup of Fall 2016 Student Jobs.

Embark SFU Stipended Volunteer Positions

Jobs Roundup

Volunteer Roundup

Mitacs Accelerate Paid Internships
Many internships posted here: https://www.mitacs.ca/en/programs/accelerate/internship-postings. You can also set up your own internship, paid at $10–15k per term. (Recording of info session available.)

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


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.  

See also the Fall 2016 Jobs Roundup — many jobs will be added through the summer months.

Professional Development

Mitacs Workshops
Mitacs offers free intensive skill-building workshops for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, facilitated by external experts. These are highly recommended by other grad students and in high demand:

  • Communicating Your Research, 1-hour online course, starting July 13 and ending July 27.  This offering is for SFU graduate students and postdoctoral fellows only and there are 30 spaces still available.

Note: You can attend any session that Mitacs offers in BC — not only the ones held at SFU. See list of all upcoming workshops & register (click on BC tab). Note that Mitacs workshops are open to graduated grad students for two years after graduation.

Research Commons
Lots of free workshops scheduled for this summer. Sample titles:

Are you a grad student AND a parent?
The Grad Writing Facilitators in the Research Commons are looking for ways to make it easier for grad student parents to access the writing services at SFU. Please send an email to Renee McCallum at ramccall@sfu.ca for more information.

Research Commons Space
The Research Commons is a spacious 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.)

Graduate Open Writing Labs
A quiet, dedicated writing space with a graduate writing facilitator available for consultations and to answer questions. See full list of writing services.

  • NEW: Surrey campus: Tuesdays, 12 noon–3 pm, SFU Surrey, Fraser Library, Rm 3695
  • Harbour Centre: Thursdays, 3:30–6:30 pm and Fridays, 10:30 am to 2 pm, HC 7400.
  • Burnaby: Mondays, 1:30–4:30 pm, Bennett Library, Research Commons, Rm 7000

Thesis Boot Camp — registrations open
3 days just to work on your thesis and get help from SFU Librarians. $42 includes coffee, snacks and lunches. Limited to 30 registrants.

  • Surrey, August 23-25, 2016 (10 seats available, air conditioning in August!)
  • Burnaby, December 6-8, 2016

Advanced Professional Engagement & eXploration (APEX)
APEX offers a suite of skill-building workshops and seminars, free for SFU grad students & postdocs. Read more and register for these using myInvolvement.

  • Mock Interviews:Thursday  July 14, 1:30–3:30 pm,  Burnaby 
  • Crafting your Resume: Tuesday, July 19, 10 am–12 noon, Burnaby 

APEX Certificate Program

This program is free for all grad students and info sessions are no longer required! This program will help you:

  • Identify your long term career goals 
  • Build your professional network 
  • Improve your career documentation
  • Build confidence in your knowledge, skills and abilities.  

Read about how to get started in the program. 


Edward Tufte Workshops in Seattle
Edward Tufte arguably founded modern infographics, and he's doing a course in Seattle, July 25 or 26. Fee is $220 US for students and postdocs (normal fee is $420), and includes all 4 of his books.

SciProg Study Group
Schedule is up for the summer!

  • Crafting publication-worthy figures using ggplot2 and cowplot by Leslie Pineda
  • The Basics of Wordpress by Marinde Out
  • Building Shiny apps for interactive data analysis by Dean Attali
  • Data analysis in Python using pandas by Kenji Kurita
  • Parallel Computing by Alex Razoumov
  • Organizing your Data Analysis Using R Projects, Git and R Markdown by Bruno Grande
  • Machine Learning and Random Forest by Jason Barker
  • Introduction to Bash by Vanessa Guerra Canedo

Consortium for the Advancement of Research Methods and Analysis Video Library 
Topics range from Estimating Interaction Effects Using Multiple Regression to Statistical Analysis with Big Data. Access through SFU Library databases until August 31 — your feedback on the usefulness of this video library is requested to determine whether the library will keep it.

Advanced Professional Engagement & eXploration (APEX) Calendar  
A calendar of all professional development opportunities open to graduate students at SFU--all in one place!

You can also add it to your personal SFU Connect calendar. (Instructions are at the bottom of the page.)


President's Dream Colloquium on Returning to the Teachings
You are invited to join us for an exciting speaker series and graduate course that will explore justice, identity and belonging in the context of Education for Reconciliation. Speakers include Chief Robert Joseph, Wab Kinew, John Borrows, Wade Davis and Dr. Manulani Aluli-Meyer. Graduate students registered within the Program will receive training as Reconciliation Ambassadors through Reconciliation Canada, over consecutive weeks. The graduate course is currently full; we are maintaining a waiting list.

SFU Educator Talks
Part social event, part idea exhibition, SFU Educator Talks is not a typical conference. Come talk pedagogy with us! June 2, 6–9 pm, New West River Market

SFU Scientific Programming Study Group
Weekly meetings for peer-facilitated study-sessions on topics from 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.

Calls for Submissions

  • Researching the City, submissions due September 19
  • Toward an understanding of Motherhood and Affect, edited by Julia Lane and Eleonora Joensuu, SFU Education. Deadline for Abstracts: September 1, 2016
  • Is your research related to Sub-Saharan Africa? Call for submissions to Researching Africa Day at SFU, November 14. Submission deadline is September 25. Email Elizabeth Cooper, eccooper@sfu.ca
  • VIVO Media Arts Centre is looking for emerging artists between 18 and 24 years, to participate in a 4 week-long mentorship this fall, as part of The Youth Mentorship Series

Events around Campus (See even more listings)

Events around Metro Vancouver






Return of the Food Trucks
Food trucks coming back to SFU Burnaby on Wednesdays this summer.


Tips and Tricks

Canada Post Strike
We are monitoring the Canada Post strike situation carefully. If you need a transcript or other documents from the university, in-person pickup is your best strategy. Please keep an eye on the DGS blog, or Facebook or Twitter streams for more current updates.

Changes to Program Time Limits and Extensions
The Graduate General Regulations on time limits for degree completion and extensions to complete a graduate degree will be changing as of September 2016.

Vancouver BikeShare Memberships
Vancouver BikeShare memberships are being discounted until July 31: $99 (from $180) or $129 (from $240). 

Lockable Library Study Rooms
Applications now open for lockable study rooms at the SFU Library for grad students who have completed all degree requirements and just need a place to write. Deadline is July 15 for Fall 2016.

Health & Counselling Services
A compiled list of sexual assault support services at SFU.

Graduate Caucus Funding
Did you know that every graduate caucus gets money to spend on almost anything that benefits the grad students in your department? (See the Caucus Funding Spreadsheet for funds available to you for the rest of this fiscal year.)

Online Resilience Course for Grad students
Resilience is a survival skill, and there's a free course on Canvas on Bouncing Back as a Graduate Student: Building Resilience and Supporting Your Well-being.

Free access to Lynda.com
All current students, staff, and faculty have free access to Lynda.com through the SFU Library.

Free Microsoft Office
All SFU students can install Microsoft Office for free. (Adobe Creative Suite is also available for university-owned computers — could work for labs.)

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.

Contest Roundup

Reading Roundup


Government of Canada Launches Review of Federal Support for Fundamental Science
They would like to hear from graduate students at this survey.

International Graduate Students

Tax Information for International Students Studying in Canada: Video Series
The Canada Revenue Agency has released a series of short videos explaining the different aspects of the Canadian tax system as it relates to international students in post-secondary institutions.

BCNP Introduces new Skilled Immigration Program 
The province of British Columbia has launched a new intake system for the Provincial Nominee Program. Go here to learn more.

In-person International Advising Now Available in Vancouver and Surrey
International Services for Students is now offering in-person appointments with their International Student Advisors at the SFU Vancouver and Surrey campuses. Go here to book your appointment and find more information.

EAL/ESL Support Services for Graduate Students 
If English is not your first language and you would like to improve your written and spoken proficiency, CELLTR has put together a roundup of free support services available at SFU.

New Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
Canada has a new entry requirement ( eTA ) for foreigners traveling to Canada by air. This entry requirement became mandatory on March 15, 2016. Find out more about the eTA here.  If you are a U.S. citizen or you currently hold a valid Temporary Resident Visa (entry visa), you will be exempt from this new eTA entry requirement.

Recommended Reading
Western Guide to Mentoring Graduate Students Across Cultures (pdf download). This guide can help you navigate a lot of common communication issues based on cultural assumptions.




Drumming at Images Theatre
Thursdays, 3–4:30 pm. Will move to be outside Indigenous Students Centre during sunny days. Contact rupertr@sfu.ca with any questions.

We're hiring a new Indigenous Graduate Student Coordinator
Congratulations to Rupert Richardson, who will be starting his PhD program this September. His part-time job is currently posted at SFU, apply by July 11.

Aboriginal Graduate Student Funds for Academic Conference Attendance and Presentation
Disbursements of up to $1000 each may be applied for in each academic year (starting September 1 of each year). The funds will be given out on a first come/first applied for basis.

Animikii Bursaries
Two bursaries available for First Nations students; One is for students going into the field of Technology and the other is for students venturing into entrepreneurship.

Guelph Aboriginal Postdoctoral Fellowship
Established to encourage a First Nations, Inuit, Metis post-doctoral graduate to pursue a program of research and scholarship at the University of Guelph in any discipline. Apply by July 15.

SFU Financial Aid opportunities
More at this link: http://at.sfu.ca/EBlLty    

10th Anniversary Strategic Meeting Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty 
Following the leadership of the BC Food Systems Network Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (WGIFS), the 10th annual WGIFS Strategic meeting will provide the time and space to network and introduce the innovative concepts and vision to increase awareness and sensitivity to the diverse socio-political realities and cultures that are affirmed in Indigenous relationships to food, land, and inter-tribal trading and giving economies. 

28th Annual Squamish Nation Youth Powwow
July 8–10, Capilano Reserve Park at 100 Capilano Road, West Vancouver, Aboriginal Arts & Crafts, Salmon BBQ. Admission $5.00 per person 
Camping available on site. 

Support Splatsin Elders and Community members who are protecting their ancestors' final resting place. Join us in solidarity on Sunday, July 10, 2 pm at Spartacus Books, 3378 Findlay Street, Vancouver.



Graduate Students in the News

NSERC Science Exposed Photo Contest — Please vote!
Grad student Simon Valdez needs your vote in the NSERC Science Exposed competition — he's photo #11. Thanks!

SFU researchers study DNA to find genetic mutation behind rare developmental disorder
PhD student Mena Abdelsayed has co-authored a study that's in the New England Journal of Medicine!

SFU scientist studies movement of lizards
Taylor Dick was interviewed by The Peak.

Sea stars die-off in Howe Sound causing ecological domino effect
Jessica Schultz, Biology master's student, saw her research featured in the Vancouver Sun.

Impact with Don Shafer — House vs Home?
Don Shafer and Jennifer Chutter, both Graduate Liberal Studies students, on Roundhouse Radio.

Alisa Webb, Associate Dean of Students
Alisa Webb received her PhD in History in 2008 and is now Associate Dean in the College of Arts at the University of the Fraser Valley.

Kurt Routley has won the Canadian AI 2016 Master's Thesis Award
Kurt Routley has won the Canadian AI 2016 Master's Thesis Award for "A Markov Game Model for Valuing Player Actions in Ice Hockey".

SFU Venture Connection client Ionomr wins Hong Kong-Canada pitch competition
Chemistry PhD student Benjamin Britton won the Hong Kong­–Canada Investment Pitch Competition.

Cherry Smiley, Trudeau Scholar
Cherry Smiley received an Aboriginal Entrance award for her Master's degree at SFU and is now a Trudeau Scholar at Concordia.

SFU students’ documentaries access the world of Vancouver’s collectors
SIAT PhD student Rachel Ward is in this SFU News story about SIAT undergrad students who produced documentaries for the Museum of Vancouver.

B.C. MLA earns PhD at the age of 70
Gordon Hogg, MLA and former Mayor of White Rock, is SFU's oldest PhD recipient.

Nelson to explore Airbnb regulation with survey and public event
Alex Thumm, a masters student in Urban Studies is helping the City of Nelson figure out new rules for short-term rentals like AirBnB.

Bike rack installed in Mayor’s parking spot
When our grad student alumni become City Mayors, they install bike racks in their parking spots.

SFU alumnus pokes holes in Euro Cup tickets to increase security
Clint Landrock, Engineering alumnus, has developed counterfeit-proof EUFA Euro Cup tickets!



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

Follow us on Twitter: @SFU_GradStudies