Applications now open for the Spring 2017 graduate course in the President's Dream Colloquium on Understanding Medical Marihuana:

tips and tricks

October Update for Graduate Students

October 03, 2016

Hope your fall term is going well and you'll have some time to take advantage of the opportunities in this October update!

Awards and Funding

NSERC Doctoral Scholarship Programs
NSERC doctoral scholarships
are for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Transcripts to be dropped off in the Graduate Studies office before October 7. Complete application due online: October 15.

SSHRC Doctoral Scholarship Programs
SSHRC doctoral fellowships
are for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Scholarship workshop: October 19th, 10 am–12 noon in the Library Room #7200, Burnaby campus. Deadline to apply: November 4.

Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships
We have changed our process for the Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships to make it easier for students to apply. Visit our Trudeau Foundation page to find out about our new 'preliminary application' process. These doctoral awards are for students whose research fits within the four themes of the Foundation.

NEW Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) Award Holder's Guide
The Tri-Agencies have announced a new Award Holder's Guide for all CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC award holders. This guide is effective as of September 1, 2016. Questions can be directed to 

NEW Award Holder Resources page
Visit the new Award Holder Resources page on the Scholarships and Awards section of our website to find out what happens to your award if you need to defer, interrupt, withdraw or take a leave from your graduate program. 

Award Payments
Information about award payments is available on our website.

Grad Student Society Grants
Professional Development Grants
of $500 for travel occurring between December 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017, apply by November 1.

External Awards

Mitacs Research Travel Awards

External Awards with No Deadline

SFU Awards for Excellence in Teaching
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 Awards for Excellence in Teaching for those  who have taught a minimum of 5 years in a continuing position at Simon Fraser University. Nominations may be made by SFU students, alumni and/or faculty by October 15, 2016.

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

See our Fall 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

Mitacs Consultations at SFU
Through the Accelerate (up to $15k for one term, open to all grad students in all disciplines) and Elevate Postdoctoral programs, Mitacs offers research internships and fellowships to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Amin Aziznia, one of Mitacs' Business Development Specialists, will be holding drop-in consultations on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2 -3 pm in the Graduate Studies' CAPE office, MBC 1501.

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.

Jobs Roundup

Volunteer Roundup

Mitacs Accelerate Paid Internships
Many internships posted here: 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.  

Résumé Resources


Professional Development

Vancouver Institute for Visual Analytics
Student membership gets you free access to the Andrew Wade Student Workshop Series for visual analytics training. Registrations for the January 2017 sessions will open in November 2016.

Proposal Writing Café 
Come to the Proposal Writing Café, where you'll gain a better understanding of the fellowship process and tips on how to improve your written proposal. The first-hour of the Café will include guest speakers; the second half is devoted to roundtable discussions hosted by successful grantees who will each share their experience writing fellowship proposals. You can even bring in your draft proposal if you're hoping to get some written feedback on your work! 

  • Date/Time: Wednesday, Oct. 19,  from 10am - 12pm
  • Location: Burnaby Campus, Bennett Library 7200
  • Register: Please register using myInvolvement
Brown Bag Lunch Series: Successfully Negotiating Fieldwork, Writing and Publishing 
Join us for this informal talk as part of the PDA/APEX Brown Bag Lunch Series. Paul Kingsbury, Associate Professor from the Geography Department, will highlight practices that can lead to successful lab/fieldwork, writing, and publishing. 

Date/Time: Tuesday, October 18 from 11:30am - 1pm
Location: Burnaby Campus, Room TBA
Register: Register using myInvolvemen(postdocs can log in as 'students' or 'alumni') 

Advanced Professonal Engagement & eXploration (APEX)

APEX offers a suite of workshops, seminars and speaking engagements that focus on academic success, skill-building, and career development. Check out the full lineup of workshops on the myInvolvement registration portal, which includes:

  • Crafting your Resume, Oct. 7, 10am - 12pm 
  • Persuasive Writing , Oct.13, 1 - 3pm
  • Building an Online Presence, Oct. 25, 9:30am - 11:30am
  • Crafting your CV, Oct. 26, 9:30am - 12pm

APEX Certificate Program 
This professional development program is free for all grad students and postdoctoral fellows. This program will help you identify your long term professional goals; build your professional network; improve your career documentation; build confidence in your knowledge, skills and abilities.  Start the program at one of these upcoming Core Session 1 dates:

  • October 12, 4:30 - 7:30pm @ Harbour Centre
  • November 15, 12:30 -  3:30pm @ Burnaby 

Learn more about getting started in the program and register for sessions. 

Mitacs Step 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. Upcoming workshops at SFU are now open for registration: 

  • Discovering the Entrepreneur Within 
  • Wednesday, October 12 from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Location: Burnaby, Bennett Library room 2020 
    Register and more info here
  • Scientific and Technical Writing Skills 
    Wednesday, November 23 & Friday, November 25 from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm  
    Location: Surrey, SUR 3040 (Wednesday) & SUR 2990 (Friday) 
    Register and more info here

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

Research Commons
Lots of free workshops scheduled for the fall. Sample titles:

The Research Commons is located on the 7th floor of W.A.C. Bennett Library and is exclusively accessible to graduate students, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows by punch code. The space is currently equipped with wireless access, workstations, bookable group rooms, and areas for discussion and relaxation. The access code to the Research Commons will change periodically.

Graduate Open Writing Labs: Write Time, Write Space (drop-in) 
A quiet, dedicated writing space with a graduate writing facilitator available for consultations and to answer questions. See full list of writing services.

  • Harbour Centre: Fridays, 10:30 – 2:00 pm and Fridays, 10:30 am to 2 pm, HC 7400.
  • Burnaby: Mondays, 2:00 – 4:30 pm, Bennett Library, Research Commons, Rm 7000

The Peak Week of Workshops
The Peak student paper is offering free workshops on journalistic writing, interview skills, photography and everything in between, October 4-6.

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 for more information.

New & Young Worker Health & Safety Orientations
The New & Young Worker Health & Safety Orientation is a mandatory workshop for all new employees hired to perform work at SFU. This includes TAs, TMs, RAs, Post Docs and Events staff. Topics such as hazard and incident reporting, roles & responsibilities, worker rights, health & safety committees, emergency response, working alone and workplace bullying & harassment will be covered. Online version of the orientation will be available in late fall. Please refer to the EHRS webpage for additional information:

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 that will explore justice, identity and belonging in the context of Education for Reconciliation.

President's Dream Colloquium on Understanding Medical Marihuana
Applications now open for the Spring 2017 interdisciplinary graduate course on Understanding Medical Marihuana.

The course is open to all disciplines and will review the current state of research on the general topic of marihuana for medical purposes, provide space for an informed discussion on the legal aspects of marihuana use and provide perspectives from the licensed production, genetics, pharmaceutical utility, medical profession, and human behavioural aspects of marihuana.

SFU Scientific Programming Study Group
Weekly meetings for peer-facilitated study-sessions dedicated to building a community of SFU researchers who perform computational data analysis as part of their academic work. Meetings every Tuesday at 3 pm in the Research Commons (see their videos). All welcome, regardless of level.

Startup Canada / SSHRC / Google Canada Consultations
Startup Canada, the national rallying community and voice for Canada’s entrepreneurs, has partnered with Google Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to collect ideas from Canada’s most creative, innovative and entrepreneurial thought leaders at regional forums (Vancouver, October 24) and a digital town hall on November 3.

SFU's New Sexual Violence Policy — Consultations
Special consultation for grad students, TAs and TMs on SFU's new sexual violence policy, Wednesday. October 5, 12:30–2 pm, location TBA.

Calls for Participants / Submissions

Events around Campus

Events around Metro Vancouver



  • Thanksgiving potluck on Thursday, October 6, 4-6 pm, GSS lounge, Burnaby campus. Please bring a dish to share (4 servings minimum).
  • Knitting workshop on Thursday, October 20, 4-5 pm, GSS lounge, Burnaby campus. Free for all graduate students. All welcome, from beginners to expert. (If you're a beginner, please bring knitting needles and a little yarn.)



Register to vote in the U.S. Election on campus
SFU students, staff and faculty who are American citizens can register to vote in the upcoming U.S. Election at the Burnaby campus.

Tips and Tricks

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.

Western Deans Agreement
Did you know that you can take graduate courses at other Western Canadian universities and apply those courses to your SFU grad degree? The deadline for applying to take transfer courses at other western Canadian universities is 4–6 weeks before the beginning of the next term (depends on destination university).

SFU Apps
From bus schedules to class schedules to 50 GB of free storage — SFU Apps are there for you.

Bioinformatics Club
Are you interested on joining a Bioinformatics Club at SFU? If yes, please email

Bouncing Back: Building Resilience and Supporting Your Well-being
Free online course from Health and Counselling Services, takes about 45 minutes.

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

Free access to
All current students, staff, and faculty have free access to 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.

SFU Surrey - Central City Student Community Engagement Competition
Prizes of $3000, $2000 and $2000. Deadline is October 12. Note: Graduate students have won this competition in both of the years that it was offered.

Contest Roundup

Reading Roundup


Major SkyTrain Route Changes

Starting October 22, the Expo Line will have two routes:

  • One Expo Line train will continue to travel between Waterfront and King George stations.
  • A second Expo Line train will run between Waterfront and Production Way-University stations.

The Millennium Line will no longer travel to/from Waterfront Station:

  • The Millennium Line will run between VCC-Clark and Lougheed Town Centre stations, continuing on to the Evergreen Extension once it's launched.

See Translink's video overview.


International Graduate Students

Introduction to Academic Writing for EAL Graduate Students
This workshop is tailored for EAL Graduate students who wish to improve their general writing skills in the academic context, October 11, 12:30-3:3 pm.

Thanksgiving Celebration at the Global Student Centre
October 5, 1-2:30 pm: Learn about Thanksgiving, win some prizes and enjoy some pumpkin pie!

SFU ISS Resources
Handouts available to answer your questions: Resources for New Graduate Students and Medical Insurance – Frequently Asked Questions. See all of their Resources and Handouts.

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.

Leniency Period Extended for Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) Requirement
The timeline for the mandatory Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) requirement for visa-exempt individuals planning to fly to or transit through Canada has been updated. 

Recommended Readings


SFU International's Weekly Newsletter
All international students receive a weekly newsletter from International Services for Students.   



Coast Salish Singing and Drumming Workshops with Russell Wallace (Lil'wat)
SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement and SFU's Office of Aboriginal Peoples presents a new series of Salish Singing & Drumming workshops this fall.

SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council Open Forums
Dr. Kris Magnusson would like to invite SFU community members to share their views on how the University should best respond to the reconciliation process. There will be two open forums on October 4 and October 18.

Native American and Indigenous Studies 2017 Call for Papers
Abstracts for the NAISA conference are due November 1. The conference will be held at UBC, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territory, June 22-24.

SFU Surrey Indigenous Film and Media Festival
The film festival will take place on on Friday, October 21, 2016, and will celebrate the diverse offerings by Indigenous film-makers and media artists to create images that reflect their worldviews and experiences. Dr. June Scudeler will give a talk on Swampy Cree Two-Spirit artist Kent Monkman.

VPL Seeks Next Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence
The Storyteller in Residence will develop and lead exciting public events that promote intercultural understanding and story sharing between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. Contract is $17,000 for four months full-time activity ($4,250 per month on a self-employed basis). (See news story.)

Indigenous Graduate Student Coordinator
Visit June Scudeler on Tuesdays in Room 1500 of the Maggie Benston Centre and Wednesdays 9–12 in the Indigenous Graduate Student Centre. Contact email:

Graduate Students in the News

SFU satellite team shoots for the stars
Grad student Jordan Lui and the SFU Satellite Design Club are in the Peak for their goal of entering the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge. New members welcome!

Vanier Scholars
Congratulations to Sabrina Abram, Sibo Chen, Carolyne Clare, and Scott Neufeld, this year's recipients of prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships!

Canada's SCORE Program Wins International Gold in Oslo, Norway
Congratulations to PhD students Sujoy Ghosh Hajra and Careesa Liu for their victory for SCORE, an innovative student summer program based in Surrey, BC. (This program started as a project in the SFU Surrey - Central City Student Community Engagement Competition.)

Vancouver proposes stricter Airbnb rules to increase rental supply
Karen Sawatzky's master's paper brought up issues addressed by the City of Vancouver's new report and recommendations. Way to "engage the world!"

Women in Urbanism: Katelyn McDougall enhances the urban environment through engagement
Profile of Katelyn McDougall, Master's in Urban Studies student.

SFU opens new graduate residence and innovation centre in downtown Vancouver
Photos of the new grad residence via the Daily Hive.

World University Rankings
SFU just cracked the top 10 universities in Canada in the THE World University Rankings for 2017. We are ranked in the 201-250 spot of the 980 top universities in the world. (We were in the 251-300 bracket last year.)

Want to Be In the News?
SFU News is asking: "Is your faculty/department commemorating Canada's 150th anniversary in a special way? Please let us know!" If your work is related, please email Diane Luckow,, with your story tip.

Dates and Deadlines

Thursday–Friday, October 6–7, 2016    
Convocation for students who completed in Summer 2016. See for more information.

Monday, October 10, 2016   
Thanksgiving Day.  University closed.

Monday, October 31, 2016    
Last day for a 50% refund of tuition for term withdrawals (and course drops for credit hour fee students).  No refund of ancillary fees.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 (tentative)
Enrollment opens for Spring 2017 semester.

Western Canadian Deans Agreement deadline for applying to take transfer courses at other western Canadian universities is 4–6 weeks before the beginning of the next term (depends on destination university).

November 7–25, 2016
Work-study application period.

Monday,  November 7, 2016
Last day for graduate students to drop classes with WD on their transcripts

Friday, November 11, 2016
Remembrance Day.  All classes cancelled and offices closed.

See all the Dates and Deadlines.



Grad Students Facebook Group
Advice and support, movies, free food alerts — plus job postings and awards alerts: (SFU email ID required to join). See also hundreds of SFU-based groups.

Follow us on Twitter: @SFU_GradStudies