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February Update for Graduate Students

February 01, 2017

February is graduate student careers month, and you're invited to our Designing Your Life event to help you connect with SFU alumni who have created interesting, non-linear careers that took them beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Awards and Funding

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

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

Embark SFU Grants
Grants of up to $1000 for sustainability related projects or events. There are currently two grants offered: the Social Innovation Grant and the Sustainable Community Grant.

Award Holder Resources page
Visit the 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.

External Awards

External Awards with No Deadline

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

See our Spring Awards Timeline.


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

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.

TA/TM job postings
Summer 2017 job postings will go up on Monday, February 27 and close on Monday, March 13.

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.)

If you have any questions, please email Alison Brennan Alison is also available to meet you at any of SFU's campuses.

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

Advanced Professional Engagement & eXploration (APEX) 
APEX professional development workshops focus on career development, skill-building and academic success. This month APEX is offering the following workshops this term: 

Research Bazaar
The Research Bazaar is a "worldwide festival promoting the digital literacy emerging at the centre of modern research," and will take place February 1–3 at the SFU Library.

Reading Week Workshops
The Big Data Initiative and the Research Commons have just announced a Reading Week Workshop Series.  

Mitacs Step
Free workshops facilitated by professionals in the field. 

Research Commons 
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.

The Research Commons offers a multitude of free workshops specific to graduate students throughout the term. A few sample titles:

Coming up Feb. 1-3, check out Research Bazaar, a worldwide festival promoting the digital literacy emerging at the center of modern research. UBC and SFU Libraries invite you to join them for a series of workshops and events that allow researchers to build next generation digital research skills and connect with one another.
SFU Digital Humanities Innovation Lab
The DHIL has a new twitter account which is sending out lots of opportunities and digital humanities jobs.

Vancouver Institute for Visual Analytics
Explore visual analytics concepts though lectures, discussions, hands-on use of tools and a project through our extracurricular workshop series. Intended audience: Students who aspire to become analysts / data scientists and want to add more to their skill set. Software/languages: Tableau, Trifacta, Open Refine, Jigsaw, Gephi. Course is $25 for SFU students and can lead to a capstone project with an academic/industry partner.

Mitacs Business Development Specialist for SFU
Dr. Allison Brennan will be working exclusively with SFU faculty, students, and staff on all Mitacs internships and fellowships. She's available to you and your supervisor by appointment, Tuesday through Friday, and she's able to travel to all three campuses.

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 available.



Designing Your Life
Designing your Life will connect you with SFU alumni who have created interesting, non-linear careers that took them beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries.

  • Date: Tuesday, February 7
  • Time:  5-8pm
  • Location: Wosk Centre for Dialogue, SFU Vancouver

Last chance to buy tickets! Ticket sales stop on February 6 at 9:00am.  



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 Understanding Medical Marijuana

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.

Calls for Participants / Submissions

Events around Campus

Events around Metro Vancouver


We are all SFU
President Andrew Petter is hosting an event at the Burnaby campus to demonstrate SFU’s commitment to creating a welcoming and supportive environment for all members of our community.

Please join him tomorrow February 2nd, from 2:30pm to 3:30pm at Freedom Square for this community gathering, "We are all SFU."

In addition to hands-on activities and light refreshments, we will hold a minute of silence at 3:15pm in honour of the victims of the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec mosque shooting.

Tips and Tricks

Help with Your Taxes
SFU's Accounting Students Association offers free help filing your taxes. Sign up by February 28.  

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

Trans and Gender Diverse Guide to SFU
The SFSS has just released a new Trans and Gender Diverse Guide to SFU.

Sexual Violence and Misconduct Prevention, Education and Support Policy
SFU's draft Sexual Violence and Misconduct Prevention, Education and Support Policy is now available for your review.

Graduate Certificate in Development and Sustainability (DEVS)
You can combine the Development and Sustainability Graduate Certificate with your graduate degree to enhance your career options and align with current demands for sustainability and development expertise.

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.

Academic Mental Health Collective
A resource for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows; founders include SFU alumni. Recent posts: Framing Your New Year’s Reflections and Surviving Depression: A Personal Story

Organizing a big public space event?
The Activation of Underutilized Vancouver Civic Theatres Spaces Grant aims to provide free urban spaces for communitiy engagement. Places include the Queen Elizabeth theatre plaza and 4 theatre lobbies.

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

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.

Contest Roundup

Reading Roundup



Met @SFU and Fell in Love?
If you are an SFU grad and you met your significant other at SFU during your time as a student, tell us about it! (Only one of you needs to be an SFU grad, but SFU needs to have played a role.)




Free Beginners Fitness Class
Takes place on Tuesdays, 7-8 pm, SFU Burnaby. Drop-ins welcome.

International Graduate Students

SFU President’s Statement on U.S. Travel Ban
Simon Fraser University is proud to be a globally engaged university and to welcome students, faculty, staff, and visitors from around the world. These international members of our SFU community bring a wonderful diversity of knowledge, experiences and perspectives, and make our university a better place for learning and living.

Latest updates from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regarding the U.S. Executive Order

Latest updates from U.S. Customs and Border Protection regarding the U.S. Executive Order
The US website has Questions and Answers about the Executive Order.

Permanent Resident Workshop
SFU International Services for Students is holding a Permanent Resident Workshop on Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 4pm to 6pm.  This is a very rare opportunity to meet representatives from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly CIC) and the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) and to learn about federal and provincial immigration pathways to B.C. Registration opens on Friday, February 3.

Community Cooking Workshops
The SFU Peer Health Educators are hosting a series of Community Cooking Workshops through the Spring 2017 term.  Come join us for a night of cooking and fun! 

International Teaching Assistants Free 10-week seminar
The seminar is free and open to all new and current SFU grad students in all disciplines. Those who expect to have teaching assignments in their first or second term will have priority.

In-Person International Student Advising
In addition to in-person advising in Vancouver and Surrey, International Services for Students is now offering in-person advising on Burnaby campus on Monday mornings from 9 am–12 noon. Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey advising hours can be found at

International Mentorship Program
If you're new to SFU and new to Canada, you can request a mentor from the SFU ISS.

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.

Study in BC Contest
The Study in BC contest lets students showcase how they study, play and have fun in British Columbia; send in 4 photos and enter to win an iPad Air.

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.

End of Leniency Period for Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
As of November 10, 2016, unless otherwise exempted, all visa-exempt foreign nationals must have an eTA to fly to or transit through Canada.  If you require an eTA to enter Canada and you do not have one you will not be allowed to board your flight to Canada. See ISS Handout on the Electronic Travel Authorization.  

Recommended Readings


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



Hoobiyee Nisga'a New Year Celebration 
Free event, February 3 and 4 at the PNE Forum.

Drumming with Rupert Richardson 
Friday February 3, 2:30-4 pm in the Forum Chambers, Burnaby campus.

What's At Stake? Intertextual Indigenous Knowledges
February 4 at SFU's World Art Centre: an afternoon of talks, panels and a spoken word performance that examines knowledge, power, authority, and sovereignty in the construction of artistic practices.

Indigenous Australian Cabaret at the PUSH Festival Saturday February 4

A dance performance by Mohawk dancer and choreographer Santee Smith, Vancouver East Cultural Centre, February 15, 16 and 19

We Come to Witness: Sonny Assu in Dialogue with Emily Carr
At the Vancouver Art Gallery until April 2017. Sonny Assu (Ligwilda'xw Kwakwaka'wakw)  continues his ongoing body of work Interventions on The Imaginary, creating a new series of digital tags on a body of Emily Carr paintings selected from the Vancouver Art Gallery’s collection. Assu confronts the portrayal of Indigenous peoples as a vanishing race by interrupting Carr’s landscapes with an insertion of an ovoid and u-shape.

Indigenous Graduate Student Coordinator
Visit June Scudeler on Thursdays 9 am–4:30 pm in MBC 1500 and Fridays 9 am–4:30 pm in the Indigenous Student Centre. Contact email:

Graduate Students in the News

PhD student working to revive ancient Aboriginal clam gardening practices
Skye Augustine's thesis will form part of a five-year collaborative eco-cultural restoration project involving coastal First Nations and various partners to revive the practice of ancient clam gardens and examine how they impact intertidal systems.

Master's student examines lifestyle of Mexican migrant agricultural workers
Elena Pennell received an Aboriginal graduate scholarship to study how Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) affects family life for the thousands of Mexican temporary foreign workers who arrive in Canada each year to work on B.C.’s farms and vineyards.

Would you like to be in the news?
SFU News is looking for interesting research or other story ideas that might suit a Valentine's theme - i.e. new heart research, relationships research, campus love stories or anything else you can dream up! If your work is related, contact Diane Luckow, Editor, Simon Fraser University News,

Dates and Deadlines

Monday, February 13, 2017
Family Day. All classes and offices closed.

February 14-19, 2017
Reading break. Classes cancelled. (Please note: this is for applicable departments only.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017     
Last day to drop with a 50% refund of tuition. No refund of ancillary fees or January/February U-Passes.

March 13-31, 2017
Work-study application period.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017     
Last day for graduate students to drop classes with a WD on their transcripts

Monday, March 13, 2017
Registration opens for Summer 2017 term.

Monday, March 27, 2017
Deadline for other Western universities to receive application forms for graduate students to take courses elsewhere under the Western Deans' Agreement.

Friday, April 7, 2017    
Last day of classes.

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

Email List
This monthly update is sent to SFU graduate students. You can also request to be added to the email list for this monthly update.

To join: Send a message to with the words "subscribe dgs-gradupdates" in the subject line. You don't need anything in the body of the message.

To leave the mailing list: Send a message to with the words "unsubscribe dgs-gradupdates" in the subject line. You don't need anything in the body of the message.

PhD Comics:
SFU's flags fly at half-mast this week to honour the victims of the tragedy in Quebec.