Nominations are open for the annual Dean of Graduate Studies Awards for Excellence.

tips and tricks

March Update for Graduate Students

March 02, 2017

Graduate Studies Excellence Awards are open for your nominations — and our best supervisors get graduate fellowships to give to students of their choice! Nomination deadline is March 15.

Awards and Funding

Graduate Studies Excellence Awards
We want to know about your amazing graduate supervisors, leaders and staff! Awards nominations now open. (Supervision award winners get graduate fellowships for the student of their choice; leadership award winners give a travel award to a graduate student.) Nominations due by March 15.

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 TA/TM job postings were posted on Monday, February 27. Application deadline is 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.  


Professional Development

Advanced Professional Engagement & eXploration (APEX)
Professional development workshops focus on career development, skill-building and academic success. This month the following workshops are being offered:

Mitacs Step
Free workshops facilitated by professionals in the field. 

Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning
This is a four-month, 120-hour, Senate-approved non-credit certificate for SFU graduate students who are aiming for employment in post-secondary institutions. Apply by May 26 for the Fall Certificate Program.

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 and postdoctoral fellows throughout the term. Upcoming workshops are posted on their website.

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. Email to set up an appointment.

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.


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.)


3 Minute Thesis SFU Finals
Please join us on March 27, 2017, 5-7:30 pm for SFU's 3 Minute Thesis finals. The winner will go on to represent SFU at the Western Regional competition.

President's Dream Colloquium on Understanding Medical Marijuana

  • Cannabis and Pain Management, March 2, 4-5:30 pm. Speaker: Dr. Mark Ware, MD, Associate Professor, Family Medicine and Anesthesia, McGill University, Director of Clinical Research at Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit, McGill University Health Centre. Please reserve your seats online.
  • Update on the Cannabis Legalization Task Force, March 23, 4:00–5:30 pm. Speaker: The Honourable A. Anne McLellan, P.C., O.C., A.O.E.; Chair, Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation; former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada; Chancellor, Dalhousie University.  Talk is sold out but there will be a live webcast.

Building Connections: Well-being in Teaching and Learning
On March 7, join the Teaching and Learning Centre, Health Promotion and the SFU Faculty Association (SFUFA) in exploring the connections within well-being in teaching and learning. Free lunch included.

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

  • Call for Abstracts, 9th World Environmental Education Congress in Vancouver, September 9-15. Abstracts deadline is March 31.
  • The Close Relationships Lab has a few studies looking for participants who are in relationships and long distance relationships. Prizes from $50 to $500.
  • The CRABE lab is looking for students to participate in economics experiments and participants receive around $15/20 a hour.

Welcome Figure Installation
Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor, Simon Fraser University invites you to celebrate the installation of a Welcome Figure created by Squamish artist, Sinámkin – Jody Broomfield, March 9, 10 am. Light lunch served.  

Events around Campus

Events around Metro Vancouver

  • Urban Grind at Harbour Centre, every Thursday in March. Climb to the top of the Vancouver Lookout from 4-6 pm. Cost is $5 and you get a beer at the top and a $5 voucher for the HC food court. First 100 each day also get a free backpack.
  • Monday Makeathon, March 13, 1-5 pm. Free to register to help make an open source assistive technology, the LipSync, that enables a person that has no use of their hands to use a touchscreen device.
  • #BCTECH Summit, March 14–15, 2017 at the Vancouver Convention Centre
  • Science Slam Vancouver, March 31 at Café Deux Soleils
  • $15 student rush tickets at UBC's Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
  • Vancouver Opera tickets for $35 for patrons under 34 years old
  • HTML500, learn-to-code free event


Postdoctoral Research Day
Come and learn about how SFU Postdocs are changing the world! The SFU Postdoctoral Association is holding its 3rd annual Postdoc Research Day on Thursday, March 30. To attend, please register here before March 15.


Tips and Tricks


Puppy Therapy is Back!
The puppies will be returning to all three SFU campuses in March.  

SRS Customer Survey (chance to win $100 Amazon gift card!)
SFU Safety & Risk Services is conducting a customer satisfaction survey to help refine and improve the Department's range of services. Survey closes on Friday, March 17th. All respondents who complete the survey will be entered into a draw for a $100 Amazon gift card.  

Dissertation/Thesis Support Group
Writing a dissertation or thesis can be a challenging time. Feelings of being blocked or stuck, overwhelmed, frustrated, isolated, or unsupported can interfere with the process of writing and research. This support group runs on Thursdays, February 23 – April 6, 12–1:30 pm, Burnaby campus.  

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).

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.)

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





Graduate Student Society Elections
Nominations now open for:

  • Director of External Relations
  • Director of Internal Relations
  • Director of Student Life
  • Director of Graduate Services

All Directors work ~ 50 hours/month and shall receive a stipend of $1150 per month. Nominations due by Monday, March 6, 12 noon.






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

International Graduate Students

US Visa Workshop
Registration is now open for the US Visa Workshop, March 30, 1:30–3 pm, MBC 2290.

US Travel Ban
SFU Student Services has a new website for students (and prospective students) affected by the US travel ban -- includes travel advice. Note: SFU has waived application fees for incoming (grad and undergrad) students from the seven affected countries.

Islamophobia Hotline
Free confidential legal advice if you feel that you have been discriminated against, harassed, or faced violence because you are Muslim or are perceived to be Muslim.

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! 

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.

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.   



EMUSE 2017- Aboriginal Electronic Music Festival, March 2-4
Free workshops, panel discussions and concert.  

šxʷʔam̓ət (Home), March 3–11
Created and performed by a mixed Indigenous and non-Indigenous cast and production team, šxʷʔam̓ət (home) weaves true stories together and challenges us to make reconciliation real and honourable.  

Indigenous Graduate Student Symposium
The 15th Annual Symposium will be taking place this year at SFU Harbour Centre on Friday evening, March 10 and all day Saturday, March 11. Friday evening will feature food/snacks, Squamish language teacher, Khelsilem, and some cultural sharing. Saturday will feature Chief Robert Joseph from Reconciliation Canada, graduate student presentations all day, and a continental breakfast and lunch.

Aboriginal Arts and Stories Writing Contest
Aboriginal Arts & Stories invites self-identified First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth (ages 9 to 29), to submit a piece of creative writing or two-dimensional art about their identity, their culture, or a moment or theme in Canadian Indigenous history. Prizes up to $2,000.

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

Student-designed gloves use Wi-Fi to let users feel touch from a distance
Samarth Singhal was interviewed on the CTV evening news, on his "Flex and Feel" Wi-Fi connected gloves that allow people to share human touch through cyberspace.

SFU MBA grad with Knack wins BC Social Innovation Youth Award
Anna Migicovsky, MBA alumna, has just won a British Columbia Social Innovation Youth Award for her work in the Downtown Eastside.

Canada Can Show The World What Strength In Diversity Really Means
Mohammad-Reza Ghovanloo, a grad student in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, has just written a moving editorial in the Huffington Post.

The Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning: A graduate student describes her experience
Mirjam Gollmitzer's describes her experience with the Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning and how it changed her teaching.

Congratulations to Angela Crocker
Angela Crocker has just started her Master's in Education, and had a new book, The Content Planner, released by Self-Counsel Press. She adds, "I hope the graduate student community will reach out to me with publishing questions. I may not have all the answers but I'd be happy to share my book experience."


Dates and Deadlines

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

Monday, March 6, 2017
Registration opens for Summer 2017 term.

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

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.
  • Last day for graduate students to drop under extenuating circumstances (WE on transcript)
  • 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.)

April 14-17, 2017
Easter break. All offices closed.

Friday, April 14, 2017
Last day for graduate students who completed in Spring 2017 to apply for graduation (June convocation).

April 9–22, 2017
Examination period

Friday, April 28, 2017

  • Fully graded date (transcripts requested for 'after grades' will be printed)
  • Last day for submission of all graduate degree requirements for 2017 Spring term (library submission deadline).

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.

Video by SFU student Mubanga Ben Ngosa, following the We Are All SFU event