This year, SFU sets a record for the largest number of Indigenous graduate students getting their degrees. The Aboriginal MBA cohort (above) is about half of that record number! All the Convocation photos we take: (click on the photo to get to the albums).

tips and tricks

June Update for Graduate Students

June 06, 2017

Happy Convocation week! We take thousands of photos at Convocation, and they're all ready for you to view on Flickr.

Awards and Funding

GSS Professional Development Grants
Grants of $499 for graduate students presenting at conferences or engaging in field research.

  • July 3, 2017 for travel occurring between August 1, 2017 and November 30, 2017
  • September 1, 2017 for travel occurring between October 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018
  • November 1, 2017 for travel occurring between December 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018
  • January 2, 2018 for travel occurring between February 1, 2018 and May 31, 2018

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.

Tri-Agency 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 (CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC) if you need to defer, interrupt, withdraw or take a leave from your graduate program.

External Awards

External Awards with No Deadline

GSS Benefit Plan Bursary and Family Subsidy
There are new program guidelines starting Fall 2017 for the GSS Benefit Plan Bursary and GSS Family Subsidy. The Fall application deadline is October 13. For more information, visit their webpage.

BCIC Ignite
BCIC Ignite provides funding to accelerate commercialization of new technologies and innovations in the natural resources and applied sciences in British Columbia. The program provides awards of up to $300,000 to consortia that are conducting research leading to commercializable projects that address a significant demonstrated problem faced by industry. Next competition opens June 1 and letters of intent are due June 27.

RADIUS Ventures SFU is looking for entrepreneurs working on ventures that prevent chronic disease by creating or incentivizing healthy choices. Apply to a 2017-18 RADIUS Ventures cohort before June 20 for a $25,000 investment.

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

See our Summer 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 / Sessional Job Postings for the Fall term
Sessional postings are starting to go up for the Fall 2017 term. TA/TM job postings period will be June 26 - July 10, 2017.

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 Allison Brennan Allison is also available to meet you and your supervisor 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.

SFU Global Community Mentorship Program
Expand your network and gain mentorship and leadership skills by applying to be a mentor or team leader for the Global Community Mentorship Program (formerly known as International Mentorship Program), a student-led volunteer program that connects new students with current SFU students. The deadline to apply to be a mentor is June 5.


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

Professional Development Summer Workshops
Our professional development workshop series is designed for advanced degree holders looking for structure and support in building their professional development plans. The Foundations workshop is recommended for all graduate students and postdocs exploring their career options. Register at MyInvolvement.

  • Creating Your Own Luck (Workshop 2), June 13, 1:30-4:30 pm
  • Building Authentic Relationships (Workshop 3), June 21, 2-5 pm
  • Connecting the Dots (Workshop 4), July 25, 4-7 pm
  • Crafting your Resume, July 27, 10:30-12:00 pm 
photoshootGraduate Student Photo Shoot
Get a free personal portrait taken by one of SFU's official photographers for your LinkedIn profile, Twitter handle, or next conference program. You're also welcome to bring props for your photo if you want to! Date: June 21, 11 am–1 pm. Please register using myInvolvement.
This workshop will inform on what kinds of content to curate, which stories to tell, and on which platforms as well as how to be intentional about expanding connections and build authentic relationships, and how to to stand out with potential employers and funders. Date: July 12, 10:30-12:00 pm. Please register using myInvolvement.
Crafting Your Resume
If you're in job search mode (or will be soon!) this session is essential. Not only will you learn what works for your career document, but also learn tips and strategies to move beyond the resume, in terms of what works on paper and what works in the digital world. Date: July 27, 10:30-12:00 pm. Please register using myInvolvement.

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. Their upcoming workshop is Introduction to Academic Writing for EAL Graduate Students, June 6. For more, check out their website.

What’s Next for Your Social Science or Humanities Degree?
Free Mitacs Webinar this Thursday, 11 am- 1 pm
The workshop is aimed at graduate students in the social sciences and the humanities (SSH) who are interested in career opportunities outside academia or want to apply their research in a collaborative internship or fellowship with a partner organization.

Mitacs Business Development Specialist for SFU
Dr. Allison Brennan is 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, postdocs and event 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.


Just-in-Time Professional Development 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.)


Women in TechnologyPresident's Dream Colloquium on Women in Technology: Attracting, Retaining and Promoting Diverse Talent
Applications are now open for the graduate course that will run alongside the six free public lectures in Fall 2017. Confirmed speakers: Dr. Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College, Dr. Danielle Gaucher, Assistant Professor, University of Winnipeg, Dr. Steven Spencer, Robert K. and Dale J. Weary Chair in Social Psychology, Ohio State University, and Jo Miller, CEO of Be Leaderly and Women's Leadership Coaching Inc. (Bonus reading — Melinda Gates: The Tech Industry Needs to Fix Its Gender Problem—Now)

President's Dream Colloquium Looking for Proposals
Funding is $25,000 to SFU faculty members to bring in 6 guest speakers from anywhere in the world. Proposal must involve at least three SFU departments and be interdisciplinary. Next proposal deadline is June 15, 2017.

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. Next session:

Calls for Participants / Submissions

  • Umar Qureshi is looking for participants in an advanced fall detection study. Experiments will be conducted at Surrey Campus and participants will receive $20. 
  • Courtney Felix is looking for kids ages 5-8 to play a custom built nutrition game and answer a few questions on brand awareness and nutritional knowledge for her MA research on advergames.
  • 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.

Events around Campus

Events around Metro Vancouver

Discounts on Playland Tickets
Contact the Graduate Student Society to get your discount code for tickets (individual & season pass). Email, subject "PNE". (Reminder: The GSS is closed on Fridays)

GSS Summer Hours
During the summer semester, the GSS offices and lounge will be open Monday–Thursday, 9 am–4 pm.  Please note, the office and lounge will be closed on Fridays until the Fall semester.


The Graduate Student Society at Simon Fraser University is turning 10!  
To celebrate, the GSS is throwing a birthday bash for its current members.

6-9 pm, Thursday July 13, 2017
Steamworks Brewpub, 375 Water Street, Vancouver BC.

RSVP here!  (The first 75 SFU graduate students who RSVP by July 6, 2017 will receive a complimentary drink ticket.)



Tips and Tricks

SFU Tandem language exchange program
Want to improve your Arabic? Your English? Your French? Your Cantonese? Or any other language? “Tandem” is a method of language learning that pairs up two people who want to learn each others’ languages.

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.

Vancouver Inspiration Pass from the VPL
For Vancouver residents: The Vancouver Public Library lets you check out a card that gets you access to 27 major venues around the city. Note: There's a long waiting list for the pass.

Want to Run a Program in a Vancouver Park?
The Vancouver Park Board's Fieldhouse Activation Program provides you or your group with space in a fieldhouse and access to parks to create activities that engage the community.

City of Surrey Neighbourhood Enhancement Grants
The City of Surrey provides small project grants of up to $3000 or Celebration grants of up to $1000 for residents of Surrey (can include block parties).

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.

YNAB is Now Free for College Students
if you need to build a budget, the You Need a Budget tool is free for students. Note that all data is stored on a US server. (Bonus reading: Personal Finance in Grad School)

Contest Roundup

Reading Roundup

Want More Academic Readings?
If you're planning a career in academia, you're eligible for a free subscription to University Affairs.


Engaging SFU
SFU would like to hear from you on what's next for the "Engaging the World" vision.

International Graduate Students

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.

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

You can also speak with an International Student Adviser by email to and by phone at 778-782-4232.

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.   



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.

New Relationship Trust has opened up applications for their university scholarships
The New Relationship Trust Foundation and BC First Nations communities realize the importance of education. Interested and eligible BC First Nation students are encouraged to apply for the NRT Foundation Post-Secondary Scholarship Awards. Deadline: June 8

UN OHCHR Indigenous Fellowship Programme
This programme aims to to enhance the knowledge of indigenous peoples on existing international human rights instruments and mechanisms, so they can use them to more effectively advocate for the rights of their communities and raise their concerns at the international level. Deadline: June 30


In the News

Mechatronics student masters martial arts, lands top engineering job
The Faculty of Applied Sciences wrote a profile of Zahra Haeri, who recently landed her dream job with General Motors, several months before her thesis defense this July.

Reese Irwin, MA Student, Curates Exhibit in Special Collections
Reese Irwin, MA student in English, curated the exhibit “Celebrating Canada 150: Nineteenth Century First Editions Published on and in Canada"—in the Bennett Library.

Q&A: Filmmaker Roberta Staley on Women in Media and Gender Equality in Afghanistan
Liberal studies alum Roberta Staley’s documentary, Mightier Than the Sword, is nominated for Direction and Screenwriting at the Leo Awards.

SFU MBA Students Raise Awareness for the Global Refugee Crisis 
MBA student Reena Bains helped organize the “Planting the Seeds of Hope” fundraiser for the Alan & Ghalib Kurdi Foundation, and wrote about it for the Beedie Blog.

Convocation Medals 
Congratulations to the graduate students who will be receiving Convocation Medals at our Spring Convocation, June 6–9, 2017

Governor General’s Gold Medals

Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medals

Want to be in the news?
SFU News is interested in writing about the interesting research projects, summer programs, field schools and other pursuits at home and around the globe that students, faculty and staff are planning for this summer. Email your story tip to Diane Luckow, editor of SFU News,

Dates and Deadlines

June 6-9 2017
Convocation for students who completed in Spring 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017
Last day to drop with a 50% refund of tuition. No refund of ancillary fees.

Monday, July 3, 2017
Canada Day closure. All classes are cancelled and offices are closed.

Monday, July 10, 2017    

Friday, July 21, 2017
Deadline for other Western universities to receive application forms from SFU graduate students to take courses elsewhere under the Western Deans' Agreement for Fall 2017.

Friday, August 4, 2017    
Last day of classes.

Monday, August 7, 2017
BC Day. All classes cancelled and offices are closed.

See all the Dates and Deadlines.



Grad Students Facebook Group
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Getting on Our 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.

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