DGS blog

February 08, 2018

February Update for Graduate Students

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This monthly update is sent to SFU graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

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Awards Timelines 

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

See our Spring Awards Timeline.

Spring 2018 Fellowships Roundup: A list of external doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships

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SFU Awards

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Tri-Council Awards

Tri-Council Award Holder Resources
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.

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Mitacs Awards

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External Awards

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Recognition Awards

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Student Jobs

Student Jobs Roundup
We track on-campus student job postings and collect them in a continually-updated blog post. The Summer 2018 Jobs Roundup is now available on our blog and will be updated until the end of May. Many student jobs come up with very short notice, so we only have enough time to post them to the graduate students' facebook group.  

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.

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Jobs Roundup

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Mitacs Opportunities

Mitacs Accelerate Grant with the Vancouver Aquarium, ASAP
Ocean Wise and the Vancouver Aquarium are looking for a graduate student/faculty research team to help with research design for their Ocean Plastics Program evaluation under a Mitacs Accelerate grant. They are looking for a student researcher to start as soon as possible. Applications will be considered as they come in until the position is filled.

Mitacs Globalink Mentors, February 12
Mitacs is hiring Globalink Mentors to host international undergrad students this summer. As a Globalink Mentor, you are expected to commit on average 5hrs/week to this four or five month position, and will be compensated $1,400 or $1,700 respectively.

Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowships, March 4
The 2018 cohort of fellowships will begin in September 2018. Approved postdoctoral fellows receive remuneration from their host offices and professional development training and networking events facilitated by Mitacs. Applications will be accepted until March 4, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. PT

Mitacs Accelerate Paid Internships
You can set up your own internship, paid at $10–15k per term. (Recording of info session available.)

Mitacs jobs across Canada, various positions and deadlines

If you have any questions, please email Allison Brennan at mitacsbd@sfu.ca. Allison is also available to meet you and your supervisor at any of SFU's campuses.

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Volunteering Roundup

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Upcoming Events

Graduate Alumni Career Panel
Connect with SFU alumni who have created interesting, non-linear careers that took them beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries. Unique career possibilities that exist for advanced degree holders will be highlighted, helping you envision possibilities for yourself you may never have considered. Attend this event and be inspired to start carving your own career niche, compatible with your goals and lifestyle! This event is offered in partnership with Alumni Relations and Career Services.

  • Date: Tuesday, February 20
  • Time:  5-8pm
  • Location: Harbour Centre, SFU Vancouver
  • Tickets: $12 - Early Bird,  $15 - Regular, available through Eventbrite

APEX Workshops
The APEX 4-Part Workshop Series provides structure and support in building your professional development plans as an advanced degree holder. It will help you expand your professional network, build confidence, and translate your knowledge, skills and abilities to various audiences. Registration for Spring 2018 sessions is available on myInvolvement.

Three Minute Thesis 
One slide. Three minutes. Cash prizes. Give voice to your thesis in SFU's annual 3 Minute Thesis competition. Register for your faculty heat or for a wildcard/open heat (for students who can't make their faculty heat or whose faculty does not have a heat) on myInvolvement.

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Mitacs Events

Mitacs Training
The Mitacs Training workshops provide grad students and postdocs with career-ready skills. These full one and two-day workshops are facilitated by professionals in the field and are free to current grad students and postdocs. This term, Mitacs is offering the following workshops at SFU:

  • Build Your Scientific and Technical Writing Skills, February 9-10  
  • Practice Your Presentation Skills I, February 15
  • Foundations of Project Management I, March 9-10
  • Career Professionalism, March 16
  • Essentials of Productive Teams, March 23

Managing Project Timelines, February 28-March 14
This online workshop is perfect for those who are nearing the end of their graduate degree and are finding it hard to schedule in time to work on their thesis. It provides a great overview of some of the modules in the popular Foundations of Project Management workshops. The workshop runs for 2 weeks and can be accessed and completed at any time during the two-week window.

Mitacs Business Development Specialist for SFU
Dr. Allison Brennan
 works 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 mitacsbd@sfu.ca to set up an appointment.

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Teaching and Learning Centre Programs

Teaching Matters, February 20, March 6 & 13, and April 3
The Teaching Matters Seminar Series is a forum for faculty and instructional staff to discuss literature, share experiences and demonstrate practices related to teaching and learning. It runs every second week in the spring and fall semesters.

Breath Power, Posture and Pauses, February 22
This two-hour workshop for instructors, staff members and graduate students in instructional roles will introduce techniques to increase your confidence, vocal power and ability to communicate in a relaxed way. Registration is open until all seats are filled.

Mic Check: Microphone Setup, Usage and Technique, March 1
In this workshop, you will receive step-by-step instructions on how to use microphones, software and devices to achieve quality recordings for voiceovers, interviews, podcasting, smartphone recordings and other audio pieces.

Bring Yourself to Work Dialogues, March 5 and April 9
These sessions provide a place where instructors can gather and focus on the passion and purpose that drive their teaching practice. Join your teaching colleagues on the first Monday of every month to catch your breath, reconnect with your values, build community, and prepare for meaningful encounters with students. Light refreshments will be provided. There’s no need to register; please RSVP to jpivnick@sfu.ca to let them know you plan to come.

Teaching Dossiers for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows, March 6
Are you planning to pursue a career as a tenure-track faculty member? If so, then you will need to prepare a teaching dossier at some point in order to document your teaching approaches, experience and effectiveness in the classroom. This session will guide participants through the components of a teaching dossier, review examples, discuss commonalities and differences across the disciplines and help them get started in their work on their own dossiers. Registration is open until all seats are filled.

Expressive Speech: Vocal Dynamism in the Classroom, March 8
Are you ready to trade your sleep-inducing monotone for a richer and more exciting sound? In this two-hour workshop for instructors, staff members and graduate students in instructional roles, you will learn to apply the musician’s tools of melody and rhythm to become a more confident, colourful and dynamic speaker. Registration is open until all seats are filled.

Better Presentations: Building Confidence and Connections, March 22
Do you struggle to connect with your listeners? Do audiences seem like an intimidating sea of faces? This two-hour workshop for instructors, staff members and graduate students in instructional roles will show you how to build confidence, warm up your audience, and create an inclusive and open atmosphere for learning. Registration is open until all seats are filled.

Going Visual I: Cut Through Complexity with Drawing Basics, April 18
In a world of information overload, visual communication can be a powerful means of making your course content more accessible and engaging to learners. In this workshop, TLC interaction specialist Jason Toal will guide you through some basic drawing exercises and explore strategies for applying them to your teaching.

Instructional Skills Workshop, April 18-20 or April 23-25
For instructors, staff and graduate students in an instructional role who wish to strengthen their teaching skills. This workshop is designed to strengthen novice to expert instructors' skills through intensive, yet practical, exercises in learning-centred teaching. Apply by March 16.

Going Visual II: Convey Visual Content with Media, April 25
In this workshop, TLC interaction specialist Jason Toal will guide you through a selection of visual tools and help you identify which ones are best suited to your material. Please bring content that you want to communicate to learners to this session.

Body-Voice-Space: An Intensive Two-Day Voice and Presentation Skills Boot Camp, May 16-17
Through individual feedback and small and large group sessions, participants will acquire a range of tools, resources and skills along with a clear understanding of when and how to apply them. Register to attend by April 20.

Fall 2018 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning, September 14 - December 7
Are you a graduate student intending to apply for a teaching position? If so, reflecting on your teaching, improving your skills, and developing your practice may give you an advantage. 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. The program is offered in the spring and fall terms of each school year. Register to attend by May 25.

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Research Commons

About the Research Commons
The Research Commons space on the 7th floor of SFU Burnaby's W.A.C. Bennett Library is exclusively accessible to graduate students, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows by a door access punch-code which is regularly changed. The space is equipped with wireless internet access, PC and Mac workstationsbookable group rooms, and areas for discussion and relaxation. Several free workshops and services specific to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are offered throughout the term.

Upcoming workshops include:  

Thesis Boot Camp, February 13-15
Here's your opportunity to dedicate three days to making serious progress on your dissertation or master’s thesis. Along with a comfortable, quiet working environment, snacks and lunches, you will benefit from structured time, a dedicated space, professional advising and peer support—all motivating factors in that final push towards completion of your dissertation or thesis.

SFU's Data Love-In 2018, February 14
A day-long celebration of data! The morning keynote on Big Data and History will inspire you to engage in a life long romance with your data. Then take a workshop on a series of Twitter and Web Archive analysis tools that researchers can use to study the vast amounts of cultural information generated online.

Graduate Open Writing Lab
For all graduate students who want the time and a quiet dedicated space to work on their writing. A Graduate Writing Facilitator will be available for consultations and to answer questions. This space operates weekly at the Burnaby and Vancouver Campus. Find out more about options and times on the Graduate Open Writing Lab webpage.

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Miscellaneous Programs

New & Young Worker Health & Safety Orientation
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.

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Dates for Spring Semester

February 12
Family Day. All classes and offices closed.

February 13-18
Reading break. Classes cancelled.

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

March 5
Registration opens for Summer 2018 term.

March 6
Last day for graduate students to drop classes with a WD on their transcripts.

March 12-30
Work-study application period for the Summer term.


See all the Dates and Deadlines for Spring 2018.

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Student Information 

Ever wonder what the coloured pieces of cloth around campus represent?
This Week is MMIWG2S Awareness Week at SFU, and the broadcloth is used as a sacred offering in remembrance and prayers for women and peoples who were taken too soon. You will see black, yellow, red and white broadcloth prayer ties around SFU’s Burnaby campus taped on the walls. Please do not remove these, as they are the property of the Indigenous Student Centre (ISC) and First Nations Student Association (FNSA).

Introducing the Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office
"We are excited to announce that the Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office (SVSPO) is now fully staffed and operating in AQ 3045. The SVSPO is the University's central hub for accessing supports, education and leadership concerning sexual violence and sexual misconduct." 

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Student Resources

At Simon Fraser University:

External Resources:

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In the News

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Contest Roundup

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Reading Roundup

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

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Events for International Students

Vancouver Giants Hockey Game & Hockey 101, February 9
Are you looking to connect with new and current international, exchange & study abroad students this Spring? Are you interested in experiencing a true Canadian tradition, ice hockey? Join us to experience an exciting hockey game night where the Vancouver Giants will face off with the Seattle Thunderbirds at the Langley Events Centre. Pre-game Hockey 101 by the SFU Hockey team will turn you into a hockey pro in no time!

Global Dialogue Series, biweekly, next session February 21
"Join the Global Student Centre (GSC) in our new dialogue series! We gather regularly to discuss global issues with various guest speakers. Drop in any time! Free coffee and tea are available. Open to everyone." 

International Graduate Teaching Assistants Program 
This graduate seminar is specially designed for teaching assistants and graduate students who speak English as an additional language. The seminar helps students' academic communication and teaching skills. It is free for current students, and is available as a 3-session or 10-session program. Registration is required.

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International Services for Students

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

International Student Advising
In addition to in-person advising in Vancouver and Surrey, International Services for Students is now offering in-person advising on the Burnaby campus, Monday-Friday. You can also speak with an International Student Advisor by email (intl_advising@sfu.ca) and by phone (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.

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Resources and 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.

Passport Stamp Update
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) no longer stamps all passports at airports with Primary Inspection Kiosks, including Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

US Travel Ban
SFU Student Services has a new website for students (and prospective students) affected by the US travel ban—including travel advice.

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.

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
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

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International Postdoctoral Fellows

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has a number of Permanent Resident (PR) programs for international graduates who wish to remain in Canada permanently. These programs include:

If you have any immigration related questions, please email Alina Roman, Postdoctoral Fellow Coordinator and Immigration Consultant, at gradintl@sfu.ca. Alina is also available to meet you at the Burnaby campus.

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Events and Opportunities

MMIWG2S Awareness Week, February 5-14
"February 14th has become a national day of remembrance for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as a Women’s Memorial March. We hope you join us during February 9th in SFU Art Gallery in AQ 3004. We will be having a march on the 9th, 1:30pm to bring light to the DTES Women’s Memorial March on February 14th. We will also be hosting the MMIW vigil in the Saywell Atrium for people to admire, honor and take a moment for, Feb 5~8th. We are asking people to please wear RED in support of this event Friday, Feb 9th."

Archivist Positions with Indigenous Documentary Heritage Initiatives, February 28
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is seeking Indigenous archivists for their Indigenous Documentary Heritage Initiatives. LAC’s digitization of Indigenous-language recordings initiative aims to offer support and expertise to Indigenous communities in their efforts to preserve and revitalize traditional First-Nations, Métis, and Inuit languages. LAC welcomes applicants who will work in their own communities across the country.

16th Annual Indigenous Graduate Student Symposium, UBC campus, March 3
The title of this year's symposium is "Walking In Two Worlds Occupying the Third Space: Indigenous Graduate Student Experience".

Indigenous Film and Resurgence, Tuesdays, now until April 10
"Join us for a new semester-long project at the SFU Gallery lead by Dr. June Scudeler in which you are invited to have soup and watch Indigenous films as part of a course. Screenings are open to the public to be followed by a closed class only for registered students."

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Scholarships and Awards

Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society Masters/Doctoral Studies Award, March 31
$5,000 for students pursuing Masters or Doctoral studies. This award is available to First Nations (Status or Non-Status), Métis, or Inuit students and is renewable in order to provide sustained funding over multiple years.

Pre-Doctoral Fellowships at Queen's University, April 1
These 1-year fellowships are open to Indigenous students enrolled in a PhD program and working on doctoral research in the creative arts, humanities, social sciences or natural and physical sciences at an accredited university other than Queen’s University. Candidates must have completed all doctoral degree requirements except the final doctoral project (e.g. dissertation). They will be expected to compete their doctoral project during their tenure as a Fellow to receive their degree from their home institution. To find out more, register to attend the webinar on February 15.

Indspire's Building Brighter Futures Program, August 1
Indspire is offering a number of bursaries and scholarships to Indigenous students studying in graduate degree programs. These awards are available to Indigenous students within Canada, however graduate-level studies outside of Canada will also be considered. Application deadlines are August 1, November 1, and February 1 of every year.

Indigenous Graduate Student Travel Award
The Indigenous Graduate Student Travel Award provides financial support for Indigenous graduate students to present their research at academic conferences. Students can only apply for the Indigenous travel award once per academic year. Indigenous graduate students may apply for this fund before conferences to pay for their conference fees and/or travel costs in advance. Disbursements of up to $1000 may be applied for in each academic year (starting September 1 of each year).

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Major SFU Events

SFU Zero Waste Challenge: Disposable Cups, February 1-28
Help SFU to reach its sustainability targets by joining SFU’s 2018 Zero Waste Challenge. Join the Facebook Group to access tips and motivation, share ideas, win prizes and connect with others at SFU!

Brave New Work: How can we thrive in the changing world of work?, February 28
This year's SFU Public Square Community Summit keynote event, presented in partnership with Vancity, will be The New World of Work: Thriving or Surviving? Featuring Van Jones and Anne-Marie Slaughter, two leading commentators on the American economy. Moderated by the CBC’s Laura Lynch, the event explores the challenges ahead, and how these challenges might be addressed through green jobs, emergent industries, education and public policy. 7:00 - 9:00pm at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Relay for Life, March 2
The Relay for Life cancer fundraiser will be on the Burnaby campus on Friday, March 2, from 4:30 -10:30 pm.

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Graduate Student Society News and Events

GSS Mental Wellness Survey
A one question survey: What’s one thing SFU could do differently to support your mental wellbeing?

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.

Volunteer Opportunities
"The GSS is actively seeking volunteers among our members to serve on our Benefit Plan and Governance Committees.  If you have any further questions or are interested in this opportunity, please contact the Executive Director, Pierre Cenerelli (pierre.cenerelli@sfugradsociety.ca)."

Discounted Playland Tickets
These are available using the GSS discount code, and include general admission and season pass discounts for general and junior admission. This code is posted in the GSS Lounge and available by email (info@sfugradsociety.ca).

Spring Socials

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Events on Campus

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Events Around Metro Vancouver

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Calls for Proposals/Participants

CRABE Lab Call for Participants
All SFU students are welcome to participate in SFU Economics CRABE Lab research in the West Mall Complex. These sessions consist of simple decision tasks where your decisions earn you money! Sessions range from 30 min to 2 hours, and you can register for any session that fits your schedule. You receive $7 for arriving on time to the session, and an additional payment ($15-20 per hour) for participation.

2018 National Student Conference of the CSEB
The Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CSEB) invites you to submit an abstract to their upcoming interdisciplinary student health conference. Presenters must be students at any level of study, including trainees and post-doctoral researchers. The conference will take place in Thunder Bay, Ontario on June 15-17, 2018. Submit proposals by February 16.

"Man, Gods, Power: A Sacred Triangle" Student Symposium
The graduate students at the University of Calgary’s Classics & Religion department invite abstract submissions for their upcoming annual interdisciplinary student symposium. Students from all fields and departments are welcome. The conference will be held April 16-17th, 2018, with keynote speaker Marina Fischer, the collection specialist and numismatist at the Nickle Galleries at the University of Calgary. Abstract submissions are due to clare.dga.uofc@gmail.com by February 28, 2018.

33rd Annual TA/TM Day
The Teaching and Learning Centre invites experienced teaching assistants and tutor-markers to apply to lead workshops at the 33rd Annual Fall TA/TM Day on September 7, 2018. This orientation day is intended for new and returning TAs, TMs and sessionals (as well as grad students interested in becoming a TA or TM). Submit proposals for session by April 13.

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