DGS blog

March 12, 2018

March 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 Internship Info Session, April 4
Want to learn how to find non-academic collaborators to advance your research career? This event will feature insights from current SFU graduate students Alex Cancelli (REM) and Saeed Mirazimi (Mathematics) and SFU Postdoctoral Fellow Cristina Serverius (Education).

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

Three Minute Thesis –SFU Finals 
Cheer on your peers, enjoy some free pizza, and learn about research being done by our awesome graduate students at SFU!

Some of this year's competitors include:

  • Danielle Hoefele, Biological Sciences master’s student: European fire ant foraging and communication
  • Gioachino Roberti, Earth Sciences doctoral student: Volcanoes in a changing climate
  • April Wang, Computing Sciences master’s student: How modern learning resources fail conversational programmers
  • Shaun Fickling, Engineering Science doctoral student: Brain vital signs after concussions

Date: Monday, March 19, 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm, Big Data Hub (ASB 10900)

RSVP (for free pizza and drinks): https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/three-minute-thesis-sfu-final-tickets-43761240047

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Mitacs Events

Mitacs Training
These 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:

  • Career Professionalism, March 16
  • Skills of Communication, March 21
  • Essentials of Productive Teams, March 23 (Cancelled)

Additionally, select workshops at UBC campuses are now open to SFU students:

  • Essentials of Productive Teams, March 21
  • Foundations of Project Management I, March 28-29

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 mitacsbd@sfu.ca to set up an appointment.

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Teaching and Learning Centre Programs

Teaching Matters, March 13, and April 3
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.

Better Presentations: Building Confidence and Connections, March 22
Do you struggle to connect with your listeners? This two-hour workshop 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.

Bring Yourself to Work Dialogues, April 9
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.

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. Be guided through some basic drawing exercises and explore strategies for applying them to your teaching.

Instructional Skills Workshop, April 18-20 or April 23-25
This workshop is designed to strengthen novice to expert instructors' skills through intensive, yet practical, exercises in learning-centred teaching. Apply by March 16 to attend an April session.

Going Visual II: Convey Visual Content with Media, April 25
You will be guided 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 the 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:

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.

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Miscellaneous Programs

KEY Big Data's Week of Workshops
KEY, SFU's Big Data Initiative, is proud to host a Week of Workshops this March. Whether you are a newbie just getting started or you're already a data lover with some knowledge, you can find a workshop to suit your data needs. Workshops will take place in the Big Data Hub (ASB 10908) and will include:

"Cultivating Your Professional Online Presence" Brown Bag Session, March 21
Looking to develop your presence online? Digital librarian Alison Moore will discuss the big picture and context for developing your online academic narrative. Learn to use the appropriate tools to promote your professional experience and research to ensure your academic portfolio has the best possible visibility, accessibility, and impact. Register to attend on myInvolvement.

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

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

March 26
Deadline for other Western universities to receive application forms for graduate students to take courses elsewhere under the Western Deans' Agreement.

March 30-April 2
Easter break. All offices closed.

April 10
Last day of classes.
Last day for graduate students to drop under extenuating circumstances (WE on transcript). Any WE requests received for the Spring 2018 term after this date will be considered as a retroactive WE. 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 12-23
Examination period.

April 13
Last day for graduate students who completed in Spring 2018 to apply for graduation (June convocation).

See all the Dates and Deadlines for Spring 2018.

Registration for the Summer term is now open. See all the Dates and Deadlines for Summer 2018.

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Student Information 

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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

Global Dialogue Series, biweekly, next session March 22
"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." Next session's topic: "Allyship in Diverse Communities"

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 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

Does Your Study Permit Expire at the End of March?
It is common for study permits to expire at this time. Please check to make sure your permit is still valid.

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 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.

End of Leniency Period for 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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Student News and Resources

Spring 2018 Events for Indigenous Graduate Students
Check out this continually-updated roundup of events taking place during the Spring 2018 semester! Events will be added to this page through mid-April.

Office for Aboriginal Peoples Newsletter
This yearly newsletter supplement was released February 14, and features stories on several graduate students, including:

  • recent MEd graduate Cheryl Schweizer
  • graduate students Treena Chambers (international studies) and Rachel Taylor (publishing)
  • Graduate Aboriginal Entrance Scholarship winners Spencer Greening (archaeology) and Derrick O'Keefe (communication)
  • recent psychology PhD graduate Billie Joe Rogers

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Events and Opportunities

Audra Simpson: Indigenous Women and Intellectual Traditions in Anthropology, March 21
Audra Simpson is a Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. She is the author of Mohawk Interruptus by Duke University Press and a coeditor, with Andrea Smith, of Theorizing Native Studies. She will be lecturing as part of the Indigenous Research Institute's Spring Lecture Series 2018, at the Goldcorps Centre for the Arts (Vancouver campus).

Salish Singing and Drumming Workshops, March 22, April 26 and May 24
Learn traditional Salish social songs, drumming and dance with instructor Russell Wallace. Workshops are free and open to everyone! Workshops are held at the Goldcorps Centre for the Arts (Vancouver campus).

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, or a teaching certificate. $1000-$2000 for students pursuing trades training, apprenticeships, diplomas, certificates or undergraduate degrees. These awards are available to First Nations (Status or Non-Status), Métis, or Inuit students and are renewable in order to provide sustained funding over multiple years.

Pre-Doctoral Fellowships at Queen's University, April 1
These 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.

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 studying 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

Three Minute Thesis –SFU Finals, March 19
Cheer on your peers, enjoy some free pizza, and learn about research being done by our awesome graduate students at SFU!

Some of this year's competitors include:

  • Danielle Hoefele, Biological Sciences master’s student: European fire ant foraging and communication
  • Gioachino Roberti, Earth Sciences doctoral student: Volcanoes in a changing climate
  • April Wang, Computing Sciences master’s student: How modern learning resources fail conversational programmers
  • Shaun Fickling, Engineering Science doctoral student: Brain vital signs after concussions

Date: Monday, March 19, 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm, Big Data Hub (ASB 10900)

RSVP (for free pizza and drinks): https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/three-minute-thesis-sfu-final-tickets-43761240047

Cultural Xchange Days
"Exchanging Culture through music, languages, dialogue and panel discussions. Join us on this journey as we share and exchange cultures." Hosted by the Global Student Centre, Global Engagement Student Committee and SFU Interfaith Centre, in collaboration with SFU Tandem, African Students' Association, & the Iranian Club. Free food is available at all events and drop-ins are welcome. Events include:

  • Global Mix n' Mingle - March 19
  • Language Fest - March 20
  • Stand Together: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - March 21
  • Global Dialogue Series: Allyship in Diverse Communities - March 22
  • Nowruz 1397 (Persian New Year)- March 23

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), March 2018
SAAM is an annual campaign to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. The Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office (SVSPO) is hosting SAAM in March 2018 instead of in the nationally recognized month of April.

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Graduate Student Society News and Events

Vancouver Spring Social, March 13
6:15-8:00 pm at Steamworks Pub. RSVP for a drink ticket (good for 1 beverage).

GSS Elections
Nominations are currently open for Director of External Affairs, Director of Internal Affairs, and Director of Student Life. Upcoming important dates in the election timeline:

  • Nomination Information Session #2: March 15 from 12:30-2pm
  • Close Nominations: March 20 at 11:59pm
  • Mandatory Candidate Q&A Session: March 20 from 1-2pm
  • Open Campaigning: March 21 at 8am
  • Candidate Meet-and-Greet: March 29 from 12:30-2pm
  • Close Campaigning: April 4 at 4pm
  • Open Online Polling: April 5 at 7am
  • Close Online Polling: April 10 at 11:59pm
  • Announcement of Results: by April 14

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).

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Events on Campus

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Events Around Metro Vancouver

Check out this round-up of events occurring in Metro Vancouver this March.

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Calls for Proposals/Participants

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.

Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) Annual Conference 2018
CAGS invites leading thinkers and innovators from academia, government, and the private sector to pose questions and offer strategies so that graduate education can fulfill its important role in Canadian society. Please provide a working session title, a brief description, and the name(s) and affiliations of proposed speaker(s). Proposals will be accepted until April 30, 2018.

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