DGS blog

April 09, 2018

April 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 Summer 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

  • Mitacs Accelerate, supports collaborative research between grad students or postdocs and non-academic partners, including industry and eligible not-for-profit organizations. You can create your own research partnership, paid at $10–15,000 per term. The program is open to all academic disciplines, applications are non-competitive. Apply anytime.
  • Mitacs Accelerate International, up to $15,000 for research with a company anywhere in the world. Apply anytime.
  • Mitacs Elevate is like Accelerate, but exclusively for postdocs. Earn $60,000 per year for research with a non-academic partner. The partner provides $30,000 per year, Mitacs provides a matching $30,000 plus professional development training. Call for proposals opens May 2018.
  • Mitacs Globalink Research Awards provide $6,000 travel funding for research collaborations of 12-24 weeks at a university in any of Mitacs’ partner countries. Learn more about eligible destinations and award details. Multiple rolling deadlines a year.

Questions about anything Mitacs-related? Please email SFU’s Mitacs rep Allison Brennan at mitacsbd@sfu.ca. Allison is available to meet at any of SFU's campuses.

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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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Volunteering Roundup

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Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Events

SFU 3MT Finals: 2018 Winners
Congratulations to all our SFU Finalists who competed in this year's Three Minute Thesis Competition!

  • First Place and People's Choice Winner: Danielle Hoefele, Biological Sciences master’s student: European fire ant foraging and communication
  • Second Place Winner: Brea McCauley, Archaeology master's student: Ritualized Finger Amputation in the Classic Maya
In this free three-hour session, you will learn how non-academic employers think about graduate students as potential employees, how to get ready for the non-academic job market while you are still in graduate school, and how to conduct a job search. In this inspiring and eye-opening seminar Dr. Krook will review her own path through and out of academica. 

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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. Check out the calendar to learn more about upcoming workshops at SFU.

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Teaching and Learning Centre Programs

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.

Going Visual II: Convey Visual Content with Media, April 25
You will be guided through a selection of visual tools and helped to 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.

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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 Term

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).

April 27
Grade deadline.

April 30
Last day for submission of all graduate degree requirements for 2018 Spring term (library submission deadline at 4PM).
Any Withdrawal under Extenuating circumstances (WE) requests received for the Spring 2018 term after this term will be considered as a retroactive WE.

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Dates for Summer Term

May 3-18
You can enroll yourself and/or your spouse/dependent in the Graduate Health and Dental Plan (only if you started school in May).

May 7
Summer term classes begin. 

May 14
Deadline for submitting a U-Pass BC Exemption request for Summer 2018. Requests must be submitted by 4:30pm PST (Note: Students taking a course at UBC under the Western Deans' Agreement will be charged for two U-Passes if they don't submit an exemption request.)

May 18
Grad tuition and fees (including co-op practicum fees) are due and payable. A 2% penalty will be calculated and posted to your student account every month. 
End of Bursary application period (bursaries are awarded based on financial need; international students are eligible).

See all the Dates and Deadlines for Summer 2018.

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Student Information 

  • SFU's FluidSurveys Update: Download Your Data - SFU is transitioning away from Fluidsurvey and will no longer have access to this service after April 26. More info here.
  • Translink Campaign: Tap Your Card, Not Your Wallet (to avoid accidental charges with their new system): more info here
  • The SFU Office of Research Ethics (ORE) and the SFU Research Ethics Board (REB) recently released a memo for the SFU research community, about the ethics approval process: read it here.
  • SFU Recreation summer camps registration is now open.
  • See our Roundup of Student Tax Information for filing your 2017 taxes

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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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Student News

We are very happy to welcome Tomke Augustin to our team as the new Graduate International Coordinator!

Tomke provides support and resources tailored for international graduate students. Connect with her if you have questions, concerns, inquiries, ideas you might have regarding your student experience as an international graduate student at SFU.  Tomke cannot assist with academic advising or immigration-related issues, but can help provide direction to the appropriate contact. 

You can find her in the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies CAPE Office (MBC 1500). Feel free to stop by and say hello (she is also a graduate student, from Germany, and is new to BC)!  You can also connect with her via e-mail at gradintl@sfu.ca or at 778-782-9284.

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Events for International Students

International Graduate Teaching Assistants Program
This free graduate seminar is specially designed for teaching assistants and graduate students who speak English as an additional language and helps with their academic communication and teaching skills. It 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

Career Services Support for International Students
Are you planning your career after grad school? Career Services offers international student career support on Burnaby and Surrey campuses. Drop by to get advice from international career peer Alireza on resumes, cover letters, interviews and jobs on campus. 

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). If you require a stamp, you will need to request one.

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.

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.

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Events and Opportunities

Indigenous Film and Resurgence, Tuesdays 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."

Salish Singing and Drumming Workshops, 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).

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Scholarships and Awards

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 February 1, August 1, and November 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

SSHRC Town Hall, April 9
Tim Wilson, Executive Director, Research Grants and Partnerships Division, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), will be present at Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus. SFU's SSRHC awardees will present from 10am-12pm, followed by an open forum from 2-4pm.

Breakfast with the President at SFU's Surrey Campus, April 20
President Andrew Petter is hosting "Breakfast with the President" on April 20. Open to faculty, staff and students, this event is an opportunity to share perspectives about university issues in an informal setting. Surrey Campus, Galleria 4, Room 4040, 8:30 am - 9:30 am

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Graduate Student Society News and Events

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

  • Close Online Polling: April 10 at 11:59pm
  • Announcement of Results: by April 14

Grad Student Consultation: Academic Plan, April 10
The GSS would love to here your feedback on grad student academic challenges. Snacks and refreshments will be available! 3:00-4:00pm in the GSS Lounge (MBC 2212 - Burnaby campus).

April Social, April 10
There will be free food and drinks! 6:15-8:00pm in the GS Lounge (MBC 2212 - Burnaby campus).

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

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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.

Beyond the Professoriate: Online Career Conference for PhDs, May 5 & 12
Beyond the Professoriate is hosting its 5th Annual Online Career Conference for PhDs. This event will include two days of sessions presented by PhDs employed in non-faculty careers in Canada and the United States. Typical attendees are STEM, social science, humanities, psychology, and education graduate students and postdocs.

R in Montreal 2018, July 4-6
R in Montreal 2018 is a bilingual conference for the users of R in Montreal and the surrounding area. There will be posters and contributed talks about new developments and applications of R in several domains (machine learning, bioinformatics, finance, etc). There will be keynote talks by Daniel Stubbs (Calcul Québec), Julie Josse (Ecole Polytechnique, France) and Arunkumar Srinivasan (Millenium Management, UK). Submit proposals to contribute by April 30.

Beyond citations: from academia to the workplace
The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) invites graduate students to submit an executive summary of their research to be published on the CCDI website. Research could include a thesis, a chapter, a report, or any other previous publications. Successful applicants will be awarded a one-year CCDI individual practitioner subscription (value: $199).

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