DGS blog

December 06, 2018

December Update for Graduate Students

PLEASE NOTE: Our office will be closed from 12:30 onwards on Monday, December 10 for a staff event. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Holiday University Closure: Simon Fraser University will be closed from December 25, 2018 until January 1, 2019. 

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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
Scan ahead so you have time to prepare! Keep a running list of awards in your personal calendar; if you've missed this year's deadline, the award will come up again next year.

See our Spring Awards Timeline.

Fall 2018 External Doctoral Scholarships Roundup: A list of external doctoral scholarships

External Postdoctoral Fellowships Roundup: A list of external fellowships for postdoctoral fellows

Postdoctoral funding database: allows postdoctoral fellows to search for funding opportunities

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Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Awards

Available Awards:

  • Omics Data Science Initiative Graduate Scholarships, the Initiative offers six merit-based scholarships for graduate students valued at $6500, to be awarded in the spring, summer or fall 2019. Students must be using or planning to use data science for genomics or other omics, with applications in public health microbiology or precision medicine. Deadline: December 16, 2018. Application is through the GPS Awards System (GA3)
  • British Columbia Graduate Scholarships are entering graduate awards, with start dates aligning with the incoming student’s graduate program start date (starting Fall 2019). This program provides funding for entering students valued at $15,000/yr.
  • Graduate Fellowships, up to $6500, deadlines vary, search GA3 to see availability
  • External Dissertation Awards, recognize students who are graduating with outstanding thesis dissertations at master's and doctoral levels
  • Tri-Agency Awards (CIHR, NSERC & SSHRC) - Visit the Award Holder Resources page on the Scholarships and Awards section of our website to find out how to accept, defer, interrupt your award payments.

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External Awards

Graduate & Postdoctoral awards available through external agencies:

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Mitacs Awards

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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Recognition Awards

  • Nominate an individual who has demonstrated international excellence in the use of dialogue to increase mutual understanding and advance complext public issues for the Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue; deadline: January 14, 2019.
  • 2019 Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy, The Sterling Prize seeks to award $5,000 to an individual whose work challenges normatives through unconventional and distinctly untraditional perspectives of the world. The Sterling Prize may be awarded to any SFU student, faculty member, alumni or an individual outside of the SFU community as long as the work either provokes controversy or contributes to it’s understanding; deadline: February 15, 2019

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Student Jobs

Student Jobs Roundup
We track on-campus student job postings and collect them in blog posts. 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, and subscribe to receive job alerts.

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Jobs Roundup

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Volunteering Roundup

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Mitacs Opportunities

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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.

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Teaching and Learning Centre Programs

Start Preparing for the 2019 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition now, with Professional Development Workshops!

Spring 2019 TA/TM Day, January 4, 2019
TA/TM Day is SFU's most comprehensive orientation event for new or veteran teaching assistants and tutor-markers. Get information and advice from experienced TAs and other members of SFU's academic community. Registration not required.

Instructional Skills Workshop, February 20-22, 2019
The Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) is an internationally recognized forum for faculty members, staff and graduate students in instructional roles who wish to strengthen their teaching skills. It is designed to strengthen novice to expert instructors’ skills through intensive yet practical exercises in learning-centred teaching. Apply before January 18, 2019

Private Voice Sessions, January 14–April 9, 2019
Private voice sessions are an opportunity for faculty members and instructional staff to work with Sanders Whiting, the TLC’s teaching enhancement specialist for voice, on public speaking skills. Each session will be 45 minutes and available to individuals or small groups who would like to explore the potential of voice work. By appointment

Spring 2019 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning, January 11–April 12, 2019
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. Spring 2019 Applications Closed. Apply for Fall 2019 by May 24, 2019.

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Research Commons

Start Preparing for the 2019 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition now, with Professional Development Workshops!

Graduate Space
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.

Individual Consultation
Need one-on-one help? SFU graduate students are encouraged to book consultations with Research Commons staff and partners. If you have a general question, contact research-commons@sfu.ca.

Research Software, Research Data Management, GIS


  • Academic Writing for Graduate Students (EAL)
    Monday, January 14, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Monday, January 21, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Monday, January 28, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Monday, February 4, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Monday, February 11, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Monday, February 25, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Monday, March 4, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Monday, March 11, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Monday, March 18, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Monday, March 25, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
    Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:20pm - Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons


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Miscellaneous Programs

TA/TM Well-Being Project
Teaching Assistants and Tutor Markers have a unique university experience as they juggle life as both a student and a teacher. The TA/TIM Well-Being Project supports TAs and TMs to enhance their own well-being and offers helpful strategies to create conditions for well-being within labs and tutorials.

Studying at SFU Surrey Campus and feeling stressed/anxious? Join the Y-Minds Program
Y-Minds is a free, 7-week low-barrier group counseling program for youth (age 18-30) to help manage stress, worries and anxiety. Learn how to cope with stress, worry, low mood and low energy, and connect with others going through similar experiences. Join the information on September 26th or October 3rd at the SFU Surrey campus to learn more, and check out Youth Mindfulness Group for more information.

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.

Career and professional development workshops
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in partnership with Career and Volunteer Services' three-part series for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Effective Intercultural Communication
Registrations are now open for Effective Intercultural Communication. This is a 6-week long free facilitated online opportunity for students who would like to increase their intercultural understanding and communication skills through developing self-awareness. 

Job Search Success
This is an online professional writing and intercultural communication course. You will improve your resume and cover letter while learning how to communicate in today's multicultural workplace; a skill employers look for today. Cost: $20; non-refundable after the start of the course. JSS is offered every semester; find registration dates on myExperience.

Sustainability-focused Student-led Program TumblerShare
A group of SFU students are working to make SFU more sustainable through a new program called TumblerShare. Partnering with Renaissance Coffee, TumblerShare is launched to reduce the number of disposable cups used on campus. Learn more here.

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Dates for Fall Term

December 5–16
Examination period.
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.)

December 14
Deadline to apply on Go.SFU for graduation in the June 2019 convocation ceremonies, if you are completing degree requirements in Fall 2018 term.

December 20
Grade Deadline

December 24
Any Withdrawal under Extenuating circumstances (WE) requests received for the Fall 2018 term after this term will be considered as a retroactive WE.

January 4
Submission of all recommendations for the awarding of a graduate degree, diploma, or certificate for Fall 2018 term. Degree requirements (including a thesis defence) must be completed within the Fall 2018 term.

See all the Dates and Deadlines for Fall 2018.

Dates for Spring Term

January 1
New Year's Day. All classes cancelled and offices closed.

January 3
Spring semester classes begin

January 4

January 7
Deadline for submitting a U-Pass BC Exemption request for Spring 2019

January 11
End of Bursary application period (bursaries are awarded based on financial need; international students are eligible).

January 16
Last day for graduate students to enroll through self-service (late enrollment deadline).
Last day to drop with 100% refund of tuition and ancillary fees. If you were eligible for the January U-Pass BC, there is no refund of the January U-Pass BC but you will be refunded for the February–April U-Passes.
Last day to change from credit to audit grade basis.
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. 
Last date to opt out or change your coverage in the Graduate Health Plan (only if you started school in January).

January 23
Last day to drop with no notation on transcript.

January 31
Only applicable to new international students: Last day to opt out of Guard.Me@SFU (see medical insurance deadlines).
Early Completion submission deadline of Thesis at 4:00 pm.
Last day to drop with a 75% refund of tuition. No refund of ancillary fees and January U-Pass BC.
Last day for receipt of grades deferred from the Fall 2018 term.

February 18
Family Day. All classes and offices closed.

February 18-24
Reading break. Classes canceled. (Please note: this is for applicable departments only.)

February 24
Last day to drop with a 50% refund of tuition. No refund of ancillary fees or January/February U-Passes.

See all the Dates and Deadlines for Spring 2019.

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Student Resources

At Simon Fraser University:


External Resources:

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In the News

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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

SFU Free Christmas Eve Dinner
Are you in town on Christmas Eve and would like to spend the evening with fellow students and free food? Join the Interface Centre and the Point for dinner on December 24 at Burnaby campus.

Submit your photos to the Study in BC Contest; deadline December 19

Bring Your Partner & Family Welcome and Welcome Back Reception
Stay tuned, details to our spring 2019 reception will be posted soon.

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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.

SFU ISS Resources
Handouts available to answer your questions around study permits, health insurance, and housing: Resources for New Graduate Students and Medical Insurance – Frequently Asked Questions. See all of their Resources and Handouts.

International Student Advising
International Services for Students offers in-person advising on all three campuses. You can also contact them by phone or e-mail.

Global Community Mentorship Program
The Global Community Mentorship Program (GCMP) is a student-led volunteer program that connects new students with current SFU students. Their mission is to provide students with enriching cultural experiences, support their transition to Canadian life and introduce them to the SFU community. Request a mentor for the spring term.

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Resources and Information


International Graduate Student Coordinator
Need help and don’t know where to start? Connect with Tomke Augustin, International Graduate Student Coordinator. You can find her in the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies CAPE Office (MBC 1500). Drop-ins welcome! You can also connect with her via e-mail at gradintl@sfu.ca or at 778-782-9284.

International Graduate Teaching Assistants Program
The International Graduate Teaching Assistants Program 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. Register now for the spring term. Check out what past participants say about the program!

EAL Support Services for Graduate Students
If English is not your first language and you would like to improve your proficiency, we have put together a roundup of free support services available at SFU.

Effective Intercultural Communication
This is a 6-week long free facilitated online opportunity for students who would like to increase their intercultural understanding and communication skills through developing self-awareness. Registrations for the spring term open soon.

Tandem Program
Register now for the spring 2019 Tandem Program at the Centre for English Language Learning, Teaching and Research. Spouses/partners of graduate students are also welcome to participate! Please connect with Tomke (gradintl@sfu.ca) beforehand.

Support for your partner & family
If you or your partner are looking for work or wanting to settle in Canada, speak with a representative of S.U.C.C.E.S.S to receive information about career mentorship opportunities and settling in BC. Drop by their table at the Global Student Centre every other Wednesday from 2:30 to 4:30 P.M. If your spouse/partner would like to participate in the Tandem language exchange, please connect with Tomke (gradintl@sfu.ca) before registering. Stay tuned about upcoming events for graduate students with partner & family and join our SFU-Families Facebook group.

Career Services Support for International Students
Are you planning your career after grad school? Career Services offers international student career support on Burnaby campus. Drop by the Global Student Centre on Wednesdays to get advice on resumes, cover letters, interviews and jobs on campus. Or book an appointment.

Health & Counselling for International Students
Studying in a new country has many challenges. Whether you're looking for assistance with managing school stress, finding housing, understanding documents or Canadian services, the Transition Case Manager is available for one-to-one support. Learn how to make an appointment.

Connected Globally & Adjusting Locally, Wednesdays, 2:00-3:30 PM
The Connected Globally & Adjusting Locally group provides students from international pathways with practical skills that will support their growth and success during their time at SFU. Drop-in; no registration required!

Interface Centre
The Centre provides a space and numerous events, workshops, and discussion groups for students to live their faith, and to increase the understanding of and respect for religious beliefs and practices.


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
Call the Islamophobia Hotline for 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.

Protect yourself from fraud
Protect yourself from fraud by finding out how to prevent fraud and how to report those who commit it.

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

SFU Indigenous Graduate Student Coordinator (IGSC), Denver Lynxleg: New location on Burnaby mountain
BOOZHOO! Denver Lynxleg is the Indigenous Graduate Student Coordinator (IGSC), She is on campus every Tuesday and Thursday to support Indigenous students’ transition into graduate studies and enhance current Indigenous Graduate Students' holistic academic path through mentorship, workshops, and as a resource mediator. She is honoured to be a visitor on the traditional and unceded territories of the the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaɬ peoples, on whose traditional territories SFU’s three campuses stand. 

  • Hours: 9-5 pm Tuesday and Thursday
  • Office: Burnaby campus AQ 6085

To book an appointment: call 778-782-9222 or e-mail gsindig@sfu.ca

SFU’s Office for Aboriginal People’s Newsletter
Subscribe to the Office for Aboriginal People’s Newsletter to learn more about SFU Indigenous-related events, announcements and important dates. Read the latest issue here.

Indigenous Mentorship Network of the Pacific Northwest Newsletter
Subscribe to the Indigenous Mentorship Network of the Pacific Northwest Newsletter to learn more about the latest Indigenous-focused headlines, events and training, funding and job information, as well as resources and other unique opportunities. Subscribe here.

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Events and Opportunities

Indigenous Women's Stories of Journeying Through University Towards Their Career
Indigenous female post-secondary graduates, we need your voice. We are looking to identify how post-secondary institutions can increase indigenous female student population, retention and graduation.

Please join us to participate in an individual interview or sharing circle. We would love to hear about your experience succeeding in university and transitioning into your career. Recent graduates from the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, and Simon Fraser University are welcome to participate. In gratitude, participants will receive a gift card. Please contact us if you are interested in participating.

Research Project Contacts:

Tea Making Workshop with Dr. Alannah Young
The Office of Indigenous Education and NITEP invite you to this event on January 14, 2019 from 12:30-2:00 PM at the longhouse at UBC. Space is limited, so please register early. To RSVP email: indigenous.education@ubc.ca

Social and Cultural Impacts on Cardiovascular Health Determinants for Indigenous Women
Fully funded positions are now available at the University of Saskatchewan for individuals to be part of a program of research about the “Social and Cultural Impacts on Cardiovascular Health Determinants for Indigenous Women.” This research is funded by Heart & Stroke and CIHR and is being developed collaboratively with partnering Indigenous groups on the University of Saskatchewan campus to identify the importance of culture and social support for health. This work combines Indigenous ways of knowing with western research methods and includes both qualitative and quantitative research. Candidates interested in completing a Master of Sciences (M.Sc.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) are being recruited to pursue graduate thesis work on this project.

Positions are open for both M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs over the next 3-5 years, commencing January 2019. Application deadline: open until filled

BC Aboriginal ChildCare Society is recruiting for 3 full time and 2 half time positions for the role of Regional Community Capacity Developer. Apply asap

Indigenous HIV/AIDS Research Training Program Postdoctoral Positions
The Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, School of Social Work, University of Washington, is pleased to issue a call for eligible applicants for the 2019 cohort of the Indigenous HIV/AIDS Research Training Program (IHART2). Both postdoctoral scholars and professors are eligible to apply. The new deadline for application is December 20, 2018.

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Scholarships and Awards

SSHRC Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation-Connection Grants
Grants of up to $50,000 for 6 months for applicants affiliated with First Nations, Métis and Inuit not-for-profit organizations, as well as with other not-for-profit organizations or Canadian postsecondary institutions.

Aboriginal Ambassadors in the Natural Sciences and Engineering Award
Up to $5,000 grant for Aboriginal students and fellows to promote interest and participation in the natural sciences and engineering by visiting Canada’s Aboriginal communities and schools and sharing their research and education experiences or participating in science promotion events and activities; no deadline

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). For more info connect with Denver Lynxleg, Indigenous Graduate Student Coordinator gsindig@sfu.ca

Indspire's Building Brighter Futures ProgramFebruary 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, and of every year.

Indigenous Mentorship Network of the Pacific Northwest (IMN-PN)
IMN-PN funding supports Indigenous students and researchers pursuing Indigenous wellness-related research. Students studying in or conducting research in British Columbia or the Yukon are encouraged to apply. Submission deadline: February 1, 2019 (5:00 PM, PST)

Indigitization-Toolkit for the digitization of First Nations Knowledge Grant
Up to 10 k in matching funds/project supporting audio cassette digitization projects in First Nations and Aboriginal communities across BC.

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Graduate Student Society News and Events

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).

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Simon Fraser University Events

On campus:

Off campus:

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Events Around Metro Vancouver

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Calls for Proposals/Participants

Call for Paper and Artist: Violentia: Representing Bodies and Violence
UBC invites papers from all periods of art history and related discipline or artwork information for the 42nd annual Graduate Symposium and concurrent exhibition on March 7–8th, 2019. Deadline: December 28, 2018

SFU's Student Experience Initiative
The Student Experience Initiative (SEI) aims to enhance the experience of students by developing high-impact opportunities for engagement with the SFU community. Visit https://www.sfu.ca/vpacademic/SEI.html to learn more and learn about the various ways you can participate.

Interact Arbutus Greenway Study
Vancouver’s Arbutus Greenway project is transforming a historic railway into a vibrant corridor for people to walk, cycle, roll, and connect. Will its development make the city a happier and healthier place to be? We’re uniting hundreds of Vancouverites to find out.

TED Fellows Program
The TED Fellows program provides transformational support to a global community of 450+ innovators who are collaborating across disciplines to spark positive change around the world.

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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