Photo of SFU from the air during last week's weather inversion, by Emily Ross

Tips and Tricks

January Update for Graduate Students

January 12, 2015

Monthly email update sent to all SFU graduate students.

Awards and Funding

SPICES Proposals
We need your ideas to help enrich the graduate experience, and you can apply for up to $5,000 of funding to support your idea. Proposal deadline is February 11.

Grad Student Society Grants 

SFU Bursaries / TSSU Member Childcare Bursary The SFU bursary application period is December 29-January 16. That page also contains information on the TSSU Member Childcare Bursary

SFU Student Social Innovation Grants
Grants of $200 to $1000 to support your idea for SFU. See also Radius Fellowships in Radical Doing.

Spring 2015 Graduate Award Payments
Did you receive a Spring 2015 graduate award? You must be registered in classes in order to receive the funds. See the graduate award disbursement schedule.

External Awards 

External Awards with no deadlines 

  • Youth Education Assistance Fund, for young adults who have spent time in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development or a delegated Aboriginal agency
  • Mitacs Globalink Research Award, up to $5k for study in Brazil, mainland China, India, Mexico, Turkey or Vietnam. No application deadline, but Mitacs recommends applicants submit applications by February 6, 2015, for projects starting in May 2015 (summer term)



Awards Timelines 
We recommend scanning ahead because it takes time to prepare your awards applications and request letters of recommendation. 




Graduate Studies Awards of Excellence
We are looking for your nominations for the supervisors, leaders and staff who have contributed to your success. Nomination deadline is March 15, 2015.
See our Awards Timeline page.

Job and Volunteer Postings

Sustainable SFU: Programs Manager and Community Manager
Application deadline is January 16 for Program Manager or Community Manager.

Alumni Annual Appeal Student Fundraiser
The SFU Alumni Appeal Student Calling Program is accepting applications.

SFU Residences
Hiring for a number of positions, including summer student conference coordinators.

SFU Summer Camps
Currently hiring Camp Programmers with more jobs opening in February.

Mitacs Globalink Mentors
Mitacs is looking for summer mentors for international undergraduate students coming to SFU, apply by February 1.

SFU School of International Studies Research Fellow
Apply by March 23.

SFU Senate Needs Student Members
SFU's Senate is looking for student committee members. This volunteer work looks good in the Leadership section of your CV. Committees in search of grad students include the Senate Appeals Board, Senate Graduate Awards Adjudication Committee and others.

Textbook Reviewers
BCcampus is looking for grad student TAs to write reviews of open textbooks. Honorarium $250.

Mitacs Accelerate Paid Internships
Lots of internships posted here: You can also set up your own internships: Internships are paid at $15k per term.

Climate Change Panel Seeks Participants
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is looking for 36 people to participate in a Conversation on Climate Change. Honorarium of $300 for 4 Saturdays.

Student Jobs 
Many student jobs come up with very short notice, so we only have enough time to post them to the graduate students' facebook group.


Thesis Boot Camp is Back!
Thesis Boot Camp will take place from February 10–12 at Harbour Centre. Deadline to register in the lottery for spaces is January 16.

Professional Development

APEX Professional Development Program
Registrations now open for the spring intake. Upcoming information sessions:

  • January 13, 10–11 am, Burnaby Campus
Info sessions are mandatory before you can enroll in one of the Foundations workshop (choose one): 
  • January 15, 1–4 pm (Vancouver) 
  • January 20, 9 am–12 noon (Burnaby)

Brown Bag on Being a Female Leader, with Dr. Claire Cupples, Dean of Science
Dr. Claire Cupples is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University and Dean of the SFU Faculty of Science. January 22, 12 noon–1:30 pm.

Research Commons Workshops
Data Analysis with R, Writing Literature Reviews, NVivo, Presentation Skills for Graduate Students, Reference Management Tools, Conflict Resolution — and many more workshops from SFU's Research Commons, offered from January through March. 

10 Tips for Effective Feedbacking of EAL Student WritingParticipants will be introduced to strategies for providing effective feedback on English as an Additional Language (EAL) student writing. January 30 workshop.

Mitacs Step Workshops
Free workshops, fully catered. See list of all upcoming workshops (click on BC tab). Coming to SFU Burnaby:

Online options:

HTML 500
Free HTML class for beginnersJanuary 24 in Vancouver. Includes free lunch and a career fair. (Sold out with a 1000-person waiting list last year)

SFU Science Communication Club
Currently being organized; vote here for meeting times.

APEX Professional Development Calendar  
A full list of all professional development opportunities is updated regularly on our website. You can also add it to your personal SFU Connect calendar. Instructions are at the bottom of the page.


3 Minute Thesis Finalists 2014

3 Minute Thesis Competition Now Open for Registrations
How often do people ask you what your research is about? Participating in the 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition will help you develop a quick and interesting answer. There are cash prizes of up to $1000. Signups are open now for the 2015 competition to be held in February 2015.

Graduate Student Society Events
Welcome Back SocialJanuary 15, 5-7 pm at Club Ilia
GSS Annual General MeetingFebruary 4, 1-3 pm, MBC 2290 (AGM After Party, 3:30-6:30 pm, will include a free burger and drink for everyone who attended the AGM)

Two Special Grad Courses for Spring 2015: Obedience and Disobedience: Taking Action on Climate Change and Protecting Indigenous Cultural Heritage 
All grad students can register in these special graduate courses tied to the President's Dream Colloquium. The courses feature guest speakers from around the world, and include class dinners with the speakers. Late applications accepted if there is room in the class. You can also reserve for the free public lectures. 

Coming up:

Events around Campus 


GSS Welcome Back Social
On January 15, the GSS will be hosting a welcome back social at Club Ilia from 5pm-7pm! Drop by anytime for $2 drinks, a chance to win some prizes, and an opportunity to meet/catch up with your fellow grad students!

Tips and Tricks


Spring 2015 TSSU/RA Medical Benefit Sessions
If you are a Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant and have any questions about your benefits and/or if you have not yet enrolled in the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP), attend a benefit session on January 15, 10 am in Halpern Centre, Rm 123.

SFU Recreation Free Trial Week
Try out anything from masters swim to yoga to indoor cycling and more. Free trials from January 19–23.

Off-Campus Access to SFU Library Databases
How to access SFU library ejournals, ebooks and databases through the SFU library's website.

Bus Pass-up Report Form 
SFU Ancillary Services is collecting information on buses that are passing you by

Contest Roundup

Reading Roundup
Free Access to
All members of the SFU community have free access to through the SFU Library.

It's a great way to pick up new skills in everything from presentation skills to Photoshop to Excel to street photography and far more.

International Graduate Students

Free International Teaching Assistants Seminar
Wednesdays or Saturdays, starting at the end of January.

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, we've put together a roundup of free support services available at SFU

Immigration Update: Express Entry
On January 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) launched a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence under certain economic immigration programs (including the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Canadian Experience Class). Provinces and Territories will also be able to use the Express Entry system to select a portion of candidates for their Provincial Nominee Programs. (e.g. BC PNP). See Express Entry British Columbia for more details.

Social Insurance Number
New international employees will need a Social Insurance Number to get paid. Find out how.

Medical Insurance Reminder for New International Graduate Students
New to SFU this Spring? Pick up your Guard Me card from International Services for Students (MBC 1200). You will need to opt out as soon as you apply for and obtain coverage under the BC Medical Services Plan. Learn more at and 
If you have questions, please contact 

New students: If you have any questions about getting settled in Vancouver or at SFU, you are welcome to contact Carolyn Hanna, our International Graduate Coordinator, at or drop by Maggie Benston Centre, 1500.


Aboriginal Graduate Students

Call for papers: 13th Annual Indigenous Graduate Symposium
Indigenous graduate students or graduate students whose research relates to Indigenous scholarship in any discipline or across disciplines are invited to submit an individual or group proposal limited to 200 words. Deadline: January 19.

Aboriginal Graduate Student Stipend for Academic Conference Attendance and Presentation
Offered on a first come/first applied for basis by the Office of Aboriginal Peoples, this award supports travel to an academic conference.

Hobiyee! Nisga'a New Year
You are invited to celebrate the Nisga'a Nation and the February Moon, February 5–7 at the Hobiyee free public event at the PNE Forum.


Dates and Deadlines

Friday, January 16

Monday, January 19

  • 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)

Monday, January 26

  • Last day to drop with no notation on transcript

Friday, January 30

  • Early completion thesis submission deadline for students who defended in January
  • Only applicable to new international students: Last day to opt out of Guard.Me@SFU (see medical insurance deadlines)

Saturday, January 31

More dates and deadlines:




Grad Students Facebook Group 
Advice and support, movies, free food — plus last-minute job postings and awards alerts: 
(SFU email ID required to join)