Professional Development

Knowledge Translation Series

April 01, 2016

Being able to translate your academic research to various audiences is deemed an essential skill of graduate school. This series will help you think about the different audiences you might be presenting to--whether you are presenting your work at a conference, working on a grant proposal, or explaining your work to a reporter. This series will focus on developing:

  • An appreciation for writing and presenting to diverse audiences
  • An increased understanding of what constitutes engaging text and presentations
  • Increased confidence in discussing your research topic to a range of audiences
There are opportunities to practice your presentation in some of these sessions as well as two Lightning Talks where participants will have 8 minutes to engage their audience! 

Registration required. Please register for each session using myInvolvement

Writing in Lay Language

  • Date: April 11, 2016
  • Time:  10:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Location: Burnaby, Bennett Library Room 7200

Lay language is needed in order to convey technical and advanced ideas in ways that are more effective than “dumbing it down”. You may be preparing a grant or fellowship proposal, writing for online purposes or fine tuning your “job talk”— all of which require you to translate your work and research to persons outside of your core field of study.  Join Poh Tan from the Student Learning Commons as she demystifies the process of translating your academic research into lay language. 

All registrants should bring a piece of writing that they would like to begin writing in lay language. This could be a current work in progress or previous writing that can help to inform your future writing.

Register using myInvolvement

Engaging with the Media

  • Date: April 15, 2016
  • Time:  10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Location: Harbour Centre, Room 1325

Research trainees are often called upon to discuss news-worthy research. This workshop will help grad students and postdocs understand the media and the public as an audience, and how to best pitch their research to that audience. 

Join Kurt Heinrich, SFU's Director of  University Communications, who will explain different approaches when giving interviews to print reporters, talk show hosts, radio producers and TV journalists. He will help you understand the elements of news and the factors journalists need to juggle to make a story happen, and how to develop your own key messages for your research. This session will also cover 

  • tactics and tricks you can use to ensure you give the best interview possible
  • how to manage difficult journalist questions, and
  • the art of bridging back to safety if the interview takes a turn for the worst.

Finally we'll work on developing potential story ideas that can be proactively pitched in order to showcase your positive stories in the media.

Register using myInvolvement

Playing your Way to an Impactful Presentation

  • Date: April 20, 2016
  • Time:  1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
  • Location: Burnaby, Bennett Library Room 7200

Learn how to build an engaging presentation and deliver it in a calm, confident manner. Play your way into a presentation style that expresses your unique voice and captures your audience's attention through the use of tips and tricks from improv theatre. 

This session will include improv coaching from Julia Lane, a former Canadian Improv Games competitor and judge and participant in Toronto's Next Act Festival of improv. In addition to her experience as an improviser, Julia is a Grad Writing Facilitator in the Student Learning Commons and the Research Commons. She completed her PhD in the Faculty of Education earlier this year.  

Register using myInvolvement

Enhancing Your Presentation Skills

  • Date: April 25, 2016
  • Time:  1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
  • Location: Burnaby, Bennett Library Room 7200

Join Sanders Whiting, a voice, acting and presentation skills coach from the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC), as he helps you improve the performance aspect of your presentation. In a friendly setting you will learn about:

  • Voice production
  • Presentation stance and gestures
  • Rate of speech, using pauses, and confidence

Participants will take turns presenting in front of the group, receive friendly feedback from Sanders and the group, and then repeat sections of their presentation. It's a fun atmosphere where you can build your presentation confidence.

All registrants should be prepared to present. This could be a presentation or talk you've given previously or a new one you are preparing. Slides or other supplemental materials are not necessary.

Register using myInvolvement

Understanding Your Audience

  • Date: April 27, 2016
  • Time:  1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
  • Location: Burnaby, Bennett Library Rooom 7200

Can you communicate your research in a way that inspires your listeners?

Getting people to understand your research can make you more successful in building that network—whether it is a potential employer, a faculty member at a conference, or a funding committee. It starts by thinking differently about the needs of your audience—once you understand your audience better, you will be able to satisfy their needs—and make them more receptive to you and your work! In this session Sue Hampton and Poh Tan will help you craft your talk or proposal so that your key messages are memorable.

Please come to this session with some content that you have already developed. This could be a presentation or talk you've given previously or a new one you are preparing. Slides or other supplemental materials are not necessary.

Register using myInvolvement

Persuasive Writing
  • Date: April 28, 2016
  • Time:  4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  • Location: Burnaby, Bennett Library Room 7200

Participants will learn how proposal writing differs from other types of graduate writing. Join Lisa Poole and Megan Robertson from the Student Learning Commons as they review some of the basic elements of proposal writing and how to make a persuasive argument to your readers. Facilitators will help you think about:

  • Your audience and the needs of your audience
  • The critical messages that you want to convey
  • Finding an engaging hook

This workshop is focused on proposal writing and will not cover granting award guidelines. Participants should  bring their in-progress proposals and any other supporting material they would like to work on.

Register using myInvolvement

Lightning Talks

Getting ready to present at a conference or talk this spring? This session is an opportunity for you to practice your talk to a multi-disciplinary audience. 

Participants are challenged to convey the essential elements of their research in a way that is accessible--all in 8 minutes or less!  There will be a judging panel who will score your ability to communicate to them--each participant will receive the judges' written feedback to help you improve your presentation for that next conference or talk.

  • Date: May 4, 2016
  • Time:  4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  • Location: Burnaby, Room TBA

The session will be capped at 15 participants, so register early via MyInvolvement!

Tags: professional development

Recent Blog Posts

  • Cristina Eftenaru June 12, 2020
    Meet Education EdD graduate, Cristina Eftenaru.

  • Lydia Odilinye June 09, 2020
    Meet Computing Science PhD graduate, Lydia Odilinye.

  • Muhammad Asadullah June 09, 2020
    Meet Criminology PhD graduate, Dr. Muhammad Asadullah.

View Posts by Category