Professional Development

Proposal Writing Café

October 03, 2016

Working furiously on your fellowship applications? Wondering how to improve  your written proposal?

Come to the Proposal Writing Café, where you'll gain a better understanding of the fellowship process and tips on how to improve your written proposal. The first-hour of the Café will include three guest speakers; the second half is devoted to roundtable discussions hosted by successful grantees who will each share their experience writing fellowship proposals. You can even bring in your draft proposal if you're hoping to get some written feedback on your work! 

  • Date/Time: Wednesday, Oct. 19,  from 10am - 12pm
  • Location: Burnaby Campus, Bennett Library 7200
  • Register: Please register using myInvolvement
Light refreshments will be served. 

Guest Speakers

  • Rachel Dawson is the Awards Manager from the Dean of Graduate Studies office. Rachel will share general tips and tricks on making sure your application is top-notch.
  • Jeff Derksen is the Associate Dean, Students, in the Dean of Graduate Studies office. Jeff will share tips on how to request reference letters from your referees
  • Sarah Mark is a Grants Facilitator from the Faculty of Education, and former Program Officer at SSHRC. She will share some general proposal writing tips as well as give an insider point-of-view of what goes on in the proposal review process.


Six Postdoctoral Fellows and senior PhD candidates will be hosting the roundtable discussions. These hosts have significant experience and success in the social sciences and science disciplines, both in Canada and abroad. The purpose of the roundtables is to help you learn from the strategies that have worked for the hosts in order for you to be more successful in securing your own fellowships and awards. There will be three 20-minute discussions, so you'll get the opportunity to learn from three different individuals. 

Draft Feedback

You also have the option to bring in your draft proposal to have it reviewed during the session. Bring your written portion (the proposal) and hand it in at the beginning of the session. A team of reviewers will provide written feedback on your proposal. You can choose to take your draft with written comments with you at noon, or stay beyond 12pm to sit with your reviewer for personalized feedback. 

The Proposal Writing Café aims to be relevant to all grad students applying for fellowships and awards, although we recognize that some deadlines have passed. 

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