Training Sessions/Workshops

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

Granting agencies and employers always rank skills in knowledge translation at the top, and individuals who successfully master the art of explaining complicated concepts in accessible ways go far. Helping others understand and get excited by your research is essential--no matter if you're explaining the concepts to family members, potential employers or during the 3-Minute Thesis Competition

The goal of these workshops and practice sessions is to help graduate students describe their research in interesting and novel ways, and be able to communicate it in a variety of settings and contexts. These sessions are offered by a mix of service providers: SFU's Teaching and Learning Centre, SFU's Office of Graduate Studies and Mitacs

These sessions are open to all current SFU graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. 

The Research Commons also offers workshops that may be of use to you while preparing your 3-Minute Thesis presentation.

Another great resource you have access to is, an online video training library that can help you brush up on a variety of skills, or learn some new ones. They even offer a series to Improve Your Presentation Skills.

The Teaching and Learning Centre offers  an extensive list of workshops. Some examples of workshops that may be useful for 3MT participants include:  Breath Power, Posture and Pauses: Your Secret Allies for Public Speaking and Better Presentations: Building Confidence and Connections

TLC also offers private voice sessions by appointment. For all of their workshops on voice and presentation skills, click here.

You can always find upcoming Graduate workshops through the Just in Time calendar:

3MT Kickoff for English as Additional Language Graduate Students

Are you planning to present at the 3 Minute Thesis competition? Not sure yet? Join our kickoff for English as Additional Language graduate students and learn how you can leverage your multilingual skills for an effective 3MT presentation. Participants in the Kickoff will also be offered to request one-on-one consultations with CELLTR's Faculty Liaisons to discuss their 3MT pitch. Coffee and sweets will be provided!

Please note that we have postponed the Kickoff to February 5, 2019, 10 AM to 12 PM.


Time: 10 AM - 12 PM, Tuesday, February 5, 2019 (NEW DATE AND TIME)

Location: CELLTR, 1390 West Mall Centre

Note: Please RSVP here by February 3, 2019. Drop-ins are also welcome!

Strength in Diversity: Leveraging your plurilingual resources and cultural identity in academic communication

This session will highlight the resources and hidden strengths that International and EAL graduate students can bring to an English dominant university context. Strategies and ideas for delivering a memorable and unique thesis ‘pitch’ and making an impact when talking about one’s work will also be shared.

Facilitator: Dr. Valia Spiliotopoulos
Dr. Valia Spiliotopoulos is the Director of CELLTR and faculty member in the Faculty of Education.  She was a multilingual graduate student in both French and English medium of instruction universities, and has worked for over 15 years with graduate students across the disciplines supporting them with academic communication, intercultural competency development, and instructional skills at the University of Toronto, UBC, UVic, and SFU.

Tips for Speaking Cleary in Professional Settings

Learn how to control your speaking pace, project more confidence, and  boost your intelligibly and comprehensibility by speaking in message units.

Facilitator: Dr. Tim Mossman
Tim Mossman, Ph.D., is an educator, qualitative researcher, and English as an Additional Language (EAL) specialist.  He has his Ph.D. in Education (Languages, Cultures, and Literacies) from Simon Fraser University. Tim coordinates the EAL Services in the Student Learning Commons (SLC), a position he has held since 2007.  In this role, Tim contributes to and participates in SLC activities such as individual consultations with students, developing and presenting workshops and short -term courses, and mentoring graduate students and student peers, all with a focus on EAL support.

Questions? Ask Tomke at

Presentation skills count!

NSERC and SSHRC have open competitions to reward top grad student communicators.

Three Minute Thesis – 2018 SFU Finals 

Watch the videos from the SFU Finals

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

Danielle will compete at the Western Regional Competition at the University of Regina on April 27, 2018. Good luck, Danielle!

All of the presentations were informative and interesting. Thank you to all who competed this year, including:

  • Alison Butler, Public Policy master's student: Room to grow: Building better rental stock for Vancouver families
  • Allison Carter, Health Sciences doctoral student: Desires embraced: A critical analysis of sex, love, and relationships among women living with HIV
  • Shaun Fickling, Engineering Science doctoral student: Brain vital signs after concussions
  • Ankit Gupta, Interactive Arts and Technology doctoral student: How can wearable technology support self-management of Arthritis?
  • Michelle La, Sociology & Antrhopology master's student: Sneakerheads and their practices of trading
  • Gioachino Roberti, Earth Sciences doctoral student: Volcanoes in a changing climate
  • April Wang, Computing Sciences master’s student: How modern learning resources fail conversational programmers
  • Matthea Wiebe, Archaeology master's student: Exploring Neanderthal Fire-Starting technologies through microarchaeology