Community Guide

The Community Guide is a compilation of resources that can help support you throughout your time at SFU as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Find resources on research, learning, wellness, peer support, and more.

Indigenous + International Graduate Student Support

Additional resources are available for Indigenous and international students to support your graduate experience.

Indigenous graduate student support →
International graduate student support →

Research + Writing

Research and writing are critical skills for any student.
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SFU Library

Did you know that in addition to books, journals, and media items, the SFU Library also loans laptops, chargers and audiovisual equipment? You can also:

Research Commons

Improve your research and writing skills with the help of the Research Commons. You can find resources online and in-person at the Burnaby, Surrey, and Vancouver campuses, including:

SFU's Archival Holdings

SFU AtoM (Access to Memory) provides a single interface for searching the archival holdings of both SFU Archives and SFU Library's Special Collections and Rare Books.

Research Ethics

Find documents, policies, and support for the ethics review process of your research.

Document Solutions

SFU Document solutions offers a variety of services for print and digital products. Services specifically tailored to graduate students and postdoctoral fellow needs include:

  • printing research posters
  • business cards
  • thesis binding

Select External Resources

  • Grad Write Slack is an online support community for graduate students
  • The Conversation: Get published in mainstream media through this academic media publication.

Teaching + Learning

Find resources to help you with your studies at SFU. Gain confidence as a teacher, TA, or TM with workshops and professional development.
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Technology-based Tools

Professional Development Opportunities

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies offers a 3-part series of academic and non-academic career-focused workshops called, Your Career Compass. Additionally, we partner with institutional units throughout SFU to provide a variety of professional development opportunites.

Centre for Educational Excellence (CEE)

The CEE collaborates with SFU's learning and teaching community to support innovative, inclusive, and reflective teaching approaches that create enriched and engaging learning experiences. Some ways the CEE supports graduate students include:

Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU)

If you are a teaching assistant, tutor marker or sessional instructor while you are a graduate student, you are a member of the TSSU. Learn about your membership benefits including medical coverage and childcare bursaries.

Wellness + Inclusion

Taking care of both your physical and mental health is important for your wellbeing.
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Health & Counselling

Services provided by SFU's Health & Counselling include:

  • medical/doctor appointments
  • flu vaccine clinics
  • counselling appointment
  • support for mental health
  • well-being support
  • creative collective
  • dog therapy
  • support over suicide/students in distress
  • surviving to thriving (graduate student-specific)
  • bouncing forward (online course; graduate student-specific)
  • workshops & more!

My SSP (Student Support Program)

Access immediate and ongoing mental health support worldwide with My SSP.

  • free, confidential service
  • in-person appointments
  • 24/7 call or chat
  • culturally relevant
  • multiple languages
  • supportive resources

Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL)

The Centre for Accessible Learning arranges academic accommodation and services for elible students with documented disabilities to help provide equal educational access. They also consult with students on strategies to improve their learning and study skills.

Resources for Self Care

Supporting graduate students, postdocs and staff is important to us. With services moving online to prevent the spread of COVID-19, staying healthy and connected remains a priority. We've compiled some resources to help you take care of your well-being, whether it's through a mindfulness app, a virtual tour, or a new hobby to try at home.

SFSS Women's Centre

Co-funded by the Graduate Student Society and the Simon Fraser Student Society, the SFSS Women's Centre has a 24/7 lounge and kitchen for self-identified women. They offer a phone, menstrual and safer sex supplies, refreshments, and canned food. Their all genders resource area also offers a kitchen and lounge, as well as crisis referrals and peer support.

Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office (SVSPO)

The SVSPO provides support, referrals and information for people impacted by sexual violence and misconduct, including those who receive disclosures of such incidents. They also aim to eliminate barriers to supports and services for marginalized and disenfranchised people of all ages, clasess and cultures along with education and training to the wider SFU community at all three campuses.

Out On Campus

Find support for LGBTQ+ students and their allies with the SFSS Out On Campus space. All are welcome to use their space and access an LGBTQ+ library, peer support and crisis referrals, and kitchen facilities.

SFU Recreation

Eligible SFU students/postdocs have access to SFU Recreation facilities and programs including, gyms, aquatic centres, drop-in sports and others in BurnabySurrey or Vancouver.

Interfaith Centre

Located at all three campuses, the Interfaith Centre provides a space for students to live their faith. They also host events and discussion groups to increase the understanding of religious beliefs and practices.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Resource Guide

Learn how to create trans and queer supportive spaces with this resource guide provided by the SFU Library. Find resources on LGBTQ inclusion at work, the importance of pronouns, and more.

Peer Support + Governance

Get involved with your fellow students.
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Graduate Student Society

Your Graduate Student Society (GSS) supports all graduate student by providing services (such as health & dental insurance; financial support; free coffee/tea; legal services, individual advocacy support, and more!) as well as events and opportunities for you to get involved with advocacy for graduate students at SFU.  

Graduate Student Caucuses

Serve on your Graduate Student Caucus and work with the GSS on governance, funding and graduate student support for your academic unit.

SFU Ombudsperson

The Ombudsperson can assist you issues around fairness, appeals, interpersonal conflic, academic concerns, supervisory issues and policy questions.

Get Elected to Serve on Senate and Senate Sub-Committees

Have your say in academic governance at SFU by serving on Senate!

What's involved?

  • Senate meets once/month (usually from 5:30 pm on a Monday for 1-2 hours); no meetings in August.
  • Senators are expected to sit on at least 1 committee such as the Senate Graduate Studies Committee (SGSC) and the Senate Graduate Awards Adjudication Committee (SGAAC) (see all committees). Some committees meet monthly, but some only meet a few times per year (commitment varies). Some of these committees currently have no graduate student representation!
  • Terms are 1 to 2 years.

What do you get from involvement?

  • Senate is responsible for the academic governance of the University (development of new initiatives, formation of priorities, consideration and approval of policies, etc.). Being a senator provides you with the direct opportunity to have your say in issues that impact you and your fellow students.
  • You would be a graduate student representative that is able to lobby for all SFU graduate students, particularly in committees (think of SGSC or Senate Committee on University Priorities (SCUP) as examples).
  • Form relationships and network with a large and diverse group of University community members (Senior Administrators, Deans, Faculty, and other students).
  • If you’re planning a career in Academia, this is a great CV builder (some grad students have told us that they got jobs because of their work on these types of committees).
  • Develop critical skills for navigating meetings, rules, policies and regulations.

The call for elections usually goes out at the end of January — watch your emails.

Additional Campus Support + Services

Find more resources to support you.
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Financial Assistance

Support for your Family

Participate in events and programs for graduate students with partners/families.

Safety & Security

SFU Safety & Risk Services

Protect Yourself from Fraud

Dining on Campus

SFU Dining provides information about dining plans, catering and menus and locations of some of the dining options on Burnaby campus.

Burnaby: UniverCity has restaurants, a grocery store and a variety of shops.

Surrey: Located below SFU Surrey, Central City Mall  offers a food court, grocer stores and a variety of retailers. Tip: show your SFU ID for discounts at most food court restaurants.  

Vancouver: Harbour Centre Mall directory lists shopping and dining options (found on the bottom floor of the mall).

Lockers

Rent a gym locker (for a day or 1–3 terms) or a book locker (1–3 terms) at the Burnaby and Surrey campuses.

Parking + Sustainable Mobility

Find information on parking and alternative transportation options for all three campuses.

External Legal Resources

  • Access Pro Bono provides 30-minute legal consultation at no charge. You can select the type of legal expertise you require (family law, immigration law, etc.) and a convenient location/time.
  • Legal Aid provides representation to people with low income. Additional information and other services available to all.
  • UBC Law Students’ Legal Advice Program is a non-profit society run by law students at the University of British Columbia providing free legal advice and representation to low income clients.

Embark

To promote sustainability, Embark hosts engagement events. They also run a Learning Garden and a food recovery program on campus.