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The Keynote: December 2020

Monthly newsletter from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) with information for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.


Grad and postdoc engagement

We’re gearing up to welcome you back in the New Year with a great selection of Grad Pro Skills! Learn about digital library resources, managing your time and stress levels, and how to write effective research proposals. Registration is open as of Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

January 2021 workshops:

Starting Off Strong: Digital Library Resources 101 – Tuesday, January 19 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Did you know our campus libraries offer robust online and digital services that can help you succeed in your graduate studies? In this workshop you will learn all about accessing academic journal articles and books online with ease, the benefits of an online research consultation with your subject librarian, and how to access specialized digital resources like datasets, cases, patents, and standards.

Making Time for Time Management – Thursday, January 21 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Master your schedule this semester! In this workshop you will discover concepts and strategies for time management, learn about short and long-term planning, how to track your progress and establish best practices for managing your time. 

Leading-Edge Computing Resources to Advance Your Graduate Research Work – Monday, January 25 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

In this workshop, you will learn how SOSCIP and Mitacs can advance your research and skills, through collaboration with industry, by providing advanced computing resources and funding.

SOSCIP will introduce three advanced computing platforms that are available to power your graduate research in any discipline that involves data science/analytics, simulation (molecular modeling, energy, climate), finite element analysis, AI/ML modeling, cybersecurity and others. Learn about Cloud Analytics, Accelerated GPU, and Parallel CPU platforms, and walk through example case studies of how these platforms have been used by researchers and their industry collaborators to advance innovation and technology development.

Adapt and Overcome: Anxiety and Stress Management – Tuesday, January 26 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Kick your stress to the curb with this workshop – learn about the nature of stress and how to apply stress management techniques to help quell it. Identify symptoms and sources of stress and how to build resilience so you can thrive.

Writing Effective Research Proposals (for Social Science, Health Science and Education) – Thursday, January 28 from 1:15 to 2:45 p.m.

A clear and concise presenter, a visual presentation and engaging content are some of the keys to keeping your audience’s attention in a presentation. In this workshop, you will learn what makes a great presentation and what you can work on to develop your skills.

Register for Grad Pro Skills


SGPS updates

  • The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is proud to announce that the following doctoral students recently defended their Ph.D. thesis! Please join us in congratulating your fellow colleagues:

    Ghassan Chehade
    Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering
    Thesis title: Experimental Investigation of a New Plug-In Advanced Ammonia Generator
    Supervisor: Dr. Ibrahim Dincer

    Sarah Habibi (nee: Abdelmassih)
    Ph.D. in Applied Bioscience
    Thesis title: Pharmacological Characterization of the ACC-1 Family of Cys-Loop Ligand Gated Ion Channels from the Parasitic Nematode Haemonchus contortus
    Supervisor: Dr. Sean Forrester

    Hiba Hanan
    Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Thesis title: Toward Enhancing Metaheuristic Optimization Algorithms Using Center-based Sampling Strategies for Solving Single- and Multi- objective Large-scale Problems
    Supervisor: Dr. Shahryar Rahnamayan

    Haris Ishaq
    Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering
    Thesis title: Investigation of Integrated Systems for Clean Ammonia Synthesis
    Supervisor: Dr. Ibrahim Dincer

    Osamah Siddiqui
    Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering
    Thesis title: Development and Assessment of Integrated Energy Systems with Ammonia Synthesis and Fuel Cells
    Supervisor: Dr. Ibrahim Dincer

  • The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies wishes to congratulate Dr. Aziz Douai on his new appointment as the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Regina. All the best in your new role – you will be missed!

  • Students and supervisors are required to submit research progress reports at the end of each academic term. Research Progress Reports are a useful tool to connect with your supervisor and to document your research success/struggles and future goals. Download the form to begin documenting your progress.

  • As a reminder, the deadline to submit Thesis Packages and Certificate of Approvals (COA) to SGPS is Wednesday, December 16, 2020. Thesis packages/COA's received after this deadline, will result in fees for Winter 2021. For thesis packages/COA's received early in the Winter 2021 term, a tuition refund may apply.

  • The online application to graduate for students who will have finished their programs by the end of the Fall term (end of December 2020) will be available through MyCampus until Tuesday, December 31, 2020.

  • Deadline for payment of fees for the Winter 2021 semester is Monday, January 1, 2021. Visit the Graduate Tuition and Fees web page. If you are making payment arrangements, the deadline to submit your Graduate Promissory Note and Payroll Deduction form to is Wednesday, January 6, 2021. This is to be completed each academic term by the deadline in order to avoid late charges and/or a hold on your account.

  • Are you completing your Master’s this year? Interested in continuing your graduate studies at Ontario Tech? Graduate application deadlines are coming up soon – most applications for fall 2021 programs close on February 1, 2021.

  • Applications for the 2021 Vector Institute Postgraduate Affiliates Program are now open! The deadline to submit applications is Monday, January 11, 2021. More program and application details can be found on the Vector website.

  • The deadline to apply for the Power Workers’ Union Transportation Electrification and Smart Grid Research Graduate Award is Wednesday, January 13, 2021. There are three awards valued at $5,000. Eligible candidates must be entering or enrolled in the MASc or PhD program in Electrical and Computer Engineering, specializing in Smart Grid research. For scholarship details, visit the SGPS website.


Student Life

  • Closure for the holidays: The campus will be closed and Student Life services will be unavailable from December 23, 2020 to January 4, 2021. If you need mental health support over this period, community resources are still available. Visit the Student Life website for more information.

  • Ridgebacks Stress Buster Kit: When you need a break from studying and exam stress, check out the Stress Buster Kit for a custom playlist and wellness activities. Find it on the Digital Community.

  • The Dear Everybody Workshop is a unique opportunity for participants to learn about disability and reflect on their biases and is led by Holland Bloorview facilitators. This event will be held on Wednesday, January 13 from 4 to 5 p.m. Register on the Equity Events page.

  • The Canadian Government is advising to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Some borders could close as the COVID-19 situation continues to change. You should check the Government of Canada Travel Advisory website before deciding to leave Canada. Visit our International Students FAQ page for more information.

  • Attend the Student Leadership Conference on January 23 from noon to 4 p.m. where we will address communication, empowering others, perseverance, personal development and self-awareness to realize a better you. Register through the Student Life Portal.


Ontario Tech Student Union (OTSU)

  • The Ontario Tech Student Union (OTSU) will be hosting our General Elections for full-time and part-time paid Executive positions, and volunteer Board of Directors positions for the 2021/2022 term. Nominations open Monday, January 11, 2021. If you have any questions you can email Good luck candidates!


Money matters

  • Always apply for OSAP. Many variables when assessing your OSAP and eligibility to receive funding could change every year. Also, make sure your winter semester course load matches what's in your OSAP application—if not, this will delay the release of your second semester funding. Make updates with SAFA.

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