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The Keynote: February 2021

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


Grad and postdoc engagement

Keep your February fresh with Grad Pro Skills! Learn more and register today!

Special event:

Shut Up and Write! – Thursday, February 18 from noon to 2:30 p.m.

Stop talking about writing. Stop reading about writing. Stop thinking about writing. Let's write! It doesn't matter if you are working on a thesis chapter, literature review, conference paper or proposal—the Student Learning Centre's Shut Up and Write! event provides a supportive environment where everyone has the same goal. Writing Specialists will help guide you along as you make progress on your graduate writing goals.

Register on the Student Life portal

February Grad Pro Skills workshops

Diving into Diversity: Intercultural Communication – Thursday, February 11 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

As the world becomes more diverse, it’s important that we understand how to effectively communicate across cultures. Evoking global thinking and empathy in your communication style will make you a better team member, communicator, collaborator and global citizen.

Exploring Alternative Career Opportunities: Non-Academic Job Search – Tuesday, February 23 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Interested in a career outside of academia? Learn how to effectively create networking opportunities and build relationships that can lead to career opportunities, and get advice on how to prepare, answer and ask recruiter questions.

Introduction to Research Data Management – Thursday, February 25 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Not sure where to start with research data management? Know you have to make a research data management plan but feeling daunted? You have come to the right place! In this workshop you will learn about current best practice for research data management, how effective research data management relates to grants and funding, and how to get started on creating a research data management plan.

Register for Grad Pro Skills


Three Minute Thesis

  • Mark your calendars for this year’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)! Tune in to see our grad students explain their research and its impact in three minutes or less. Register to watch the virtual finals, taking place on Thursday, March 25!

  • Forgot to register before the deadline? You can still register for this year's competition until Friday, February 12!

  • Competing in this year’s 3MT® competition? Be sure to register for coaching sessions!

    Learn more about 3MT

SGPS updates

  • Are you beginning to format your thesis for defence? Be sure to check the thesis website every term for updated forms and resources.

  • Are you planning to defend your thesis in 2021? There are deadlines to guide students for completing program requirements by the end of an academic term. The last day to submit your post-defence thesis package and/or COA for Winter 2021 is April 21, 2021.

    Guidelines (Master’s/PhD), timelines/deadlines (Master’s/PhD) and other resources (e.g. deadline calculator) can be found on the SGPS website or in the Graduate Academic Calendar.

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:

Sharareh Kiani
Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Supervisors: Dr. Shahram ShahazPanahi & Dr. Min Dong

Waleed Ahmed
Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Thesis title: Modeling and Analysis of Metal Cutting Process using Self-Propelled Rotary Tools
Supervisors: Dr. Hossam Kishawy & Dr. Atef Mohany

David Babalola
Ph.D. in Modelling and Computational Science
Thesis title: Towards Molecular Reconstruction in Coulomb Explosion Imaging
Supervisor: Dr. Sean Bohun


Student Life

  • Being distanced doesn't have to mean being disconnected. Send a Digital Community Valentine's Day card to the special people in your life! Pick out the card that says it right on the Valentine's Day Card website.

  • Long Night Against Procrastination (LNAP) returns on March 10! Fight back against procrastination with writing, study skills and research workshops to give you the tools to finish any project. Join us for a chance to win a gift card by registering on the Student Life Portal.

  • Equity Discussion Groups: February is Black History Month and our Equity Discussion groups will host sessions to recognize and address issues that the Black Community face both historically and today. Register for a group on the Equity groups and workshops website.

  • Ontario Tech and Durham College will be hosting over 60 employers for the virtual Career Fair on March 11. Whether you are looking for a co-op, a career, or a summer job, make sure you register to attend on the Student Life Portal.

  • A part of building a culture of consent and respect on campus, we've invited the AIDS Committee of Durham to deliver some workshops on topics of sex and sexuality. The next workshop is on March 12. Learn about the project and register at the Let's Talk Sex page.

  • Do you know a student who has exemplified leadership in the campus community? Nominate them for a Student Leadership Award before March 31. Graduate students are eligible for the President's Award of Excellence which includes a $500 award. Find out more on the Student Leadership Awards of Recognition page.

  • Career Chats will be hosting Elevation CPA and Intellimeter Canada in February on the 23 and 25. Have all of your job search questions answered by professionals in the field. Find out more about the events and register on the Career Chats website.

  • Ontario Tech's Equity and Inclusivity Advisor is offering drop in hours or anyone with equity related questions, anyone looking to get involved, or just to say hi! Find a session on the Student Life Portal.

  • Road to Equity Episode 4 is available! The first episode of the winter term discusses the concept of Food and Health Equity. Not sure what that means? Check out the episode on Anchor, or wherever you get your podcasts.

  • The annual Career Carnival returns on March 4 and 5. Practice your job search skills, work on your resume, and gets tips you need to succeed with the help of the Career Centre. Prizes are available every hour. Learn more and register on the Career Carnival website.


Campus Announcements and Events

  • Ontario Tech Women in Engineering and Engineers without borders (with the support of The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and a generous donation from Hydro One) is launching the Culture Awareness Challenge. The Culture Awareness Challenge is an opportunity for students at Ontario Tech University to bring awareness, education or understanding to a cause (ethnicity, sustainability, etc..) that is important to them, and make an impact on the greater Ontario Tech community. The winning submission will receive up to $2,000.

  • The 9th Annual International Conference on Smart Energy Grid Engineering (SEGE) will be held August 11 to 13, 2021. Organized by Ontario Tech University and sponsored by IEEE, the event will include a student innovation competition. More details will be available on the conference website.

  • Library Winter workshops! In Know Before You Publish you will learn about identifying and evaluating journals and author copyright. In What’s the Deal with Data Management? you will learn best practice for research data management and how to create data management plans. Looking for data? Our workshop can help!

  • Looking for a crash course in entrepreneurship? We’ve got just the thing for you! Join us for a three-day workshop series (February 16 to 18 - Reading Week) led by experienced entrepreneurs. Become more familiar with entrepreneurial concepts, experience what it’s like to refine and test a business idea, and win cash prizes!

  • Graduate Student Writing for Research workshops are the perfect place to talk about research writing, whether that is a thesis, a project, or a paper! We will talk about the writing process and discuss areas of need. Runs weekly at 3 p.m. except March 10 at 2 p.m. Questions about the sessions? Contact


Ontario Tech Student Union (OTSU)

  • If you are looking to connect with other graduate students please join the Ontario Tech Graduate Students slack! There, you will find general and specialized channels to exchange with fellow grad students. For example, join the new teaching-assistants channel to discuss T.A. matters with your peers!

  • Be the voice of Graduate Students at Ontario Tech by running for a position with the Graduate Student Council (GSC). The GSC is an organization under the OTSU that champions the Graduate Student experience and works to address their concerns. Nominations to run are open from February 22 to 26, 2021.


Money matters

  • Always apply for OSAP - Many variables when assessing your OSAP and eligibility to receive funding could change every year. Make sure your winter semester course load matches what's on OSAP—if not, this will delay release of second semester funding. Make updates with Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA).

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