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The Keynote: February 2023

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


Grad and Postdoc Engagement

  • Registration for the 2023 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition is now closed. Cheer on our participants at the 3MT® Heats on Wednesday, March 22 and Finals on Thursday, March 23. Livestream info will be posted on our Event details page.

Learn more about 3MT

  • Did you know that SGPS now offers Grad Pro Skills self-directed e-learning? Develop knowledge mobilization skills, enhance your teaching with modern pedagogy and technology, and ready yourself for an inclusive 21st century workplace. With self-directed e-modules and e-courses, you can learn at your own pace, at any time, from any where. Register today!

  • Our March Grad Pro Skills workshops are now open for registration! Check out our upcoming workshops below:

March workshops

Writing your Research into a Thesis - Friday, March 3 from 2 to 3 p.m.

In this workshop, we will provide a very brief overview of the characteristics of a research thesis at the graduate level, people who support the writing process and their roles, how to proofread your thesis, and good books to help guide you. Academic integrity in the writing and research process will be addressed throughout.

Public Speaking - Tuesday, March 7 from 12 to 1 p.m.

It is difficult to avoid public speaking during your graduate studies and once you enter the work world. This workshop will cover some of the challenges, best practices and tips to building your confidence and conveying your messages more effectively.

*This workshop is a requirement of the Professional Communication Certificate.

Introduction to Research Data Management - Wednesday, March 8 from 2 to 3 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


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 and email with any questions.

  • Are you planning to defend your thesis in 2023? 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 2023 is April 20, 2023.

    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.

Postdoc News


Student Life

  • Nominations for the 2023 Student Leadership Awards are now open! Students, staff and faculty can nominate a student for an award in one or more of the following categories:  
    • Accountability (Ethics)
    • Community Building
    • Innovation
    • Respect

Or nominate a student for a President’s Award of Excellence in Student Leadership:

    • The Undergraduate President’s Award
    • The Graduate President’s Award

The deadline for nominations is Monday, February 20.

  • Have you heard of the Student Experience Record (SER)? SER is a comprehensive record of your involvement in co-curricular experiences throughout your Ridgeback journey. It's used to highlight your diverse university experiences, and showcase your personal involvement and commitment to growing outside of the classroom. As you apply for jobs, future education or volunteer experiences, your SER will be a great tool to showcase soft skills that are important to employers in today's market! The deadline to add positions to your SER is Monday, May 1. Access your SER and learn more.
  • Student Engagement and Equity’s #WeGetConsent Awareness Week campaign is coming up February 13 to 17. Look out for pop-up booths on campus, Instagram trivia on @otstudentlife, and important information about Ontario Tech’s gender-based and sexual violence policy, supports, and consent education.
  • The free, online Including Disability Global Summit (IDGS) is taking place this year from April 25 to 27. The theme for the 2023 summit is HopePunk: preserving, building community and chasing hope—what can we do now so that the future is far better than the present for people with disabilities? Registration for the summit will be released soon; in the interim, join the IDGS listserv and receive pertinent updates. IDGS is also enlisting the help of summit volunteers.

  • The Employment Readiness Program, running February 6 to March 27, is a series of workshops designed to teach students practical job readiness skills and skills for navigating the workplace with success. Students who attend the workshop series will have access to additional one-on-one peer support with an Employment Peer Coach who can help address career-related concerns. Learn more and register.
  • The Career Centre has a variety of workshops that are designed to help students who are job searching, going to work for the first time, or entering a new workplace. Learn more and register for a winter workshop today!

  • The Career Centre and Devant have joined together to provide career supports for international students. Check out, and register for all the great workshops that are happening in February!

  • Conversation Café runs on Thursday's from 3 to 4:30 p.m. This is an opportunity to meet international students and learn about other cultures as well as a chance to practice English speaking and listening skills. Visit the Student Life Portal to view the schedule or drop by for a visit.

  • Student Mental Health Services continues to offer a range of groups, workshops and events to support your mental health. If you would like to participate in one or more groups you can register now.

  • RISE (Respecting Individuals, Supporting Equity) sessions are scheduled throughout the winter semester. The RISE Program is a suite of workshops that provide training and education on what participants can do on an individual level to foster a safer and more inclusive community at Ontario Tech. Learn more and register.

  • Student Centred Spaces are running throughout the winter semester. Learn about equity topics in open discussion groups or discuss your experiences with those who may share them in a closed Student Centred Space. View the available groups and register for sessions.

  • Wellness Walks is a free and fun opportunity that promotes physical and mental health by getting mindful walking breaks during the busy school and workday. Come out for a walk to restore your concentration, uplift your mood, decrease your stress and be a part of your campus community. All students, staff and faculty are invited to participate. Please dress for the weather, wear appropriate shoes for walking and bring a water bottle! View the schedule of walks on the Wellness Walks website.

  • Afternoons with SEE run weekly on Tuesday’s from 2 to 4 p.m. in Shawenjigewining Hall, Room 210 - all students are welcome to drop in and join the Student Engagement & Equity team to hang out, play games, meet others and enjoy refreshments.

Campus Announcements and Events

  • Thinking about visiting, studying in, doing research in or working in the United States? Join the U.S. Visa Info Session to learn more about the application process.

  • Rethink the data management and communication possibilities of your research! Love Data Week workshops happening February 13 to 17.

  • The Teaching and Learning Centre is hosting on-campus and online drop-in support for instructors, teaching assistants, and staff starting February 13. Drop by to meet your TLC staff and learn how we can support your teaching and learning needs! No registration required; see the TLC website for schedules.

  • Nominations for the annual Celebrate Teaching! Awards have been extended to February 24 at 4:30 p.m. These awards highlight excellence in teaching, teaching innovation, and educational leadership at Ontario Tech. Nomination forms and instructions are available on the TLC's website. Questions can be directed to

  • The TLC is hosting the second annual Conference on University Teaching and Learning on March 23! This year's conference theme is "Embracing the Opportunities of Hybrid Teaching and Learning." The 2022 Celebrate Teaching! Award ceremony will follow the Conference. RSVP before March 10 at noon to save your place!

  • Ontario Tech TALENT is proud to partner with Riipen to tackle barriers in the youth employment sector. We are offering students, access to one of the two microcredentials, plus a paid 80 hour internship in Data Analytics or Salesforce CRM. To get started, fill out the intake survey.

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 Ontario Tech semester course load matches OSAP—if not, this will delay release of second semester funding. Make updates with Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA).

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