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The Keynote: November 2020

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


Grad and postdoc engagement

Although the fall semester is coming to a close, there is still time to check out some great Grad Pro Skills workshops!


  • Writing a Literature Review – Monday, November 23 from 2:15 to 3 p.m.

In this workshop you will learn how to properly construct a literature review and how to organize your research. Discover the importance of critical and selective reading, how to identify gaps and strengths in the research and integrate writing material into your literature review.

  • Becoming a Persuasive Public Speaker – Tuesday, November 24 from 5 to 6:30 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 part of the Professional Communication Certificate. 

  • In Your Own Words: Paraphrasing and Summarizing – Thursday, November 26 from noon to 1 p.m.

Integrating research in written work is an essential skill, although it is one with which many writers struggle. In this workshop you will learn how to identify the characteristics of successful paraphrases and summaries and apply writing strategies to these areas.


  • 3MT: It’s Closer than you Think! – Tuesday, December 1 from noon to 1 p.m.

Interested in competing in 3MT 2021? Have questions about the competition, workshops and time commitment? Login to hear more about Ontario Tech’s 9th Annual 3MT competition and ask your questions to our SGPS staff!

Register for Grad Pro Skills


Campus announcements

  • Check out the Library’s online workshops, Trending Topics: How to find highly cited journals, articles and authors and Citation Made Easy with EndNote. We also have EndNote X9 and Zotero guides to help you get started with a citation manager, or you can book an appointment with a librarian. 
  • On Wednesday, January 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ontario Tech will be hosting its annual Open Education Resources (OER) day! OER provides open access resources for students, which includes free textbooks, software, videos, games, and learning resources.

SGPS updates

  • Upcoming external scholarship application deadlines:
  • Are you defending your thesis in the Fall 2020 term? Once you have successfully defended your thesis, you must formally submit an approved thesis package to SGPS. Thesis formatting, submission procedures, helpful resources, deadlines and conditions can be found in the Graduate Academic Calendar or on the SGPS website.

  • The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is proud to announce that the following doctoral students recently defended their PhD defence! Please join us in congratulating your fellow colleagues:
    • Samira Barmaki
PhD in Applied Bioscience
Thesis title: Development of Non-covalent Chemical Probes for μ, δ and κ Opioid Receptors
Supervisor(s): Dr. Yuri Bolshan, Dr. Jean-Paul Desaulniers
    •  Michael Miljanovic
PhD in Computer Science
Thesis title: Adaptive Serious Games for Computer Science Education
Supervisor(s): Jeremy Bradbury
    • Azzam Abu-Rayash
PhD in Mechanical Engineering
Thesis title: Development of Integrated Performance Indicators and Integrated Energy Systems for Smart Cities
Supervisor(s): Dr. Ibrahim Dincer

Student Life

  • Virtual Pet Meet-up is an opportunity to get to know your peers and their pets. You can showcase your pet or come and enjoy the cuteness. Join us every Wednesday at 11 a.m. Register on the Student Life Portal.
  • The Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) student competition challenges university students across Canada to use their creativity to develop innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions to accessibility barriers for people with disabilities. The deadline to enter is April 30, 2021. Visit the IDeA competition website to learn more about the program.

  • Managing Stress and Anxiety Workshop: On Thursday, November 26 at 10:30 a.m., join Stephanie Karam from the Career Centre to learn strategies for managing anxious thoughts and stress related to your job search. Register through the Student Life Portal.

  • International student University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) opt-out: International students that will not be coming to Canada to study during remote learning are eligible to opt-out of UHIP for January. Check out the UHIP page to learn more and submit the form.
  • Digital Community: Things are getting personal on the Digital Community - find out how to make the most out of your university experience by checking out one of the latest posts, Putting the YOU in university!

  • Equity Discussion groups are a space for students to have open conversations focused on equity and inclusion and to find community. On Tuesday, November 17, the Let’s Talk Equity Discussion Group will be discussing Anti-Ableism. Learn more about the groups and get involved through the Equity groups and workshops website.
  • Mark Neville and Tessa Troughton offer daily writing consultations to show you how to revise your writing. You can book up to two weeks ahead for One-on-one appointments for Writing and English as an Additional Language support (45 minutes) or Same-day Writing Appointments (30 minutes each).
  • 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence starts on November 25. You are invited to attend events and engage in the discussions to reflect on how you have been touched by gender-based violence. Learn more are


Ontario Tech Student Union (OTSU)

  • Attention all graduate students! We want to hear from you! Your newly elected Graduate Student Council wants to make your student life experience more remarkable than ever. We’d love to hear your thoughts on extracurricular activities and events. Please take a few moments to fill out our survey and have the chance to win a $20 gift card!

  • Save the date! The Graduate Student Council is hosting a virtual Harry Potter trivia night on Thursday, December 17. Follow the GSC on Instagram and Twitter for more details and other future events at @ontariotech_gsc. 
  • Did you hear graduate students? The OTSU launched an esports community and varsity team! If you need to find some balance among your busy lives, join our community of passionate gamers at Ontario Tech.

  • The OTSU's Annual General Meeting (AGM) is almost here! Our AGM is our opportunity to discuss the financial health of the OTSU, make amendments to by-laws, and speak directly with you. Be a part of the future of the OTSU and join us on Thursday, November 26, at 5 p.m. online.


Money matters

  • November is Financial Literacy Month! Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) is offering workshops with helpful tips. Learn more on the SAFA website.

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