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The Keynote: September 2020

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


Grad and postdoc engagement

Get your semester off to a great start by joining us at our exciting engagement events! Our fall schedule includes some great new workshops and panel discussions along with evening and lunchtime workshops to accommodate your busy class and work schedules. 


  • Mental Resilience in an Online Environment: Balance and Burnout – Tuesday, September 29 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

We all get stressed and distracted sometimes, especially in an online environment.  Students often find themselves in difficult situations.  Grounding/relaxation and de-escalation techniques can help you avoid burnout and strive for balance.


  • *Diving Into Diversity: Intercultural Communication – Tuesday, October 6 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

As the world becomes more diverse, it will become inevitable that we will be working with people from other cultures. 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.

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

  • Self-Care and Mindfulness – Wednesday, October 7 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Practicing mindfulness has been shown to elevate positive emotions, increase empathy, reduce stress and anxiety and produce a wide range of other positive effects. Learn how to practice mindfulness techniques and incorporate self-care and mindfulness into your personal and professional life.

  • Writing Effective Research Proposals – Wednesday, October 21 from 1 to 2:30 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

October also kicks off our Thesis Thursdays! Need some motivation to write? Want to discuss best practices with staff and peers? Join us for a quick thesis-specific lesson followed by some dedicated group writing time.

  • Thesis Thursday: Tools Tricks and Templates – Thursday, October 1 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The thesis writing process can often be isolating and it can be difficult to be accountable to yourself. Thesis Thursday is a new initiative to create a student support and accountability group for those in the thesis writing process.  Each session will include a short lesson, some discussion among peers and then dedicated time to write together as a group.

  • Thesis Thursday: How to talk to your Supervisor: Conversation Starters – Thursday, October 8 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The relationship between you and your research supervisor is most important to your successful completion of a graduate degree. These conversation starters help align expectations of supervisors and graduate students (adapted from the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies).

Register for Grad Pro Skills


SGPS updates

  • Congratulations to Dr. Langis Roy, Dean, School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, on his appointment as Interim Deputy Provost. View full news release.

  • Applications for the Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral program are open until Friday, October 2, 2020. Visit the SGPS website for tips on preparing scholarship applications, view samples of winning research proposals and more.

  • Postdoctoral Fellows Virtual Event: The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is pleased to be hosting a virtual event for postdoctoral fellows and current doctoral students. This event will provide professional development and networking opportunities for postdoctoral fellows and current doctoral students. We invite all postdocs and PhD students to join us Monday, October 5, 2020 to Thursday, October 8, 2020. Please visit the event website to view the agenda and register!

  • Are you defending your thesis this Fall 2020 term? Thesis submissions will be processed in accordance with the 2020-2021 Academic Schedule. Thesis formatting, submission procedures, deadlines and conditions can be found in the Graduate Academic Calendar or on the SGPS website. Contact if you have any questions.

  • Do you have a story to tell? This fall, 25 graduate students from across Canada will be selected to capture their creative reflection in a three-minute video exploring their sense of identity. Additionally, each successful participant will receive a $700 honorarium. i am… is a Digital Storytelling Research Project launched by the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration. Applications are open until October 1, 2020. Visit the i am… website for more details and to apply.


Campus announcements

  • LinkedIn Learning is ending for all Ontario Tech students, faculty and staff as of September 30. Connect your accounts to maintain your learning history.

  • Check out the Library’s weekly online workshops: Citation Made Easy with EndNote will get you started with the citation management tool. In Trending Topics: How to find highly cited journals, articles and authors you’ll leverage tools like Scopus and Google Trends to follow trends in various research disciplines.

  • The Library has a new For Graduate Students page to connect you to all of the resources and services we offer. Look to it for information about how the Library can help with your research and thesis, with publishing, with support for Teaching Assistants (TAs) and more.


Student Life

  • Indigenous Education and Cultural Services is pleased to announce the continuation of the very popular Visiting Elder Program from October 5 to 9. If you wish to book the Elder for a one-on-one session, please submit a request.

  • The Further Education Expo is on September 30! The Expo will be held virtually this year. Institutions will speak to students about their programs, admissions processes, and answer questions. Admission is free with your student ID number. View the Guidebook of attending institutions on the Further Education Expo website.

  • On October 5, Ontario Tech is partnering with Ontario Shores to bring their Recovery College model of student-driven mental health support to Ontario Tech students. The focus is on hope, empowerment, possibility and connection. Learn more about this program and register on the Support Groups website.

  • The university is making a change in the way mental health supports are being offered. A Stepped Care approach can provide you with faster access to resources. Including self-help options, single session supports, peer support, workshops, and one-to-one therapy. Learn more on the Student Mental Health services website.

  • Are you feeling sad, isolated, unmotivated, or tired? Do you experience extended periods of low moods or feeling blue? You are not alone. Join the depression support group starting October 13 to connect with other struggling students and learn coping strategies. Register through the Support Group website.

  • Join the movement and register for a Campus Connected session. Campus connected is a movement to connect the people who make up our campus to cultivate an attitude of caring and kindness. Participants learn about listening with empathy and without judgment to support social connection.

  • Student Learning Centre drop-ins and workshops are back! Get academic support, meet your peers, and connect with the team through these synchronous events. Learn more and register on the Student Learning Centre website.

  • Conversation Café provides multilingual students with an opportunity to practice English speaking and listening skills. Speakers of English as a first language have a chance to meet international students and learn about other cultures. Conversation Café is open to all students, both graduate and undergraduate.

  • It's the beginning of recruitment season! This month, the Career Centre has many employer information & recruiting sessions, posted employment opportunities, workshops and events including our Further Education Week featuring an Expo and panel sessions. Visit the Student Life Portal for more details and to register!

  • The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) informed skills group can provide support in the areas of emotion regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and mindfulness. Starting on October 7, visit the Support Group website to learn more.

  • The Reverse Career Fair runs from October 13 to 16 and employers will be meeting with students from engineering, technology, business and math programs to network and recruit. Eligible students must register in advance. Visit the Reverse Career Fair website to learn more and register!

  • The Student Learning Centre is offering a series of Writing for Research workshops to help graduate students improve their writing skills. The workshops will run every Wednesday from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. starting now until Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

  • RBC Future Launch Career Workshop: Your Brand Matters invites you to an interactive workshop to help you build awareness of your brand, and learn how to use your brand throughout your career! Learn the essentials of what makes a great personal brand, first impression, professional presence and elevator pitch.

  • Student Life is committed to having open conversations focused on equity and inclusion, and invite you to join us at our discussion groups where you can share, find community and learn. Learn more on the Equity groups and workshops website.


Ontario Tech Student Union (OTSU)

  • Graduate students wanted! The Graduate Student Council is the voice of graduate students through the OTSU and we want to see it thrive. We are hosting a semi-formal hiring process to fill the executive team and ensure that you are represented on campus. Want more info? Email Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, September 30.


Money matters


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