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Graduate Professional Skills

During your time at the university, acquire disciplinary expertise but also develop the professional skills needed for a successful future career in industry, government and non-government organizations, or academia. We aim to diversify your graduate school experience through professional development workshops in these five areas:

  • professional communication
  • research and knowledge mobilization
  • teaching and learning
  • entrepreneurship and leadership
  • career management skills

Register for summer 2018 workshops

Professional Communication

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies partners with the Communication and Digital Media Studies department in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities to develop graduate students’ confidence in professional and personal communications.

Online workshops

Academic and Professional Communication for New Researchers

Topics covered include:

  • Tips for networking at academic conferences
  • Techniques for mastering the academic introduction and introducing your research to scholars
  • Strategies for establishing appropriate online boundaries with students in the age of social media
  • Examples of effective research poster designs
  • Approaches for successfully communicating your research to a non-specialist academic audience


Intercultural Competency

This module will introduce you to several key concepts and strategies that will help you navigate this diverse world. The module provides an introduction to the key concepts of identity, bias, privilege and intercultural competence. Five sequential units will include case scenarios and activities that provide you with an opportunity to test your new knowledge and to apply it to your own experience. Videos of graduate students reflecting on their own experiences are also featured. Those students who have already developed a more sophisticated intercultural awareness may wish review the readings provided at the end of the module.


Past in-class workshops

Watch for these workshops in future offerings!

Conference Boot Camp (in collaboration with the Academic Skills Club)

During this hands-on, interactive workshop, you will learn conference hard skills (standards of poster and talk format, content) and soft skills (conference etiquette, networking, dealing with presentation anxiety). You will also apply this knowledge to modify one of your posters and/or talks and practice your presentation and networking techniques with your peers.

Developing Your Intercultural Self-Awareness

This session will introduce you to several key concepts and strategies that will help you navigate this diverse world.

Public Speaking 101

It is difficult to avoid public speaking during your graduate degree and once you enter the work world. It is an asset to be able to effectively speak to groups in an informative, persuasive and engaging way. This workshop will cover some of the challenges, best practices and tips to improve your confidence and convey your messages more effectively.

Research and knowledge mobilization

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies partners with UOIT Research Services and the UOIT Library to assist graduate students with common research challenges.

In-person workshop

Scientific Writing for Academic Success

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 from 9 a.m. to noon
Science Building (UA), Room 2220
Facilitated by Umair bin Waheed, Assistant Professor of Geophysics, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

This workshop will introduce participants to the reader-centred approach to scientific writing. Participants will use a writing lexicon to discuss scientific articles and understand readers’ expectations from texts. We will then apply these concepts to learn the structure of an effective abstract. The workshop requires students and postdocoral fellows to actively participate in class discussions and related activities.

About the facilitator: Umair bin Waheed is an Assistant Professor of Geophysics at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. In addition to conducting scientific research, Umair has always been curious about communicating scientific findings. During his time as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University, he also worked with the Princeton Writing Program (PWP) as a Writing in Science and Engineering Fellow under the mentorship of Judy Swan. He received intensive training in teaching writing at PWP. Later he taught courses on scientific writing to graduate students from across disciplines at Princeton University. Encouraged by positive feedback from his students, Umair now conducts workshops helping students across different universities to effectively communicate their scientific discoveries through writing.

This workshop has reached capacity. 

Online workshops

Academic and Research Integrity

This module will explore integrity issues in the graduate student setting. Academic integrity, research integrity, academic dishonesty and research misconduct will all be discussed. The module features many examples and animated case studies where you can test your knowledge. You will find the last unit particularly helpful as it explores ethics approval, data retention, record keeping and negotiating authorship.


Research Management
Sound research project management is a fundamental element of any research project. Creating a project plan should be seen as an integral, ongoing process initiated at the outset of your research. This plan will provide you with a holistic view of your project, allowing you to make preparations in advance, anticipate potential problems and develop strategies to eliminate risks to your project later on. A well-developed plan will reduce risks, increase efficiency and guide the research process through to completion. It will help ensure that you have met your legal and ethical obligations and that your research outputs will be preserved over time and, where applicable, will be available to others.


Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism

Have you ever worried that you might accidentally plagiarize by forgetting to cite a source or by not paraphrasing thoroughly enough? You’re not alone. Many graduate students share this fear, especially when managing many sources over several years. The purpose of this module is to help you understand plagiarism and develop strategies to avoid it. The units in this module describe in detail the steps you need to take when borrowing ideas, from note-taking effectively to incorporating sources with proper citations. Examples of plagiarism cases are included to help you understand why and how plagiarism occurs. By strengthening these research and writing habits, you will be able to prevent plagiarism in your own work and feel more confident as an academic writer.


Past in-Person workshops

Watch for these topics in future offerings!

Getting It Right in Grad School: Graduate Supervision Roles and Responsibilities

Supervisor-student research relationships are key to graduate student success. Graduate students thrive when they develop positive and professional relationships with their supervisors. This workshop discusses different supervisory styles, the roles and responsibilities of supervisors and students, and ways of aligning their expectations.

Perfecting Literature Reviews

A literature review is a summary and evaluation of significant documents and developments on a topic. Completing a literature review will ensure a good understanding of a topic. Students will learn how to properly construct a literature review and how to organize their research.

Making an impact: Your research identity

In this workshop you will learn how to take control of your public research profile and track the impact of your publications and research activities. You will also use research metrics tools and checklists to evaluate journals and conferences as possible venues for your research.

Individual support

Teaching and learning

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies partners with the university’s Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) to promote opportunities for teaching assistants (TAs) to develop their skills in instructing and mentoring undergraduates.

Online Workshops

Lesson Planning

This six-unit teaching and learning module will provide you with an introduction to effective lesson planning. Whether you’re teaching university students or colleagues in the workplace, having a good lesson plan is one of the first steps to being an effective instructor. The module will begin by presenting you with a model of lesson planning that is simple and easy to follow. It will then introduce you to key lesson planning terminology (e.g., intended learning outcomes, constructive alignment, active learning) and offer tips for good practices.


Mentoring Undergraduate Students

This module provides resources and learning for graduate students in their roles as mentors for undergraduate students. The following learning objectives are embedded into this program:

  • Identify the significance of mentorship in higher education.
  • Recognize and examine core mentoring competencies and locate them within a learning-centred paradigm.
  • Enhance your skills in providing mentoring support based on adult education principles.
  • Develop strategies to effectively communicate – from a leadership perspective – with a diverse -body of undergraduate students.
  • Generate a plan to support undergraduate students in discovering post-graduate academic and professional opportunities.

Connect mentoring competencies to your own personal and professional development.


Teaching Dossiers

This six-unit module guides students through the composition of the teaching dossier, an essential document necessary for graduate students to present their teaching effectiveness to others. The module will introduce both the structure and purpose of the dossier as well as guide students through a reflective process to draft the foundational claims of the teaching philosophy statement. In addition, students will explore the skills they have developed through their teaching that transfer to other sectors of work. Finally, students will complete an assessment that provides them with the opportunity to explore the revision of a working draft of a dossier.


Teaching Online: Basic Skills for TAs

This online module has one hour of instructional materials and consists of five separate units that are intended to “stand alone” without a facilitator or instructor. The module will provide introductory preparation for graduate students wishing to be teaching assistants in fully online courses or blended courses with significant online activities. It should be noted that no strategies for in classroom time will be given, although many of the good practices of teaching can be used regardless of the medium of delivery.


Teaching Online: Advanced Skills for Graduate Students

In this five-unit module, you will learn about strategies for facilitating online learning effectively. During the module, you will have a chance to hear short video interviews with online instructors who share how they engage their students; you will see examples of how instructors humanize their course, create instructor presence, and connect with their students by creating a sense of time in their online courses.


Certificate in University Teaching

The Certificate in University Teaching is available to all TAs and graduate students who are interested in developing their teaching skills and engaging in a community of practice along with their peers in the university's teaching community. Visit the Teaching and Learning Centre website for more information and to register!

Other workshops

TLC offers training sessions on instructing large classes, using audio and video in your lessons, and using Blackboard. Review their upcoming workshop schedule.


Addressing Microaggressions in the Classroom

In a learning environment that is comprised of diverse cultural values, behaviours, beliefs and language, it is important to have knowledge that will improve communication and understanding. This workshop focuses on the barriers to understanding that we build when we use and accept another’s use of microaggressions. According to Sue et al. (2007), microaggressions are brief and commonplace insults and assaults. They can be both verbal and non-verbal, and intentional or unintentional. All forms communicate hostile, derogatory or negative slights and insults. This workshop provides a brief overview of microaggression and includes hands-on activities designed to improve professional communication and inclusiveness in the classroom and the boardroom.

Learning objectives:

  • Create awareness of microaggression in everyday interactions.
  • Explore consequences from victim and perpetrator perspectives.
  • Discover techniques to minimize use.

Entrepreneurship and leadership

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies partners with Brilliant Entrepreneurship to assist graduate students with entrepreneurship ideas and development.

Online workshops

Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation

This module will provide an overview of the critical elements of starting a business, including the following components:

  • fundamental elements of starting new venture
  • important start-up considerations
  • critical opportunity assessment and validation techniques
  • business modeling as a starting tool
  • key components of the business plan
  • assessing opportunities
  • building teams
  • funding options


Intellectual Property: An Entrepreneur’s Guide

This web-based module provides an introduction to intellectual property. The module will introduce students to the basic definitions and types of intellectual property, such as trademarks, patents, trade secrets and copyrights. These topics will allow students, entrepreneurs and/or inventors to use this knowledge to make strategic decisions regarding the application for intellectual property protection.

Some topics we will touch on include:

  • How do you file for various types of intellectual property?
  • How do you know if you have intellectual property?
  • What rights do intellectual properties give a society, company and inventor?

An expert in the Intellectual Property area will present an engaging mini-lecture for each unit, followed by student assessments.


Past In-person workshops

Watch for this session in future offerings!

No Mind Left Behind: Collaborative Leadership

Better understand the implication of style diversity and its impact on leadership. Gain an understanding of your own leadership style and your specific leadership strengths and blind spots. Recognize the impact your style has on other people, on team dynamics and team performance. This workshop will end with a team building activity to help highlight your specific leadership style and briefly explore situational leadership's impact on team dynamics.