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Graduate Professional Skills Program

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

Download Winter 2018 Grad Pro Skills schedule

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.

Past in-class workshops

Watch for these workshops in future offerings!

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.

Developing Your Intercultural Self-Awareness

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

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.


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 workshops

Writing Up Research

Monday, April 9, 2018 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Business and Information Technology Building (UB), Room 2034

Past in-class 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.

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.


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.

In-person workshops

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!

GPSD 4100 TLC Open Fridays

Every Friday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. (drop-in)
Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre (ERC), Room 2028 or 3023 (signs will be posted)

On Fridays, we invite you to stop by to chat about matters related to teaching and learning, connect with colleagues, ask questions and meet members of the TLC team.

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.

Online workshops offered by TLC

Teaching Labs and Tutorials

Friday, January 5, 2018 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

This workshop provides TAs with a wide variety of strategies with respect to teaching. Regular TA duties range from guiding students through laboratory experiments to leading discussions in a tutorial session to providing one-on-one guidance during office hours. This workshop describes typical tutorial, lab and office hour settings and provides tips for TAing as effectively as possible in each setting.


Learning Technology for TAs and Graduate Students

Friday, January 12, 2018 from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

This workshop will provide you with an introduction to the features, functionality, and possible use of a number of learning technologies used at the university including but not limited to, Blackboard, Adobe Connect, Google Applications (i.e. UOITnet), and others.


Online Workshops offered by

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.


Entrepreneurship and leadership

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

In-person workshops

No Mind Left Behind: Collaborative Leadership

Thursday, March 29, 2018 from noon to 1 p.m.
Business and Information Technology Building (UB), Room 2034

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.


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.


Career management skills

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies partners with the university’s Career Centre to help graduate students to prepare for their future goals after graduation.

In-person workshops

Networking Skills (presented by Mitacs)

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
UOIT-Baagwating Indigenous Student Centre (151 Athol Street)

You’ve heard the saying “You are only as good as your network,” but have you ever wondered how to get one?

This full day workshop is designed to provide insight and interaction along with the know how to build and stabilize business relationships through effective networking.

We will cover who-what-where-when and why to network and participants will have the opportunity to practice what they learn. Details on the actual networking exercises will be determined by the location of each event. Activities will be customized to reflect the interests of the participants.


Career Counselling Workshop

Monday, April 2, 2018 from noon to 1 p.m.
Business and Information Technology Building (UB), Room 2034


Resumés and Cover Letters

Friday, April 6, 2018 from noon to 1 p.m.
Business and Information Technology Building (UB), Room 2034

This workshop will focus on the fundamentals of a resumé. It will increase the students’ understanding of how a resumé and cover letter are used in the job search process and to target the resumé and cover letter towards career goal. Students will learn how to compose a resume that focuses on their strengths, experience and talents that relate to the position. Students will gain further awareness of the formatting and structure of a resume and cover letter.


Past in-class workshops

Values that Guide Us

Our personal values do not only guide our behavior, they also influence our motivation and well-being. During this workshop, engage in fun and interactive activities to help identify your values and explore how values impact your decision making. Insights will be recorded on a worksheet and opportunities will be given to discuss with your peers.

CVs, Academic Job Search and LinkedIn

This workshop is designed to inform graduates seeking careers in academia with insight into the stages of an academic recruitment cycle and an overview of labour market information. We will emphasize on where to find employment opportunities and typical salary ranges, as well as important strategies to develop for pursuing a career in academia.

Non-Academic Job Search

This workshop explores job search strategies. It focuses on an overview of how to effectively create networking opportunities and build relationships that can lead to career opportunities.

Online workshops

Converting a CV to a Resumé

This online module will help you to create a resumé — a very important tool for the non-academic job search. After first reviewing the differences between an academic CV and a resumé for the non-academic job market, the module units will equip you to conquer the challenges of the conversion process with confidence. Recent graduates will share their experiences and provide an inside scoop on how to get comfortable with new ways of showcasing your strengths and interests. You will review different resumé formats and samples, learn helpful writing tips, and think through challenging editing questions as you consider what to keep or delete from your CV.


Non-Academic Work Search

This module includes information and activities to help you to conduct a successful work search. You will identify your skills in order to direct your work search efforts, and learn strategies to research and understand industries, companies and positions. You will also learn how to analyze job postings, chart your current networking contacts and examine methods to create even more connections. Upon completion of this module you will have created take-away materials that can be easily adapted to your future work search efforts.


The Versatile Graduate: Exploring Diverse Career Paths for PhDs

This module focuses on the early stage of career exploration by inviting you to imagine a landscape of many career options, spanning the academic to the non-academic. The “versatility” of your graduate experience in preparing you both for careers in academia and beyond is emphasized. The challenges and opportunities of transitioning from doctoral study to a career are considered. The module provides you with tools to assess your skills and interests. Key practical strategies to explore multiple career paths are investigated: networking, informational interviews, social media, experiential learning, and internships.


Other topics

Past in-class workshops

Respecting Individuals and Supporting Equity (RISE)

The goal of the RISE Program (Respecting Individuals and Supporting Equity) is to foster a safe and inclusive campus community. Participants will be introduced to bystander intervention skills that they can use to prevent and respond to discrimination and harassment, and receive foundational knowledge on how oppression manifests, and what they can do on an individual level to foster a safe and inclusive community at the university.

Online workshops

Mental Health and Well-being Skills for Graduate Students

This module gives you some valuable tools to increase your understanding of health and wellness and to help you manage your well-being in your graduate life and during your transition to a career. It introduces you to some key facts about wellness, mental health and mental illness. You will learn to identify warning signs of problems in mental health and wellness. Stress, anxiety and low mood are considered, alongside pragmatic strategies to manage them. You will also learn about strategies which can help to increase your resilience and mental well-being. Ways of nurturing positive relationships and social support networks which help to buffer stress and build a balanced life are offered. You will learn about the factors that influence satisfaction in study and work, and learn how to cultivate mental well-being. The purpose of this module is to provide you with information about well-being; it is not intended to replace professional treatment.


Foundations of Community Engagement (Part 1)

This module covers key definitions and principles that underlie community engagement, such as the importance of addressing assumptions. Through real-world examples and interviews with actual community partners and campus representatives, this module also highlights the many complexities involved in partnerships between community and campus, some of which can lead to negative interactions.


Foundations of Community-Engaged Scholarship (Part 2)

By the end of this module, you will be able to critically examine the role of the researcher in different community engaged scholarship projects through the lens of shared power and control, as well as hear from actual community partners and campus representatives who discuss their experiences with community engaged scholarship projects. Moreover, you will be able to identify research designs and methods that are most appropriate for your own community-engaged project in order to promote respectful, professional and productive community-campus partnerships, which have the potential to contribute to positive social change.