December 2018: Newsletter

SOGS Update, the official monthly electronic newsletter from SOGS, keeps you up to date on issues and events affecting graduate students at Western University.

Between editions of the newsletter, you’ll find updates on Facebook,  Twitter, the IGSIC Facebook page and on our events calendar!


Upcoming SOGS Events

Bring your friends and loved ones to the SOGS annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party on Thursday, December 6, 7:30 – 11PM at the Grad Club! Bring your tackiest Christmas sweater and get in the holiday spirit. There will be snacks, activities, trivia, themed holiday cocktails, and gingerbread house making/sugar cookie decorating. $5 tickets available at the SOGS office (MC room 8). Don’t be tardy for the party!

(Keep your eyes peeled for the Winter 2019 “Snowball” orientation dance party coming in January.)

SOGS Grad Club committee is now hosting B.Y.O.C: Bring your Own Crafts event the second Monday of every month at the Grad Club. Join them on December 10, 2018 at 7pm for a night of self-care and fun. Bring your crafting gear, relax, and make new friends.

Miss the bus trips last week? Don’t worry, SOGS has another Columbia Employee store invite for graduate students. Shop from November 30 until December 9, 2018. Bring your student ID and this invite with you. You may bring up to 4 guests. If you don’t have a car, but still want to shop, bus instructions can be found here. If you are driving, here is a map to help you get there.

Upcoming Deadlines: Funding

SOGS and PSAC 610: Thesis Completion Fund

DUE December 7, 2018, 4PM @ the SOGS office (MC room 8).

Are you a student who is outside of their funding package? Are you a “Year X” student? (“Year X” refers to students, often upper-year PhDs in year-5 and up, who pay student fees but do not have funding from the school.) Apply to the SOGS/PSAC 610 Thesis Completion fund for financial help finishing up your degree. Fund is competitive, and is awarded based on academic merit and financial need.  Download the form here. More information about the fund here.

sogs bursary applications:Travel, childcare, and professional placement

DUE December 21, 2018, 4PM @ the SOGS office (MC room 8)

Please be advised that SOGS can only accept ORIGINAL receipts. If you are submitting expenses elsewhere in addition to SOGS, we can accept photocopies of expenses ONLY IF THEY ARE STAMPED AND SIGNED OFF by the dept./admin. head you are submitting the originals to.

If you are submitting childcare expenses, the receipts must indicate your name on them. We cannot accept receipts with a spouse or partner’s contact information.

If you did a professional placement this term, please submit the receipt for your out-of-town living costs. SOGS cannot accept applications for a placement done in a different term (i.e., last summer) – the placement must have been completed in the FALL 2018 term.

Please see our DOCUMENTS page to download the application forms. 

Feedback Opportunities

fall 2018 gsta awards survey

The SOGS Fall 2018 Graduate Student Teaching Assistant awards survey will be live from December 1, 2018 to January 15, 2019. Nominate a Teaching Assistant you think deserves to be recognized for teaching excellence here. Students, faculty and staff may nominate Teaching Assistants (one nomination per TA)!  More information about they GSTA awards here. Winners will receive $500 and an award certificate at the spring 2019 awards ceremony.

reminder: Survey on PhD student-supervisor relationship

Are you a PhD student/candidate at Western? If so, consider helping Dr. Natalia Lapshina, Faculty of Education ( by filling out this survey. The goal is to better understand PhD-supervisor relationships at Western and gather critical data to help future PhDs on campus. Your information and responses are anonymous and confidential. Raw data will NOT be shared with or released to university administration or departments.

western course feedback survey

If you took a graduate course this term, consider filling out this survey and enter to win 1 of 5 $500 Amazon gift card.

Experiential Learning for graduate students feedback

Want to offer feedback on the prospect of experiential learning for graduate students? If so, please fill out the feedback form. More information on what experiential learning here.

Professional Development Opportunities

The Graduate Student Internship Program is a new experiential learning initiative that allows students in research-based graduate programs to enhance their employability, expand their networks, and explore potential careers through paid internships. Western is one of the few universities in Ontario that offers a Graduate Student Internship Program specifically for research-based graduate students.

To be eligible, students must be domestic students registered in a research-based program which does not include a mandatory internship, co-op, practicum, or placement component. Applicants must submit a signed Document of Support along with each application.

Additional details are available online ( or by emailing


Announcing the OCUFA Fellowship in Higher Education Journalism

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) is excited to announce the $10,000 OCUFA Fellowship in Higher Education Journalism.

 In recent years, there has been a marked shortage of informed investigative reporting on Canadian higher education issues in the Canadian media. The OCUFA Fellowship in Higher Education Journalism is intended to help address this gap, and support those wishing to pursue in-depth journalism on higher education.

The Fellowship is open to full-time, part-time, and freelance journalists, including students, who wish to pursue an investigative research project in the area of Canadian higher education. Applications focusing on any topic within this area are welcomed, including public policy, labour relations, the academic labour market, governance, financing, teaching, research, librarianship and information management, demographics, education quality, free speech and academic freedom, equity and diversity, indigeneity, and reconciliation.

The deadline for applications is January 25, 2019. The Fellowship is valued at $10,000 and administered by OCUFA, with the first half payable at the start of the project and the second half upon completion. The winner will have to complete and publish and/or broadcast the project within a year of being granted the Fellowship. OCUFA will not exercise any editorial control or judgment over the work produced.

To learn more about the fellowship and to apply, please visit:

If you have any questions, or require further information, contact Ben Lewis at

Do you want to get involved in the largest scientific festival in Canada? Science Rendezvous is a Canada‐wide festival that takes science out of the lab and onto the streets. We are now actively recruiting graduate students to join the Organizing Committees to assist in the planning of the event, which will be held on May 11, 2019.

Visit the website for more information.  International students can apply. Any graduate student in any department can apply.

On-Campus Support


Need someone to talk to that won’t judge you? The Graduate Peer Support committee members are here for you. Whether you need to talk about life or school, SOGS has your back. Come to the SOGS office every Wednesday from 2:30 to 4PM for coffee, a char, and a shoulder to lean on.  #NoPressureJustSupport 

SOGS Committees

GradCast: Are you interested in presenting your research on the radio? That’s right, the radio! We want to HEAR from you!

Interested in joining one of SOGS’ committees? Learn more about the committees here. Email the committee chair for more information. Due to reaching member capacity, some committee have waitlists.

SOGS Services

SOGS Monthly Trivia

November Trivia Winners: Donna Swapp | Khadija Ahmed | Phuong Vu

Please come to the SOGS office with your student ID to pick up your Grad Club gift voucher!

December trivia question: What is the name of the winter dance upcoming in January?

Email your answer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.