2018 CSBGU CN Tower Climb for Nature

Join the CSBGU CN Tower Climb for Nature Team and support WWF’s NatureConservations Programs!

Join our team or donate a small amount at https://tinyurl.com/yaljsrom

More information with Matt at matthew.cumming@gmail.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2018 CSBGU CN Tower Climb for Nature

CSBGU Halloween Party 2017

Halloween is almost here!! 

Join us next Friday for an evening filled with food, drinks, and fun! Bring your spooky costume, and you can win a prize!!

Remember to follow us on our social networks and use the hashtag #csbgu!!

Posted in Events | Comments Off on CSBGU Halloween Party 2017

CSBGU Elections for 2017/2018

Dear CSB graduate students,

We are approaching the beginning of a new academic year and as a result we are recruiting CSB Graduate Union (CSBGU) members for the executive team. It is a great opportunity for you to become involved with your department, gain leadership experience, and add something to your CV.

The following positions are available with a written statement outlining the major responsibilities:

 2 Co-presidents-  One from RW and one from ESB. As co-president of the CSBGU, you are responsible for working with the other co-president, ensuring the team has the support and resources they need to succeed! This includes planning and organizing meetings, ensuring that CSB events are scheduled throughout the year, and following up with members of the executive team to keep everything on track. Your job as a leader is to be the backdrop upon which your team achieves their goals: you provide project management and moral support to your team to make the CSB graduate student experience the best it can be!

 1 Secretary– The task of the Secretary is to attend all CSBGU meetings and take notes during them. The notes, which may include attendance, discussion, and results of internal votes, should be distributed to all CSBGU executive members in a timely manner.

 1 Treasurer– Responsible for keeping track of CSBGU finances and approve all financial transactions.

 1 CUPE Representative– Responsible for attending CUPE meetings and dealing with CUPE-related issues.

2 GSU Representatives– Elected GSU representatives act as liaisons between CSB graduate students and the UTGSU. They attend monthly UTGSU Council meetings, where they partake in decision making on matters relating to graduate students and voice concerns of CSB grads. GSU reps receive a mailout including meeting agendas before every council meeting and are required to disseminate relevant information to graduate students. Other responsibilities include submitting the application for the Head Grant to the UTGSU and picking up the cheque at a later date.

 2 Ombudspersons (one male and one female)- The primary responsibility of the ombudsperson is to be available as a resource and advocate for students if issues arise within the department, and to assist students with conflicts involving other members of the department or the administration. The ombudsperson also organizes or assists with the organization and execution of a variety of social, academic, or professional events.

 1 UTSC Representative– As the UTSC Rep, you encourage and provide opportunity for open communication with the students in the CSB department at the UTSC campus and hear their concerns and any ideas they may have that could benefit the CSB student body as a whole. You role is then to bring this input to CSBGU meetings and serve as the voice of UTSC at these meetings. Your role is to bridge the gap between CSB grad students at the main campus of UofT and the Scarborough satellite campus.

  1 UTM Representative– Responsible for representing the CSB students of the Mississauga campus and serving as a liaison between CSBGU and Mississauga campus students.

 1 IT-Director– Responsible for keeping the CSBGU website and facebook page up to date as well as any other relevant information through e-communication.

 2 First Year Representatives- Responsible for representing those early in their MSc or PhD program at the CSB department.

 2 Career and Professional Development Officers– Responsible for organizing at least one career development seminar.

 1 Fundraising Officer– Fundraising Officer’s main role is to collect donations for the annual CSB holiday party raffle. It is important to encourage members from the CSBGU to collect donations as this task cannot be accomplished by just one person. Rest of the duties include drawing raffles/handing out gifts and helping other CSBGU events out.

1 Sports Coordinator – As Sports Coordinator, you will be responsible for organizing intramural teams to represent the CSB department in sports such as soccer and volleyball. Additionally, you will be responsible for organizing a sports event for the department.

The CSBGU is primarily responsible for organizing the various events that the CSB holds: pub nights, BBQs, etc., and in addition to the written responsibilities of each position, each exec member will be responsible for hosting at least one of these events.

If you are interested or have questions, you have until Wednesday July 12th to send an email indicating up to three positions (numbered in order of preference) you would be interested in holding to either of us at:





Important rules for the election, and holding a position on the CSBGU:

The deadline for expressing interest in a position is Wednesday July 12th. Nominations will not be accepted after this date. If you are away during the nomination period, you can have a friend nominate you.

If more than one person is interested in a position, then an election will be held. We will inform you if this is the case. You will have one week to campaign, from Monday July 24th to Friday July 28th. You will be required to send in a short paragraph about yourself explaining why you should be elected, that will be posted on the CSBGU website. Voting will commence the following week from July 31st – August 4th, and will be done online.

As of September 2015, you will now only be allowed to serve on the CSBGU in any position for 3 years maximum. This time limit will exist for the duration of your degree or time spent in the CSB department as a graduate student. However, if a position remains vacant following the end of a nomination period, the 3 year rule will be waived (if you have reached the 3 year maximum already).

For more information you can refer to our website: https://csbgu.csb.utoronto.ca/




Afif Aqrabawi & Jennifer Doucet

CSBGU Co-Presidents

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on CSBGU Elections for 2017/2018


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on CSBGU CAREER DAY: MAY 12 2017

CSBGU CN Tower Climb for the World Wildlife Foundation!


The CSB Team before the climb up the CN tower!

After the climb!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on CSBGU CN Tower Climb for the World Wildlife Foundation!

From Bench to Business: Exploring Careers in Start-ups and Industry

The CSBGU will be hosting Thomas and Maurice from BenchSci for their talk: From Bench to Business: Exploring careers in start-ups and industry.

We would like to extend this invitation to all interested graduate students and postdocs in the department!

Join us on Thursday March 23 in RW432 at 12pm-1pm for a FREE PIZZA lunch and learn more about how you can transition from academia to the start-up industry.

BenchSci is a machine learning start-up founded by recent PhD graduates from the University of Toronto, Canada. BenchSci’s free web-based search platform uses machine learning technology to decode scientific papers and extract antibody usage data. The results are individual published figures that can be filtered by specific experimental contexts including techniques, tissues, cell lines, and more. With BenchSci, scientists can find the best antibodies for their research in minutes!

Dr. Thomas Leung: 

Tom is the Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder of BenchSci. He completed PhD in Epigenetics at the University of Toronto. Tom was very passionate about developing a solution to better organize the vast amount of data in scientific literature to bring the most relevant information to scientists as quickly as possible.

Dr. Maurice Y.F. Shen:

As the Community Architect, Maurice serves as the liaison between BenchSci and the scientific community to share the platform and to gather feedback from scientists to improve the BenchSci platform. He obtained his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto.

Here is a link to the video from the BenchSci seminar https://vimeo.com/209806331 and a link to BenchSci’s website https://www.benchsci.com/ and blog http://blog.benchsci.com/ !

 Organizer: Jennifer Doucet 

BenchSci seminar 2017

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on From Bench to Business: Exploring Careers in Start-ups and Industry

Vote in the 2017 UTGSU Elections

February 27 and 28, 2017 from 11 am to 5:00 pm

There are three prizes up for grabs:

  • headphones
  • grocery gift card
  • coffee gift card

To enter leave your name and email address with a poll clerk after you vote. Winners will be contacted in early March by email with instructions on how to claim their prize.

List of Candidates:

Polling stations:


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Vote in the 2017 UTGSU Elections

CSB Female Graduate Student Mentorship: Unconscious Bias and Challenges to Fair Assessment

The female graduate student mentorship series, is where CSB graduate students and post-docs get a chance to meet female professors and discuss anything related to their careers.

We had a great first session in January where we met and heard from some of our faculty about their experiences in graduate school, during their post docs and as they searched for faculty positions which led them to CSB. A special thanks to Dr. Woodin for organizing this series and to Professors Keiko Yoshioka, Ashley Bruce, and Jennifer Mitchell for sharing their experiences and advice with us.

Based on your feedback, we are addressing the topic of Unconscious Bias and Challenges to Fair Assessment at our next meeting, which is happening on Thursday, March 2nd, 12:30-1pm at the Grad Room. Everyone is welcome to join! Bring your lunches, questions and any ideas you have for future topics.

Farah Al-Dajani


Unconscious Bias Poster

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on CSB Female Graduate Student Mentorship: Unconscious Bias and Challenges to Fair Assessment

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on

Professional Development Seminar: Summary

28 October 2016

Thank you to the students and postdocs who attended our first Fall professional development seminar! I’ve compiled a summary and short list of links to information presented in the seminar for those who couldn’t make it on Monday. This information will likely be relevant to graduate students and postdocs in our department. Please take a few moments to look and see if anything interests you.


Speaker #1 – Dr. Jilian Hatnean, Director of Business Development at Mitacs

Mitacs is a national organization that connects academia to industry, and facilitates global academic partnerships through a series of fellowships. Their Accelerate internships and Elevate postdoctoral awards are 50% academic and 50% industry. The Globalink program connects graduate and senior undergraduate students at Canadian Universities to global partners in China, Japan, France, Brazil, India, Mexico and Tunisia. More information available here: https://www.mitacs.ca/en


Speaker #2 – Liam O’Leary, GPS program coordinator

The Graduate Professional Skills program provides a wide variety of courses to improve the graduate student experience. Liam suggests each individual thinks about their interests and goals, and selects from the large number of courses, which could appeal to those interested in either academia or industry. Liam also highlighted an event on Best Practices for Individual Devleopment Planning, where one of the creators of the Science Careers myIDP tool will be speaking. Links to the GPS website and myIDP are below.



Speaker #3 – Carey Toane, Entrepreneurship Librarian

If you’re interesting in commercializing part of your research, the Entrepreneurship librarian can help you perform market assessments, develop business plans and connect you to the tools you need to succeed. The library offers a large number of courses to students and faculty, and provides a community hub of interdisciplinary entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto.

Speaker #4 – Jennifer Robertson, Cell and Systems Biology Liason librarian

Located at the Earth Sciences Library, Jennifer helps students and faculty develop curated citation alerts, help manage citations, and provide access to information about performing effective litterature searches. She is available for one-hour individual consultations with any interested undergraduate, graduate students, postdocs or faculty at CSB!

Her email is: jen.robertson@utoronto.ca

Speaker #5 – Manisha Talukdar, LSCDS co-president

The Life Sciences Career Development Society is a student-run organization focused mainly on providing graduate students and postdocs the opportunity to explore careers outside of academia. They offer a variety of seminars, workshops and programs to connect life sciences students to industry professionals. These include information sessions, a mentorship program, networking events and career days. Their next event is this Thursday, October 27 titled: How to find your own mentor. More information can be found on their website:


Speaker #6 – Jon Bray, Career educator at the Career Centre

Jon emphasizes the flexible futures model for career planning, where multiple parallel career paths exist simultaneously, with opportunities to switch at multiple points in time. There are many services at the career centre, available to both graduate students and postdocs and alumni 2 years following graduation. These services can range from career exploration to preparing a dossier for an academic job application. The career centre is currently under renovations, please see their website for contact information


This is by no means an exhaustive list of resources available to students, but hopefully this provides a good start for graduate students thinking about how to maximize their student experience. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or any of the other members of the CSBGU executive team to talk about your graduate student experience at CSB. All CSB buildings/campuses are represented so feel free to stop by!



Jennifer Doucet, Benjamin Scott, Paige Homme, Wilfred de Vega

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Professional Development Seminar: Summary