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:


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:

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