Making the most of your time away from the lab: Tips on conducting research remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic!

Stay home

Given the unprecedented situation with the Covid-19 outbreak, we have seen a new global reality unfold before our eyes. In response to this outbreak, many universities across the world have suspended all in-person classes, events and research operations and are in the process of transitioning to a remote work style.

Bringing Google to campus (twice!): Leveraging a professional network

Google stuffed animal.

At the University of Waterloo, participating in student activities enables the evolvement of leadership skills and creates career/networking opportunities for graduate students, but students can also take the initiative to establish their own opportunities. From my own experience, taking this initiative can have great professional development benefits.

Developing leadership skills as a grad student: My experience as a Community Assistant

Betsy Mathew, second from left, with the Community Assistant team at the CLV Ping Pong/Foosball/Pool tournament. (Photo credit:

I started my master’s program in September 2018 and have been living in Columbia Lake Village (CLV) since then. When I saw the posting for the CLV Community Assistant position for the winter semester, I was more than happy to apply. I’ve always wanted to develop my leadership skills and thought that this was the perfect opportunity.

GRADflix - Make every frame a painting

The GRADflix winners pose on the red carpet

If I asked you to explain your research to me in 1 minute, what would you say? This was the question I kept asking myself while I was brainstorming ideas for my entry to GRADflix earlier this year. As a previous contestant in University of Waterloo’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, I knew how tricky it was to condense my thesis work into a 180 second talk and the thought of shortening this down further to only 60 seconds seemed downright impossible at first.

Gaining perspective through interdisciplinary collaboration

Simron Singh, Audrey Chung, Justin Carpenter, George Dixon, and Jeff Casello at GRADtalks

We are Audrey Chung and Justin Carpenter, two PhD candidates at the University of Waterloo, and we were the speakers at Beyond 60: The Promises and Realities of Artificial Intelligence. We’re from different disciplines — Systems Design Engineering and English — and, as a result, approach the topic of artificial intelligence quite differently.

The Lake Shift: An interview with Becky and Tariq

Becky Anderson and Tariq Aziz

In July 2018, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs sponsored two PhD students, Becky Anderson and Tariq Aziz, to attend the Lake Shift writing retreat. Hosted by Queen’s University, the Lake Shift is a thesis writing retreat for doctoral students from Ontario universities held at the Queen’s Biology Station on Lake Opinicon. I checked-in with Becky and Tariq to hear about their experience at the Lake Shift:

Tell us a bit about yourself. What program are you in and what is your research focus?

Adding fun to your grad life: Connect to your residence community

Ekin Eray holds a gingerbread house made during a community event.

When I first moved to Waterloo 3 years ago for my PhD studies, I didn’t know much about life in Canada. I decided to stay in residences for a term to be close to campus and to get used to the city, and then look for an off-campus options. But I enjoyed living in Columbia Lake Village (CLV) North so much that I never left after I moved in.

Research dissemination as an academic ethos: Reflections from a PhD candidate

Jason Lajoie and Caitlin Scott at GRADtalks

I have the unusual distinction of being the first person to be a finalist or selected speaker in all three major graduate research dissemination events at the University of Waterloo: Three Minute Thesis (3MT), GRADtalks, and, most recently, GRADflix. When I was told this, I joked that the University should come up with a name for this category, like the EGOT label used by the American entertainment industry for those who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.

Cross-cultural leadership from Canada to France to China and back: My Mitacs journey as a global citizen

Justine Salam with Globalink Research Interns in Niagara Falls

This post originally appeared on the Mitacs blog.

In Summer 2016, I took a three-month paid position as a mentor for Mitacs ... My mentor experience at Mitacs not only shaped me into a leader, emotional supporter, and global citizen, but it also transformed us as we moved from mentor-mentees into peers.

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