Log in

Gpdn Career Symposium - 2020

2020 Virtual Symposium

Registration is open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Capacity for each session is limited per sponsoring institution. Note: some sessions occur at the same time. Please only select one. If you select both, one will be deleted

L’inscription est ouverte aux étudiants aux études supérieures et postdoctorales. La capacité pour chaque session est limitée par établissement parrain. Remarque : certaines sessions ont lieu en même temps. Veuillez seulement sélectionner une session. Si vous sélectionnez deux sessions qui ont lien en même temps, un sera supprimé.


From November 2 to November 6 2020, GPDN is hosting the inaugural Canadian Career Symposium for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows, aimed at professional development and career exploration. The symposium for graduate students and postdocs includes a keynote address and negotiation workshop from Anne Krook, presentations from Susan Porter (English) and Marcelline Bangali (French) on identity development, career sessions delivered by GPDN members and invited experts on topics including career self-assessments, labour market research, informational interviews, networking, and research impact. In addition to these sessions, the symposium will host career panels featuring speakers with advanced degrees discussing their experiences in government, consulting, and alternative teaching professions. 

Le Réseau pour le perfectionnement aux études supérieures et postdoctorales (RPESP, ou en anglais, Graduate and Postdoctoral Development Network, GPDN) sera l’hôte du premier Symposium canadien sur les carrières après des études supérieures et postdoctorales, du 2 au 6 novembre 2020. La professeure et consultante Anne Krook présentera la conférence d’ouverture du symposium, ainsi qu’un atelier sur l’art de la négociation. Les professeures Marceline Bangali (en français) et Susan Porter (en anglais) offriront des présentations sur le développement de l’identité. D’autres ateliers et sessions seront animés par les membres du RDESP et aborderont l’auto-évaluation, les tendances du marché du travail, les entrevues informelles, le réseautage et l’impact de la recherche. Enfin, des panels rassembleront des personnes détenant un diplôme d’études supérieures qui occupent des emplois hors du milieu académique, qui partageront leur expérience professionnelle.In conjunction with the CAGS Annual Conference, the GPDN hosts a special conference for professionals who support graduate and postdoctoral development. The aim is to share best practices, and engage in discussion on issues in our field. 

Download the symposium handout here

Monday, November 2 | Lundi le 2 Novembre

The Case for Optimism: Graduate Training and the Non-Academic Job Search in COVID19 Time

Presenter: Anne Krook, PhD,
Host: Melissa Dalgleish, PhD

1:00 - 2:45 PM

In this talk, Anne will discuss the elements of your graduate training that make you well suited to land a non-academic job, to thrive there as an employee, and to position yourself for future growth. Good news: the skills graduate school develops in you are important; where you currently learn and deploy them is much less so.

Flourishing in Turbulent Times

Presenter: Susan Porter, PhD, University of British Columbia
Host: Jacqui Brinnkman, MSc

3:00 - 4:15 PM

Graduate and postdoctoral studies are opportunities for great personal and professional growth. During this time of global upheaval, it may seem like opportunities and possibilities are diminished, and that survival, rather than flourishing, is the end goal. Susan will explore reasons why graduate education is more important than ever in our world, and suggest mindsets and actions during and after your studies that will be helpful in productively and creatively navigating these uncertain and changing times.

Making the Most of the Week's Events

Presenter: GPDN Conference Planning Committee

4:15 - 5:00 PM

This short interactive session will provide opportunities to introduce yourself to other graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, to discuss key takeaways from the keynote presentations, to share a little about your graduate and postdoc work, and to identify what you are most looking forward to in the week ahead.


Tuesday, November 3 | Mardi le 3 Novembre

Know Yourself: The Foundation of a Great Career

Presenter: Stephanie Warner, PhD, University of Calgary
Host: Sarah Park, MSc student, University of British Columbia

1:00 - 2:15 PM

When we think of career planning, we frequently jump to “What job do I want, and how will I get there?” To answer those questions, you first need to know yourself: who you are, what you want, and what you have to offer. We will engage in guided reflections and activities to build a stronger vocabulary that you can then use to explore and evaluate career options, communicate with future employers, and ultimately find a career that’s a great fit for you!
After participating in the webinar you will be able to:

  • Engage in self-reflection to know yourself better
  • Articulate your unique values, interests, skills, traits and ambitions
  • Begin to use your self-knowledge to explore and refine your career options

"What's Out There?" Labour Market Research

Presenter: Dinuka Gunaratne, University of Waterloo, and Rebecca Dirnfeld, Simon Fraser University 
Host: Jo Minx, MA, Dalhousie University 

2:30 - 3:45 PM

Are you feeling unclear around what careers you can pursue with your degree? Do you want to find out more about the labour market but not sure where to start?
After participating in the webinar you will be able to:

  • Express the value of conducting labour market research
  • Identify sources for online, people and experiential research to support career decision making and planning
  • Evaluate the characteristics of different types of companies and identify value fit
  • Evaluate job postings as a foundation for creating a career exploration action plan

Informational Interviews: Learn Vicariously from Working Professionals

Presenter: Derrick Rancourt, PhD, University of Calgary
Host: Catherine Swytinnk-Binnema, PhD Student

4:00 - 5:15 PM

As a vicarious, experiential learning exercise, informational interviews give graduate students and postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to source information from working professionals as well as a foundation to expand their network. Professional networks can be beneficial for finding mentors, endorsements, job shadowing opportunities and internships, all of which can lead to informed and appropriate career choices.
After participating in the webinar you will:

  • Be able to articulate the contribution informational interviewing can make to your career exploration and mapping experience
  • Know how to find suitable interviewees through techniques for LinkedIn discovery, networking and cold calling
  • Have a strategy for conducting one or more insightful interviews after practicing your interview skills in a familiar area

Wednesday, November 4 | Mecredi le 4 Novembre

Establishing Meaningful Connections

Presenter: Jacqui Brinkman, MSc, University of British Columbia; Mabel Ho, PhD, Dalhousie University; Catherine Maybrey, PhD

1:00 - 2:15 PM

Your academic and professional network begins to expand the moment you begin graduate studies. But how do you leverage your university experience to create and maintain meaningful connections? Join us in this session where we explore multiple ways to build your academic and professional circles during COVID and beyond, shape your professional contributions to your community, and identify strategies for initiating and sustaining connections.

Salary Negotiation

Presenter: Anne Krook, PhD

2:00 - 3:45 PM

In this talk, Anne will discuss the elements of a salary negotiation, what kind of research you can do to put yourself in the best position in that negotiation, and how to practice beforehand.

Research Impact: Why Does Your Research matter (And How Will You Know)?

Moderator: James Reynolds, PhD, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies, Queen's University
Panelists: David J. Phipps, PhD, Shabnam Jabari, PhD, and Vanessa Fong, PhD candidate

4:00 - 5:15 PM

There is a significant gap between research discovery and effective implementation of new knowledge into practice, which results in many innovative discoveries never reaching their intended audience. Panelists will discuss the challenges of translating research outputs across the continuum of discovery to implementation, and the role that researchers can play at all stages of this process. 
Participants will learn about:

  • The systemic barriers between research discoveries and changes in practice
  • The dynamic, iterative process of knowledge translation
  • Tools and approaches that can be incorporated into research methodologies to promote knowledge mobilization

Transitions professionnelles et transactions identitaires chez les diplômés de doctorat

Conférencière: Marcelline Bangali, PhD, Université Laval
Présentation de la conférencière: Élise Saint-Jacques, PhD, Polytechnique Montréal

4:00 - 5:15 PM

Les études sur les transitions des diplômés de doctorat prennent peu en compte les dynamiques identitaires en jeu. Or, nos récents travaux de recherche montrent le rôle majeur de ces processus dans les stratégies d’ajustement indispensables à la réussite de telles transitions. Le but de cette communication est de partager avec les participants quelques repères théoriques étayés par des résultats de recherche.

Thursday, November 5 | Jeudi le 5 Novembre

English panel: Careers in Government


  • Farrah Chan, PhD, is an Aquatic Science Biologist III with Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Bittu George, Lawyer and former city councillor and deputy mayor of Kingston.
  • Shawn McGuirk, PhD, is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and is an alumni of both the Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowship program and the Recruitment of Policy Leaders program of the Public Service Commission of Canada.
  • Yanique Williams, MIR, is the Director of Policy to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

1:00 - 2:45 PM

Accéder à une carrière enrichissante, satisfaisante et motivante : des stratégies à adopter dès maintenant pour préparer votre vie professionnelle après vos études supérieures!

Présentation et Animation: Guylaine Dubreuil, MA, Responsable du service-conseil en gestion de carrière et Marie Ferland-Gagnon, MA, Conseillère en gestion de carrière, Polytechnique Montréal

Les étudiants à la maîtrise et au doctorat sont très exigeants envers eux-mêmes. Peu importe la nature de leur parcours et les succès obtenus, plusieurs vivent du stress et des appréhensions quand ils songent à leur passage vers le marché du travail. En effet, bien qu’ils veuillent une carrière dans laquelle ils se sentiront utiles, reconnus et compétents, ils manquent parfois de repères pour passer à l’action et mieux la définir. Nous vous présenterons des conseils et des outils pour qu'ils plongent en douceur dans ces réflexions importantes.

1:00 - 2:15 PM

Panel Français: Emplois en communication aux experts et moins experts

Animation: Guylaine Dubreuil, MA, Responsable du service-conseil en gestion de carrière Polytechnique Montréal

  • Élyse Adam, PhD, Conseillère à la recherche, École Polytechnique Montréal
  • Emilie L. Dubois, PhD, Communicatrice scientifique visuelle, Fondatrice de l’agence IMPAKT Scientifik
  • Viviane Lalande, PhD, Communicatrice scientifique, formatrice, chroniqueuse, et créatrice de Scilabus

2:30 - 3:45 PM

Friday, November 6 | Vendredi le 6 Novembre

English panel: Careers in Consulting


  • Love-Ese Chile, PhD, is the Technical Director - Regenerative Waste Labs, Principal Researcher - Grey to Green Sustainable Solutions

  • George Cooke, BA(Hons), MBA, LLD, Martello Associates Consulting

  • Brad King, PhD, is Vice President for Strategy at Lord Cultural Resources

    1:00 - 2:15 PM

    Panel Français:Emplois en gestion et administration

    Animation: Corinne Bossé, MA, Conceptrice pédagogique, Athabasca University

    • Luc Dancause, PhD, Associé fondateur, Conseiller en gestion et partage des connaissances, Sapiens Conseils
    • Jean-Sébastien Marchand, PhD, Chercheur Fellow des Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
    • Émilie Rousseau, MPA, Adjointe à la présidente-directrice générale, Office québécois de la langue française

    1:00 - 2:15 PM

    English panel: Alternative Careers to Teaching

    Moderator: Corinne Bossé, MA, Learning Designer, Faculty of Graduate Studies, Athabasca University

    • Nidia Cerna,MA, Program Manager - Academic Projects at McMaster University, DeGroote School of Business in Hamilton
    • Patrick Devey, PhD, Acting Vice President, Innovation & Strategy, Algonquin College
    • Karima Kara, MEd, is CEO & Founder of iexpressions

    2:30 - 3:45 PM

    Sponsoring Institutions

    Athabasca University

    Brock University

    Concordia University

    Dalhousie University

    McGill University

    McMaster University

    Memorial University

    Polytechnique Montréal

    Queen’s University

    Sick Kids Research Institute

    Simon Fraser University

    The University of Lethbridge

    Université de Montréal

    Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

    Université Laval

    University of Alberta

    University of British Columbia

    University of Calgary

    University of Guelph

    University of Manitoba

    University of Regina

    University of Toronto

    University of Waterloo

    Western University

    York University


    Join Us


    Graduate and Postdoctoral Development Network | Le Réseau pour le Perfectionnement aux Études Supérieures et Postdoctorales

    Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software