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Your one-stop online destination for upcoming deadlines, current events, innovative training, and more to help you navigate the many exciting opportunities available to you as a Western graduate student, postdoctoral scholar, faculty member, or staff member.

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November 30, 2023

INSPIRING MINDS | Sarika Singodia, MSW candidate, King's University College


Inspiring Minds seeks to broaden awareness and impact of graduate student research, while enhancing transferable skills. Students were challenged to describe their research, scholarship or creative activity in 150 or fewer words to share with our community.

Sarika Singodia
MSW candidate, King's University College

Recognizing the Human-Animal Bond through veterinary social work

Animals and humans have long enjoyed a special relationship known as the Human-Animal Bond (HAB). In social work, the HAB is beginning to play a more important role in understanding and supporting people. Through veterinary social work (VSW), a little-known discipline in Canada, social workers focus on four pillars: compassion fatigue and conflict management among people working with animals, animal-related loss and grief, animal-assisted interventions, and the link between animal and human violence. This Independent Study project allowed me to create a VSW course that examines the four pillars, as well as the One Health approach to VSW and the role of the HAB in general social work practice. My hope is to spark interest in this emerging area, and highlight the need for social workers to recognize the important role animals may play in their clients’ lives.


November 28, 2023

REGISTER NOW: Dissertation Writers' Retreat In-Person or Online | December 13-14, 2023


Remove yourself from daily distractions and focus your time exclusively on dissertation writing! The Dissertation Writers' Retreats provides PhD candidates with dedicated time for intensive writing. Participating in the Retreat can help you make significant progress in writing your dissertation and help establish good writing habits.

DATE: December 13-14, 2023
TIME: 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (session ends at 3:00 p.m. on December 14)
LOCATION: In-person (IGAB - Chu Centre) and online.
HOSTED BY: Paul Schmidt and Derek Lattimer, Writing Support Centre
Please indicate how you will attend upon registration. 

Participants have the option to attend in-person or virtually. Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided for in-person attendees in the morning and afternoon. Attendees are invited to a pizza lunch at the grad club over lunch. The Zoom link will be provided in your confirmation email.

The Dissertation Writers' Retreat involves:

  • Dedicated writing time for your thesis
  • Short mini writing seminars facilitated by the Writing Support Centre
  • One-to-one support from expert writing advisors

The Dissertation Writers' Retreat is specifically for PhD candidates working on their dissertation. Participants can register from the Own Your Future calendar on Western Connect.


Contact Julie Jonkhans [email protected] if you have questions or need additional information.

November 24, 2023

ALL ARE INVITED | Springbank Environment Community Presentation


Springbank Environment is hosting a presentation by Mike Smalls, a retired landscape designer from Bright's Grove, Ontario.

Please join us to learn more about pollinator gardens and creating a natural habitat in an urban landscape.

Mike is a tireless advocate for the protection of our environment and the return of lost biodiversity. His presentation will explore the wonders of our local environment and how you can play a pivotal role in preserving it. Get ready for an eye-opening slide presentation, (approximately 30 minutes), that will change the way you see your surroundings.

DATE: Tuesday, November 28
TIME:  7:00 p.m.
LOCATION: St. George's Parish, 1164 Commissioner's Rd West (in Byron), London, Ontario

There will be time for questions. Everyone is welcome!

INSPIRING MINDS | Amiya Aggarwal, MSc candidate, Faculty of Social Science


Inspiring Minds seeks to broaden awareness and impact of graduate student research, while enhancing transferable skills. Students were challenged to describe their research, scholarship or creative activity in 150 or fewer words to share with our community.

Amiya Aggarwal
MSc candidate, Faculty of Social Science

Probing the brain’s capacity to learn a new language without trying

If you’ve ever heard someone speak a foreign language you know that it can be very confusing. Even if there are pauses, or emphasised sounds, it can be hard to know where a word ends, and the next begins. We think Statistical learning, the process of picking up on patterns when receiving regular input, is involved in this. My research aims to see if passively listening to a foreign language can make the process of finding word boundaries easier. In my project we will ask native English speakers to listen to podcasts for an hour a day in a language they have no prior experience with – Italian. By comparing their brain’s ability to process and discern speech before and after this period we can learn more about how language is acquired. This research could help find ways to facilitate adult language learning by exploring methods other than traditional classroom teaching.


November 22, 2023

APPLY NOW! | NSERC: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowships

Postdoctoral fellowship opportunities in Japan are now available through NSERC.

The deadline to apply is February 1, 2024.

Learn more at


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