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Welcome to the June 2022 edition of the Science Graduate Career Services newsletter. Each newsletter will collect the latest resources, job opportunities, articles, career development supports and more—all in one easy to find place. This month features a focus on professional development opportunities for the summer and cover letter writing.

Professional Development Opportunities

Check out these amazing opportunities available this summer.

Award opportunity for neurobiology students

The Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology is accepting applications from scientists around the world aged 35 and younger who have conducted neurobiological research in the past 3 years. The winner of the award is selected based on the evaluation of a 1,000 word essay describing your research.

The prize for the award is $25,000 USD. The top 3 finalists will have their essays published in Science and receive perks such as a complimentary AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) membership.

The deadline for entry is June 15, 2022

Click the link below for entry details and advice from past winners!

Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology
Mitacs logo

Funding and professional development through Mitacs Elevate

If you are nearing the end of your PhD and thinking about completing a postdoc, consider applying to Mitacs Elevate. Mitacs Elevate provides two years of research management training and postdoctoral fellowship funding. Elevate fellows will receive:

  • a minimum $70,000 annual stipend/salary to support their research in a key priority sector, such as biomanufacturing, clean technology, or social innovation

  • access to Elevate professional development curriculum which includes training on career fundamentals, leadership and management skills, and interpersonal skills

  • certificate of completion

To be eligible, applicants must be PhD students with a graduation date less than five years to the proposed start of their potential Mitacs Elevate project. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone considering a postdoc after their PhD.

The deadline for applications is July 6, 2022.

Apply and check your eligibility here
A group of workers in an office, one of which has a physical disability

Employment opportunities with IDEA and the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy

The Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP) is a transdisciplinary research centre investigating the future of work disability policy in Canada. CRWDP’s newest initiative for researching workplace disability is the Inclusive Design for Employment Access (IDEA) Social Innovation Laboratory. IDEA advances knowledge and practice about inclusive workplace design for persons with disabilities.

IDEA is also hiring for three exciting positions:

The positions are mostly remote, with some office work in Hamilton and/or Toronto as needed. They are also full-time positions. For more information and how to apply, click any of the links above.

Note: While the postings list a deadline of May 20, 2022, IDEA has been clear that they are still accepting applications, so please get in contact!

Interested in educational development? Get paid experience with the Education Development Fellows Program

The MacPherson Institute’s Educational Development Fellows Program is a paid, part-time experiential learning opportunity. Graduate students are invited to apply for a 10-month fellowship of up to 10 hours per week. The fellowship will allow students to gain skills in educational development and explore a career as an educational developer.

A wide variety of activities are available to participate in, such as workshop design, facilitation and moderation, module design, and more. This is a great opportunity for any students who would like to build their communication skills, public outreach skills, or are interested in enhancing their teaching and learning effectiveness.

The deadline to apply is June 9, 2022 at 4:30PM

How to Apply

Events & Workshops

Increase mindfulness this summer with Summer Reflection Circles

Open Circle will be providing a virtual space for reflective practice, creative expression, and open discussion every Wednesday from 4:30 - 5:30PM.

Poster for Summer Reflection Circles
More information & registration here

Develop your equity and inclusion knowledge with the H.E.A.A.R.T. Summer Workshop series

Equity and inclusion is quickly becoming a necessary component of many fields and career paths, including STEM. McMaster’s Equity and Inclusion Office is helping to expand that knowledge through their H.E.A.A.R.T. (Human Rights, Equity, Accessibility, Anti-Racism Toolkit) Summer Workshop series. Workshops on various topics are available and free to attend.

Space in each workshop is limited, so registration is required. Visit the link below to see current workshop offerings (both virtual and in-person!)

H.E.A.A.R.T. Summer Workshop series

Cover Letter Writing Tips

Below are some helpful guidelines and tips to help you with your next cover letter.

A person typing on their laptop

A cover letter is a supplementary piece to your resume or CV. It supplements your resume/CV by providing an overview of your skills and qualifications in one page or less. A well written cover letter will demonstrate to the employer or hiring manager the connection between your skills and experience and the requirements of the position you’re applying for. A cover letter is typically required for both academic and non-academic job applications.

Before you begin writing

Starting your cover letter

Beginning your cover letter can be tricky. A good place to start is by including a “WOW!” statement in your opening paragraph. WOW! statements immediately grab the attention of the reader and set you apart from other, more standard cover letters. A WOW! statement might begin with

  • your passion (what is it that you like to do that relates to the job?)

  • what you like or know about the organization you are applying to

  • an accomplishment that relates to the job

  • and other personal experiences that show your excitement and interest in the job

This one-page handout from the Faculty of Engineering’s Co-op and Career Services is an excellent resource for crafting a WOW! statement and features an example as well: How to Create a Wow Statement

What to include in your cover letter

Following your introduction, your cover letter should touch on a few key points, such as evidence of your experience and achievements. Consider using the STAR technique to highlight these achievements:

Check out this article for tips on what to include in the main body and conclusion of a science-specific cover letter—How to write a successful cover letter for science jobs - What to include in the cover letter main body

Remember: Cover letters in many cases should be one page or less. Stick to the most important elements of your achievements to save space.

Practice makes perfect

Crafting cover letters will sometimes feel tedious, but with enough practice, it will set you apart from other candidates. Each cover letter you write will be an improvement over the last.

Another important point is to edit your letter and get a second opinion if you can: