Skip navigation

Enter keywords

The Black Hole
BY MARIANNE | December 16 2011
This is a follow up on my previous blog post where I described my choice to enter an industrial position: “Academia vs. Industry: A former Postdoc’s perspective".  I have been in my current position (a management position in a small start-up biotech company in Canada) for a little over a year....
Speculative Diction
BY MELONIE FULLICK | December 14 2011
From November to March is prime time for academic burn-out in graduate programs — I’m convinced of that. Perhaps it’s a seasonal thing; it can be easy to sink into a trough of exhaustion and stress, and not climb out of it for months. But rather than just the seasonal doldrums, my sense is tha...
BY LÉO CHARBONNEAU | November 30 2011

The real question, said panelists at the Canadian Science Policy Conference, is how to better prepare graduates for life outside academe.

Is Canada producing too many PhDs? It was one of the questions that panelists were asked to consider at a session on the training of scientists at the third annual Canadian Science Policy Conference held in Ottawa in mid-November. None of the panelists ventured a straight-out “yes,” but most ...
In my opinion
BY J.N. LITTLE | November 07 2011

Why I won’t be attending your seasonal party.

I’ve done some very social things in my life in the name of work. I was employed as a karaoke waitress to pay for most of my master’s degree. I dressed up as Wonder Woman for a conference presentation, marched in demonstrations with students, and drank plenty of coffee with mentors and mentees. ...

A new book argues for substantial reform to Ontario’s higher-education system, including the introduction of a rare breed of institution in Canada: the teaching-oriented university.

“By several measures, Ontario currently has a good higher education system,” say Ian Clark, David Trick and Richard Van Loon in their new book, Quality and Cost-Effectiveness of Undergraduate Education in Ontario" href="http://mqup....
The Black Hole
BY DAVID KENT | October 18 2011
In a break from normal lab routine, I'll be dabbling in the black arts of science policy this November and running a session at the 3rd annual Canadian Science Policy Conference.  The conference runs from Nov 16th-18th and features an excellent lineup of speakers that should result in a fantastic p...
BY ROSANNA TAMBURRI | October 11 2011

Canadian faculty are welcomed in many developing countries for their skill in introducing student-centred learning.

Sometime in the coming months, the first PhD candidates in nursing at Cuba’s Higher Institute of Medical Sciences will defend their dissertations and – fingers crossed – graduate, marking a significant milestone in the evolution of that country’s medical education. On that day, and more than...
Careers Café
BY NICOLA KOPER | October 03 2011
The Tri-council funding system, made up of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funding councils, reminds me a bit of Fluffy. You know,
BY VIRGINIA GALT | September 12 2011

Skills training gives PhD students a boost, whether they find work inside or outside academia.

Nathalie Magnus is pursuing her doctoral degree at McGill University’s division of experimental medicine, one of an elite group hand-picked by pediatric oncologist Janusz Rak to participate in ground-breaking research on the interaction between blood vessels and tumour growth. She serves as a vice...
BY PEGGY BERKOWITZ | September 12 2011

When a university president leaves unexpectedly, the one who’s appointed interim leader assumes a crucial role in preparing the ground for the next president.

When the phone rings, the person who answers the call may have expected it for weeks, even months. The caller could be a friend, a former colleague or the board chair, but the message is the same: We need you. Would you consider serving as university president on a short-term basis? It’s a ...
BY JOHN LORINC | June 13 2011

A new system for allocating one of Canada’s most important grants program for university scientists leads to upsets in who gets funding.

University of Toronto math professor Jim Colliander likens the problem to owning a fleet of snazzy sports cars and not being able to come up with enough cash to pay for gas. For the past decade, thanks to programs like the
BY TARA SIEBARTH | June 13 2011

University Affairs web editor Tara Siebarth talked to Stephen Henighan, a professor of Spanish-American literature at the University of Guelph, about writing fiction, the inspiration behind his short story in this month’s issue, and the difference between academic and creative writing.

Read How I became a Muslim.

What was your inspiration for “How I became a Muslim”?

For me, inspiration for short stories can come from all sorts of weird moments – you never know when a story is going to creep up on you....
BY JOEY FITZPATRICK | February 07 2011

As director of animal care at Memorial University, Jennifer Keyte has the task of ensuring the ethical and humane treatment of her charges.

She rode horses as a young girl and her family owned the standard household pets. But Jennifer Keyte was never the type to volunteer untold hours at the local animal shelter. “I felt like a bit of an imposter in vet school,” the director of animal care at Memorial University admits. “So many o...
Careers Café
BY LIZ KOBLYK | November 08 2010
Hi, I am Liz! When I asked my supervisor if she’d mind me accepting an offer to contribute to University Affairs’ new Careers Café blog, she said, “I love University Affairs!  Just make sure you mention where you work!” So, I work at the University of Waterloo’s <...
The Black Hole
BY DAVID KENT | August 16 2010
QUICK HITS: 1.  If you were interested in previous posts of mine about how well science information is distributed and received in the UK, then you might also want to have a gander at a recent post that I made on the Stem Cell Network Blog entitled
Margin Notes

Two dozen presidents from 14 countries gathered in advance of full G8 summit in Huntsville, Ontario.

An event that seemed to slip under the media radar, the 2010 G8 University Summit was held last week (May 20-22) in Vancouver, attended by 24 university presidents from 14 countries. It was the third such summit, the first being held in Hokkaido, Japan in 2008 and in Turin, Italy last year. The e...
The Black Hole
BY DAVID KENT | February 21 2010

This short blog entry argues that when looking at the relationship or science and society, the majority of scientists only see (and avoid) the energy barrier in front of them and fail to imagine and strive toward the products on the other side. There are of course exceptions to the rule and this article hopes to inspire such visionary thinking. It contends that the products, similar to those in a chemical reaction, will provide a state that will in their own time lead to less energy expenditure for scientists.

A high school geology teacher once explained to me a guiding philosophy for his life which seemed quite confusing at the time – he called it “The least work principle” which stated that one should always aspire to expending the least amount of effort to get an outcome. I thought “Great, I ha...
Margin Notes
BY LÉO CHARBONNEAU | February 17 2010

What happens when a “good education” doesn’t lead to a good job?

What should you do if you’ve “done everything right” – went to university, perhaps even grad school – and yet you’ve failed to land meaningful employment? I have no career advice to offer, but do suggest you might have a look at a new blog by Laura Servage, a doctoral student at the Univ...
Margin Notes
BY LÉO CHARBONNEAU | February 04 2010

Saskatchewan government decides to cut funding to First Nations University of Canada.

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada held a day-and-a-half workshop last week for university presidents focussing on aboriginal education. This workshop was the first in a series of planned AUCC events on aboriginal access to higher education, which was identified by AUCC as one of...
Margin Notes
BY LÉO CHARBONNEAU | December 08 2009

Three recent reports, taken together, provide some interesting insights about the pathways and barriers to postsecondary education.

The number of reports on Canada's postsecondary education sector seem to be multiplying of late. With at least a half-dozen released in the last few weeks, it's getting hard to keep up. With that in mind, here are three of the more important recent reports and their take-home messages. Together, ...