Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Professional Development

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Three graduate students standing behind a podium.The Game Plan

In teams of 3 to 5 members, PhD students from different fields of study will work together and combine their complementary knowledge and skills to work with an organization to determine their needs (i.e. the project), establish (as a team) a plan of action, and identify the outputs that can be delivered by the project end-date (March 22, 2018). Each team will be assigned a mentor who will provide guidance and advice about working as a team, managing a project, and working with partners - basically, they will help the team unlock their full potential.

Commitment

Students who would like to participate must be prepared to dedicate up to 5 hours/week to the project over a period of 5 months which includes a commitment to the following:

  • Available to participate in person in all aspect of the project from start to finish
  • Participate in preparatory workshops
  • Engage with the community partner
  • Attend regular meetings with his/her team and mentor
  • Actively participate and contribute to the work of the team
  • Participate in monthly progress meetings with each team presenting in 3-2-1 format (3 slides, 2 minute presentation and 1 minute for questions)
  • Present the project output/deliverable at a public capstone event

Community Partners interested in participating must identify an issue or challenge that is relevant to their organization and be prepared to identify a contact person to liaise and act as a resource for the team of PhD students aiming to address the challenge. They must commit to:

  • Attending an introductory meeting to 1) present the issue or challenge that the organization faces and what you hope a team of PhD students might address; and 2) answer questions from the students
  • Having a contact person who will meet with the team at the start of the project and serve as a resource as needed throughout the project period (October to March)

“It's an opportunity to get perspectives of individuals that are excited to participate in it, are eager, and bring perhaps a revitalized energy to something that you just haven't had the time to attack and complete.”
- Sonia Nobrega, QUBS

Workshop and presentation dates (2017-18)

  • Sept 27th – Initial meeting of all registrants - introduction to the program, meet last year’s Participants and Q&A. (5:00 - 6:30 pm, Ellis Hall Room 319)
  • Sept 30th – Mandatory Workshop #1: Design Thinking – creating better solutions to present-day challenges. A continental breakfast and light lunch will be served. (8:30 am - 1:00 pm, Ellis Hall Room 333)
  • Oct 4th – Introduction to community partners, partner presentations followed by Q&A (5:00-6:30 pm, Gordon Hall Room 324)
  • Oct 14th – Mandatory Workshop #2: Working Effectively as a Team. A continental breakfast will be served. (8:30 am - 12:00 pm, Gordon Hall Room 302)
  • Nov 3rd – Progress update - team presentations: 3 minutes, 2 slides, 1 minute Q&A (2:00 - 3:30 pm, Gordon Hall Room 324)
  • Dec 1st – Progress update - team presentations (2:00 - 3:30 pm, Gordon Hall Room 324)
  • Dec 15th – Informal gathering – team, mentors and partners; opportunity for reflection (2:00 - 3:30 pm, Gordon Hall Room 302)
  • Jan 12th – Progress update - team presentations (2:00-3:30, location TBD)
  • Feb 16th – Progress update - team presentations (2:00-3:30, location TBD)
  • Mar 2nd – Media training (2:00-3:30, location TBD)
  • Mar 14th – Capstone event (5:00-7:00 pm, locatoin TBD)

Preparatory workshops

Students participating in the PhD-Community initiative must attend the preparatory workshops. The workshops are designed to provide the tools and strategies needed to work with a partner organization, to define the nature and scope of the project, to plan an approach, and specify outputs to be delivered by the project deadline as well as to learn how to work effectively as part of a team.

Before completing the final workshop (working and managing as a team), participants are required to attend presentations by the community partners where they will have the opportunity to ask questions and identify their top three choices of the partnerships that interest them the most.

“The workshops have given me confidence that I can add value to my local community. I have already encouraged several of my peers to register for the next session.”
- Michael Carter, a PhD student in geography who worked with Sistema Kingston.

Two smiling graduate students sitting at a table.

Team formation

Teams will be formed in consideration of the preferences of each participant (see above) and in accordance with the following criteria: each team will have 3 to 5 members; have representation from various discipline clusters (i.e. social sciences, humanities, physical/natural sciences, health sciences, engineering); no more than 2 members from any single discipline cluster (no more than 1 in a team of 3); and a team cannot have more than one member from a single academic unit. Each team will be assigned an experienced mentor.

The projects/partners

Partners are from the Kingston community and each has identified an issue or challenge to be addressed by one team. Each partner will: identify a contact person who will liaise with the team as needed throughout the duration of the project; make best efforts to attend the 3-2-1 presentations; and, will attend the capstone event.

Registration

If you are a PhD student and are interested in participating please note that registration for the PhD-Community Initiative is now open and that the deadline for registration is September 22. See our prospective projects and sign up at the following link: