Queen's University

Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Academic and Professional Development

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Ethics, Wellness, Society & Civic Responsibilities

What Ethics, Society & Civic Responsibilities offers to Graduate Students

  • Encourages Graduate students to refine and develop skills that assist them in making sound judgements based on a solid grasp of ethical principles and practices
  • Strengthens graduate students understanding of professional codes of conduct and standards of practice in and beyond their own discipline
  • Emphasizes the transnational nature of both workplace and academic environments
  • Recognizes the importance of diversity and the increasing role of graduate students as global citizens

Benefits of Ethics, Society, & Civic Responsibilities for Graduate Students

  • Graduate students need information about ethical issues in situations involving: conflict of interest, authorship, copyright, and intellectual property in order to make sound decisions and judgements
  • Cultural competency requires learning about cultural identities and work styles, the values of inclusivity and how graduate students can foster a healthy, respectful and safe learning environment

Workshop Categories & Descriptions

Integrity & Intellectual Property

Integrity in Research & Academics (Fall)

Host Presenters: AVP, Research - Karina McInnis

Professionalism and leadership in graduate student research and in your subsequent career entails a strong understanding of ethical principles and the ability to apply these principles wisely and judiciously. Knowledge of professional codes of conduct and standards that are specific to your discipline and to the research world more broadly is essential. Such practical issues as managing conflict of interest, defining authorship in collaborative projects, ensuring confidentiality and protecting research participants will be explored in this workshop.

Intellectual Property: Introduction to Patents  and Commercialisation (Fall)

Host Presenters: PARTEQ - Angela Lyon & Jason Hendry

An interactive presentation by a registered patent agent will provide an overview of several hurdles faced when patenting an invention in Canada, the U.S. and internationally.  Issues such as novelty, non-obviousness, utility, and freedom-to-operate will be described with examples.  An opportunity to search three different on-line national patent databases will be provided for those who bring a laptop along.   A second speaker, who is an experienced commercialization professional, will describe routes to commercialization including licensing, forming a start-up company, and how to attract grants and investors.


Intercultural Competencies I: Intercultural Begins With You (Fall & Winter)

Host Presenters: QUIC - Alison Cumming & Susan Anderson

Participants will learn the significance of culture in forming an individual's world view and specifically in communication styles. They will become familiar with some dimensions of intercultural competence for success in multicultural environments.

Intercultural Competencies II: Measuring Your Intercultural Competence (Fall & Winter)

Host Presenters: QUIC - Alison Cumming & Susan Anderson

The IDI is a 50-question online survey that measures intercultural sensitivity based on the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). In the session, we will use this tool to help participants understand their own intercultural sensitivity, as a group and as individuals; they will also learn how they can increase their sensitivity and become more effective in their intercultural interactions.

Indigenous Cultural Competency (Winter)

Host Presenters: Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre - Laura Maracle

Learners will gain a better understanding of the historical, political and cultural issues that impact the health of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Learners will understand the connection between the historical and current government practices and policies towards First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples and the related impacts on their social determinants of health, access to health services and intergenerational health outcomes.

Learners will, through a process of self-reflection, identify, acknowledge and analyze their own cultural values or considered emotional responses to the many diverse histories, cultures, world views, values, and contemporary events relating to First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis people.

Mental Health & Wellbeing

Psychological Wellbeing (Fall)

Host Presenter: HCDS - Ashley Vanstone

Grad school can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and at the same time, it can sometimes come with personal and academic challenges that can take a toll on mental health. There is no "one size fits all" formula for being a mentally healthy grad student; we're all wired differently! Participants in this workshop will learn to identify areas of their lives that may create vulnerability to psychological distress and to make a proactive plan for fostering a sense of balance and wellbeing. 

Living in the Present Moment (Winter)

Host Presenter: HCDS - Ashley Vanstone

The future is uncertain. It is often hard to be at peace with the past. Grad school can be an intense period of transition - you're here now, but you need to plan your next steps and take stock of past experiences. Grad student days often involve balancing multiple (sometimes conflicting) commitments. With so much going on, it's easy to miss out on the things that are happening now, this very moment. Find yourself constantly feeling pressured? Do you spend your time dealing with small crises rather than working towards larger goals? Reacting, rather than responding, to things that come up in your day? It may be time to discover the joy of "right now." And the good news: living and experiencing the present is a skill that can be practised! Strengthening this skill helps us regulate our emotions, make the most of our day, and connect with other people more fully. If this all sounds a little hard to believe or doesn't seem like your "thing," all the more reason to come check it out. Bring your skepticism and your worries to this workshop - those, too, are part of your present experience. 

Getting Un-Stuck (Fall)

Host Presenter: HCDS - Ashley Vanstone

Maybe you procrastinate. Perhaps you have come to think of yourself as lazy or ineffective in your work. You may sometimes wonder if you'll ever get finished your degree. To some extent, we are all familiar with that feeling of being stuck - being fully aware of the need to get things done but at the same time finding it difficult to gain momentum in moving towards our goals. At a loss to understand the situation, we may label ourselves (or others may do it on our behalf) as "unmotivated." Participants in this workshop will have a chance to set aside guilt-laden and moralistic understandings of their "stuck-ness," replacing self-criticism with strategies that are matched to their unique circumstances. We will start by looking at the basic psychological tools necessary to accomplish a complex, long-term goal (such as a thesis). Participants will then be guided through a self-assessment of their individual situations and start developing a strategy to get "un-stuck." You probably aren't lacking  in motivation - it's just a matter of finding it. 

Dealing with Adversity (Winter)

Host Presenter: HCDS - Ashley Vanstone

Sometimes life's challenges can push us to our limits - or maybe even to beyond what we thought we could handle. These dark times can block our sense of the future and make it hard to keep going. How to we cope with these times when they come? How do we get our lives back on track when things have gone awry? Everyone has their own ways of getting by, and the strategies we use grow out of our life experiences, tricks we've learned, or things we've heard that one ought to do. Not all ways of coping are equally effective, though. In this workshop, participants will learn about the fundamental differences in how individuals cope with adversity. We will then look at what current research is telling us about how people develop strength and resilience to protect themselves from life's challenges. Through discussion of examples specific to grad student life, participants will develop their understanding of what effective coping looks like and will identify steps they can take to build their resilience to tough times. 

Speaker Series

Details to come

Other courses that can be credited towards your certificate

The following three courses can be credited to your Expanding Horizons certificate under the theme "Ethics, society & civic responsibilities". Proof must be provided.

  • SGS 804 - CORE online course on research ethics or GREB research ethics proposal and approval
  • First Aid (Environmental Health and Safety)
  • WHMS Safety (Environmental Health and Safety or Depart./lab)

NB: Documented volunteering on campus or within the Kingston community (minimum 4 hours work) can also be accredited.