Research and Academic Skills

Research Competency

What is Competency in Research and Academic Skills?

  • Academic skills competency includes the ability to locate information, critically read and evaluate data and information sources (e.g. primary and secondary sources) and re-articulate and apply previous work by integrating new research within previous research frameworks, inter-disciplinary projects and non-academic studies• Competency in research includes the ability to design, apply and disseminate research
  • Research design includes the ability to propose innovative and/or original research with emphasis on the ability to connect research across disciplines, critically evaluate methods and theory and demonstrate the ability to think outside the box
    • Workshops on grant writing, preparing for proposal defenses and comprehensive exams emphasize research design skills
  • Application of research is primarily demonstrated as successful completion of a project within the student's department as defined by the criteria of that discipline but also includes the ability to access campus resources
    • ASK, through library services, can aid graduate students in efficient and successful use of the extensive on-campus and interlibrary resources available for primary research and literature reviews
  • A key skill emphasized by GradPATH programs is the successful dissemination of research which includes workshops and lecture series to aid with 1) writing your thesis, 2) writing articles, 3) conference oral and poster presentations and 4) the ability to communicate research findings and future goals across to a variety of audiences and disciplines
    • The Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT) is an excellent opportunity to practice dissemination of knowledge and research in a concise, fun and interdisciplinary context
    • Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are encouraged to look for discipline specific lectures and guest speakers to present their own research and hear colleagues’ presentations

Programs with Research as Main Competency

Reading Strategies for Graduate Students
A 90 minute workshop to help graduate students strengthen their academic reading skills.
Statistics and Data Series
Lectures that promote the enhancement of skills in statistical techniques and use of quantitative data for empirical and interdisciplinary research.

Programs with Research as Secondary Competency

3MT - Three Minute Thesis Competition
3MT is a research communication competition where graduate students have 3 minutes or less to present their research and its impact to a panel of non-specialist judges and peers.
Consult the Experts Series
The "Consult the Experts" Series offers support to scholars who are writing research proposals for competition.
Electronic Theses and Dissertations Training Workshops
This workshop walks graduate students through the ETD process and features representatives from SGPS and Western Libraries on hand to address any questions students have regarding the process.
General Scholarship Information Sessions
General Information Sessions are designed to provide scholars with clear direction on how to apply for major external scholarships and fellowships. This series of presentations is open to all. No registration is required.
Graduate Writing Day
A half-day event to address specific graduate writing concerns and an opportunity to learn about best practices from faculty.
Graduate Writing Laboratory
The Graduate Writing Lab is in the Western Student Services Building, Room 4130a, just inside the Writing Support Centre.
GradWrite: Graduate Writing Workshops
Writing lectures on a variety of topics aimed at helping you gain confidence and success in writing graduate level papers are offered throughout the year.
Indigenous Services
The Student Development Centre's Indigenous Services provides culturally supportive services and programs to Indigenous Students at Western University.
One-on-One Writing Consultations
Students can make an hour-long appointment with a writing counsellor and receive feedback on drafts for coursework papers, grant and scholarship applications, thesis/dissertation components or any other writing issue.
Scholarship Library
The Scholarship Library website was developed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and resources to put forth an excellent funding proposal for external competitions.
Scholars to Leaders Club
The Club offers a unique opportunity to bring scholars together with academic and private-sector professionals who are specifically skilled in mentoring candidates through the preparation of applications to internationally renowned scholarship programs such as the Rhodes Scholarships, the Fulbright Scholarships, the Erasmus Mundus Scholarships, and Canada’s own Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and Trudeau Doctoral Scholarships.
The Language of Conference Presentations
This 8 hour workshop series will help international students prepare to present their research at academic conferences.
The Language of Research Presentations
This 8 hour workshop series will help international students learn how to communicate their research to others.
Time Management for Graduate Students
A 90 minute workshop to help graduate students strengthen their time management skills.
Transitionaing to Graduate School
A 90 minute workshop to help students with the transition to graduate school.
Upcoming Doctoral Public Lectures
The Society for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies posts all upcoming Doctoral Public Lectures.
Western Research Forum
The Western Research Forum (WRF) is an annual, multidisciplinary conference organized by the SOGS Academic Committee and held at Western University as an opportunity for the dynamic and prodigious graduate students in all disciplines to showcase their innovative research and creative products to their colleagues and other members of the Western community. Students are encouraged to engage in networking and professional development opportunities at the conference.
What to Expect in a Defense and Submitting your Thesis
This workshop outlines what occurs during the thesis examination and details all significant events involved in the process from initial submission to the final submission of the thesis.