Resources for graduate students

The faculty and staff of the School of Graduate Studies and all of our academic and service units are committed to safeguarding your health and well-being and ensuring your continuance and progress in your academic programs. We designed this page to provide you with resources to assist with and foster remote learning, wellness, and community.

Please refer to Memorial University’s Information Hub for covid-19 updates and the frequently asked questions in particular for student/academic information for information on:

  • Spring 2020 semester (including registration, fees, etc.)
  • Final exams and PAS/FAL grades
  • On-campus housing
  • Student supports and services
  • Student workers (including co-op)
  • Student health and wellness
  • University libraries
  • Convocation

To stay informed on campus-wide information, we would also encourage you to sign up for MUN’s email service (Newsline). Please also ensure you download the MUN Safe App.

UPDATES FROM THE APVA AND DEAN OF GRADUATE STUDIES

Dr. Aimée Surprenant has been posting daily video messages on Youtube and regular messages on Twitter, providing graduate students with update and advice. If you have any questions or require further clarification about the information provided, please email us at sgs@mun.ca. You will get a response within one business day.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Nothing is more important to us than your health and wellness. Please remember Memorial’s Student Wellness and Counselling Centre remains open and are providing services to graduate students remotely. Please visit Memorial University’s Information Hub for more information on how to book an appointment with a physician and/or nurse or a counsellor.

If you have an urgent mental health concern, please contact the following community-based services:

  • 24 hour mental health crisis line: 1-709-737-4668 (local) or 1-888-737-4668 (province-wide).
  • Mobile Crisis Response Team: 1-888-737-4668 St. John’s Region.
  • 24 hour Walk-in Psychiatric Assessment Unit at the Waterford Hospital Site on Waterford Bridge Road: 1-709-777-3021 or 1-709-777-3022.
  • 24 hour text with a Crisis Responder: text HOME to 686868, Canadian Mental Health Association.

We strongly encourage graduate students to ensure they have appropriate health insurance coverage. For information on the Medical Care Plan, please visit the MCP website. For information on GSU health and dental insurance, please visit the GSU website. If you are not eligible for MCP or GSU health insurance, please contact the Internationalization Office regarding coverage under the Foreign Health Insurance plan.

You may also find helpful some of these resources in the public domain:

NEW GRAD STUDENTS

Congratulations on your admission to Memorial University of Newfoundland. We know you may have many questions. We have provided the information below to help you with your planning and preparation for the Fall 2020 semester. For general information on steps to take as a new graduate student, please refer to the New Graduate Student webpage. For further updates on the Fall semester and other important updates related to covid-19 planning, please refer Memorial University’s Information Hub. Regardless of the method by which programs are delivered, we want to assure you that Memorial will continue to maintain the very high quality of graduate teaching, supervision, and student experience that we are known for. We will also try to be as flexible as possible so your experience as a graduate student at Memorial remains excellent despite the circumstances.

General information

  • Memorial University will welcome new and returning students to a primarily remote teaching and learning environment for the Fall 2020 semester, and full in-person, on-campus courses will not resume before January 2021. We expect all graduate programs will be offered in some way in the Fall 2020 semester, although some graduate students might not be able to commence certain research depending on the restrictions in place.

  • Graduate courses will be offered primarily through remote delivery. Memorial’s academic units and Centre for Innovation, Teaching, and Learning will provide resources and support to make your remote learning experience one that is positive and fulfilling. The courses will be of high quality and taught by Memorial’s excellent faculty and instructional staff. If you have questions regarding the courses offered in Fall 2020 for your program, please contact your Graduate Officer.

  • For graduate students conducting research and taking courses remotely, faculty and staff in your academic units, the School of Graduate Studies, and other service units will continue to support you regardless of where you are. Our professional and academic workshops are already being offered online, and we will continue to build on our supports so they are responsive and meaningful to you while you study remotely.

  • We are committed to supporting equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives in graduate education. If you identify as an equity-seeking person and if there is a way we can support you then please contact the Special Advisor to the Dean of Graduate Studies on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

  • For information on how to register, pay fees, and other important steps, please refer to the New Graduate Student webpage.

Graduate students in research programs

  • As a leading teaching and research university, Memorial is home to some of the top scholars in their fields and finest supervisors in the nation. We are committed to making your experience as a graduate student a positive one. Wherever possible, Memorial will be as flexible as possible to ensure you are able to commence your program.

  • If you have been newly admitted to a research program (i.e., requiring a thesis), we would encourage you to contact your supervisor to discuss options for the Fall 2020 semester.

  • For many research students, it may be possible to commence research remotely with the help of your supervisor. For others, you may wish to discuss the possibility of commencing your program by mostly taking courses in the first semester and focusing on other activities (e.g., literature reviews) that can be done remotely (and deferring research to later in the program). If upon discussing with your supervisor it is not feasible to commence your program in Fall 2020, you may wish to ask your supervisor for a deferral of admission.

  • Memorial will maintain its commitment to graduate student funding. For graduate students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada or international students but residing in Canada with a Canadian Social Insurance Number, funding and graduate assistantships will be paid in the normal way.

  • For international graduate students who are starting their programs remotely outside of Canada and without a Social Insurance Number, graduate funding will be paid directly into their student account on a biweekly basis. This will ensure graduate students are not accruing fees while pursuing their programs. When at a later date it is possible to arrive in St. John’s or Corner Brook to complete their programs, those graduate students will be issued the remaining funds owing for the academic year (these funds cannot be released any earlier). Whenever possible, graduate assistantships (i.e., employment) will be reserved for international students for later in their programs. If the graduate assistantship is not possible, this amount will be paid as a fellowship later in the program.

  • Memorial University is committed to the goal of phasing in of access to on-campus research spaces, fieldwork and face-to-face interactions with research participants while ensuring the health and safety of Memorial’s students, staff, faculty, research participants and collaborators, as well as the broader community in which Memorial exists.

  • There are five levels of increasing access to on-campus research spaces, fieldwork and face-to-face interactions with research participants. Each level is associated with an approximate % of normal on-campus activity (the total teaching, research and administrative activity) and external conditions (e.g., public health directives) and internal conditions (e.g., cleaning capacity, feasibility for physical distancing, education and screening protocols, limitations on the operations of key research support units) that effect that extent to which on-campus research activities, fieldwork and face-to-face interactions with research participants can be undertaken. This framework can be found online. Further information can also be found on the Memorial University’s Information Hub.

International graduate students

  • Memorial is widely acknowledged as one of the best universities in Canada in terms of international graduate student experience and supports. While you may commence your graduate program remotely, we will continue to support you in and outside of your degree program to ensure you have the best possible experience as a graduate student.

  • If you are a newly admitted international graduate student, you can remain in your home country while courses are being offered remotely. If you are completing a full degree online (with no intention of coming to Canada to complete your degree), then a study permit is not required to register.

  • If you intend on coming to Canada at some point to complete your degree, we will require a valid study permit or a letter of introduction from IRCC before you can register for Fall 2020.

  • If you are an international graduate student, you should apply for a study permit abroad now. You’ll find detailed instructions on the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. You’ll also find information specific to MUN graduate students on this page. After you apply, you may be asked to submit documentation (e.g., medical exam) or information (e.g., biometrics) that might not be accessible at this time. We are advised that IRCC will account for these delays and hold onto your application until a time that you can provide all the necessary documentation.

  • International students studying in Canada are automatically enrolled the mandatory Foreign Health Insurance plan upon registration. As Fall 2020 will be offered remotely, this fee will be reversed for all international students who 1) begin their studies in Fall 2020, and 2) are not physically present in Canada. The fee reversal process will occur at the end of September 2020. If you plan to come to Canada to commence your remote studies, it is important that you email international@mun.ca to confirm your enrolment in the mandatory health insurance plan.

  • If you intend to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after you complete your studies, you must have one of the following before your program starts in order to be eligible for PGWP: 1) a letter of introduction (study permit approval), or 2) a valid study permit. If you have one of these documents, you can complete up to 50% of your courses online while outside of Canada if you are unable to travel sooner. If you do not have one of these two documents, taking online courses outside Canada may impact the length of your PGWP or your eligibility for the PGWP. For questions related to PGWP, please contact the Internationalization Office at international@mun.ca.

  • If you are considering a deferral of your Fall 2020 admission over concerns of study permit availability, we would encourage you to apply for your study permit as soon as possible and to delay your request for admission deferral until August 2020. If you have not received a response to your study permit application by the first week of August, please contact your Graduate Officer to discuss the possibility of starting your program late or deferring your start date to a future semester. If you have been admitted to a research program (i.e., requiring a thesis), you may ask your supervisor for a deferral of admission in the first instance

For further information

  • If you have specific questions regarding your graduate program, please do not hesitate to contact your Graduate Officer for further information and advice.

  • If you are an international graduate student (newly admitted or current) and have questions about your study permit, PGWP, or immigration matters in general, please don’t hesitate to contact the Internationalization Office.

  • If you have any general questions as a newly admitted or current graduate student, we are here to help you. Please email us at sgs@mun.ca. You’ll get an immediate response.
ACADEMIC CONTINUITY

Making progress in your graduate program

Graduate students enrolled in (or planning to enroll in) on-campus courses for the Spring and Fall semesters should plan to participate in coursework remotely. Instructors will notify students directly of specific course changes. Please review Memorial University’s Information Hub for updates.

Graduate students in research-intensive (e.g., thesis-based programs) are encouraged to discuss with their faculty supervisors any opportunities to continue their research activities remotely (e.g., data analysis, online literature reviews, writing, etc.) and review Memorial University’s Information Hub for updates. If you have challenges with or need advice on how to continue with your program in a remote way, please contact your faculty supervisor or your graduate officer.

Please remember that, as a graduate student, you will not run out of time. Graduate students who are close to or exceed the time limit for program completion will be granted a one-semester extension automatically. If you do not wish to extend your program, please email us at sgs@mun.ca.

If you are a graduate student dealing with a financial emergency and unable to register for graduate courses, please email akim@mun.ca.

Supervisory committee meetings

Graduate students and faculty supervisors are encouraged to meet remotely through videoconferencing. There are many options (e.g., Google Hangouts, WebEx, Skype, Zoom), but for supervisor-arranged meetings SGS is recommending the use of Online Rooms in Brightspace. We encourage graduate students and faculty supervisors to start early when possible to test camera and mic functionality, use the chat feature if you have trouble hearing, and use headsets to avoid causing background noises. In exceptional cases, graduate students may be able to request a Webex host license. Please contact your graduate officer for more information. Graduate students can also set up meetings using Google Hangout, which is accessible as part of MUN’s Google Suite.

Research exams and doctoral defences

For oral comprehensive exams, we are encouraging the use of Webex or Online Rooms (unless a different videoconferencing solution has been approved by ITS). For oral comprehensive exams, a dean’s delegate will only be required for re-examinations. For doctoral defences, BlueJeans is being used. As a contingency, in advance of meetings, any presentation slides that might be used should be shared with all members of the committee and phone numbers for all participants should also be shared with the examination chair. For doctoral defences, during the pre-meeting or in-camera discussions, students will be asked to leave the virtual room and return when ready, or those discussions can take place using a breakout room. All examinations and defences will comply with Memorial’s normal guidelines and regulations.

Thesis examinations

Thesis examinations for master’s and doctoral students are proceeding as normal, and we have not seen any interruptions in this process. We want to ensure you that your academic unit, SGS, and the examiners involved are all committed to a fair and timely review of your work. We also realize that, for many graduate students, covid-19 has require changes in research plans. You and your supervisor are invited to draft and submit a covid-19 impact statement along with your thesis, so your examiners are aware of significant changes that were required.

Remote learning – resources and advice

The Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) has created a Student Help site to assist students in transitioning from in-person to remote learning. The site provides information on submitting assignments, presenting and participating in online classes, and accessing learning strategy resources. Live chat support is also available through the CITL website.

Memorial University Libraries also offers expensive resources to support remote learning and research, including access to databases, e-books, e-journals, streaming film collections, and e-reserves. Live chat support is also available through the Memorial Libraries website.

Memorial University’s Information Technology Services offers a number of free software for graduate students to install on personal devices, including Microsoft Office 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.) McAfee Antivirus, Matlab, and ArcGIS.

You may also find helpful some of these resources in the public domain:

FUNDING, FINANCIAL AID, AND FOOD

SGS Graduate Student Emergency Bursary

We understand this is a challenging time for many graduate students. The SGS Graduate Student Emergency Bursary is intended to help graduate students overcome temporary financial emergencies due to unforeseen circumstances from the period of April 1 to August 31, 2020. Awards during this period will be a maximum of $500. Please email sgs@mun.ca for information on the eligibility criteria and the application process.

If you are a graduate student dealing with a financial emergency and unable to register for graduate courses, please email akim@mun.ca.

Continuance of graduate student funding and employment

Graduate funding (including assistantships) will continue to be paid. Graduate fellowship funding will be extended for one additional semester for current research students if needed (please contact your graduate officer to discuss further). Please remember that, as a graduate student, your fellowship funding will not end even if program average falls below 75% in the Winter 2020 semester.

Graduate students with graduate assistantships (including teaching assistantships and research assistantships) or in GradSWEP positions should contact their supervisor to discuss how their work might be carried out remotely. Graduate students with instructional assignments (e.g., per course instructors) can refer to this website for more information on how to lecture online, communicate with students, collect assignments online, and try alternate forms of assessment.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The Canadian Government has released a new benefit, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The CERB may provide recipients with temporary income support - $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. We encourage graduate students to carefully review the CERB FAQ’s to check for eligibility. If you feel you are eligible for the CERB, please submit an application. For comprehensive information on CERB, employment insurance, Canada Child Benefit, and other supports, please visit the Employment and Social Development Canada website. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has also compiled an excellent guide (including eligibility requirements, date available, and application instructions) to federal and provincial benefits for people affected by COVID-19.

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

The Canadian Government has released a new benefit, the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) for students who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI). The benefit provides financial support to students who are unable to find employment due to COVID-19.

Applications for the CESB are currently open and must be submitted before September 30, 2020. In order to apply, the CRA encourages eligible students to take three important steps:

Step 1: Register a profile with the CRA. If you have never filed an income tax return with the CRA, you may not have a profile. Call 1-800-959-8281 to activate your SIN with the CRA.

Step 2: Register for My Account - this is the fastest and easiest way to apply for the benefit.

Step 3: Enroll for Direct Deposit with the CRA through My Account or your financial institution to get your CESB within 3 days of applying. Alternatively, you must ensure your mailing information is up-to-date in My Account to receive a cheque by mail within 10 business days.

For more information regarding the CESB and to apply, please visit the CRA Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) webpage.

Financial Supports and Employment Programs

Student Life has developed a Guide to Financial Supports and Employment Programs. This guide is an overview of resources that are available to the Memorial University community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working hours permitted for graduate students

On May 12, 2020, Senate approved an amendment to General Regulation 3.3.8 that would allow graduate students facing extenuating circumstances, including financial need, to seek approval from the AVPA and Dean of Graduate Studies to work more than 24 hours a week outside of their degree program and still be deemed a full-time graduate students. Such requests must be made to the AVPA and Dean of Graduate Studies by the student’s supervisor (when applicable) and Head of the appropriate academic unit to sgs@mun.ca, and should include grounds for the request, expected duration of the extra work and a revised study plan that accounts for extra work to be undertaken.

Food

If you do not have resources now to purchase food, Food First NL has compiled this list of community food sharing programs in the province. The Thrive Youth Network also has a directory of food banks in St. John’s and Mt. Pearl. This list is updated weekly. Please call or email the food sharing program for more information.

If you are a graduate student in immediate need of food, please contact akim@mun.ca.

Resources and Support Services (AFC)

The Actors Fund of Canada has created a directory of resources and support services for Newfoundland and Labrador inlcuding; crisis lines, mental health awareness, income assistance, housing, and local food banks. For more information please visit the Actors Fund of Canada website.

STUDENT SUPPORT

Academic accommodations support

Services for graduate students requiring academic accommodations continue to be provided remotely. If you have specific issues or challenges in converting your studies to a remote environment please contact your respective campus coordinating centre:

Professional skills development workshops and programs

All of our workshops and programs under the Enhanced Development of the Graduate Experience, including the Entrepreneurship Training Program, will be offered remotely. We also offer a number of online resources to consider at the beginning of, during, and near the end of your degree. Full a full list of workshops and resources, please visit the EDGE website. We expect to significantly increase the number of workshops in the Spring 2020 semester so please check back regularly or review The Graduate newsletter emailed to you the first week of each month.

Academic writing supports

Memorial’s Writing Centre is offering tutoring services through its online platform. You can find more information on how to submit documents for feedback on the Writing Centre website. The Writing Centre also offers many online resources for graduate students, Memorial’s University libraries also provide access from home to its digital journals, books, and other library resources, including numerous writing guides. Dr. Cecile Badenhorst from Memorial’s Faculty of Education also offers an extensive collection of video tutorials on academic writing on her Youtube channel. You will find a detailed list of topics on the SGS website.

Student requests (e.g., forms, letters)

Graduate students seeking a standard confirmation of enrolment letter are asked to request the letter through Memorial Self-Service. Graduate students who require a letter of enrolment for a study permit extension, please request this letter by emailing us at sgs@mun.ca. Please include your name, student number, and anticipated program completion date. For Post-Graduation Work Permit support letters, please email sgs@mun.ca. Please include your name and student number in the request. Please do not come to SGS to pick up the letter. For all letter requests, letters will then be emailed to your MUN email address shortly afterwards (normally 1-3 business days).

For a quick list of common inquiries, request, resources, forms, and contact information, please visit the SGS website.

Graduate student societies and learning communities

It is important to remain connected in a remote way with your supervisor/graduate officer, members of your research group, and other graduate students in your program/academic unit. One way to do this is by establishing and maintaining online learning communities, which could be as simple as regular formal or informal get-togethers using a videoconferencing solution. There are many options (e.g., Google Hangouts, WebEx, Skype, Zoom), but SGS is recommending the use of Google Hangout, which should be accessible to you as part of MUN Google Suite.

Please remember that you can also contact your Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) for support. Among many supports and services the GSU provides, GSU-ratified clubs and societies are accessible to you and may be meeting in remote ways. Please email the club/society contact for more information.

Graduate student newsletter

The School of Graduate Studies distributes The Graduate, a weekly newsletter, to all graduate students with information regarding; important notices, resources for graduate students, professional development opportunities, campus news, and more. To view previous editions of the newsletter please visit The Graduate archive.

GRADUATE STUDENT POPULATIONS

Indigenous graduate students

Staff in the Indigenous Student Resource Centre are working remotely and continuing to provide support and services on: tutoring, writing sessions, cultural and social supports, academic supports and referrals, and Indigenous scholarship information and guidance. For more information, please contact the Indigenous Student Resource Centre.

If we can assist further, please email us at sgs@mun.ca. You will get a response within one business day.

Graduate students with families

We continue to offer a number of programs remotely for graduate students with families and advice on family health care, schools, daycares, family tax benefits, work and volunteer opportunities for spouses and partners, ESL opportunities, and local community supports and services. Graduate students with families and dependents can seek support through our Family Advisor. Please note that this service is available to all graduate studies with families.

If you are a parent in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District offers confidential, individual counselling services from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 3 pm. For more information, please call 1-833-772-0007. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador also provides an extensive list of family and social supports.

The St. John’s Women’s Centre provides individual and group counseling, information sessions, and programs for women and supports on many issues including social isolation, mental health, violence, marginalization, poverty, housing, trauma, and system navigation.

Local Resources:

Local Virtual Programs:

Virtual Museums:

Educational tools:

Mental Health Supports:

If we can assist further, please email us at sgs@mun.ca. You will get a response within one business day.

International graduate students

Services for international graduate students continue to be offered remotely, including career advising, family supports, immigration advising, and health insurance advising. For information on how to book appointments, please visit the Internationalization Office website. If you are planning to leave St. John’s, please ensure you discuss your plans with your supervisor and/or graduate officer. Please consult with one of the advisors in the Internationalization Office to ensure you have proper authorization for future return (if necessary) and adequate health insurance coverage.

Global Affairs Canada’s International Education Division has created a list of resources specifically for international students including information on immigration status, benefits eligibility, health care, and more. Visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for international students webpage for more information.

If we can assist further, please email us at sgs@mun.ca. You will get a response within one business day.

Part-time graduate students

Part-time graduate students have access to the full range of services and supports offered to all graduate students at Memorial. For a quick list of common inquiries, request, resources, forms, and contact information, please visit the SGS website.

If we can assist further, please email us at sgs@mun.ca. You will get a response within one business day.

CONTACT US

Faculty and staff in the School of Graduate Studies are working remotely, and all areas are active including admissions, registrations, fellowships, scholarships and awards, student advising, research examinations, and graduation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your graduate officer or graduate administration staff. You can also email sgs@mun.ca and we will respond within one business day. If your matter is urgent, please email akim@mun.ca. You will receive an immediate response.


Note: The external links and resources provided on this website are not services offered by Memorial University, but are widely available to the public. Only services offered by Memorial have been vetted by the University.

Contact

School of Graduate Studies

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000