International students: What’s on at the Graduate Centre for Academic Communication (GCAC)

GCAC Courses: 

The next session of online courses will start in Feb/Mar 2021. Registration opens on Tuesday February 2 at 10:00 am EST. Use the link above to find out what courses we’ll be offering. 

For the February-March session at GCAC, we’ve programmed a wide array of online non-credit courses designed to make you a more effective writer, presenter and all-round communicator. Most of our courses have 12 hours of class contact time (two hours a week for six weeks), plus office hours and/or tutorials. All students enrolled in a graduate degree program at U of T are eligible to register. Since demand exceeds supply, we request that students register for maximum of two GCAC courses in the February/March 2021 session and that you register only if you can attend the full course 

Here are the courses we’ll be offering in the upcoming term for International students: 

Academic Conversation Skills 

Academic Writing 1: Focus on Fundamentals 

Academic Writing 2: Focus on Grammar 

Academic Writing 3: Focus on Style 

Oral Presentation Skills 

Thesis Writing in the Physical and Life Sciences 

Introduction to Science Journalism 


Writing a dissertation is a priority for doctoral students, but finding productive writing time is often a challenge. Despite its centrality, the dissertation is frequently neglected amidst all the obligations and distractions of everyday life. The Virtual Dissertation Boot Camp is a chance to step away from that routine and focus exclusively on dissertation writing for three days, in an online setting. 

​The Virtual Dissertation Boot ​Camp will give you dedicated blocks of writing time as well as the opportunity to learn about strategies for productive dissertation writing. You’ll be required to set aside other demands on your time for three days, giving you the opportunity to make significant progress in your writing. We will also discuss various productivity approaches to help you gain momentum in your writing that will last beyond our three days together. 

Applications are now being accepted – please see our website to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply. Please note that enrollment is limited and priority will be given to first-time Boot Campers.  

Online GCAC Workshops – Live and Pre-recorded 

During Feburary, we’ll be offering a wide range of live workshops, all aimed at helping you to improve your academic communication skills.  Here’s a list of what’s coming up – full descriptions of each session are available on the GCAC website. 

DEVELOPING AND PITCHING A RESEARCH PROJECT (for graduate students in all disciplines) 
Wed. Feb. 3, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.: Clear Thinking, Clear Writing: Communicating Clearly to Your target Audience(s)  by Dr. Jane Freeman 

GETTING THROUGH GRADUATE WORK (for graduate students in all disciplines) Wednesdays 
Tues. Feb. 2, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.: How to Transition to Graduate Writing  by Monica Gagnon 
Thurs. Feb. 4, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.: Giving Better Feedback  by Katherine Shwetz 
Thurs. Feb. 11, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.: Writing Concisely for Abstracts and Short Documents  by Lina Balsamo 
Tues. Feb. 23, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.: Strategies for Creating an Effective 3MT Presentation  by Dr. Cristina D’Amico 

ADVANCED ACADEMIC ENGLISH (for multilingual graduate students)  

Wed. Feb. 3, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.: Making Claims with Confidence and Accuracy  by Lina Balsamo 

IMPROVING YOUR GRADUATE WRITING (for all graduate students) 
Monday, Feb. 22, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.: Understanding Tone  by Dr. Rachael Cayley 

Pre-recorded Workshops: Check out GCAC’s pre-recorded online workshops, which are all designed to help you improve your written and oral communication skills. On our website, you’ll find descriptions of a wide range of workshops you can watch anytime – on topics such as becoming a more productive writer, working with sources in your writing, communicating scientific information visually and honing your email etiquette. You’ll also find two workshop series to guide you in the writing of research articles – one for students in the humanities and social sciences, the other for those in the physical, life and social sciences writing up experimental (IMRD) studies. You’ll find a full list of what’s available and how to register to view these sessions at this link 

GCAC Online Writing Centre Throughout February, the GCAC Writing Centre will be offering online individualized one-on-one synchronous writing support through appointments booked though our website. During these sessions, you’ll meet with a writing consultant, who will work with you using audio/video, chat and a document-sharing whiteboard area. Full details on how to book an appointment can be found here

GCAC listserv Get weekly updates on all the courses, workshops and services that  GCAC offers!  To subscribe to the GCAC listserv, send an email to (upper or lower case is acceptable). In the BODY of the message, type a command of the form: subscribe gcac-l firstname lastname 

You will then receive a “Command Confirmation Request” email. You must reply to that email with “ok” written in the body of the email. Doing so will complete the subscription process. Please note: If you have an automatic signature in your email, please remove it when sending and replying to

We’re looking forward your joining us in February and throughout 2021 

As always, stay healthy, safe and positive! 

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