Western University BiologyWestern Science

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

New Students

Important locations to visit when arriving on campus

First, a map of campus: http://www.geography.uwo.ca/campusmaps/images/map/westernandaffiliates.pdf

Western Student Services (Student Central Office)- student card

UCC (SOGS office, room 260)- bus pass and free agenda

Support Services Building (Room 2301)- keys (see instructions http://www.uwo.ca/biology/administration/administrative_information/index.html=).

Support Services Building (ITS, main floor)- bring your laptop to register for internet connection by Ethernet in biology buildings. Wireless internet connections are still available to students in Western buildings (http://www.uwo.ca/its/doc/hdi/wireless/)

Information from the Biology Administration

Laboratory Safety Checklist for New Biology Workers (PDF, 22 KB)

Health and Safety information: http://www.uwo.ca/biology/administration/healthandsafety/index.html
Emergency information, safety training, and additional information

Biology forms: http://www.uwo.ca/biology/administration/finance_forms/index.html
ChemBio stores form, vehicle information and forms, and travel expense claim forms

Information for International and Visiting students

International students: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/int/services/index.html?prearrival

Visiting students: http://grad.uwo.ca/current_students/visiting_exchange/visiting.html. Most visiting students will fill out Visiting Graduate Students (Research Only)

Financial support in Biology



Graduate Student Services

Human Resources: http://uwo.ca/hr/
Payroll, personal information, and leave of absence
Instructions: http://uwo.ca/hr/form_doc/pay_admin/doc/critical_info.pdf

Society of Graduate Students: http://www.uwo.ca/sogs/
Additional health plans and bus pass
Note: international students have a required health plan (UHIP). See http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/int/services/?uhip

Student Central Office: http://www.registrar.uwo.ca/general-information/student_central_office.html
Student card, transcripts, and letters

Parking and Visitor Services: http://www.uwo.ca/parking/
Parking passes, visitor areas, alternative transportation

Health Services: http://www.shs.uwo.ca/student/studenthealthservices.html
Medical care, mental health, wellness services

Student Development Centre: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/
Disabilities and psychological services
Indigenous and international student services
Writing support and learning skills services

Housing information

UWO Housing Website: http://www.has.uwo.ca/housing/
Information for all on-campus housing options
Off-campus housing information and active listings: http://offcampus.uwo.ca/

PadMapper: https://www.padmapper.com/
This is a very useful map-based apartment search engine that plots apartments on a Google map, and lets you filter for what you want (price, number of bedrooms, amenities, etc.)

Make sure you:
1. Check the bus service for the areas you are interested in. Some locations in London have limited service times. See http://www.ltconline.ca/
2. Ask graduate students in your lab for recommendations

Nearby school districts

Ontario Ministry of Education: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/sift/PCsearch.asp/
Allows you to find schools nearby and learn more about them

The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB): http://www.tvdsb.ca/board.cfm?subpage=87821&adminActivate=1
Maps by school name of school district boundaries in London

Research and travel expenses

Online expense report

Fill out one expense report for each trip or group of expenses within 60 days. You will need a speed code for your expenses, check with your supervisor or other appropriate person.

1. Go to Financial Services: http://www.uwo.ca/finance/. Click on ‘Western Financials Login’ button on right side.

2. Click ‘Employee Self-Service’ then ‘Travel and Expense Center’.

3. Click ‘Expense Report’ then ‘Create’. Note: you can save an expense report at anytime by clicking ‘Save For Later’, it can be accessed again by clicking ‘Expense Report’ then ‘Modify’ then ‘Search’.

4. Fill out the General Information. For the comment box it is important to be detailed with purpose, dates, and mention your association to your supervisor, e.g. PhD student of Dr. X. For default location, hit magnifying glass and select Canada. For Travel end date, hit the calendar button. Do not fill out reference.

5. Click ‘Accounting Default’ (under General Information box) and enter the speed code. Click OK. Note: you will not see the speed code in the rest of the expense report, you will see that there is a project number.

6. Under Details, have one line for each receipt/expense. Select the most appropriate expense type and select the date of the expense. For each line, you have to hit ‘*detail’ and fill out the new window. Click ‘Accounting Detail’ and check that the account number is correct for the expense by clicking the ‘Account’ magnifying glass icon then click ‘Advanced Lookup’. Under description, select ‘contains’ and type in “research”, “travel”, or “conf” (for conference). Select the appropriate account number. Click OK then ‘Return to Expense Report’.

7. Click ‘Check For Errors’ and address any issues

8. Click ‘Select EFT’ if you want direct deposit otherwise a cheque will be mailed (takes longer). Note: the direct deposit information must already be in the payroll system.

9. Click ‘Finish and Submit’

Detailed instructions are found at: http://www.uwo.ca/finance/pplsoft/docs/TravelExp.pdf

Internal awards and other Internal Finances

Biology Department internal awards list: http://www.uwo.ca/biology/graduate/current/scholarships_and_awards.html

Biology Department research grants and thesis awards list: http://www.uwo.ca/biology/graduate/current/researchgrants_thesis.html

School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies internal awards and finances list: http://grad.uwo.ca/current_students/student_finances/funding_opportunities.html

Society of Graduate Students awards and bursaries: http://www.uwo.ca/sogs/Benefits/financial.html

Travel awards

Biology Department travel awards: http://www.uwo.ca/biology/graduate/current/scholarships_and_awards.html

Society of Graduate Students travel awards: http://www.uwo.ca/sogs/Benefits/financial.html#travel

External awards

Biology Department external awards list: http://www.uwo.ca/biology/graduate/current/scholarships_and_awards.html

School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies external awards list: http://grad.uwo.ca/current_students/student_finances/funding_opportunities.html

Small awards list for graduate students (PDF, 338 KB)

Conflicts or Disputes

Thesis supervisor

More Details can be found in the Biology Graduate Student Handbook.

The procedure for resolving conflicts is as follows:

1. Meet one-on-one with your supervisor to discuss concerns and expectations on both sides.

2. If this does not resolve the issue, meet with an advisory committee member to discuss whether expectations are realistic and problem solving strategies.

3. If the issue remains unresolved, set-up a meeting with the Biology Graduate Student Chair.

4. If you want to meet with someone other than the Biology Graduate Student Chair, set-up a meeting with the Faculty of Science Associate Dean of Graduate and Post Doctoral Studies (contact the assistant to the Associate Dean) or the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Associate Vice-Provost (contact the Administrative assistant to the Vice-Provost).

Faculty of Science: http://www.uwo.ca/sci/about_science/personnel/index.html
SPGS: http://grad.uwo.ca/current_students/contacts/index.html

TAing course supervisor

The procedure for resolving conflicts is as follows:

1. Informal discussion with the course supervisor to resolve the issue. This should be done with any relevant documents (e.g. tracked hours log, TA contract, etc.). Any TA is eligible for union representation at this or any other meeting.

2. If the issue remains unresolved, informal discussion can continue with the Biology Chair, Dean of Science, or SGPS, at the request of the TA.

3. If informal discussion is unsuccessful, a formal grievance form can be filed with the Dean of Science (http://www.psac610.ca/grievance-procedure). Timelines for response and resolution are specified in the link.

4. If the formal discussion of the grievance is not resolved with the Dean of Science, the issue can be resolved with SGPS.

5. If the formal discussion of the grievance is not resolved with SGPS, the issue will then move into arbitration, where a final decision will be made.

Detailed instructions can be found at http://www.psac610.ca/grievance-procedure and http://www.psac610.ca/collective-agreements. A TA is eligible for union representation at any stage in the dispute.