Communication & Relationship Building


PhDs Who Excel in Communication & Relationship Building:

Communicate Complex Information

You tailor your communication to a variety of audiences and adjust the level of technical detail to ensure comprehension and impact. You showcase your unique voice and style and present ideas with clarity. 

Disseminate Information Effectively 

You use dissemination channels (publications, social media, etc.) to effectively share information relevant to your research, scholarship, or creative activity.

Work Effectively With Others

You establish rapport, empathy, and understanding with others. You address conflict, give and receive feedback, and manage power imbalances to foster positive working relationships. 

Build Partnerships and Collaborations

You build partnerships that enhance the needs and interests of all parties.

2023-2024 Schedule

Writing Impactful Research Proposals 

September 18, 2023, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET 

A research proposal can determine your path through graduate studies, your potential funding, and your academic and professional future. In this seminar we’ll look at the components that make up successful research proposals to meet the expectations of both your supervisor and committee, and multidisciplinary scholarship review committees.

Preparing to Publish

October 4, 2023, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET

Publishing scholarly work is a key expectation for researchers. In this session, you’ll learn how to navigate the peer review process and how to identify journals that would be suitable venues for your work. The session will also include a discussion about co-authorship and working with journal editors.

Finding Scholarly Information After You Graduate 

November 9, 2023, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET

As a Western student you have access to a wide range of databases, journals, and articles, but you may be surprised to learn that this access ends when you graduate. Many sectors of the job market rely on academic research so how can you find scholarly and scientific literature after you graduate? In this session you will learn how you can continue to access high quality information using freely available resources and tools.

Dissertation Writers' Retreat

December 13 & 14, 2023, 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET 

Remove yourself from daily distractions and focus your time exclusively on dissertation writing! The Dissertation Writers' Retreats provides PhD candidates with dedicated time for intensive writing. Participating in the Retreat can help you make significant progress in writing your dissertation and help establish good writing habits. 

Communicating Your Research: Finding Joy in the Thesis/Dissertation Writing Process

January 30, 2024, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET

The goal is to finish your thesis or dissertation and disseminate your ideas to your discourse community and beyond.  In this seminar we'll explore ways to make the process manageable to ensure you finish. We will discuss strategies you can employ to put your signature on your own research, so you can find joy throughout this vast (but absolutely doable!) undertaking. 

How to Deliver a Dynamic Presentation 

February 27, 2024, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET

Everyone has to write. And everyone has to present. In this session, learn to craft dynamic presentations, so you can effectively communicate your well-researched ideas. Audience analysis, persuasive messaging, impactful delivery, and engaging slide design will be discussed. Remember, it's not just what you say, it's how you say it that matters.

Don't Let Conflict Get in Your Way

Date TBD

Gain confidence navigating difficult conversations with your peers and professors to avoid or navigate conflict. Uncover your conflict style using the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument and immerse yourself in a fictional conflict case and uncover how different conflict styles address conflict. You will leave with tools to help you deal with conflict and difficult conversations with peers and professors.

SGPS 9103: Academic Writing

6-week course offered in May-June, Dates & Time TBD

This six-week course will introduce you to the fundamentals of English grammar and provide you with the tools to write clear, correct, and accessible academic prose. Emphasis will be placed on the basic principles of effective academic writing and on establishing a foundation that will allow you to develop into a confident academic writer. 

SGPS 9104: Communicating Research to Non-Experts

6-week course offered in May-June, Dates & Time TBD

This six-week course will help you develop the skills and competencies to communicate to diverse audiences with a particular emphasis on communicating to general/non-specialist audiences. Students will learn strategies for effectively communicating complex, disciplinary specific ideas to non-specialist audiences in ways that are clear, concise and captivating, and focus on refining their writing and presenting skills.

more Communication resources for phds

GradWRITE Seminars

Seminars that cover a variety of topics to help you learn about and successfully address the expectations involved in writing theses, dissertations, manuscripts, proposals, applications, literature reviews, abstracts, and more.

Western Libraries

Workshops and events related to Research Support and Scholarly Communication.

Western Research

Support in sharing your research story with traditional and non-traditional audiences