Professional Development

New online professional development training
–​ - tailor made for busy grad students

Toronto, September 8, 2014- Too busy at work in labs, lecture halls, and libraries to plot their career paths, graduate students now have a unique set of online training resources to help them make the leap into the work world and to succeed in any career.

Recognizing the unique experiences of graduate students, a group of Ontario universities has come together with the help of funding from the Ontario government to develop, a set of free online professional skills training tools that will help grad students find their future.

“Graduate students have a different experience at university than undergrads,” says Bonnie M. Patterson, President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).

“Being asked to scour literature, analyze data, write papers and take classes is an intense experience. Grad students haven’t had the time to consider what’s next, and so universities are offering them this extraordinary free professional development program to take online, in their own time and at their own pace.”​, developed by the Ontario Consortium for Graduate Professional Skills training, is available starting today to any Ontario graduate student. Using their university email account, students can log onto the site to view 18 short, self-paced training units on topics such as how to write a resume, how to conduct a job search, the art of entrepreneurship, teaching and learning, and academic and professional communications.

The online professional development will benefit those who are interested in a career in academia, as well as those seeking to put their credentials to use in business, government or non-profits.

The initiative highlights Ontario’s leading role in graduate education, and the consortium – made up of seven leading research-intensive universities – hopes one day to make the training resources available to graduate students all over the world.

“ is a fantastic resource, and yet another way that Ontario universities are preparing graduate students, especially PhD students, for careers after graduation,” says Allison Sekuler, Associate Vice-President and Dean of Graduate Studies at McMaster University, who led the initiative and is also past chair of COU’s Ontario Council on Graduate Studies.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this novel way to provide professional skills training and to take on this leading role in graduate education. By working together, Ontario universities were able to provide a broad suite of training resources for students that none of us could provide on our own. It’s a great example of how partnerships can help us do more for less, and do it better. We’re looking forward to expanding the resources even more, and bringing on more partners from across Canada and the world.”

The seven universities that are part of the Ontario Consortium for Graduate Professional Skills are the McMaster University, Queen’s University, University of Guelph, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and Western University.

 How to log on! 

  1. ​Go to
  2. Enter your personal information to sign up for the site.  Use your Nipissing University student email address (e.g.
  3. Once you sign in, you will receive a confirmation email to complete the sign up
  4. Follow the link to confirm your user id and password
  5. Once you have signed in to the site, you can review​ the summary of the available courses and enroll yourself in any of the courses free of charge.

Please note that you can go through the courses at your own pace and can stop and return to the site to continue the course at a later time.