Together with the University of Toronto community, the School of the Environment is monitoring the current situation with COVID-19 and striving to adapt to changing priorities to meet the needs of our graduate students in support of their successful completion of courses and requirements for the Collaborative Specializations in Environmental Studies and Environment and Health. These include:
Research Day: We have a number of doctoral students who were scheduled to give a presentation of their research work at the School of the Environment’s Research Day in fulfillment of the final requirement for completing the collaborative specializations, prior to graduating in the next months. As with all other School of the Environment events, Research Day has unfortunately been cancelled. As an alternative to giving a formal presentation, doctoral students have been invited to submit documentation demonstrating that they have presented their research to a wider audience such as at a conference seen to be important in their respective fields of study. As an alternate option, PhD students are encouraged to submit an electronic version of a poster summarizing the results of their doctoral research. These will be printed as hardcopies and hung at the School of the Environment for viewing at a later date when we return to normal operations. Please stay tuned to future announcements about when and where posters can be viewed to learn about the exciting interdisciplinary research that our collaborative doctoral students are doing!
Internships: Students enrolled in a non-thesis master’s degree program are required to complete an internship in fulfillment of the graduate Collaborative Specialization in Environmental Studies, which is normally done in the summer months. For most of our students, internships are arranged via their home units, where this requirement is built into their degree programs of study. Our collaborating units are currently working hard to finding alternative options for students to complete this requirement for their degree programs, so students are encouraged to consult their home units for updates.
Students who do not have an internship arranged for them in their home units have the option of taking ENV 4444Y and finding an internship placement in fulfilling the requirements of the graduate Collaborative Specialization in Environmental Studies. Students who were intending to pursue this option this summer may be facing a great deal of uncertainty as to whether their internships will be held, as planned. Some internship placements may have already been cancelled given the closure of physical spaces and need for physical distancing. In certain circumstances, the School will consider waiving the internship requirement for non-thesis master’s degree program students planning to convocate in the upcoming months in support of their successful completion of the Collaborative Specialization in Environmental Studies. If you are in this situation, please contact our graduate administrator, Pavel Pripa, as soon as possible to obtain further advice.
Further resources: The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) is constantly updating their website to provide news about the current situation for graduate students (see: https://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/covid19/). Along with updates, SGS has provided an extensive list of resources and information for current students, including questions relating impacts on winter 2020 courses, graduate research, departmental examinations, the status of International Visiting Graduate Students, graduate funding and TAship(s) and accessibility accommodations and supports.
For graduate students seeking immediate financial assistance, SGS offers emergency loans (see: https://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/awards/sgs-emergency-loan/) and grants (see: https://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/awards/sgs-emergency-grant/).
Finally, we would like to take the opportunity to emphasize the fact that the current situation is placing a great deal of additional stress on all. Feeling anxious is normal. For those seeking specific advice on how to mentally cope with the current situation, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health outlines some useful resources and information at: https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19.