Milestones and Pathways Program for Graduate Students

Milestones and Pathways is a Faculty of Arts & Science initiative supported by the School of Graduate Studies Innovation Fund. The initiative aims to support graduate students as they progress through their studies and prepare for their careers.

  • Milestones activities help students reach key benchmarks in their graduate training, including passing departmental examinations and writing dissertations.
  • Pathways activities provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in careers within and outside the Academy. These events may include alumni networking opportunities and professional development workshops.

If you have any questions about the Milestones and Pathways program or developing an activity within your unit, please contact Erin Macnab (, Assistant Director, Teaching & Learning Initiatives.

Funding Support

We invite proposals for unit-led activities through the Milestones and Pathways program. Units in the Faculty of Arts & Science may request funding support between $1,000 and $5,000 for each proposed activity.

  • Proposals may be developed and submitted by faculty members, staff or graduate students (with a faculty or staff sponsor).
  • Proposals must be submitted through a primary academic department or unit. It is possible to propose activities across cognate units or departments.
  • Proposals are accepted and reviewed monthly.
  • There is no deadline for funding. Please allow five weeks from the time of submission for the committee to review and reach a decision about the funding request.

Application Process

  1. Please review the PDF iconGuidelines for Funding Proposals (PDF) are general guidelines for proposing activities under the Milestones & Pathways Program.
  2. Access and complete the Milestones & Pathways Funding Request for Unit-Led Activities (MSForms).

Your application and proposal must provide the following information

  • The primary unit/department submitting the request for funding support.
  • A contact person and their email address (i.e., someone who can be contacted, if needed, for further information about the proposed activity).
  • A brief title, description and rationale for the proposed activity.
  • The number of graduate students who will be participating in the activity.
  • The total amount of funding requested, including a budget outlining how the funds will be spent.

Unit-Based Graduate Writing Support

Dr. Daniel Aureliano Newman, Director of Graduate Writing Support, is available to develop and run an assortment of writing-based activities in your unit including in-house consultations, clinics, seminars, writing boot camps, writing groups and writing retreats. If you have questions or are interested in additional writing support, please contact Dr. Daniel Aureliano Newman (

Mental Health and Wellness Training Opportunities

The A&S Mental Health Programs Officer can assist in developing activities that promote student well-being. As part of our commitment to supporting mental health within the Arts & Science community, the Faculty promotes mental health literacy through the provision and coordination of education and training opportunities. All available mental health and training workshops are available on the mental health and wellness training oppotunities webpage

Toolkits for Developing Milestones and Pathways Activities

The following toolkits provide tips and resources for proposing and running activities through the Milestones and Pathways program. These toolkits are based on previous successful applications, but feel free to adapt the proposed activity to the needs and priorities of your unit.

  • PDF iconOn-campus writing groups (PDF) are designed to provide graduate students with a supportive community and regular, structured meetings to focus on a writing project over several weeks or months.
  • PDF iconOff-campus writing retreats (PDF) are available to provide graduate students with a structured, supportive environment to focus on a writing project in a condensed period of time.
  • PDF iconPreparing for departmental examinations (PDF) involves activities that demystify the departmental examination process and aid students. It provides iformation and resources for offering a workshop geared towards helping graduate students prepare for departmental examinations.
  • PDF iconProfessional skills workshops (PDF) support the development of skills necessary for academic or non-academic work.

To apply for a workshop or writing retreat, or if you have any questions about proposing or preparing your activity, please contact Erin Macnab (