The Peer Communication Team

The Peer Communication Team is a group of senior graduate students whose vision is to improve the communication skills of graduate students across the department.

Our initiative will provide all LMP graduate students across all our programs with feedback on a presentation of their research which includes:

  • Constructive and tangible feedback on presentation style.
  • An individual practice session prior to the student’s Graduate Seminar, Capstone project, or any other presentation requirement, with skilled communicators/coaches affiliated with LMP, who will provide their insight, feedback, and support.
  • A friendly, inclusive environment that supports and encourages peer learning.

Receive coaching on your upcoming presentation

Whether it be preparation for a Monday seminar, capstone or thesis defense, or a poster presentation, the coaches can give you supportive and constructive feedback.

Request a coaching session now by emailing Sophia (sophia.mellliou@mail.utoronto.ca) or Matsya (matsya.thulasiram@mail.utoronto.ca).

Volunteer to become a peer coach!

We are recruiting senior graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and alumni from across LMP to be coaches.

A peer coach can support graduate students with topics related to:

  • Effectively communicating research.
  • Improving presentation quality.
  • Highlighting relevance/importance with effective communications to non-experts.
  • Practicing professional demeanor when public speaking.
  • Improving confidence when talking in front of an audience.

Sign up to be a coach

How will it work?

Students in the research stream will be emailed to participate in a coaching session for the week before their Graduate Seminar presentation. All other students can request a session based on their needs by contacting the team.

The Peer Communication Team will send a doodle poll to the pool of registered peer coaches who can volunteer for that timeslot/student on a first-come, first-served basis.

Coaching sessions will typically take place on a Friday afternoon and last a maximum of two hours. These sessions will occur throughout the academic year.

I’m in! How do I sign up to be a peer coach?

Complete our online form to become a coach:

Sign up now for new or returning coaches

If you have any questions, please email:

We are excited to have you on our team and can't wait to work with you.

Regards,

LMP Peer Communication Team

Joseph Hannah

Did you know?

Several of the winning poster presentations from the LMP Research Conference (LMPRC) 2022 were from students coached by the PCT!

Hear the experiences of those in the program!

Joseph Hanna

Joseph Hanna, PhD Candidate – coaching recipient

“I heard about LMP Peer Communication Team before my seminar presentation. Despite previously presenting in LMP, there is always room for improvement, and I thought it will be beneficial to get my peers' input. It turns out to be a profound and rewarding experience.

The team was very accommodating by setting up a date to meet at a convenient time allowing me to prepare with enough time to adjust before the seminar. The meeting was a wonderful experience where they gave me constructive feedback through discussions and in-depth feedback sheets. It was valuable to get the input of experienced peers from different research backgrounds. I got tips on how to get the audience more engaged and make my presentation clear.

After the seminar, I was able to see the difference from the audience's positive feedback. Overall, it was a profound experience and I highly recommend reaching out to the team to improve your presentation and public speaking skills. I am also looking forward to getting involved as a coach to pass on what I learned to my peers”.

Negar Khosraviani

Negar Khosraviani, PhD Candidate – coaching recipient and now coach

“I joined the Peer Communications Team because I really liked the concept of graduate students helping one another on research presentation and effective communications. Through my involvement with PCT, I get the opportunity to transfer my presentation/communication skills to my peers while learning how to provide constructive feedback. I would recommend others to join the Peer Communication Team as a coach because it is a rewarding experience to help a fellow graduate student, and the team is very friendly and supportive.”

Marsel Lino

Marsel Lino, alumnus of the MSc and PhD programs - coach

“I did my MSc and PhD at LMP in the laboratories of Dr. Khosrow Adeli and Dr. Michelle P. Bendeck, respectively. I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. C. Ronald Kahn’s laboratory at the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School, where I am studying the functions of non-coding RNAs in adipose biology and diabetes.

I was excited to learn of the LMP Peer Communication Team organized by Matsya and Sofia who have done an excellent job of providing a platform where students can practice their presentations and receive feedback from senior students or alumni. This is an excellent program that I wish had been around when I was a student!

One benefit of a multi-disciplinary department such as LMP is that I am always learning as a coach. LMP students are pretty talented, so I am often learning new and effective ways to communicate complex science and datasets. 

I would strongly recommend becoming a coach! It is extremely well-organized, and Matsya and Sofia have done an excellent job moderating the sessions, so they are focused, effective, and on time. Importantly, it is a rewarding experience and an integral part of academic training and offers a rare opportunity to provide feedback while simultaneously learning about new fields of research.”

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