Lake Shift Dissertation Writing Retreat

Note: Due to technical issues, the deadline for this opportunity has been extended to Monday, May 11, 2020 (previously May 4).


The Faculty of Graduate Studies invites PhD students who are at the writing stage of their dissertation to apply for the Lake Shift Dissertation Writing Retreat, July 12-17, 2020, hosted by the School of Graduate Studies at Queen’s University.  York University has been given 5 spaces for students this summer.

The retreat takes place at the Queen’s University Biology Station on Lake Opinicon (a 50-minute drive north of Kingston), which is the perfect setting for doctoral students to have access to structured time to write, workshops on tips for effective dissertation writing, opportunities to network with other doctoral students and all in a naturally beautiful location. The objective of the retreat is to enable doctoral students to make substantial progress toward writing their thesis and to develop foundations to maintain that momentum. The fringe benefits of The Lake Shift include swimming, canoeing, hiking and campfire conversations which make for a balance of the cerebral with the physical and social for a well-rounded experience.

Please visit the Queen’s School of Graduate Studies website for details about the retreat:

Retreat dates: Sunday July 12th, 2020 through Friday July 17, 2020. Applicants must be able to attend the entire retreat.


Applicants must be:

  • registered full time in a PhD program at York University;
  • in ABD (“all but dissertation”) status, having completed course work and comprehensive exams, with an approved dissertation proposal on file at FGS;
  • in the chapter writing phase of the dissertation in order to best take advantage of the writing retreat.


Application deadline: Monday May 4th, 2020

  • Complete application form. The following documents need to be uploaded to the form to complete the application;
  • A short statement of interest that indicates current progress on your dissertation;
  • A short letter of support from dissertation supervisor indicating that the student is at the chapter writing stage and that their dissertation progress would be aided by a dissertation writing retreat.

Cost to student

  • $100
  • Student travel costs to and from Kingston Bus/Train station
  • All other costs will be covered by FGS, including shared accommodation, 3 meals a day and snacks in between, workshops, writing spaces, and transportation from the Kingston train or bus station to Lake Opinicon and back to Kingston (if required).


For more information:

  • Judy Tse
    Research Officer
    Faculty of Graduate Studies