Queen's University

School of

Graduate Studies

School of

Graduate Studies

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Dissertation Boot Camp​

Bootcampers from years past


To allow you to make substantial progress in writing your thesis or dissertation in a supportive and distraction free environment.

The primary aim of the 5-day Dissertation Boot Camp is for you to write and to make substantial headway on your thesis. To achieve this goal, you’ll spend the majority of your time writing, with breaks for snacks, lunch, and structured group discussions about topics relevant to thesis writers.

To help you make the most of your commitment, the Boot Camp organizers will create a writing environment that is specifically designed to help you be productive and write free of distraction—no Internet access and cell phone use except during lunch break, quiet, conversation free space —to enable you to concentrate on writing.

Our expectation is that you will arrive every day of the Boot Camp with materials prepared and pre-work done to enable you to focus on writing. The two most significant components of this pre-work will be, first, to meet with your supervisor prior to the Boot Camp to plan your goals for the week and, second, to organize the materials (articles, notes, data, charts, etc.) that you will need to bring with you to Douglas Library so that you can write without interruption. At the Boot Camp, you can expect to write between 5 and 6 hours each day.

During the five days, you will also have the opportunity to sign up for 25-minute one-on-one consultations with the expert staff of Student Academic Success Services: Learning Strategies and the Writing Centre to get personalized feedback on your written work and advice on how to address any barriers you encounter in your writing.

How you can prepare

  • Talk to your supervisor
  • Decide which portion(s) of your project to focus on
  • Gather necessary materials ahead of time
    • Hard copies or saved PDFs of sources
    • Your notes
    • Previous drafts/comments
  • Consider what you’d like to focus on during a 1:1 consultation

Dates for 2015 

  • Dissertation Boot Camp 1: 17th to 20th February (4 days only in Reading Week) 
  • Dissertation Boot Camp 2: 8th to 12th June (5 days).

Registration for June 2015 is now open!

Please complete the following registration form and return to Colette Steer, School of Graduate Studies, Gordon Hall, room 425 OR email steerc@queensu.ca. (ensure you save the document first)

Registration Form for June 2015 (239KB)

NB: Priority to attend the camps go to doctoral students and those nearing completion. 

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