The Lake Shift

Doctoral Writing Retreat

July 14 to 19, 2019

LOCATION: Queen’s university Biology station – Lake opinicon

The Lake Shift is an annual five-day writing retreat for doctoral students from Ontario universities that started in 2016.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 in 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 look at past retreats on the Queen’s School of Graduate Studies website as this gives you a good sense of what goes on at the Lake Shift.

application DEADLINE – June 1:

How to apply:

The VITAE Office and the Faculty of Graduate Studies are committed to helping you succeed! We have secured 4 spaces for the upcoming Lake Shift Writing Retreat. Please submit a statement of interest clearly explaining 1. your specific writing goals for the retreat and 2. how you would benefit from this experience.

Please note: Registration fees covered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies/VITAE include: 3 meals a day, workshops, writing spaces,shared accommodation, and transportation to and from Lake Opinicon to either Kingston’s bus or rail station.

Transportation to and from Kingston is not included and is the responsibility of the student. There are only shared accommodations — which means that you will most likely be ‘bunking’ with students from other universities.

Please apply in the form below.



  • Stage of Completion * Required
  • Are you enrolled in full-time doctoral studies? * Required
    Please note, preference will be given to students enrolled in full time studies.
  • What writing supports have you accessed in the past? * Required
    We would like to understand what writing services and supports graduate students use.
  • In 300 words or less, please explain; 1. Your specific writing goals for the retreat. 2. Tell us how you would benefit from this writing retreat.
  • Because there are only shared accommodations, graduate students have said they prefer to attend the retreat with another graduate student colleague.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.