Apply to become a public scholar

UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies' flagship scholarship program, the Public Scholars Initiative (PSI), is accepting applications for its 8th cohort of students.

A groundbreaking undertaking, the PSI moves beyond ‘skills training’ and extracurricular experience, and reimagines PhD pathways that legitimize and integrate broader conceptions of scholarship within doctoral education and dissertation research. Launched in 2015, PSI has since won national and international recognition for its focus on ‘reimagining the PhD’ to benefit society and enhance career readiness. The program has awarded more than $2.1M in the past seven years to doctoral students.

This innovative program encourages and funds impactful, cross-disciplinary, multisectoral doctoral research. UBC’s Public Scholars enjoy academic support, professional development and networking opportunities, and up to $20,000 in funding over two years for research expenses and/or stipend. 

With a current network of more than 260 students and alumni, scholars have conducted a variety of cross-disciplinary research - from developing new technologies to protecting old-growth forests. Working in more than 40 different countries around the globe, with more than 150 communities, PSI scholars are contributing to the public good.

What's new for 2022/23?

  • This year funding is available for up to 30-35 new students, with potential funding for a second year.
  • Okanagan students are now able to apply!
  • The program is also accepting applications for a unique "Climate Emergency Stream" (CES). The CES is a dedicated funding source to further increase the numbers of PSI Scholars working on issues related to the Climate Emergency, understood broadly.


UBC Vancouver doctoral students in PhD, EdD and DMA programs are eligible, as well as UBC Okanagan doctoral students in years 1-5. Public Scholars must submit a report at the end of their first year and present their work as part of the PhDs Go Public event series.

Apply now

For more information on the program, the application details, and any other questions, please contact Serbulent Turan or visit the PSI website.

Thursday, 05 May 2022