Funded PhD Positions (Young People, Substance Use, Harm Reduction/Substance Use Care)

Dr. Danya Fast is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and a Research Scientist at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, where she co-leads the Youth Health Research Program. She is a medical anthropologist who has been doing critical qualitative health research with young people who use drugs since 2008.

Dr. Fast is currently recruiting 1-2 incoming PhD students for Fall 2022 with a strong background in qualitative AND/OR community-based participatory action AND/OR anthropological AND/OR arts-based methods who is passionate about doing research broadly focused on young people (<30 years old), substance use and harm reduction/care in the city. This position would be particularly suitable for those with a background in anthropology, sociology, or human geography. Those with a nursing AND/OR harm reduction background are also encouraged to apply. 

These are funded PhD positions ($22,500 per year guaranteed for 4 years). Students will be expected to apply for additional funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and other relevant organizations.  

Students will apply to the PhD programs in Experimental Medicine or the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program at UBC. Alternatively, students with previous graduate training in anthropology can apply to the PhD program in the Department of Anthropology at UBC.

Students will carve out an independent qualitative, mixed methods or arts-based project that is encompassed by one of the following studies:

The Treatment Trajectories Study explores young people’s substance use treatment trajectories and outcomes in the context of Vancouver’s expanding efforts to address the current overdose and COVID-19 crises, including the introduction of safe supply measures. 

The Care Pathways Study focuses on the experiences of younger youth (ages 14-18) as they navigate multiple systems of care and supervision in Greater Vancouver, including the substance use service, criminal justice, government care, paediatric care and mental health care systems. 

Both of these studies include an exploration of how experimental, arts-based methods can be used to tell stories about young people who use drugs and the city. 

More information can be found at:

Interested candidates should send a one-page cover letter (detailing relevant educational background, experience and research interest as aligned with the studies described above), CV and writing sample to Cathy Chabot at ***Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.*** 



Explore our wide range of course-based and research-based program options!