Advance, October 2020: the differential impact of COVID-19, 2019-2020 Banting Fellowship recipients, and more

In this issue of Advance, hear about our new free service for promoting grad student and postdoc positions, share your thoughts on how to best support those differentially affected by the pandemic, and read a two-part series on COVID-19 and a new vision of a PhD defence day by the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Also meet UBC's 2019-2020 Banting Postdoctoral Fellows, Dr. Céline Laumont (Department of Medical Genetics), Dr. Yale Michaels (School of Biomedical Engineering) and Dr. Viv Tulloch (Department of Forest and Conservation Science).

To navigate the newsletter more easily, please use the table of contents below:

COVID-19 UPdates

For the most up-to-date COVID-19-related information pertaining to graduate students please visit the G+PS website. There you can find information on finance, dissertations, housing, supports for international students, and more.

The Postdoctoral Fellows Office has also created a COVID-19 page on the PDFO website detailing supports and resources for postdoctoral fellows during the COVID-19 outbreak, including current online professional development offerings and health and wellness supports.

New free service for promoting grad student and postdoc positions  

On September 1, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies launched a service that will help UBC programs and units post masters, PhD and postdoc, as well as faculty opportunities into academic career portals to attract a strong and diverse applicant pool. Originally, the service covered two partners: Nature Careers and EurAxess. Since launch, the service has been extended to cover Mendeley Careers, jobRxiv, and Handshake. LinkedIn is under consideration right now. Note that this service is free of charge to users, and, in the case of Nature Careers, a considerable cost-savings given the usual US$699 charge for individual ads. We encourage our faculty members to consider posting PhD positions into this service. 

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Repairing the differential impact of COVID-19

In the best of times, gender inequalities in academia create additional barriers for women to succeed. Studies now show that COVID-19 has exacerbated these existing inequalities, resulting in adverse effects on women’s research. Associate Deans Julian Dierkes and Theresa Rogers encourage units to consider ways in which graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have been impacted by COVID-19, and welcome thoughts and suggestions on how to best support those differentially affected by the pandemic. 

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Open Access Publishing as an option for sharing research results 

G+PS has long supported graduate students in their efforts to disseminate the results of their research by offering a one-time-per-degree $500 award to present at conferences. Given pandemic circumstances and a move of academic culture away from in-person travel as a response to the climate emergency, we have opened our reimbursement to open access publishing fees. 

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Department shares perspectives on virtual doctoral defences 

Due to COVID-19 and physical distancing protocols, doctoral defences are currently being held online via Zoom. The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine recently published a two-part series on COVID-19 and a new vision of a PhD defence day—sharing both a graduate student’s and a supervisor’s perspectives.

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Introducing UBC’s 2019-2020 Banting Postdoctoral Fellows  

The Postdoctoral Fellows Office is pleased to introduce UBC’s 2019-2020 Banting Postdoctoral Fellows. Out of 70 fellowships awarded, three UBC postdocs have received this prestigious award in the 2019-2020 competition. We congratulate and welcome Dr. Céline Laumont (Department of Medical Genetics), Dr. Yale Michaels (School of Biomedical Engineering) and Dr. Viv Tulloch (Department of Forest and Conservation Science). 

The UBC internal Banting Competition is managed by the Postdoctoral Fellows Office. Information about the 2021 internal competition will be released by the PDFO inspiring of 2021. 

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Announcing the 2020 Killam Postdoctoral Fellow Research Prize competition

The 2020 Killam Postdoctoral Fellow Research Prize competition is now open. Funded by the generous donation of Izaak Walton Killam and his wife, Dorothy Johnston Killam, who together created the Killam trusts, this $5,000 prize is awarded to two postdocs each year for outstanding research contributions achieved during their UBC postdoc appointments.   

The Killam PDF Research Prize is administered through the PDFO and all nominations are to be forwarded to Application instructions and forms can be found on the PDFO website. The nomination deadline for submission to the PDFO from the respective Deans’ offices is Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 10:00 AM PST. 

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UBC postdocs celebrated at 10th Annual National Postdoc Appreciation Week

This year marked the 10th annual National Postdoc Appreciation Week, and the Postdoctoral Fellows Office was proud to celebrate UBC’s postdoc community with a week-long series of virtual events. This year’s NPAW saw special events hosted by President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Santa Ono and Vice-President Research & Innovation Dr. Matthew Evenden, as well as a series of panels on the academic job search featuring UBC postdoc alumni as well as Associate Deans Dr. Brett Eaton and Dr. Mark MacLachlan.  

National Postdoc Appreciation Week was created in 2009 by the National Postdoctoral Association to recognize the significant contributions that postdoctoral scholars make to research and discovery. Held during the third week of September, we encourage postdocs and supervisors/PIs to recognize the efforts of their postdocs during this week of celebration. 

UBC information & opportunities

  • Join G+PS on October 23 for an interactive session on graduate supervision, where we will share some key principles and practices for supervising graduate students, especially in the current context of Covid-19, and provide a range of strategies, cases, and resources. Designed for new faculty, but open to all. RSVP
  • On November 5, don't miss an introduction to the graduate student and postdoctoral ecosystem at UBC, including resources and services that are available to help you recruit, fund and effectively mentor graduate students and postdocs, and an opportunity to meet fellow new faculty members. RSVP
  • Are you a graduate program staff member or advisor wishing to learn more about how UBC supports graduate student professional development? Join representatives from various campus unit for an information session on December 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. on Zoom. Contact for further information. Register