Friedman Award for Scholars in Health


Likely in March 2025

Annual Value

Awards of up to $50,000 each will be granted for 6 to 12 months of study


Permanent Resident

Degree Level


The Friedman Award for Scholars in Health supports learning and research opportunities for graduate students or medical residents working in the broad area of health, to bring new perspectives to their education and further their career.

The Friedman Award for Scholars in Health is named after two of the earliest faculty members in the UBC Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Sydney Friedman and his wife Dr. Constance Livingstone-Friedman believed that well-rounded and transformative education includes learning from different perspectives and cultures, and they wished to support such learning among UBC graduate students and medical residents.

Awards of up to $50,000 each will be granted for 6 to 12 months of study outside Western Canada. The award amount will be at the discretion of the adjudication committee. Each recipient of a Friedman Award will be designated a “Friedman Scholar”.

Travelling outside of Canada: When students are planning travel outside of Canada for university purposes, they have obligations under UBC’s Student Safety Abroad Policy (SC12). Students are required to have adequate travel medical insurance, to register their travel on UBC’s Safety Abroad Registry, and to use the resources provided by UBC to support safe travel planning and risk management. In locations where the Government of Canada has official travel advisories in place, students are required to request High-Risk Authorization before travelling.  For more information, see: or email



Applicant eligibility:

  • Research discipline eligibility: The Friedman Award for Scholars in Health is open to any UBC graduate student or UBC medical resident studying in the area of health. ‘Health’ is interpreted very broadly, and includes health promotion and disease prevention, mental health research, laboratory sciences related to medicine or health, public health, health services research, or any area intended to impact human health.
  • Applicant status: As of the application deadline, applicant must be enrolled in a UBC graduate program (Master's or Doctoral) or UBC medical residency program
  • Recipient status: Recipient must be a current UBC student or current UBC medical resident for the duration of the travel/funding period.  If a recipient graduates from UBC or completes their medical residency before the end of the Friedman funding period, the Friedman funding offer will be reduced or rescinded.

Opportunity Eligibility:

Friedman Scholars are expected to travel to other areas of the world to seek new perspectives, initiate new collaborations with experts in their fields and be exposed to different cultures.

  • Host organizations: Host organizations or groups may include universities or research centres, non-governmental organizations, private sector companies, government agencies or units, or any other groups or individuals who are leaders in the field.
  • Location: Travel must be outside of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
  • Duration:
    • Travel must be for a minimum of 6 months (to a maximum of 12 months), to carry out scholarly work, gain new knowledge and perspectives in the field of study, and absorb the scholarly culture of the host institution. Note: remote work based in Vancouver would not count as part of the minimum 6 months period.
    • Travel must begin no earlier than June 1, 2024 and no later than May 31, 2025.
    • The total time span of the travel must be contained within a 12-month period.  For example, if an applicant applies for 6 months of travel/funding, but wishes to spread out the travel in 2-month segments, the total funded travel period must still be completed no later than 12 months from the start date of the first travel period.
  • Clinical fellowships: Opportunities for further clinical training for medical residents, such as Clinical Fellowships, Traineeships, observerships, visiting electives, and/or placements must include a research component to be eligible for funding. Please note that residents undertaking clinical fellowships/traineeships are required to maintain active UBC student registration for the duration of their travel/funding period.
  • Prior connection to host supervisor/host institution: Applicants are expected to propose transformative new experiences and collaborations. 
    • ‘New experiences’ may include: new methodology, and/or new host site, and/or new host supervisor.
    • If the proposed experience is with a host supervisor that serves on the applicant’s supervisory committee, or with a host supervisor with whom the supervisor’s lab already has an existing collaboration, the application would generally be ineligible, unless the experience goes significantly beyond existing collaborations. 
      • In the case of existing collaborations, applicants must include in their "outline of the educational opportunity" document a strong justification for returning to a host supervisor or host site whom they have already worked with.
      • Applications for applicants who are already at the host site, or who are aiming to fund an in-progress project, would be deemed ineligible.  For example, medical residents wishing to apply for Friedman funding for a clinical research fellowship that has already started at the host site would be deemed ineligible.
  • Necessity of funding: The proposal should clearly explain that the project would not be possible without the Friedman funding.  For example, medical residents should indicate how the Friedman funding would affect their clinical fellowship (ex. extend their fellowship duration, allow travel that would not otherwise be funded from other sources).
  • Regarding COVID-19: The Friedman is an award to fund travel. Applicants should approach their application with the assumption that travel will be possible in 2024/2025, and should COVID-19 related travel restrictions affect international travel further information will be provided as necessary.  Remote work in Vancouver will not be funded.

Eligible Budget Expenses:

Funds received from this award are to be used for expenses related to the opportunity. These may include: travel expenses (airfare, visas, health insurance, etc.), living expenses (rent, groceries, etc.), fees assessed for related educational endeavours. Other kinds of research or project-related expenses should include a justification in the budget template document.

The funds may not be used for expenses already incurred. None of the funds shall be used to pay down or reduce current or past educational debt, to pay a personal stipend for the learner, or to pay UBC tuition.

Any unused funds must be returned to UBC for future disbursement through the Friedman Scholar Program.

Evaluation Criteria

Student/resident past accomplishments and future promise

Awardees should be individuals with evidence of and future promise for innovative outlooks and scholarship, leadership ability and high likelihood of making a positive difference in the field of health.

The nature and quality of the learning opportunity

This includes the calibre of the mentor or organization with whom the applicant will work, and the quality and likely contribution of the learning experience with respect to the applicant’s career and personal development.

The potential impact of the learning/work opportunity on the field of health

This may include potential direct impact, or potential impact on the field through significant scholarly growth of the individual awardee.

Application Procedures

A complete application must be submitted online by 4:00 pm PT on 13 March 2024. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered; it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that their application is complete by the deadline. Please follow up with your referees before the deadline as appropriate.

A complete application consists of the following:

Submitted by applicant - SUBMIT APPLICATION HERE

  • Application form
  • Concise outline of the educational opportunity (4 pages maximum)
    • Description of key personnel, host organization, and their mission and contributions to the broad area of health
    • Timeline of the opportunity - Include start/end dates and key milestones
    • Details of the opportunity - Describe the learning environment, learning objectives, specific activities, and expected outcomes
    • Potential impact of the opportunity on the field of health and on your career and/or personal development
    • Note to Medical resident applicants: Indicate how the Friedman funding would affect the clinical fellowship (ex. extend the fellowship duration, allow travel that would not otherwise be funded from other sources).
  • References/bibliography/citation (1 page maximum)
    • If applicable, list publications and other works/sources that are cited in your “concise outline of the educational opportunity”
  • Simple budget (1 page maximum) (see Excel template)
  • Synopsis of your education to date (1 page maximum)
    • You may, but are not required to, format this section to resemble a short CV
    • Recommended content to include: Awards, Publications

Submitted by applicant’s chosen refereesSUBMIT REFERENCE HERE (this link is for referees only)

  • One letter of support from UBC supervisor (2 pages maximum)
    • For graduate students, your UBC research supervisor
    • For medical residents, your UBC program director
    • Letter should indicate strong support for you and your project
  • One letter of support from host supervisor (2 pages maximum)
    • Letter should indicate importance/impact of the opportunity
    • Letter should be clear that the host supervisor knows the applicant and is receptive to and supports the project

Letters of support must be signed by the author (digital e-signature or scanned handwritten signature are acceptable), and letters should be on institutional letterhead, where possible.

Presentation standards for free-form materials provided by the applicant:

  • Attachments must be in PDF format.
  • Pages must be 8½” x 11” (216mm x 279mm); margins must be set at a minimum of ¾” (1.87 cm)
  • Use a font that will be easily readable by adjudicators, e.g., 10-point Arial, or equivalent
  • No condensed type or spacing (single- or double-spaced are acceptable)
  • Please include section titles, as appropriate, and page numbers.
  • Write in plain, non-technical language. Your “outline of the educational opportunity” should be readable by someone with a background in the discipline but with no specialized knowledge of the particular field of research.

Adjudication Procedures

The Senior Associate Dean, Students will convene an adjudication committee composed of UBC faculty members in health and health-related disciplines from across the university.

Further Information

Should you have further questions, please contact


Read tips on applying, reference letters, statement of interest, reaching out to prospective supervisors, interviews and more in our Application Guide!