International Doctoral Fellowship


Applicant deadline: confirm with graduate program (range from late Nov 2017 to mid-Jan 2018)

Annual Value

$30,000 stipend + tuition



Degree Level


The International Doctoral Fellowship (IDF) program supports top international students who are starting UBC-V doctoral programs. The fellowship provides funding for a total of five years: a $30,000 stipend plus tuition for four years and a minimum $18,000 funding package (from the recipient's supervisor/department/Faculty, comprising awards, teaching assistantships and/or research assistantships) for the fifth year. Approximately 35 new fellowships will be awarded each year. This program was formerly known as the University Doctoral Fellowship.



To be eligible, nominees must:

  • hold a valid student visa when they begin their UBC doctoral program
  • be starting a UBC-V doctoral program in January, May or September 2018. For fast-track students (who advance / transfer from a Master's to a doctoral program without completing their Master's degree), the effective date of transfer to the doctoral program must be January, May or September 2018.
  • be pursuing their first thesis-based doctoral degree

Evaluation Criteria

Academic excellence - 30%

  • Academic record
  • Scholarships and awards held
  • Duration of previous studies

Research ability or potential - 50%

  • Quality of contributions to research and development
  • Relevance of work experience and academic training to field of proposed research
  • Significance, feasibility, and merit of proposed research, and justification for location of tenure
  • Ability to think critically
  • Ability to apply skills and knowledge
  • Judgment
  • Originality
  • Initiative and autonomy
  • Enthusiasm for research
  • Determination and ability to complete projects within an appropriate period of time

Communication, interpersonal, and leadership abilities - 20%

  • The ability or potential to communicate scientific concepts clearly and logically in written and oral formats. For example, this could include:
    • quality of the application's presentation;
    • participation in preparing publications; and
    • awards for oral presentations or papers.
  • Professional and relevant extracurricular interactions and collaborations. For example, this could include:
    • mentoring
    • teaching
    • supervisory experience
    • project management
    • chairing committees
    • organizing conferences and meetings
    • elected positions held

Application Procedures

Route A: submitting new application for PhD or DMA admission

  • Applicants for admission to the September 2018 intake must meet their proposed graduate program's internal IDF deadline. Deadlines vary by graduate program and range from late November 2017 to mid-January 2018; applicants are to contact their proposed graduate program to confirm that program's internal IDF deadline.
  • Applicants for the admission to the January and May 2018 intakes will have already submitted their admission application

On the basis of the submitted admission application materials, graduate programs will select one or more nominees to the campus-wide IDF competition. Those nominated to the campus-wide competition will be asked to submit an IDF application form. Two reference letters and transcripts from the online admission application plus the IDF application form will comprise the application file to be considered by the graduate program.

Route B: fast-track / transfer from Master's program to PhD program (no admission application)

Master's students who intend to fast-track / transfer from their Master's program to the PhD program as of January, May or September 2018 must contact their graduate program to indicate their interest in being considered for the IDF competition by their graduate program's internal IDF application deadline. Deadlines vary by graduate program and range from late November 2017 to mid-January 2018; applicants are to contact their proposed graduate program to confirm that program's internal IDF deadline. Those nominated to the campus-wide competition will be asked to submit an IDF application form. The graduate program will determine whether reference letters from the applicant's previous admission application will be used; the graduate program may ask the applicant to have two refereees provide IDF reference forms or free-form reference letters (scanned copies of signed IDF reference forms or signed free-form letters will be accepted). The IDF application, two references and transcripts (provided by the graduate program from their files) will comprise the nomination file to be considered by the graduate program.

Application Materials

Please note that some graduate programs may request applicants submit the IDF application form by their internal IDF deadline. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their proposed graduate program to confirm that program's internal IDF application procedures and deadline.

Nomination Procedures

Graduate programs will be assigned a nomination quota (to be posted in early December) for the IDF competition. From amongst their applicants for new admission and fast-track to the PhD program, graduate programs will select their nominees, assemble the nomination files (see application procedures above) and submit complete nomination files to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, 26 January 2018.

Please note: the expectation is that graduate programs intend (as best they know at the time of nomination) to make an offer of admission to their IDF nominees; it is not required that an offer of admission has, in fact, been made as of the IDF nomination deadline. Admission timelines vary by graduate program and many graduate programs make their admission offers after the end of January.

A complete nomination file comprises the following:

  • Signed IDF nomination form
  • IDF application form
  • Two reference forms
    • for new PhD admits, programs should use letters from admission application (eVision)
    • for fast-track / transfer students, letters may be taken from applicant's previous admission application or the graduate program may ask the applicant to have two referees provide new IDF reference forms or free-form reference letters. Scanned copies of signed IDF reference forms or signed free-form letters will be accepted.
    • IDF reference form
  • All postsecondary transcripts
    • for new PhD admits, programs may use unofficial eVision transcripts
    • for fast-track / transfer students, will be taken from graduate program's files
    • For all UBC records, the SISC Academic History can be submitted in place of an official UBC transcript
    • Transcripts in languages other than English or French must include English translation

Submitting nomination files to G+PS:

Graduate programs submit their nomination files electronically via UBC Workspace. Please upload each nomination file as a single PDF to our shared folder (named G+PS Awards - Grad Program, e.g., G+PS Awards - EECE). Please adhere to the order of materials (see above) and our file naming conventions:

  • IDF_Grad-Program_Adjudication-Committee#_Last-Name_First-Name.pdf

For example, a nomination file for Joon Kim from EECE would be named "IDF_EECE_1_Kim_Joon.pdf".

Adjudication Procedures

Similar to the Affiliated Fellowships competition, but with a focus on recruitment of incoming doctoral students, International Doctoral Fellowship recipients will be selected through a cross-campus competition from amongst nominations submitted by graduate programs to G+PS in late January. Funding offers will be made in early March.

Profiles of Award Holders

Mohammad Rafiuzzaman, International Doctoral Fellow

Rafiuzzaman Mohammad

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering (PhD)
Towards an adaptive, robust and efficient resource allocation system for highly dynamic resource constrained IoT environment.

Rebekah Kartal

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
The search for solidarity in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands/occupied O'odham land

Ashley Moore

Doctor of Philosophy in Teaching English as a Second Language (PhD)
First language avoidance among Japanese late bi/multilinguals

Henrik Jacobsen

Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (PhD)
Administering shared waters: Transborder governance in North America

Brayan Seixas

Master of Science in Population and Public Health (MSc)
Mapping practices of priority-setting in publicly-funded health care systems of high-income countries

Xinyu Cheng

Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
Partial Differential Equations

Jungsoo Park

Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
Microbial interactions with photosynthetic hosts

Temitope Onifade

Doctor of Philosophy in Law (PhD)
Law, Society, and the Regulation of Low Carbon Economies

Harold Eyster

Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
Conservation science

Further Information

Please direct questions to