UBC Public Scholars Award


Likely May 2018

Annual Value

Up to $10,000


Permanent Resident

Degree Level


Application for the 2017/18 PSI Award is now closed. next round of applications will begin in spring 2018.

This award is part of the UBC Public Scholars Initiative (PSI) which intends to build connections, community, and capacity for doctoral students who are interested in explicitly linking their doctoral work to an arena of public benefit and integrating broader and more career-relevant forms of scholarship into their doctoral education process.

Up to $10,000 twice, for a total of $20,000 per student is available to support innovative/collaborative scholarship which the student would otherwise be unable to pursue. Funding can be used for:

  • Student stipend, if the student’s current funding source would not allow the alternative project(s)
  • A research allowance (including allowance for professional development or travel relevant to the scholarly work)

Funding is available for up to 30-40 new students in 2018-19. Students may be eligible for renewal for a second year (pending new PSI funding).

Listen to the PSI Info Session from March 9, 2016:



  • UBC Vancouver doctoral students (PhD, EdD, and DMA) in years 1-5
    • Applicants must have completed no more than 48 months of doctoral study as of 31 August 2018
    • Applicants must be registered in a UBC doctoral program as of 1 September 2018

Requirements for all funded students:

  • Submission of a report at the end of their first (and if applicable, second) year of funding
  • Presentation of their work at a Network event

All students, faculty, and collaborators will be asked to complete a questionnaire at the end of their funding/involvement. Student dissertations and student completion and career outcomes will also be reviewed as part of the assessment of this pilot initiative.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Student’s past accomplishments and future promise. Breadth of interest and accomplishment will be important, as well as an indication of the student’s fit with the proposed project.
  • Project’s relationship to PSI goals, which is to encourage and enable a broadened conception of doctoral education, such that:
    • Students gain experience in the environments and types of scholarship they may productively engage in post-graduation
    • Students’ work is evaluated as part of the degree, ensuring it is of the highest quality, and signaling that the university considers these diverse forms of scholarship worthy of recognition
    • Students gain enhanced career opportunities and they foster positive public perception of the value of the doctorate
    • Students can contribute to the public good in diverse ways through rigorous scholarship
  • Quality of proposed scholarship. The following factors will be taken into account:
    • The work requires a high level of expertise in a discipline(s) and/or methodology
    • The goals are clearly defined, realistic, and identify important questions
    • Adequate preparation for and understanding of the subject is indicated
    • Appropriate methods are proposed to achieve the goals
    • Plans to document and disseminate the work are appropriate and effective
    • The work has significance and is likely to contribute positively to the public good
  • Need for alternative funding sources
  • Consideration will also be given to breadth of the initiative across disciplines

Application Procedures

Applicants are to submit the completed PSI application form (download) and attachments (Canadian Common CV, letters of support, and checklist) to graduate.awards@ubc.ca by 4:00pm on Friday, 18 May 2018. APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.

Adjudication Procedures

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will convene a multi-disciplinary adjudication committee to review eligible applications and select funding recipients. Funding decisions will be announced in the second half of June.

Profiles of Award Holders

Kaylee Byers

Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
Rats as a Source of Emerging Zoonoses: Understanding the Interactions between Rats, Pathogens, and the Urban Environment
Kate McLeod

Kate McLeod

Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
Evaluating the Integration of Health Care in Provincial Correctional Facilities Under the Ministry of Health

Sonia Medel

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies (PhD)
The (de)colonial potential of dance: Racialized womens' (her)stories

Claire Fogal

Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre (PhD)
Western Canadian Evolutions of Decroux and Grotowski in Theatre Pedagogy, Practice and Performance

Shelly Benjaminy

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
Stakeholder Perspectives about the Pace of Stem Cell Research for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Nicolás Ernesto Talloni Alvarez

Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
Multilevel Governance Analysis of Marine Fisheries Sustainability

Lily Ivanova

Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology (PhD)
Institutionalizing empathy: The Role of Culture in the Representation and Interpretation of Genocide

Espen Stranger-Johannessen

Doctor of Philosophy in Language and Literacy Education (PhD)
Digital Storytelling and Early Literacy in Uganda

Further Information

For questions about the Public Scholars Initiative and application procedures, contact Serbulent Turan (Public Scholarship Coordinator): serbulent.turan@ubc.ca