In support of the University of British Columbia’s mission to be one of the world’s very best universities, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) strives to elevate achievement and enhance the education of graduate students in a global context.

The role of the Faculty is to support graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and the entire UBC graduate community in pursuit of a personal, professional and academic experience second to none. Among other responsibilities, G+PS seeks to ensure a transparent, consistent and equitable administration of graduate programs and awards, evaluation and quality assurance of graduate programs, advocacy for graduate and postdoctoral needs within the larger academic community, assistance with individual student and postdoctoral problems, and the provision of outstanding opportunities for professional development of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty in their role as supervisors.

At G+PS, we have been defining graduate education as 'the formation of scholars* who make a difference for good in the world'. Here, 'formation' entails learning, but also cultivating habits of heart and mind, and developing a professional identity and sense of purpose. The scholarship pursued refers to the broad activities that bring knowledge, rigour, and creativity to the extension and transformation of knowledge, whether that is inside the academy, outside its walls, or crossing between.

At the Vancouver campus, there are close to 3600 doctoral students and 6200 master's students, the fourth largest graduate student population among Canadian universities.  About 30% of master’s students, and 44% of doctoral students at UBC are international.

G+PS plays a central role in the strategic direction of graduate education at UBC.  It facilitates discussion on campus about the future of graduate education, provides an information hub for all topics related to graduate education, celebrates the achievement of graduate students and alumni, and provides advocacy for graduate students & Postdoctoral Fellow needs.

In its administrative capacity it provides services to units and graduate students across all academic faculties on the Vancouver campus – from recruitment of new students along the entire lifecycle to graduation and beyond. Services include: orientation, health and well-being, professional development, program administration, and thesis/dissertation support among other things.

G+PS is the home of the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program (ISGP), a unique graduate program that allows scholars to design their own curriculum under supervision of supervisors from any unit.

The university also hosts 850 postdoctoral fellows. UBC-appointed postdoctoral fellows can be found in over 90 departments and at affiliated sites including BC Cancer Agency, BC Centre for Disease Control, BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital, the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, St. Paul’s Hospital, and Vancouver General Hospital.

* term taken from Walker et al (2008), The Formation of Scholars. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

 

Research Highlights

UBC offers over 300 Graduate Degree Programs in nearly every academic field imaginable, and opportunities to pursue cutting-edge transdisciplinary study that crosses traditional boundaries. There is sure to be a program offered that aligns with your interests.

UBC attracts $580 million per year in research funding from government, non-profit organizations and industry through 8,800 projects and UBC researchers file over 230 patents a year. Many programs have state-of-art new buildings and facilities. At UBC you will work side by side with passionate scholars as you delve into the most meaningful questions of our world.

Recent Thesis Submissions

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation Program
2019 Dr. Greer qualitatively examined the work and pay conditions for people who use drugs engaged in harm reduction settings. Her findings point to various economic, social, and political systems that impact these conditions. Her research advances participatory methods that promote equity for marginalized groups engaged in harm reduction work. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2019 Dr. Argento examined the interplay between drug use, violence and suicidality among a community-based cohort of women sex workers and explored the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. Her research found that increased social cohesion and psychedelic use were protective against suicidality, underscoring the importance of connectedness. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2019 Dr. Franke conducted a study on the mobility experiences of active older adults with low income in Metro Vancouver. She developed a framework that advances our understanding of how low income older adults overcome disparities and maintain their mobility. Her research will help inform decision making to improve the health and mobility of older adults. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2019 Dr. Shahban researched Canadian federal policy and psychological well-being. Aimed at global change, her research in the Faculty of Medicine and the School of Public Policy, led to key policy recommendations & the Federal Settlement Platform. Her work is directed to help restore Canada's place globally as an innovator in peace and human solutions. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2019 Dr. Nyce studied traditional Nisga'a leadership through times of imposed cultural and ecological change. She focused on Nisga'a wisdom passed down over millennia through the sharing of Nisga'a adaawak, the stories, legends and history, and the ayuukw, the ancient Nisga'a laws. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2019 Studies have shown that people living with HIV who use illicit drugs present poor HIV treatment outcomes. Dr. Mohd Salleh examined how different institutional configurations support or inhibit the ability of HIV-positive people who use illicit drugs to comply with their HIV medication regimens. Her work will support HIV treatment for marginalized populations. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2019 Dr. Bravo explored and designed the prospectus for a Knowledge Exchange Unit at UBC to connect ideas, evidence and expertise from research to practice. He applied the Strategic Design Method to co-design a broader Knowledge Exchange framework that will improve UBC's research impact capacity. His contribution supports the expansion of knowledge mobilization research in Canada and in the world. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2019 Dr. Chang examined the subjective experiences of musicians engaged in free improvisation where conventional musical elements are largely forsaken. Her findings bring novel insight into how musicians navigate these performances and how free improvisation can be applied in therapeutic settings. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2018 Access to cannabis for medical purposes is a constitutional right in Canada. Dr. Capler's research explored patients' experiences accessing medical cannabis under different regulatory frameworks. She considered whether access was reasonable, and the impact it had on their lives. Her work has implications for the newly legalized recreational context. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2018 Dr. Viljoen's study looked at creating and comparing trauma-informed behaviour plans to regular behaviour plans for primary school children with a history of adverse childhood experiences. While results were inconclusive, the research suggested trauma-informed practice would be most effective using a school-wide model. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)

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