Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)

Overview

Experimental Medicine is the study of the pathogenesis and treatment of disease. Modern experimental medicine represents a rapidly growing body of knowledge involving the determination of diseases processes and the development of appropriate therapies.

The Experimental Medicine Program is intended for individuals seeking a career in research. The Department of Medicine offers opportunities and facilities for advanced studies in Experimental medicine, leading toward the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees. Members of the Department direct research programs in a wide range of basic and clinically relevant areas. There are a variety of special interest areas of national and international stature. Specialties within the Experimental Medicine Program include: Cardiology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Hematology, Infectious Diseases, Medical Immunology, Medical Oncology, Molecular Biology, Nephrology, Neurology and Respiratory Medicine.

The principal emphasis of this graduate program is training in research. Success at this level is traditionally measured by the preparation and defense of a thesis. Course work is required of all students, based on the background of the candidate and the degree program. The work of each Ph.D. candidate will be supervised by a candidate’s Committee consisting of not fewer than three members. These may include faculty members from a department other than that in which the candidate is writing the thesis. 

 

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Program Enquiries

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Contact the program

Admission Information & Requirements

Program Instructions

Applicants are not required to have a supervisor at the time of applying, but the application won't be reviewed until they secure a supervisor and all required paperwork is submitted.

1) Check Eligibility

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 96

Reading

22

Writing

22

Speaking

22

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

7.0

Writing

7.0

Speaking

7.0

Listening

7.0

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

Prior Degree Requirements

For admission to the PhD program in Experimental Medicine, the student must hold a M.Sc. degree in life sciences, biology, zoology, biochemistry, or related disciplines.

2) Meet Deadlines

May 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2022
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2021
Transcript Deadline: 31 October 2021
Referee Deadline: 31 October 2021

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 May 2022
Transcript Deadline: 31 May 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 May 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 February 2022
Transcript Deadline: 28 February 2022
Referee Deadline: 28 February 2022

January 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 January 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2022
Transcript Deadline: 31 October 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 October 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 August 2022
Transcript Deadline: 31 August 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 August 2022

May 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2023
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2023
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2023
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2022
Transcript Deadline: 31 October 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 October 2022

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
All applicants need firm commitment from a supervisor prior to applying.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,732.53$3,043.77
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,197.59$9,131.31
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,052.34 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,126.20 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Program Funding Packages

Successful applicants who will start the Ph.D. program and who do not hold a major scholarship, will receive a minimum stipend of $22,000 per year from their supervisor.
 

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 66 students within this program were included in this study because they received funding through UBC in the form of teaching, research/academic assistantships or internal or external awards averaging $27,768.
  • 6 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 6 students was $6,746.
  • 40 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 40 students was $20,015.
  • 64 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 64 students was $8,421.
  • 20 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 20 students was $22,633.

Study Period: Sep 2019 to Aug 2020 - average funding for full-time PhD students enrolled in three terms per academic year in this program across years 1-4, the period covered by UBC's Minimum Funding Guarantee. Averages might mask variability in sources and amounts of funding received by individual students. Beyond year 4, funding packages become even more individualized.
Review methodology
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

124 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; for 16 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 107 graduates:


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia (30)
Stanford University (4)
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (2)
University of Toronto (2)
Universite de Montreal (2)
University of Alberta
Emory University
McGill University
University of Cambridge
China Medical University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
AstraZeneca (3)
Takeda Canada Inc. (2)
Vancouver Coastal Health (2)
STEMCELL Technologies (2)
Pfizer (2)
Provincial Health Services Authority (2)
Omniox Inc.
Vancouver General Hospital
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Epidemico
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Medical Science Liaison (4)
Postdoctoral Fellow (4)
Research Associate (3)
Senior Scientist (3)
Research Scientist (3)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2)
Epidemiologist (2)
Associate Research Scientist
Director of Business Development
Technology Specialist
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20202019201820172016
Applications2530283614
Offers815142310
New registrations714101510
Total enrolment116124122123126

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 76.19% based on 42 students admitted between 2007 - 2010. Based on 38 graduations between 2016 - 2019 the minimum time to completion is 3.66 years and the maximum time is 7.67 years with an average of 5.39 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 April 2021]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 29 October 2020].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Wednesday, 27 October 2021 - 10:00am

Lakshana Sreenivasan
Autocrine and Paracrine Signaling Contributes to Acquired Chemotherapeutic Resistance in Group 3 Medulloblastoma

Tuesday, 2 November 2021 - 2:00pm

Motasim Mohammed T Jawi
The Effect of Physical Activity on Resting Heart Rate and Arterial Atherosclerotic Markers in Patients with High Lipoprotein(a)

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Afshar, Kourosh (Genital reconstruction and pediatric renal transplant)
  • Aparicio, Samuel (Breast cancer, genome sequencing )
  • Ashe, Maureen (Rehabilitation Care and Services; Social Aspects of Aging; Health Care Technologies; Osteoporosis; Older Adults; Physical Activity; tele-rehabilitation; systematic reviews; fracture; built environment)
  • Av-Gay, Yossef (Infectious Diseases; Microbiology; drug discovery; Macrophage biology; Tuberculosis)
  • Avina Zubieta, Juan Antonio (Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases (SARDs); Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE); Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA); Long term effectiveness; Multivariate analyses; Outcomes assessment; Pharmaco-epidemiology)
  • Ayas, Najib (Public health and afety consequences of sleep apnea and sleep deprivation)
  • Beristain, Alexander Guillermo (Healthy Starts; cellular and molecular processes that direct trophoblast cell biology in early placental development; Examining the A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase (ADAM) family in trophoblast biology; Examining the effects of obesity-associated inflammation on the maternal-fetal interface; Identifying gene expression differences in subpopulations of trophoblasts in normal and pathological pregnancies )
  • Black, Peter (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (especially equality rights); Canadian human rights legislation )
  • Blydt-Hansen, Tom (Childhood Diseases; Pediatric kidney transplant; Injury phenotype; Rejection; Biomarkers; Metabolomics; Chemokines)
  • Boyd, John (The cross-application of techniques from cardiovascular physiology and immunology has resulted in exciting discoveries, including proving for the first time that stimulation of Toll-Like Receptors expressed by cardiac myocytes resulted in cardiac contractile dysfunction)
  • Brauer, Michael (Environmental and occupational health and safety; Health sciences; Public and population health; air pollution; built environment; Community Health / Public Health; environmental health; environmental epidemiology; healthy cities; remote sensing)
  • Brubacher, Jeffrey (drugs and driving, alcohol impaired driving, road safety )
  • Brunham, Liam (Medical, health and life sciences; Lipids; Genetics; Pharmacogenomics; Cardiovascular diseases)
  • Brussoni, Mariana (Developmental psychology; Psychosocial, sociocultural and behavioral determinants of health; Population health interventions; injury prevention; Children's outdoor play; Risky play; Parenting; health behaviour change)
  • Bryan, Stirling (Economics of health care, policy, from UK)
  • Carleton, Bruce (Pharmacogenomics; Adverse drug reactions (ADRs); Drug safety and effectiveness; Clinical pharmacology; Pharmacovigilance)
  • Carlsten, Christopher (Environment and Respiratory Diseases)
  • Cashman, Neil (prion disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, protein misfolding diseases, Alzheimer's)
  • Cherkasov, Artem (Drug design; Bioinformatics, Molecular modeling; Proteomics; Artificial intelligence; Antibiotics )
  • Chew, Ben (how kidney stones form and in particular intestinal absorption of minerals that can form kidney stones (calcium and oxalate); genetically modifying bacteria normally used to make yogurt to express a naturally occurring enzyme that breaks down oxalate, thus preventing its absorption into the body where it can combine with calcium to form kidney stones.)
  • Christenson, James (Resuscitation; sudden cardiac death; chain of survival; out of hospital cardiac arrest; emergency medical services)
  • Cibere, Jolanda (Rheumatology; early osteoarthritis; magnetic resonance imaging in osteoarthritis; biomarkers in osteoarthritis; progression of early osteoarthritis; clinical detection of early osteoarthritis)
  • Conway, Edward (Translational research, blood, hemostasis-thrombosis, transfusion, coagulation, hematology, transgenic mice, vascular biology, endothelial, immunity, bleeding, thrombosis, arthritis, Coagulation, innate immunity, endothelial medicine, inflammation, cardiovascular disease)
  • Cote, Helene (HIV Infection, blood research, infectious diseases)

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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
2021 Dr. Frew studied a new approach for treating a genetic form of frontotemporal dementia. He created a unique repository of dementia patient-derived stem cell lines that will contribute to the study of neurodegeneration for years to come. His research provides support for continued development and preclinical testing of next generation therapeutics.
2021 Dr. D'Costa demonstrated that some kidney cancer patients can be treated with a drug used in brain tumor therapy for improved response. She also developed a way to group patients and guide the practice of personalized medicine in clinics. Her research may help improve survival and therapy outcomes in kidney cancer patients.
2021 Dr. Coulombe studied endothelial cell signaling in the development of the lung and blood system. His research demonstrated the participation of various cell types and identified pivotal factors in the formation of these organs. His work furthers our understanding of developmental processes, providing insights for therapies and regenerative medicine.
2021 Dr. Lu studied the genetic and molecular causes underlying a group of immune disorders called the CBM-opathies. His research improves our understanding of these diseases and informs the diagnosis and treatment of future related patients. Throughout his PhD, he helped genetically diagnose 11 children, which transformed their management and care.
2021 People with multiple sclerosis can experience cognitive impairment that severely impacts their lives. Dr. Abel's work showed that multiple sclerosis-related cognitive impairment involves the damage of myelin, a protective coating on nerve fibers in the brain. These findings will help test new myelin therapies for this disease.
2021 Dr. Harbeson identified a series of pathways that appear to dictate survival in neonatal sepsis, a condition wherein the blood of newborn babies becomes infected. Using these findings, he developed a new treatment for neonatal sepsis that is extremely effective in mice and represents a promising new therapeutic moving forward.
2021 Dr. Morrice investigated how toxins and risk genes may cause the motor neuron degeneration underlying ALS, a neurodegenerative disease. She identified regulatory elements of gene expression enhancers as novel ALS risk factors. This research provides insight into ALS causal factors which may translate to future therapeutic interventions.
2021 Dr. Chhina developed a new questionnaire to measure the impact of leg deformities on the quality of life of children. To develop this questionnaire, she interviewed children, parents, doctors, and healthcare workers from six different countries. This questionnaire will be used to measure the impact of treatments on improving quality of life.
2021 Dr. Chu showed that a cell division protein called Aurora kinase A modifies the cellular cytoskeleton to enable cell invasiveness and breast cancer metastases, and that high levels of this protein predicted survival rates for patients with aggressive breast cancers. These findings have therapeutic and prognostic value for breast cancer metastasis.
2021 Inflammatory Bowel Disease is incurable and affects 1 in 140 Canadians. Dr. Vent-Schmidt found a new mechanism for how inflammation-stopping cells work and genetically changed these cells for potential disease therapy. His surveyed patients showed willingness to try this therapy, highlighting the need to include patients early and throughout research.

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Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Information

Specialization

Experimental Medicine offers research opportunities in the following specialties: cardiology, cancer biology, dermatology, gastroenterology, hematology/oncology, infectious diseases, molecular medicine, nephrology, neurology, and respiratory medicine. All these fields can involve patients and/or experimental animal models.

Program Website

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-QB
 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

May 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2022
International Applicant Deadline
15 October 2021

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 May 2022
International Applicant Deadline
15 February 2022

January 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 January 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 October 2022
International Applicant Deadline
15 August 2022

May 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2023
International Applicant Deadline
15 October 2022
 
Supervisor Search
 

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