Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to master’s and doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

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

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
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

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
01 January 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2024
Transcript Deadline: 31 October 2024
Referee Deadline: 31 October 2024
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 August 2024
Transcript Deadline: 31 August 2024
Referee Deadline: 31 August 2024

May 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2025
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2025
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2025
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2024
Transcript Deadline: 31 December 2024
Referee Deadline: 31 December 2024

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 thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis 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$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* 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 $24,000 per year from their supervisor.
 

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 48 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 $33,763.
  • 1 student received Teaching Assistantships valued at $3,372.
  • 37 students received Research Assistantships. Average RA funding based on 37 students was $20,467.
  • 7 students received Academic Assistantships. Average AA funding based on 7 students was $3,906.
  • 48 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 48 students was $10,058.
  • 13 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 13 students was $26,914.

Study Period: Sep 2022 to Aug 2023 - 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.

Graduate 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 supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate 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.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

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 Estimator

Applicants have access to the cost estimator 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

 20232022202120202019
Applications1520362632
Offers71120815
New Registrations61013714
Total Enrolment988594114120

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 87% based on 113 students admitted between 2011 - 2014. Based on 47 graduations between 2020 - 2023 the minimum time to completion is 3.07 years and the maximum time is 9.22 years with an average of 5.92 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. 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.

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Tuesday, 16 July 2024 - 9:00am - 3113, BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, 938 W 28th Ave

Christine Wardell
Harnessing T Cells that Detect Mismatched HLA to Monitor and Prevent Allo- and Autoimmunity

Research Supervisors

Supervision

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

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
All applicants need firm commitment from a supervisor prior to applying.
 
Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.

 

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 (Mobile health (mHealth); Knowledge translation and implementation science in health; Patient and citizen engagement research; Physical therapy)
  • Av-Gay, Yossef (Tuberculosis)
  • Avina, 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 safety consequences of sleep apnea and sleep deprivation)
  • Barbic, Skye (Occupational therapy; Rehabilitation medicine; assessment; community integration; health and well-being; Implementation Science; Individual Placement Support; measurement; Mental Health and Society; mental health; metrology; Patient Engagement; Rasch Measurement Theory; recovery; Supported Employment; youth)
  • 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, Lara (Neurosciences, biological and chemical aspects; Neurosciences, medical and physiological and health aspects; Physical therapy; Rehabilitation medicine; Learning; Learning and Memory; Motor System; Motor learning; Neurophysiology; Physiology; Plasticity / Neuronal Regeneration; stroke)
  • 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)
  • Brigham, Emily (Asthma; COPD)
  • 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; Implementation Science)
  • Bryan, Stirling (Economics of health care, policy, from UK)
  • Camp, Pat (Physical therapy; Rehabilitation medicine)
  • Carleton, Bruce (Pediatrics, clinical pharmacology, outcomes research, drug policy evaluation, health services research, drug safety and adverse drug reactions)
  • Carlsten, Christopher (Environment and Respiratory Diseases)
  • Cembrowski, Mark Steven (Molecular neuroscience; Mathematical modelling and simulation; Mechanisms of memory in the brain; Anxiety; Big Data; Bioinformatics; Cell types; Computation; CRISPR-Cas9; Fear; Genetics; modeling; Neural circuits; neuroscience; Neuroscience of memory; PTSD; RNAseq)

Pages

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
2024 Dr. Tabrizian's research identified ROR2 as a key receptor promoting cellular plasticity in prostate cancer. Her findings suggest ROR2 as a therapeutic target to combat aggressive AR-independent tumor phenotypes. This could enhance responses to androgen receptor pathway inhibitors and prevent lineage plasticity.
2024 Dr. Han's research delves into the ingenious strategies employed by our intestinal cells to detect and combat the food-borne pathogen Salmonella. These tactics include promoting mucus secretion to expel the pathogen, releasing signals to enlist immune cell reinforcements, and, remarkably, self-sacrifice to eliminate the invading bacteria.
2024 Dr. Li made a groundbreaking discovery in cancer research, identifying a unique metabolic pathway that mediates chemoresistance in cancers. This potential druggable target could revolutionize the approach to overcoming chemotherapy resistance, offering new hope for effective cancer treatment.
2024 Dr. Montgomery studied the effect of different milks on the nutritional status of toddlers and the foods that contribute to the intake of nutrients required for early growth and development. Her work contributes new knowledge that will serve for the derivation of age-specific feeding recommendations and dietary guidelines.
2024 In his doctoral work, Dr. Sravan developed the Personally Meaningful Outcomes-Assessment Process (PMO-AP) to gauge treatment effectiveness. A study with 50 participants demonstrated PMO-AP's reliability, validity and practicality. This patient-centered approach provides clinicians with a versatile tool to evaluate treatments for chronic conditions.
2024 Dr. Tung investigated the disease mechanisms underlying heart attacks and cardiac hypertrophy by combining experimental medicine and data science. His study, published in Nature Communications, highlights the importance of timing and spatial considerations of treatment for heart diseases, providing a blueprint for future clinical research.
2024 Using epidemiological and implementation science methods, Dr. Romanowski explored the long-term impact of tuberculosis and what we can do to support tuberculosis survivors.
2024 Dr. Li conducted research on the association between TNF inhibitors and multiple sclerosis in four Canadian provinces. An increased risk of multiple sclerosis was found in users of TNF inhibitors. This finding is vital for healthcare practitioners to weigh the benefits and risks of TNF inhibitors, ultimately guiding safer medical decisions.
2024 Around the world people breathe in polluted air that irritates their lungs and causes inflammation. Dr. Huff's research demonstrated that current anti-inflammatory asthma medications increase common cold infections in human lung cells exposed to pollution, and identified three new medicines that reduce air pollution induced inflammation.
2024 Dr. Orach investigated the dose-response to controlled air pollution exposure in a clinical trial. He identified blood proteins, breath measurements and symptoms that are closely related to diesel exhaust levels. This research facilitates health monitoring and improves our ability to assess and mitigate the harmful impacts of air pollution.

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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.
 

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
01 January 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 October 2024
International Applicant Deadline
15 August 2024

May 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2025
International Applicant Deadline
15 December 2024
 
Supervisor Search
 

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