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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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)

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
2015 Using systems biology approaches, Dr. Wee investigated the molecular basis of lower immune responses against infection in newborns and adults, sixty-five years and older. This study sheds light on the molecular pathways that influence age-dependent differences in immune systems, which may result in differences in the clinical outcome of infection.
2015 Dr. Triscott's doctoral studies focused on the development of new methods to improve the treatment of high-grade brain tumors. Her work resulted in the identification of molecular targets that drive tumor formation. This work highlights the potential for repurposing clinically available drugs to prevent the growth of aggressive brain tumors.
2015 Dr. Petersen examined psycho-social, clinical, and risk profiles of severely mentally ill individuals who were relocated as a result of the closure of BC's Riverview Hospital. Longitudinal data demonstrated positive changes in quality of life and independent living skills. In addition, there was no evidence that individuals in this study became homeless.
2015 Dr. Yao completed her doctoral program in Experimental Medicine. She studied how cellular stress signals modulate the crosstalk between innate and adaptive immune responses. These comprehensive studies showed for the first time that a subtype of CD4 regulatory cells, named Tr1 cells can inhibit responses to cellular stress signals.
2015 Dr. Zhang studied the function of blood cells, called macrophage, in the context of atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of heart attacks. When macrophages had low activity of the eEF2K enzyme, there was less disease development. His results could one day lead to development of new drugs to block this enzyme, which could reduce heart attacks.
2015 Dr. McGovern's research used DNA sequencing to study and predict changes in HIV caused by a new anti-HIV drug. Her work focused on the development of a clinical test to predict whether this drug should be prescribed or not, based on the genetics of a patient's HIV. This test is now part of clinical guidelines and in use around the world.
2015 Dr. Ardekani has studied the role of the cancer inducing gene, BRAF, in the final outcome of melanoma patients. He discovered novel variants of the BRAF gene that react against the mutant version and confer a better outcome. Dr. Ardekani's findings could be utilized to design more effective treatments for melanoma patients.
2015 Dr. Brumme used new DNA sequencing methods to improve molecular diagnostics for treating HIV and Hepatitis C virus. He also used these methods to study how HIV evolves to evade drug and immune selection pressures. Tests and tools developed as part of his research have been translated into clinical practice in British Columbia and around the world.
2015 Dr. Duncan completed her doctoral program in the field of Experimental Medicine. She studied signalling pathways in innate immune cells exposed to bacterial products. Her research revealed a novel pathway for pathogen recognition and has implications for human health and disease, most particularly the development of sepsis and septic shock.
2015 Dr. Lee studied HIV drug resistance. She evaluated current clinical laboratory tests to see whether they could be applied to African patients who are infected with different HIV strains, compared with North American patients. She concluded these tests remain useful, although there are some limitations of which physicians should be aware.

Pages

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
 
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