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

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Meet a Representative

PhD Funding Opportunities

Date: Wednesday, 31 August 2022
Time: 10:00 to 11:00

Join Dr Julian Dierkes, Associate Dean, Funding and Shane Moore as they talk about funding opportunities for PhD's at UBC. Dr Dierkes will provide an overview of the different awards and scholarships available to incoming PhD students.

This session will cover:

  • Overview of PhD funding at UBC
  • PhD minimum funding guarantee
  • UBC Awards database
  • Advice on writing funding proposals and applications
  • Q&A

Who is this webinar for?

This webinar is for those who are applying to PhD programs at UBC and are interested in learning more about internal and external funding opportunities. 

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 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$110.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,767.18$3,104.64
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,301.54$9,313.92
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,057.05 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,366.20 (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, 59 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 $34,741.
  • 6 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 6 students was $8,708.
  • 44 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 44 students was $22,757.
  • 59 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 59 students was $8,268.
  • 16 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 16 students was $31,771.

Study Period: Sep 2020 to Aug 2021 - 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

 20212020201920182017
Applications3225302836
Offers218151423
New registrations147141015
Total enrolment102116124122123

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 77% based on 43 students admitted between 2008 - 2011. Based on 32 graduations between 2017 - 2020 the minimum time to completion is 2.33 years and the maximum time is 8.67 years with an average of 5.65 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: 7 April 2022]. 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: 19 October 2021].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Thursday, 25 August 2022 - 1:00pm

Ryan Yen
Identification of New Predictive Biomarkers and Characterization of Molecular Mechanisms of Drug-Resistance in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Friday, 26 August 2022 - 9:00am

Melina Messing
The Role of Skewed Immune Responses in the Resolution of Viral Infection, Allergic Disease, and Sterile Injury

Thursday, 1 September 2022 - 4:00pm

Shaghayegh Nouruzi
The Role of the Lineage Oncogene ASCL1 in Treatment-induced Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer

Monday, 12 September 2022 - 12:30pm

Kang Dong
Predictive Biomarkers of Pulmonary Exacerbations in Cystic Fibrosis

Friday, 21 October 2022 - 9:00am

Haojun Huang
Prediction and Mechanisms of Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity: Roles of RARG and Cardioprotective Effects of SGLT2 Inhibition

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 Dr. Zhang completed her doctoral project in diabetes research. During her studies, she developed novel cell- and matrix-based approaches to protect pancreatic insulin-producing cells in diabetes models. These new strategies can be further developed and exploited as feasible approaches for treatment of diabetes in clinical settings.
2015 Dr. Hartwell investigated methods of wound repair. Wounds that remain open, risk infection, and heat and fluid loss, so one approach to repair is to rebuild skin. Using biocompatible materials, Dr. Hartwell engineered a novel collagen scaffold system, which starts as a powder and can be used to repair complicated wounds such as ulcers and burns.
2015 Dr. Lai completed her doctorate in the field of Experimental Medicine. She studied a family of enzymes that control most processes in cells. Her research provided insights into the regulation of these enzymes and their linkages to diverse diseases. Discoveries from this work might help with the diagnosis and treatment of different types of cancer.
2015 Dr. Paylor's doctoral studies focused on stem cells in the heart. He demonstrated the important role they play in the scarring that occurs after a heart attack. He showed how to improve the heart's performance after serious injury, and these discoveries may potentially lead to benefit for patients suffering from a wide-variety of cardiac diseases.
2015 Dr. Wang studied the causes of an autoimmune hair loss disease called alopecia areata. He discovered the triggers of the immune attack leading to hair loss, linked the disease with heart tissue damage, and created a new disease model. His research advanced our understanding of the development and adverse outcomes of alopecia areata.
2014 Dr. Cheng created a microarray of tissue samples taken from over 700 patients being treated for melanoma in Vancouver, from 2009 to 2012. Using this platform, he identified biomarkers that can predict patient survival and help clinicians to design personalized treatment. Dr. Cheng's research opened new horizons in the management of human melanomas.
2014 Dr. Zhang investigated the role of blood platelets in causing heart disease. He developed and applied novel bioinformatic and mass spectrometry tools to identify drugs that might potentially prevent inflammation resulting from platelet activation. This research contributes to the development of intervention strategies for cardiovascular diseases.
2014 Dr. Foulds studied the cardiac and vascular health of Aboriginal adults, and their responses to exercise. She found that the benefits of exercise were different for Aboriginal adults than for Europeans. She showed that the relation of blood pressure to vascular health differs among ethnic groups, with greater dangers of hypertension for Aboriginals.
2014 Dr. Swenson used a new sequencing method to detect HIV drug resistance in blood with better accuracy and sensitivity. He used this technique in over 2800 patients receiving HIV therapy, and found that it was the best predictor of their future clinical outcomes. This approach is now being used across Canada for routine monitoring of HIV drug resistance.
2014 Dr. Stefanowicz studied the effect of the cellular environment on DNA packaging , and how this predisposes people to asthma. Specifically, she looked at how DNA methylation and histone modification affect biological functions such as differentiation. Her research highlights the interaction between epigenetic architecture and disease pathogenesis.

Pages

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 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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