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

January 2022 Intake

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

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

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)$969.17 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,242.00 (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

Thursday, 17 June 2021 - 4:00pm

Aaron Liu
The Immunology and Epidemiology of Viral Infection in Humans

Wednesday, 30 June 2021 - 1:00pm

Bushra Mahmood
A Multi-Method Examination of Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in South Asian Adults in Canada

Wednesday, 21 July 2021 - 9:00am

Avery Justin Lam
Developing Next-Generation Regulatory T Cell Therapeutics

Tuesday, 27 July 2021 - 2:00pm

Colin Andrew Hammond
Age-Associated Differences in Human Hematopoietic Stem Cell Proliferation Control

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
2016 Dr. Lin studied novel treatment options for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients. He found that combined inhibition of two enzymes is more effective in killing CML cells than single inhibition is. He also identified novel RNA molecules that can act as therapeutic agents and as biomarkers to predict patient response to current therapy.
2016 Dr. Axerio-Cilies completed his doctoral studies in experimental medicine. He identified a new mechanism to protect the brain from injury caused by stroke or ischemic damage which is caused by restricted blood flow. He has also found a way to enhance this cell survival mechanism to stop cell death that occurs after an ischemic stroke.
2016 Dr. Greenblatt dedicated her studies to understanding how the bacterium that causes tuberculosis evades our immune system. She discovered a novel mechanism that allows the bacterium to survive in the body in a dormant, drug-resistant state. These findings have generated a new area of research in latent tuberculosis.
2016 Dr. Jaw developed a new model of atherosclerotic plaque destabilization related to lung inflammation. He found a white blood cell enzyme is contributing to this processes. His discovery led to new insights about the molecular pathways of heart attack and stroke and may facilitate future therapy for these diseases.
2016 Infants who are born to HIV positive women but remain HIV uninfected, are among the world's most vulnerable to infectious disease. Dr. Reikie discovered a number of transient anomalies of these infants' immune system. His findings have been used to help uncover causes of increased suffering from disease in this already vulnerable population.
2016 Dr. Liao examined novel approaches for tuberculosis vaccines and treatments, including methods to improve the current BCG vaccine and also identification of a mycobacterial protein as a potential new drug target. Her research contributes valuable knowledge to the field of TB research and paves the way for better TB control strategies.
2016 Currently one in 12 people have asthma and that number continues to grow. Dr. Singh developed a blood-based biomarker signature, that can predict the allergen-induced late phase asthmatic response. These blood tests may improve risk stratification of allergic asthmatic individuals for clinical trials, and provide new targets for therapeutics.
2016 Dr. Bashar developed stem cell based therapy targeting inherited disorders that affect vision. His approaches prevented progressive damage to neurons and improved vision in model organisms. Most importantly, the techniques he developed for these treatments are highly transferable to other disease systems.
2016 Dr. Zafari developed state-of-the-art decision-analytic models to evaluate four major care gaps in respiratory medicine, primarily in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). His PhD research provides a framework for future research advancements in precision medicine in COPD.
2016 Dr. Pesarchuk characterized a novel role for the protein MCL-1 in regulating chromatin architecture and promoting DNA repair. This work adds to the understanding of MCL-1's multifunctionality and presents a new way to target this protein in the treatment of the numerous types of cancer known to depend on it.

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.
 

January 2022 Intake

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

May 2022 Intake

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

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