Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Oncology (PhD)

Overview

The Interdisciplinary Oncology program (IOP) is a graduate program designed to appeal to a broad range of students interested in cancer research. IOP offers advanced study and research in a variety of fields relating to oncology. Those fields include: molecular and cellular biology, genetics, biophysics, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical sciences, radiological sciences, immunology, molecular pathology, sociobehavioral studies, epidemiology and health economics. The goal of the program is to provide graduate students from diverse backgrounds, with an education in a number of disciplines relating to oncology, and to provide training opportunities for intensive training in specialized aspects of cancer research. For more than ten years, the program has been training the next generation of cancer research leaders.

What makes the program unique?

IOP integrates the diverse areas of oncology by offering two required courses which provide an interdisciplinary perspective on oncology in a form that is accessible to students from diverse backgrounds. The elective courses provide intensive training in one or more subjects specific to the student's research, and also gives the student an opportunity to gain expertise in other disciplines that have potential for synergy with their primary specialization. Students have access to clinicians and university faculty through the world-renowned BC Cancer Agency, to get a practical perspective on oncology treatments and outcomes. An innovative rotation course is a unique option for students to gain hands-on experience by rotating through specialty laboratories and by shadowing clinicians. 

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Program Enquiries

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Contact the program

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Virtual Office Hours

Date: Thursday, 24 September 2020
Time: 17:00 to 18:00

Join Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Graduate and Postdoctoral Office for this online session. They'll be joined by admissons staff and our Graduate Student Ambassadors to answer your questions.

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Date: Monday, 28 September 2020
Time: 10:00 to 11:00

Join this online session and learn how to make your grad school application as strong as possible. Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Graduate and Postdoctoral Office will be joined by admissions colleagues to talk about applying to research based and professional programs. There will be lots of advice and tips to help your application stand out.

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Admission Information & Requirements

Program Instructions

Students must secure a supervisor before they can be admitted into the program. As well, they must meet the minimum admission requirements set out by Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies at UBC.

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: 100

Reading

22

Writing

24

Speaking

22

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

6.0

Writing

6.0

Speaking

6.0

Listening

6.0

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

A B.Sc is the minimum requirement.

Document Requirements

CV, Official transcripts, three letters of reference, Official English exam scores (if required)

2) Meet Deadlines

January 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
18 May 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 18 September 2020
Transcript Deadline: 18 September 2020
Referee Deadline: 18 September 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 24 August 2020
Transcript Deadline: 24 August 2020
Referee Deadline: 24 August 2020

May 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
18 May 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 11 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 11 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 11 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 22 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 22 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 22 December 2020

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
18 May 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 23 April 2021
Transcript Deadline: 23 April 2021
Referee Deadline: 23 April 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 26 March 2021
Transcript Deadline: 26 March 2021
Referee Deadline: 26 March 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 Interdisciplinary Oncology (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.

Research Information

Program Components

Once students are enrolled in the program, they will have an opportunity to design a program that allows for rotations through other IOP faculty's labs to gain insight into other research areas other than their specific supervisor's research.

Research Facilities

Most IOP supervisors reside off-campus at the BC Cancer Research Centre, the Prostate Centre at Vancouver General Hospital or other hospital-related buildings.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
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

All students who secure a supervisor and who are enrolled in the program will be paid a minimum stipend of $24,300/year.

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

7 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 0 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 6 graduates:

Sample Employers in Higher Education
Queen's University Belfast
University of Toronto
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Johnson and Johnson Inc.
Princess Margaret hospital
RepliCel Life Sciences Inc.
BC Cancer Agency
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Senior Scientist
Postdoctoral Fellow
Director
Staff Scientist
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.
Career Options

Graduates have a wide range of options from working in government institutions to academia to biotechnology and bio-pharm companies. Those looking to further their academic career have are undertaking post-doctoral positions in Canada and abroad.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

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

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications1281077
Offers54542
New registrations44542
Total enrolment4241383838

Completion Rates & Times

Based on 13 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 7.33 years with an average of 5.82 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: 10 March 2020]. 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: 27 October 2019].

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.

  • Aparicio, Samuel (Breast cancer, genome sequencing )
  • Bally, Marcel Bertran (Pancreas centre)
  • Brooks-Wilson, Angela (human genetics, cancer genetics, cancer families, longevity, Super seniors, genetic susceptibility)
  • Brown, Carolyn Janet (Gene Regulation and Expression, Chromosomes: Structure / Organization, Applied Genetics, Epigenetic control of gene expression, X-chromosome inactivation, Long non-coding RNAs, XIST RNA, Genes escaping X-chromosome inactivation, DNA methylation)
  • Burgess, Michael (Genetics and Ethics, Ethics and Health, Applied Ethics, Individual and Collective Ethics, Participatory research, Public deliberation, Health Policy, Science Policy, Deliberative Democracy)
  • Buttyan, Ralph (Kidneys, Urinary System, Benign Bladder Dysfunctions)
  • Campbell, Kristin (Breast Cancer, Rehabilitation, Physiology, Quality of Life and Aging, Exercise Physiology, physical function, oncology, Biomarkers)
  • Cox, Michael (genetic testing, experiences of hereditary risk, social and ethical implications of genetics, interpersonal and family communication, qualitative research, narrative and story, Prostate cancer)
  • Daugaard, Mads (Cell Signaling and Cancer, Cancer Diagnosis and Detection, Stress and Cancer, Immunotherapy, Cell Therapy of Cancer, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Cancer biology, glycobiology, DNA damage response pathways, Cancer therapy, Cancer diagnostics, Stress signalling in cancer)
  • Dedhar, Shoukat (molecular biology, molecular biology as it relates to disease; developing new theraputics for cancer; how brain cells (neurons)make connections, therapeutics for cancer; molecular genetics and cancer; medical research, cancer, inflammatory diseases, cariovascular diseases, Cellular proteins, extracellular martrix, integrins, signal transduction, calreticulin, protein kinase, gene expression, cell differentiation)
  • Dong, Xuesen (Hormone Dependent Cancers, Prostate Cancer, Endocrine Regulation, Gene Regulation and Expression, Prematurity)
  • Garnis, Catherine (Cancer biology; Tumor progression; Oral premalignant lesions; Head and neck cancer; RNA biology, microRNAs; Alternative splicing; Biomarkers)
  • Gleave, Martin (Infectious diseases, interdisciplinary oncology, prostate)
  • Hieter, Philip (Molecular biology of eukaryotic chromosome transmission )
  • Hirst, Martin (Carcinogenesis, Leukemia, Cellular Differentiation, Bioinformatics, Genomics, Molecular Genetics, Epigenomics)
  • Holt, Robert (Immunogenetics, Metagenomics - Infectious agents in Cancer, Cancer Genomes, Neurobiology, DNA Sequencing)
  • Huntsman, David (Corporate Law, Contracts, Competition Law, legal history)
  • Jiang, Xiaoyan (Cancer Genetics, Cell Signaling and Cancer, Leukemia, Cancer Diagnosis and Detection, Cell Therapy of Cancer, Immunotherapy, Basic and translational leukemia research, Leukemic stem cell biology, Gene regulation, Drug resistance, Proteomics)

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
2020 Dr. Wu developed a versatile microscope for noninvasive human skin characterization and diagnosis. This microscope provides information on three-dimensional tissue structure, cellular morphology, micro-volume biochemicals, and dynamic physiology, with a large field of view. It was also demonstrated to be useful for precise laser micro-surgery.
2020 Dr. Zarei studied and implemented machine learning techniques for cancer detection, diagnosis, and prognosis. She developed technology to analyze and detect abnormalities in the cervix, and to classify and grade prostate cancer. Her work will ultimately help to reduce healthcare costs and increase patients' quality of life.
2020 Dr. Colovic studied the use of radioactive amino acids (RAAs) in cancer detection. Using an imaging technique called positron emission tomography, she evaluated several RAAs as probes for imaging biomarkers of altered cancer metabolism. Her research brought the development of fluoroaminosuberic acid or FASu one step closer to clinical use.
2020 Dr. Tian developed an in vivo skin microscopy imaging method to study the behaviour of human skin cells, including damage and repair after solar radiation. This interdisciplinary and translational study helps us to solve biological problems by imaging human skin non-invasively.
2020 Dr. Stewart studied lung cancer genetics, and discovered how recently-discovered genes called non-coding RNAs are altered in order to drive this deadly disease, and may be promising clinical targets. But the most important thing he learned during his PhD...was how to love.
2020 Dr. Hao's doctoral studies focused on how genetics can influence prostate cancer. He identified a gene that may drive the development of treatment-resistant prostate cancer. His work improves our understanding of the mechanism underlying the development of treatment resistance and provides a potential therapeutic target for this lethal disease.
2019 Dr. Lardizabal developed a new prostate cancer mouse model that can effectively and efficiently test new drugs and therapies against prostate cancer. His contribution can potentially provide prostate cancer patients with more treatment options by getting proven effective drugs and therapies into clinical trials faster.
2019 Dr. Steer found that early life stresses induce signals in neonatal lungs which confer enhanced susceptibility to allergic sensitization. Therefore, airway allergen exposure in the early postnatal period leads to heightened responses to allergens later in life. Dr. Steer's results underline the importance of the neonatal period for immune education.
2019 Myxoid liposarcoma is a type of cancer that predominantly affects young adults. Dr. Yu's doctoral studies examined the role of how a mutant protein functions as the main cause of myxoid liposarcoma. Her research uncovered a new function of the mutant protein that can form the basis of future treatment strategies for this disease.
2019 Dr. Chern studied the chemotherapy resistance mechanisms in colon cancer. She found that HSP47 proteins promote drug resistance, and the interaction between SPARC and GRP78 proteins enhances the stress level and increases cell death in cancer cells under chemotherapy. Her findings provide insights into overcoming chemoresistance in colon cancer.

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Further Program Information

Interdisciplinary Oncology offers advanced study and research in a variety of fields relating to oncology. The focus on interdisciplinarity is accomplished through a breadth of coverage in the following disciplines: molecular and cellular biology, genetics, biophysics, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical sciences, radiological sciences, immunology, socio-behavioural studies, and epidemiology.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-S1
 

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 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
18 May 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
18 September 2020
International Applicant Deadline
24 August 2020

May 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
18 May 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
11 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
22 December 2020

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
18 May 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
23 April 2021
International Applicant Deadline
26 March 2021
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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