Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)

Overview

The objectives of the Program are to educate graduate students as neuroscientists with intensive experience in at least one area of research, and to ensure that students in the Program develop a broadly based knowledge of the neurosciences. The Program aims for flexibility so that the individual needs and background of each student can, as quickly as possible, be accommodated. The core program of courses offered to entering students consists of Neuroanatomy, Neurophysiology, Neurochemistry, Psychobiology, Molecular Neurobiology, and Neuropharmacology. Additional related courses are available for selection by the student and his/her Supervisory Committee. The Program is research oriented: students are expected to engage in research from the start of their studies. Research is undertaken in individual departments, over a wide range of basic and clinical Neuroscience topics.

 

What makes the program unique?

The Graduate Program in Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary program of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. It is administered by the Chairman of the Neuroscience Advisory Committee, and comprises some 60 faculty members representing 13 departments from the Faculties of Medicine, Science and Arts at the University of British Columbia. Laboratory and teaching areas are located across the UBC campus and at the University Hospital and the Vancouver Hospital, according to the teaching and research affiliations of the Neuroscience faculty members.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Life Sciences
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Neuroscience
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Medicine

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

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.

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. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

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.

English Language Proficiency

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:

100
22
21
22
21
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.

This program has not specified whether applicants should reach out to faculty members. Please review the program website for additional details.

Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)

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 required by some applicants. Please check the program website.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 July 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2020

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

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.

We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your 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.

In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.

Career Outcomes

92 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 2 are in non-salaried situations; for 6 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 84 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 (12)
University of Toronto (3)
China Medical University (2)
University of Nevada - Las Vegas (2)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (2)
Western Washington University (2)
University of Ottawa (2)
Simon Fraser University (2)
University of Calgary (2)
Carleton University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
STEMCELL Technologies (3)
Hospital for Sick Children (2)
Johnson and Johnson Inc.
DynaLIFE
Synchronous ERP Inc.
AstraZeneca
Eli Lilly and Company
Focus Eyecare Centre
Allen Institute for Brain Science
Vancouver Coastal Health
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Postdoctoral Fellow (6)
Medical Science Liaison (2)
Senior Applications Biologist
Program Manager for PLDP
Neurologist
Medical Liaisons
Director of Technology and Product Development
Audiologist
Senior Software Engineer
Data 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.

Alumni on Success

Tamara Bodnar

Job Title
Postdoctoral Fellow
Employer
The University of British Columbia

Rochelle Hines

Job Title
Assistant Professor
Employer
University of Nevada Las Vegas

Carmen Chan

Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher ("Research Scientist")
Employer
RIKEN Brain Science Institute

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$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)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (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.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications4035233028
Offers1313798
New registrations1110667
Total enrolment7177737884

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 62.5% based on 32 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 28 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 3.66 years and the maximum time is 8.66 years with an average of 6.10 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 March 2019]. 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].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Wednesday, 29 January 2020 - 12:30pm - 1330, Life Sciences Institute, 2350 Health Sciences Mall

Katerina Maria Othonos
Identifying Gene Regulatory Networks Controlled by Bone Morphogenetic Protein-Signaling in Drosophila and Murine Genomes

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.

  • Accili, Eric molecular mechanisms responsible for cellular pacemaking behavior
  • Allan, Douglas Nervous system
  • Auld, Vanessa (Cell, Neurogenesis and Gliogenesis, Developmental Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Development, nervous system, permeability barriers, glia, Cell Biology, Genetics, in vivo imaging, epithelia)
  • Austin, Jehannine Genetics, genomics, genetic counseling, psychiatric illness, mental illness, mental health, psychiatry, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, postpartum depression, perinatal mental health, Mood & Anxiety Disorders, Schizophrenia
  • Bamji, Shernaz (synapse biology, primary neuronal cultures, transgenic mouse models, neurodevelopmental disease)
  • Barr, Alasdair Mental health and addictions, with a particular emphasis on psychosis and the medications used in its treatment, Anesthesiology
  • Barton, Jason face perception, object recognition, eye movements, higher visual function, Human vision and eye movement
  • Beasley, Clare Louise identify changes in the brains of individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder that may elucidate the etiology of these disorders and provide clues to novel treatments; white matter pathology and inflammation; effects of antipsychotic medications on the brain
  • Bhagavatula, Sastry Age-related research, Anesthesiology, plasticity of synaptic transmission, mammalian central nervous system
  • Boyd, Lara (Plasticity / Neuronal Regeneration, Stroke, Learning and Memory, Physiology, Motor learning, Motor System, Learning, Neurophysiology)
  • Brotto, Lori (Sexual Dysfunctions, sexual dysfunction, mindfulness, sexual desire)
  • Cairns, Brian (Neuropharmacology, Oro-Facial Pain, Pain, Electrophysiology, pain mechanisms, headache, temporomandibular disorders, sex-related differences, peripheral analgesics)
  • Cashman, Neil prion disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, protein misfolding diseases, Alzheimer's
  • Christoff, Kalina brain, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, prefronal cortex, fMRI, neuroimaging, neuropsychology, executive functions, problem solving, reasoning, thinking, mind-wandering, attention, consciousness, real-time fMRI, trauma and PTSD, Cognitive and neural basis of human thought, reasoning and problem solving
  • Ciernia, Annie (Gene-Environment Interactions, Epigenetics, Brain development, Autism, Neurodevelopmental disorders)
  • Clark, Luke Gambling, Problem Gambling, Addiction, Decision-Making, Reward, Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms involved in gambling behaviour and disordered gambling
  • Craig, Ann Marie Excitatory and inhibitory synapses, Synapse development and plasticity, Synapse organizing proteins, Neurotransmitter receptors, Autism and schizophrenia
  • Cynader, Max eye diseases; glaucoma; dyslexia; stroke; neurotrauma; memory; vision; learning disabilities; hearing development; recovery after brain damage; ischemia; gene therapy, Alzheimer's
  • Diamond, Adele (executive functions, prefrontal cortex, dopamine, working memory, self-control, self-regulation, cognition, COMT gene, Sex differences, stress, ACEs (adverse childhood experiences), ELS (early life stress), resilience, social determinants of health, ADHD, depression, PTSD, Physical Activity, the arts, mindfulness)
  • Doudet, Doris Brain imaging, mood disorders, stimulation therapies, Parkinson's disease
  • Eich, Eric Mood congruence and mood dependence in learning and remembering, memory impairments associated with bipolar affective illness, the cognitive correlates of dissociative identity disorder, and subjective, behavioral, and neural differences between field (first-person perspective) and observer (third-person perspective) memories
  • Eng, Janice Neurorehabilitation, spinal cord, brain
  • Enns, James (Cognition, Sensation and Perception, attention, action kinematics, social perception)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Diana Victoria Hunter
    "Dr. Hunter studied the impact of spinal cord injury on pelvic peripheral neurons and organs. She characterized changes in input and output neurons supplying pelvic organs, and differences in bladder activity following high and low transections. This work paves the way for the treatment of important secondary consequences of spinal cord injury." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Seth Stravers Tigchelaar
    "Dr. Tigchelaar dedicated the last decade towards improving the outcomes of patients with spinal cord injury. He discovered a set of genetic markers that could serve as diagnostic and prognostic tools for patients suffering from paralysis. His work will continue to advance recovery and outcomes for patients with spinal cord injury." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Lin Luo
    "Dr. Luo characterized the interaction mechanisms and functions of two proteins in the brain linked to neuropsychiatric disorders. She also analyzed 'germline recombination' as a major pitfall of widely used approaches in molecular genetics. Her findings further our understanding of brain development and will inform future neuroscience research." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Lily Aleksandrova
    "Dr. Aleksandrova studied ketamine, a rapid-acting antidepressant. Her research suggests that ketamine may have pro-cognitive effects due to its ability to restore normal synaptic plasticity, the ability of the brain to adapt and change, in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a key brain region implicated in depression." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Jolande Fooken
    "Dr. Fooken investigated human eye movements in decision-making tasks. Her work linked eye movement patterns with the ability to predict visual events, revealing that eye movements can sensitively indicate decision outcomes. These findings add to our understanding of the mechanisms underlying eye movement control and sensorimotor decision making." (November 2019)

Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Program Information

 
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 July 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020
 

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.