Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)

Overview

The Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is a problem-focused and curiosity-driven interdisciplinary research institute and graduate program, with interest and expertise in a wide range of topics under the realm of environment and sustainability. Our mission is to foster sustainable futures through integrated research and learning about the linkages among human and natural systems, and to support decision making from local to global scales. More often than not, we achieve this through collaborations across students and faculty in a manner that recognizes our collective skills, intellectual histories and methodological approaches, and yet encourages our interdependencies as we consider real world problems.

What makes the program unique?

Over fifty percent of our core faculty are Canada Research Chairs and faculty mentoring has led to a high success rate of our students winning major fellowships and scholarships. There are multi-year funding packages offered for top applicants to the RES program. RES has over 400 alumni since the graduate program started in 1994.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Science
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Resources, Environment and Sustainability
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Science

Video

Meet a UBC representative

Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

webinar
Date: Thursday, 26 July 2018
Time: 12:30 to 13:30
Join our Graduate Student Ambassadors Samuel Adenyanju (MSc Forestry, Nigeria), Federico Andrade (PhD Public Health, Colombia), Maria Angélica Guerrero (MA Educational Studies, Colombia), Xining (Linda) Yang (PhD Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, China) and Dorine Akwiri (Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs, Kenya) who will be available to answer questions about their experiences at UBC, including topics such as accommodation, moving to a new city/province/country and settling in, making friends, being an international student, and more. This session is open to participants interested in different programs across all faculties at UBC. Please note that we will not be able to provide answers to questions regarding application or admissions policies or any that involve specific personal information.

Requirements

Document Requirements

The RES program requires all applicants to submit a thesis proposal with their application. Details of this can be found here: http://ires.ubc.ca/graduate-program/prospective-students/how-to-apply/

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

100
24
24
24
24

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?

Highly recommended

Prior degree requirements

RES does not admit applicants to the PhD program unless they have completed a thesis-based master's degree prior to the RES PhD program start.

Prerequisites / Course Requirements

There are no specific prerequisites for the RES PhD program other than you must have completed a thesis-based Masters degree from a recognized institution. As we are an interdisciplinary program, we accept applications from all disciples and backgrounds.
Anyone interested in studying environmental/sustainability problems in an interdisciplinary way is encouraged to apply.

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be guaranteed a minimum funding package of $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. This guaranteed minimum doctoral funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work (TA), Research assistantships (RA), and Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA).

International PhD applicants who are pursuing their first thesis-based doctoral degree and submit a complete UBC online application for RES admission (including references) by December 31 will automatically be eligible to be considered for UBC’s International Doctoral Fellowship.  The fellowship provides funding for a total of five years: a $30,000 stipend plus tuition for four years and a minimum $18,000 funding package (from the recipient's supervisor/department/Faculty, comprising awards, teaching assistantships and/or research assistantships) for the fifth year.

Additional funding opportunities for PhD applicants may come from UBC’s Four Year Doctoral Fellowship (4YF): an $18,200 stipend plus full tuition coverage per year, for four consecutive years.

RES students have also been highly successful in receiving support from the most prestigious funding agencies. Many of our students are Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) or Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)  recipients, and in recent years we have seen our students receive both Vanier  Canada Graduate Scholarships and the Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship, the most highly-regarded scholarships in Canada. You can review a detailed list of the most commonly applied to scholarships on our website.

In addition to external scholarships and funding options noted above, RES typically distributes one-time entrance awards to the majority of incoming students. The amount of these awards varies year to year, however over the last three years the awards have been in the range of $3000-$5000.

It is important for applicants to the RES program to confirm the details of any funding package that may be available to them prior to accepting an offer of admission to the program.

Career Outcomes

71 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; for 8 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 62 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 (9)
Simon Fraser University
University of Lausanne
University of Victoria
Institute of Biology, University of the Philippines-Diliman
Douglas College
University of Manitoba
Federal University of Sergipe
Quest University Canada
Naropa University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Government of Canada (2)
EPCOR Water Inc.
Aquatic Informatics
Madrone Environmental Services
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
Compass Resource Management Ltd.
IUU Risk Intelligence
BC Hydro
Amiran Services Ltd.
Metro Vancouver
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Partner (2)
Consultant (2)
Senior Policy Analyst (2)
Principal (2)
Research Scientist (2)
Founder
Early Career Academy Researcher
Senior Fisheries Scientist
Senior Microbiologist
Author, Professor, Activist
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
This program underwent a name or structural change in the study time frame, and all alumni from the previous program were included in these summaries. 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

Our current students, alumni and faculty lead and serve on numerous international, national, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and regional bodies dedicated to protecting the environment and improving well-being.

Alumni on Success

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$102.00$165.00
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,632.61$2,868.22
Tuition per year$4,897.83$8,604.66
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$923.38 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (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. 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

Due to a change in the way data were recorded in 2016 only a limited data set is available. The program was previously known as Doctor of Philosophy in Resource Management and Environmental Studies (PhD). Data for the previous program / time are shown below:
 20162015201420132012
Applications4332504848
Offers 7161614
New registrations 7141312
Total enrolment5366696360

Completion Rates & Times

Doctor of Philosophy in Resource Management and Environmental Studies (PhD): This program has a graduation rate of 85% based on 41 students admitted between 2003 - 2006. Based on 31 graduations between 2012 - 2015 the minimum time to completion is 1.66 years and the maximum time is 9.00 years with an average of 5.60 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.

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.

  • Boyd, David (Environmental Law and Policy, Human Rights and Environment, Rights of Nature, Environmental Justice, Plastic Pollution)
  • Chan, Kai (Human Ecology, Ecology and Quality of the Environment, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Applied Ethics, Values and Lifestyles, Sustainable Development, ecosystem services, sustainability science, conservation science, cultural ecosystem services, environmental values, conservation finance, environmental assessment, social-ecological systems, resilience, payments for ecosystem services, incentive programs)
  • Chang, Stephanie (Community vulnerability and resilience to natural disasters)
  • Dowlatabadi, Hadi (Energy Production, Economic Planning of Energy, Climate Changes and Impacts, Public Policies, New Technology and Social Impacts, Health Policies, Transportation Systems, The systematic study of systems at the interface of humans, nature, technology and policy)
  • Giang, Amanda (Atmospheric Pollutants, Climate Changes and Impacts, Chemical Pollutants, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Public Policies)
  • Harris, Leila (Drinking Water, Fresh Water, Water, Resources Management, Development Policies, International Development, Gender Relationship, Ethics and Fundamental Issues of Law and Justice, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Social Contract and Social Justice, water politics, water governance, Environmental justice, gender and social difference, equity and social justice, participatory resource management, Turkey and Middle East, Africa , Ghana, South Africa)
  • Johnson, Mark (Hydrological Cycle and Reservoirs, Land and Soil, Climate Changes and Impacts, Agriculture, Ecology and Quality of the Environment, Running Water Hydrosystem, Fresh Water, Ground Water and Water Tables, Ecohydrology, Carbon cycle, Land use, Water and Sustainability, Biogeochemistry, Data Science)
  • Kandlikar, Milind (Climate Change, Air Pollution, Extended Producer Responsibility, Human Development, Agricultural Biotechnology, Information Technology in Developing Countries, Technology innovation, human development and global environment)
  • Oberg, Gunilla (Science and Knowledge, Language, Knowledge, Significance and Thought Building, Urban and Rural Planning Policies, Urban, Industrial and Agricultural Waste Water Treatment, Learning and Development Approaches, Sustainable Development, Environment and Society, Environmental Health, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Chemical Pollutants, Risk Management)
  • Ramankutty, Navin (Environment and Society, Agriculture, Climate Changes and Impacts, Global food security, Sustainable agriculture, Climate impacts, Land use change)
  • Satterfield, Theresa (Sustainable development, environmental health, First Nation & land management, social and cultural consequences of contamination)
  • Wittman, Hannah (Social Movements, Environment and Society, Dynamics of Social Transformations, Agriculture, food sovereignty, sustainable agriculture, socio-ecological systems, agro-ecology)
  • Zhao, Jiaying (Psychology - Biological Aspects, Environment and Society, Socio-Economic Conditions, Cognitive Science, Poverty, Sustainability, Behavior Change, Public Policy)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Jason Minton Brown
    "Dr. Brown demonstrated that Catholic monks living in the American West blend biblical motifs, religious symbols and environmental discourse into their experience of place and landscape. This research shows that religious and environmental discourses are relationally attached to and molded by experience with land." (November 2017)
 
 

September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
15 September 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
31 December 2018
International Applicant Deadline
31 December 2018

Program Information

Application Enquiries

Supervisor Search

 

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