NSERC CREATE Programs

The Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program supports the training of teams of highly qualified students and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and abroad through the development of innovative training programs that:

  • encourage collaborative and integrative approaches, and address significant scientific challenges associated with Canada’s research priorities; and
  • facilitate the transition of new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce.

UBC has been very successful in setting up CREATE programs at UBC. Since 2011, UBC has received almost $20 million for its training initiatives – more than any other university nationwide.

UBC NSERC CREATE Programs (active)

Ecosystem Services, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship (ECOSCOPE)

ECOSCOPE provides the training needed to translate environmental sequence information derived from studying microbial communities in natural and engineered ecosystems into commercial and entrepreneurial activities. Successful applicants who are admitted into a UBC graduate program participate in a collaborative network between multiple departments on the UBC campus spanning basic and applied science, receive trainee stipends, complete a team internship in a start-up environment, and are eligible for competitive travel prizes.

High-Dimensional Bioinformatics

This program provides collaborative research training and activities for graduate students that go beyond their classroom learning. Research areas range from the organization and management of data, the development of algorithms and software, and application of these approaches to questions in wide-ranging areas of biology. Students admitted to the Bioinformatics program in the Faculty of Science are eligible to apply for a trainee stipend, with additional funding and training opportunities available – including a three-month internship and a travel award.

Isotopes for Science and Medicine (IsoSiM)

The Isotopes for Science and Medicine (IsoSiM) NSERC CREATE program was established by UBC and TRIUMF in response to the growing importance of applications of isotopes in a broad range of fields, from environmental science, preclinical medical research, and characterization of new materials, to investigations of the foundations of the universe. This is a collaborative program involving several UBC Departments and Faculties.

Joining IsoSiM gives you access to the world’s largest cyclotron at TRIUMF, mentorship from supervisors who have over 1000 peer-reviewed papers, and elite international exchanges with our industry partners in Germany. Apart from stipends, IsoSiM provides students with enriched training experiences in the production, preparation, and application of isotopes for science and medicine that is enhanced by individualized professional skills development plans and internships. IsoSiM’s interdisciplinary training and experiential learning activities will create the next generation of leaders in isotope-related activities.

Students applying to graduate programs in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the departments of Chemistry; Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences; Physics and Astronomy; and Radiology are eligible to apply for the IsoSiM scholarship.   

Multidisciplinary Applied Geochemistry Network (MAGNET)

MAGNET addresses today’s research challenges in analytical, environmental and exploration geochemistry with a multidisciplinary approach. Trainees benefit from participation in high-impact research projects, mentorship from leading scientists, hands-on training with state-of-the-art equipment, internships, networking, professional development training, and travel and research funding. Students must apply to and be accepted onto a project by a MAGNET-associated faculty member.

Nanomaterials Science & Technology (NanoMat)

NanoMat nurtures students to meet the growing demand for workers with strong knowledge and training in nanomaterials synthesis, characterization, and application, nanoscience instrumentation, and professional leadership skills. Trainees undertake interdisciplinary, collaborative research projects with a focus on alternative energy, the environment, or health, and receive outstanding hands-on training in nanomaterials research, professional development opportunities, and access to industry mentorship. Students applying to be supervised one of NanoMat’s Principle Investigators – across the faculties of Science, Applied Science, and Medicine – are eligible.  

Quantum Electronic Science and Technology (QuEST)

QuEST gives students a broad technical basis and a well-rounded perspective of how their research in quantum materials can impact society through technology transfer to existing companies and to high-technology startups. In addition to working with cutting-edge researchers, competitively selected students interested in quantum materials and applying to graduate programs in Physics, Astronomy, and Chemistry receive funding comparable to major scholarships such as NSERC, as well as conference travel awards and opportunities for exchange/internship/research at a major user facility.

Sustainable Synthesis (SusSyn)

SusSyn aims to prepare industry-ready graduates to contribute to Canadian made, globally competitive clean technologies and sustainable manufacturing solutions. SusSyn provides interdisciplinary training in catalysis research, with a particular focus on programs addressing waste generation, environmental compatibility, energy efficiency, and alternative energy sources. Trainees participate in three laboratory rotations, a monthly seminar series, an annual symposium, professional development courses, and an industrial internship of four to eight months in duration. Students applying to programs in Chemistry, Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Pharmacy are eligible.

Training Our Future Ocean Leaders

With natural disasters increasingly affecting and displacing entire communities, scientists need to know how to navigate the delicate waters of climate communication with the public, government, and industry. The Training Our Future Ocean Leaders program will bring collaborators from across campus, non-profit and industrial sectors together to form a cross-disciplinary team which will equip trainees with the skills to examine how marine life and processes are connected to human behaviour and societal processes, preparing them to shape government and industry policy.

UBC NSERC Create Programs (funding concluded)

Biodiversity Research: Integrative Training & Education (BRITE)

The Biodiversity Research Centre (BRC) aims to train experts in the study of biodiversity and the application of biodiversity science. Graduate students whose supervisor is a BRC-affiliated faculty member can apply for funded, full-time internships with a non-governmental organization, government agency, or industry. BRITE internships are flexible, as they last from six weeks to three months and may be closely aligned with or unrelated to the student's research.

Engineers in Scrubs (EiS)

Designed to foster innovation in medical technology by training biomedical engineers in clinical environments, and developed to help engineers understand and appreciate the needs and uses of technology in health care, EiS helps biomedical engineers navigate the interfaces among engineering research, medical research, clinical practice, and product development. Students applying to the MASc or PhD in Biomedical Engineering or related fields are eligible; successful EiS students will follow a slightly modified curriculum and are eligible for the ten merit-based fellowship stipends available annually.

Silicon Electronic-Photonic Integrated Circuits (Si-EPIC)

Si-EPIC is designed to train students in the new discipline of information and communication technology systems that involves miniaturization of optical components onto silicon chips. Current and prospective students with supervisors in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are eligible to apply for trainee stipends. In addition to funding, Si-EPIC students receive specialized training through design workshops, a nine-month design-fabrication-test cycle, internships, and professional development opportunities.

Sustainable Building Science Program (SBSP)

The SBSP aims to advance research that will develop buildings that are more sustainable from human, environmental, and economic perspectives. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows currently under the supervision of a SBSP research faculty member are eligible to apply for SBSP fellowships. Trainees complete internships in industry, receive funding from SBSP, and have access to the support of the interdisciplinary SBSP community.

Terrestrial Research on Ecosystems and World-wide Education & Broadcast

The goal of TerreWEB is to create an enriched, innovative, collaborative graduate training environment that addresses key scientific gaps in understanding the impacts of global change on terrestrial ecosystems and developing strategies for mitigation and adaptation, and evaluating the factors underlying global change communication deficits, developing novel communication strategies for addressing these deficits, and measuring the efficacy of those strategies.