The supervisor is the key person in a thesis-based graduate degree program. The principal role of the supervisor is to help students achieve their scholastic potential and to chair the student’s Supervisory Committee. The Supervisor will provide reasonable commitment, accessibility, professionalism, stimulation, guidance, respect and consistent encouragement to the student. Learn more
Graduate programs have different expectations regarding prospective students contacting faculty members. Some require commitment of a faculty member as thesis supervisor prior to applying while others assign supervisors in the first year. Please review the requirements for each program in the degree listing under the heading "Admission Information & Requirements" in step 3 "Prepare Application" under "Thesis Supervision".
Advice on how to reach out to supervisors
|Kitts, David||Professor||Faculty of Land and Food Systems||Food, Nutrition & Health|
|Head, C Keith||Professor||Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration||Division of Strategy and Business Economics|
|McKenna, Janis||Professor||Faculty of Science||Department of Physics & Astronomy|
|Parkes, Debra||Professor||Peter A. Allard School of Law|
|King, Kayla||Professor||Faculty of Science||Department of Microbiology & Immunology|
Other Researcher Directories
- UBC Faculties provide directories for their researchers:
- Faculty of Applied Science
- Faculty of Arts
- Faculty of Dentistry
- Faculty of Education
- Faculty of Forestry
- Faculty of Land and Food Systems - Directory
- Faculty of Law
- Faculty of Medicine
- Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics
- Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences
- Department of Emergency Medicine
- Department of Medical Genetics
- Department of Medicine (Experimental Medicine, Dermatology and Skin Science)
- Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
- Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
- Department of Physical Therapy
- Department of Psychiatry
- School of Audiology and Speech Sciences
- School of Population and Public Health
- Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences - Researcher Search Tool
- Faculty of Science
- The UBC Calendar lists the names of faculty members in faculties, schools and departments.
- For some topics such as Sustainability you can check special directories to identify potential supervisors working in that area:
Reaching Out Tips
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.