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 "Requirements" 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 peek 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.
Primary care pharmacogenetics
Graduate Student Supervision
Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - May 2019)
Background: Women diagnosed with breast cancer are at higher risk of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures. Information is lacking on utilization of bone mineral density testing in British Columbia, and fracture risks associated with tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors to plan care. Methods: Three studies were conducted on women diagnosed with breast cancer. Study 1, a retrospective cross-sectional study evaluated the utilization of bone mineral density testing in 1995-2008 and identified factors associated with different testing rates using secondary data-linkage in older women aged ≥65 and diagnosed with breast cancer for ≥3 years in British Columbia, Canada. Study 2, a pilot randomized controlled trial, assessed the feasibility of a protocol designed to improve bone health management, especially bone mineral density testing rates, with educational material in older women aged ≥65 and diagnosed with breast cancer for ≥3 years. And study 3, a systematic review with meta-analysis, estimated fracture risks associated with tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors in younger women aged ≤65. Results: In older women aged ≥65, proportions of women with ≥1 bone mineral density test per calendar year increased from 1.0% in 1995 to 10.1% in 2008. Women with lower socio-economic status or rural residence were significantly less likely to have a bone mineral density test. The study protocol is feasible with a promising effect of educational material on bone mineral density testing rates (17%, 95%CI=6 to 33) in the 54 participants during the pilot study six-month follow-up period. In younger women aged ≤65, fracture risk did not differ between the tamoxifen and no-tamoxifen groups. Aromatase inhibitor-associated fracture risk was 17% and 35% higher than the risks in the no-aromatase inhibitor group and tamoxifen group respectively. The higher aromatase inhibitor-associated fracture risk compared with tamoxifen descreased slowly over time. The risk was significantly higher during the treatment period, but not the post-treatment period. Conclusions: Increased risk of fractures is reported in women diagnosed with breast cancer and treated with aromatase inhibitors, while screening for osteoporosis with bone mineral density testing is sub-optimal. There is a need to improve bone health management programs which should include educational materials.