Laura Nimmon

Associate Professor

Research Classification

Research Interests

Qualitative research
medical education
Health Professions Education
Social network analysis
Human connection
Social theories
Social power
Palliative Care

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters

Research Options

I am available and interested in collaborations (e.g. clusters, grants).
I am interested in and conduct interdisciplinary research.

Research Methodology

qualitative research, social theories, social network analysis


Doctoral students
Postdoctoral Fellows
Any time / year round
I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.
I support experiential learning experiences, such as internships and work placements, for my graduate students and Postdocs.
I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).

Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!

Check requirements
  • 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.
Focus your search
  • 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.
Make a good impression
  • 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.
Attend an information session

G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.



These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a potential thesis supervisor.

Great Supervisor Week Mentions

Each year graduate students are encouraged to give kudos to their supervisors through social media and our website as part of #GreatSupervisorWeek. Below are students who mentioned this supervisor since the initiative was started in 2017.


Thank you for your expert guidance, encouragement, and support. Thank you for challenging me to think further, work harder and opportunities for growth.

Ibukun Kayode (2019)


Can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to co-supervise me in my PhD program. I am grateful for your commitment to providing a conducive academic environment to learn from your wealth of knowledge and experience. Thank you for being so extra supportive. You are amazing!

Ibukun Kayode (2018)


Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

Being blind and belonging in academia (2021)

Belonging is an essential human need. Developing a sense of belonging is important for people for whom academia is a place of learning, teaching, and employment. Academia – also known as educational institutions, higher education, post-secondary, college, or university – is a site of particular interest given the privilege engagement in this environment may imbue on individuals and communities. Moreover, academia is also problematic from the perspective of disabled people due to the ableist expectations embedded within it. Academia, and developing a sense of belonging there, may be particularly important for people from equity-seeking groups, including blind people. The general topic of this dissertation is an exploration of belonging in academia, from non-blind and blind perspectives. Following the introduction, chapter 2 presents a model – the Belonging in Academia Model - that explicates how sense of belonging develops in academia through five dimensions: affiliation, familiarity, acceptance, trusting connections & interdependent relationships, and equity. The dissertation goes on to examine blind and partially blind peoples’ experiences of belonging and non-belonging in academia, elucidating key nuances such as the importance of interdependence, feeling like a burden, and needing to perform as a disabled person. In chapter 3 this dissertation highlights scholarly teaching in the form of a workshop designed using research-based theatre as an affective pedagogical tool. Finally, preceding the conclusion, chapter 4 shares a brief exploration of doing ‘insider’ research as a blind scholar with blind people.

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Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

It is all about adaptation and sensitivity : the complexity of relational-interactive work in interpreter-mediated non-emergency healthcare in British Columbia, Canada (2023)

This research explores the experience of navigating relational work in interpreter-mediated non-emergency healthcare consultations. Using the lived-experience of six healthcaresign language interpreters, this research reveals interpreter-mediated healthcare consultations asa site of significant and shifting complexity. For those interviewed, adaptation and sensitivity tothe physical, social, and larger cultural factors at play within a healthcare consultation wereessential to effectively navigating relational-interactive work. Drawing on systems theory andcomplex systems theory, and guided by post-intentional phenomenology, this research highlightsthe interconnected and entangled nature of healthcare interpreting. Ultimately, this researchemphasizes that effective navigation of interpreter-mediated healthcare appointments involves anongoing co-learning and co-navigating process navigated between people, and the need toaddress it as such.

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