Relevant Degree Programs
Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters
Graduate trainees and post-graduate-level fellows are invited to express their interest in working on two funded studies involving the health of marginalized people who use drugs in Vancouver, Canada:
1. The AIDS Care Cohort to evaluate Exposure to Survival Services (ACCESS): This United States National Institutes of Health-funded open observational prospective cohort follows more than 1,000 people who use illicit drugs and are living with HIV in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. In this study, data from regular behavourial interview is confidentially linked to comprehensive HIV clinical data (e.g., antiretroviral therapy dispensations, HIV viral loads, etc.) allowing for longitudinal investigations into the links between prevalent behavioural and social/structural exposures, clinical exposures, and disease outcomes. With more than fifteen years of follow-up, 10,000 interviews and hundreds of thousands of clinical datapoints, the study is a poewrful platform for retrospective and prospective analyses. Studies using ACCESS data have been published in a wide variety of journals (including AIDS, Clinical infectious diseases, BMJ, and Addiction) and have made important contributions to the science of HIV disease progression, HIV treatment and care among people who use drugs and addiction medicine. ACCESS, alongside its sister cohorts (the Vancouver Injection Drug User Study and the At-Risk Youth Study) have provided valuable research and training opportunities to dozens of research and clinical trainees. Graduate trainees and post-doctoral fellows will have a strong background in analytic epidemiology with experience in longitudinal analyses and infectious disease an advantage. They will be expected to develop analyses and write first-author publications in collaboraton with the principal investigator, study statisticians, and co-investigators.
2. Generalizable Experiments in Medical Marijuana and Addiction (GEMMA): The GEMMA project aims to generate urgently-needed evidence on whether and how cannabis can beneficially address drug-related harms during the ongoing opioid overdose crisis. These controlled trials will evaluate the risks/benefits of cannabis use identified in observational research among people who use drugs living with chronic pain, trauma, or substance use disorders. Under the direction of the principal investigator and supported by an advisory panel of scientists, clinicians, and people with living experience, these trals will test the effect of intentional cannabis use on outcomes such as illicit opioid use, exposure to fentanyl, accidental overdose, retention in treatment for substance use disorders, and experiences of cravings, withdrawals, and pain. These investigator-initiated trials are fully funded through an arms' length gift to the university from Canopy Growth, a licensed producer of cannabis. Graduate trainees and post-doctoral trainees will have a strong background in analytic epidemiology, with expertise in clinical trial design an analysis an advantage.
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.
Great Supervisor Week Mentions
Shout out to @mjsmilloy for #greatsupervisor week @UBC. Innovative, encouraging, chill, and easily photoshopped into my work glamour pics.
Graduate Student Supervision
Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Nov 2020)
The full abstract for this thesis is available in the body of the thesis, and will be available when the embargo expires.