Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs
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.
ADVICE AND INSIGHTS FROM UBC FACULTY ON REACHING OUT TO SUPERVISORS
These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a potential thesis supervisor.
Graduate Student Supervision
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.
Introduction: The current COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as the most urgent and challenging public health issue of our time. Public health decisions on how to curb infection rates have been required in the face of limited and sometimes contradictory evidence. There is currently limited understanding of how decision-makers use evidence in public health practice. This thesis aimed to 1) identify the types of evidence that public health decision-makers considered and 2) determine how evidence was weighed for the provincial decision to reopen K-12 public schools in British Columbia (BC) from March to June 2020. Methods: A qualitative, two-phase, multiple-methods study design was employed. Phase 1 included an organizational map, timeline of key events, and document analysis. Phase 1 informed the context and generated preliminary results. Phase 2 consisted of semi-structured key-informant interviews (n = 6) with senior public health and education decision-makers from BC to understand their perspectives on the use of evidence for the K-12 school reopening decision. Results: The organogram and timeline illustrated the nuanced relationships that existed between public health and education officials in addition to the small number of individuals with decision-making authority. The 62 documents included in the document analysis (12 official documents, 34 Twitter posts, and 16 newspaper/print media) found science and research to be the primary sources of evidence, with public needs and stakeholder engagement also being considered. Key-informant interviews reported reliance on practitioner expertise, observed and predictive epidemiological data locally and globally, and public needs (of children, parents, and teachers) for the reopening decision. The initial uncertainty of COVID-19 placed significant weight on scientific input. The context of BC and institutional trust were additional factors that influenced the reopening of K-12 public schools. Conclusion: This study highlighted that the initial uncertainty of COVID-19 made it challenging to make decisions based on evidence. This study concluded that scientific findings were the main source of input guiding the K-12 school reopening. However, public needs, experience and expertise, and contextual factors such as BC’s geography and institutional trust were all additional identified sources of evidence that was considered for the K-12 school reopening decision.
This thesis is focused on characterizing differences in developmental outcomes among children born from intended and unintended pregnancies aged three to five. The Sustainable Development Goals have a specific target to “ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development” by 2030. There is sparse literature regarding the impact of pregnancy intention (wantedness and timing) or planning on child development, and less so about differential impacts by ethnicity, income, or sex at birth.The research chapters of this thesis consist of two studies: First, we conducted a scoping review to summarize the evidence comparing the developmental outcomes of children from unwanted, unplanned, or mistimed (‘it happened too soon’ or ‘too late’) pregnancies to those of children from wanted or planned pregnancies. We identified 8 “cohorts” with information on approximately 39,000 children born mostly in developed countries. Overall, unwanted/unplanned pregnancies were associated with poorer child development when compared with wanted/planned pregnancies. Mistimed (sometimes classified as delayed) pregnancies correlated with weaker effects in the same direction.Second, we estimated the effect of unintended pregnancy on early childhood development in Ecuadorian children aged three to five, participating in the latest National Health and Nutrition Survey (2018) using a design-based regression model, stratified by ethnicity, sex at birth, and socioeconomic status. We also estimated to what extent eliminating unintended pregnancy would close the gap among the most privileged (i.e., high-income, white/mestizo, males) and other groups of each stratum. Among 6,687 observations representing 620,625 Ecuadorian children, unintended pregnancy was associated with 33% higher risk of inadequate development (RR: 1.33; 95% CI: 1.06; 1.64) after adjusting for available confounders. Black/montubio children were the most affected (RR: 2.78; 95% CI: 1.72; 3.85). These results suggest that these ethnic groups, along with low-income households, might benefit the most from interventions that support intended pregnancy. Together, the studies in this thesis underline the importance of policies that create environments supportive of wanted conception and access to safe abortion to reach the target for sustainable development goal 4, related to child development. In Ecuador, these interventions are particularly important for black/montubio and low-income populations.