Shawn Forde

Assistant Professor

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs



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.

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.

Women and nonbinary people's understandings of their sports-based activism (2023)

The primary objective of this research is to determine how women and nonbinary people perceive their activism in the sporting or greater world. The hope of this research is for others to continue their activism and create a more equitable and inclusive sport setting and society. Women and nonbinary people involved in sport including athletes, board members and sport organization founders were purposefully recruited to participate in a study concerning sports- based activism. A narrative methodology was employed using two semi-structured interviews. In line with narrative methodologies smaller participant range and more personable accounts, three participants were interviewed. Using a critical intersectional lens, this research asked women and nonbinary individuals involved in sport about their activism. I focused on three research questions and pulled out multiple themes from participant narratives. When discussing how women and nonbinary people understand and navigate systems that are often inequitable and discriminatory, themes included that sport spaces are exclusionary, critical perspectives are lacking and there are constraints to change within sport. Regarding how identity relates to social justice, participants spoke on sport categorization, how people seek belonging and how groups who share identities do not necessarily share values. Lastly, relating to activism impact, participants focused on family dynamics and sport politics, how social change is facilitated as well as difficulties and enablers in relation to social change. This research builds on existing literature by including narrative perspectives of sports-based activism, focusing on intersectional identities and including people involved in sport beyond the athlete. Moreover, practical recommendations about how organizations might be more inclusive from the activists are included.

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