Tri-Council Doctoral competition


Internal Deadline: Friday September 23rd, 2016 (4:00pm) – This is a firm deadline.  We will not accept any applications (missing documents) after this deadline.  In addition, incomplete applications will not be considered.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure all supporting documentation has been received by the deadline.

If you are considering applying for a doctoral-level Tri-Council and/or Affiliated Fellowship, please NOTIFY me of your intention by September 7.  The LFS Graduate Office will be experiencing some unexpected staffing shortages during September and October.  In order to ensure adequate administrative support for this award competition, it will help us a great deal if we know in advance of your intention to apply so that we can set realistic and workable deadlines.

UBC Affiliated Fellowships:

The UBC Affiliated Fellowships doctoral competition runs in concert with the university-adjudicated NSERC and SSHRC CGS doctoral competitions. Students who submit an NSERC or SSHRC application to their graduate program are eligible for open Affiliated Fellowships and do not need to submit a separate Affiliated Fellowships application. (To be considered for criteria-based affiliated fellowship(s), students should submit this checklist ( with their NSERC or SSHRC application to their graduate program.) Those applying only for Vanier CGS or CIHR Doctoral Research Award must submit a separate and complete Affiliated Fellowships application in order to be considered.

Updated competition information and application/reference forms are available at:

SSHRC and NSERC doctoral Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGSD):
Applicants applying through UBC will either be:

·         currently registered at (or were registered at during the year of application), or are on an approved leave of absence from, a degree program at UBC

·         not currently registered at UBC; or are registered, but not in a degree program; and have completed all of the requirements for a degree program from UBC since 1 January 2016

Both agencies have application forms and instructions online. Please see their websites for further detail:



CIHR Doctoral Applications:

Details for this funding opportunity are available on ResearchNet:

Applicant (ResearchNet) deadline: 5 p.m. (Vancouver time) on Tuesday, 4 October 2016.

Institutional e-Approval for CIHR Doctoral Research Award is obtained from the Office of Research Services (ORS). Please note that ORS requires a minimum of five (5) working days in advance of the competition deadline; for full details, please visit: 

Kind regards,

Lia Maria Dragan
Graduate Programs Office
Faculty of Land and Food Systems The University of British Columbia
344-2357 Main Mall | Vancouver BC Canada V6T 1Z4
Phone 604.822.8373 | Fax 604.822.4400 /

Opportunity for a student involvement


My name is Lia Hart. I graduated from UBC in 2014 having taken a land and food systems course. I dropped by your office a while back, and I’m thinking of you again, as I have an opportunity for a student with the restaurant work I’m involved with as Kitchen Manager of East is East (, two family run Afghani-Indian fusion food restaurants on the west side of Vancouver. 

We have plans to grow food for the restaurant on ten acres of land over on the Sunshine Coast. The land is currently being cleared. This spring we are hoping to begin to grow the various varieties of vegetables available on a separate plot, and are wondering if any student might have an interest in getting involved with us.  

Some of our staff have experience with agriculture, but having an educated perspective of a student from your Land and Food Systems department might be mutually beneficial to both the restaurant and to your student.  

Issues of soil Ph, historical agricultural practices on the sunshine coast by the indigenous nations and settler communities, drainage, fertility, warding off potential wildlife, and quality produce production are issues we are starting to think about and face. 

We welcome any interested student to drop by the restaurants, and look forward to further communication. 

Kind regards,


Friedman Award for Scholars in Health


Dear New Graduate Students, 

I am writing to make you aware of a unique funding opportunity for those of you whose work intersects with the health sciences. The Friedman Award for Scholars in Health provides two to four scholarships ($25,000 to $50,000 each) yearly in order to allow for a (minimum) six month educational experience at a facility outside of Western Canada.  

The Friedman Award for Scholars in Health is open to any UBC graduate student or UBC Medical Resident Trainee in the health-related sciences. Health sciences will be interpreted broadly; the field of study not only includes the obvious fields such as medicine, dentistry, audiology, nursing, etc., but also includes any complementary work being done in other disciplines that relates to the promotion and dissemination of health related education (an example could be an economist working on a new funding model for health care or a botanist working on herbal remedies for a disease).

Friedman Scholars are expected to travel to other areas of the world to seek new perspectives and learn from experts in their fields. In order to be considered, travel must be outside of Western Canada (east of Manitoba or north of Yukon and the Northwest Territories). Learners must engage with a leading figure or group for a minimum period of six months to gain new knowledge and perspectives in their field and absorb the scholarly culture of the host institution. This is not a vehicle for funding research projects, but is rather to enable unique educational experiences for health science trainees.

As this award is dedicated to enabling an extended educational opportunity outside of UBC, I wish to flag this award to your attention at the beginning of your graduate degree, so that you can be mindful of this opportunity in your future academic plans. For more information on the Friedman Award for Scholars in Health, please visit:

Best of luck in your studies!

Warm regards,

Heather Muckart
(part-time: Wednesdays/Thursdays/Fridays)
Graduate and Postdoctoral Research Coordinator | Faculty of Medicine | Dean’s Office
The University of British Columbia
317 – 2194 Health Sciences Mall | Vancouver, BC  Canada V6T 1Z3
Phone 604 822 8633 | Fax 604 822 6061 |


VanBUG 2016-2017 Season Opener – Martin Krzywinski September 15 at 6PM


Please join us next Thursday (Sep 15th) at 6PM for our 15th season opener. Martin Krzywinski from Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Science Centre will be our featured speaker. His talk will be titled “The quality of Quantity”. 


“The great tragedy of science–the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.” wrote Huxley, in a statement that is as much about how science works as about the irrepressible optimism required to practice it. But even greater is the tragedy of obfuscating facts with impenetrable figures and demoting their natural beauty by florid visuals. The issue isn’t one of pure aesthetics—lack of clarity, precision and conciseness in science communication slows our efforts to move forward. In the field of disease research, this has fateful impact on lives. 

We want to get the visuals right—or at least, better—not just for the sake of communication but also to stir emotion and curiosity. Art gives us access to the quality of quantity by exposing the beauty and depth of highly technical knowledge, normally only accessible to specialists [1]. Milestones in scientific discovery may be inevitable but our personal reaction to the world they describe is not. Art allows us to find ourselves in the science.

Using examples from my work and science-related art projects, I will make the case for a greater role of art in science, as a form of communication, education and inspiration and starting interesting conversations.

[1] Euler’s identity e=–1 is either beautiful or gibberish, depending on your education.

Bio: Martin Krzywinski is known for his work in bioinformatics and data visualization. He created the Circos graph to display genomic data sets in a way that revealed their inner structure and served as a visually stunning emblem of the new field. His information graphics have appeared in the New York Times, Wired, Scientific American and covers of numerous books and scientific journals. Krzywinski’s work has set a new standard for the presentation of scientific results and established design as a tool of discovery in the research process itself. 

Our introductory speaker is Dr. Emma Griffiths, research associate in Dr. Fiona Brinkman’s lab.  

This year, we continue to invite trainee (students, PDFs, and RAs) to meet our featured speaker at 5PM in the BCCRC First Floor Board Room to talk about science and career. 

This year, you can continue to tune in to view the VanBUG talks live online!  The permanent webcast link is  This technology is brought to you by Compute Canada and WestGrid with support from PHSA Telehelath.   

Simply point your browser at the link during the live session to view the talk live.  The webcast sessions are not interactive so if you have questions for the speakers please tweet your questions @VanBUG_ and we will try to respond to your questions live. Note that there is likely a 10-15 second delay with the video. 

Sessions will also be recorded and archived with the presenters’ consent and the links will be posted on the VanBUG website.

Note that pizza, beverage and lively social interactions are not available via Webcast! So there are still good reasons to attend VanBUGs in person. 

We have prepared an exciting season for you. Please visit our website at for all the other event dates and please save the dates!  A list of this season’s speakers is attached as a poster. Please help us disseminate the information! 

675 West 10th Avenue
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Family Theatre
BC Cancer Agency


September 15, 2016
Start Time: 6:00 PM (Trainee Meet the Speakers sessions start at 5PM before the talk)
End Time: 7:30 PM (followed by pizza and drinks)

Contact Name:
William Hsiao

The VanBUG team:
Cedric Chauve
Rodrigo Goya
William Hsiao
Amy Lee
Kieran O’Neill
Raunak Shrestha
Thea Van Rossum
Phillip Richmond
Sam Hinshaw
Evan Morein

VanBUG is generously sponsored by the UBC/SFU Bioinformatics Training Program, ECOSCOPE Training Program, MITACS, GenomeBC, and the Canadian Bioinformatics Workshops. We thank our major sponsors UBC/SFU Bioinformatics Training Program and welcome a new major sponsor, the ECOSCOPE NSERC CREATE Training Program.

If you wish to subscribe and unsubscribe from our mailing list, please visit and follow the instructions there.

Grad course of possible interest for your students (ecosystem services)


Ecosystem Services (RES 508):
Quantifying Nature’s Bounty towards Better Environmental Decisions

RES 508 will prepare researchers and future practitioners and decision-makers to foster sustainable management of ecosystem-based activities, for the competing and complementary ends of sustaining and enhancing human well-being and protecting biodiversity. The concept of ‘ecosystem services’ (ES, the processes by which ecosystems render benefits for people) is not a framework for valuation (e.g., “putting a price tag on nature”), although it has been applied and understood as such. Rather, ES provides one novel approach for putting a ‘human face’ on ecosystem change, facilitating trade-off evaluation, and identifying ‘win-win’ opportunities. But management is never the simple implementation of any approach; accordingly, students will learn about the following facets of the concept from ecological, economic, ethical, and also institutional (law, policy, and business) perspectives: philosophical underpinnings, debates and controversies, analytical tools and approaches, recent developments, limitations, and opportunities.

ES—as the provision of benefits—can be understood as the nexus of two processes: ecosystem provision (e.g., how watersheds yield clean water) and human consumption or appreciation (e.g., how people access water). Study of ES is therefore inherently interdisciplinary, involving an integration of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Students will work in diverse teams, learn from peers, and integrate across disciplines to analyze real-world cases in partnerships with government agencies, NGOs, etc., of their choosing.


Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Students who complete this course will be able to:

1.     Explain to policymakers and lay people the concept of ES and its relevance for sustainability and policies;

2.     Communicate how biophysical and social changes might increase the benefits of specific ES, and the basis for this understanding from relevant science, etc.;

3.     Critically and constructively review academic papers and research reports pertaining to ES;

4.     Constructively critique real or possible programs, policies, and institutions that impact ES, based on those possible impacts and the concepts of efficiency, equity, and sustainability;

5.     Advocate and support their views on the pros and cons of economic valuation of ES and other routes to affecting decision-making based on ES research and stakeholder input.

Course Description

Through participatory lectures, role-plays, discussions, debates, and workshops, students will:

·       Learn the history of thinking on ES and new developments in policy;

·       Characterize the ecological dynamics underpinning numerous key services, and their relationship with biodiversity conservation;

·       Critique environmental policies to increase benefits relative to costs in different circumstances;

·       Evaluate ES readings as a peer reviewer;

·       Identify opportunities for profit from ES, and the feasibility of creating markets for ES;

·       Describe the opportunities and impediments to laws, regulations, and programs for ES in BC;

·       Evaluate decision-making processes and the methods and theory and practice of economic valuation in light of social, cultural, and ethical considerations;

·       Apply these skills individually and in teams, demonstrating the learning objectives and outcomes through assignments and presentations, including a group final paper.


Andrew Riseman, PhD
Associate Professor
UBC Centre for Sustainable Food Systems-UBC Farm
Faculty of Land and Food Systems
The University of British Columbia | Vancouver
2357 Main Mall | Vancouver, BC  Canada V6T 1Z4
Phone 604 822 9607 | Fax 604 822 6394 |