GSS News | July 11 2019


The GSS Re-Launches Graduate Student Financial Aid

Graduate Student Financial Aid is the GSS’s new fund to support graduate students at UBC Vancouver, who are experiencing unforeseen financial hardship.

Am I Eligible?

All graduate students at UBC Vancouver are eligible for the fund if they meet the following criteria

Be enrolled as a graduate student at the University of British Columbia-Vancouver;

Be in demonstrable financial hardship;

Be referred or recommended to the GSS by an UBC office or academic unit;

Have not previously applied for the GFSA during the past 4 months or received it during last 12 months.

What does the support cover?

The fund can cover a wide range of expenses directly arising from unforeseen circumstances, which may include:

Rent and living expenses;

Prescription medication not covered by MSP, Pharmacare, and the AMS / GSS Health and Dental Plan

Moving and related expenses

The UBC Leave of Absence fee.

GFSA will NOT cover tuition and other school fees.

You can read more about the fund, including how to apply here:

Or if you want to see full scope and regulations of the GFSA you can consult the GSS Policy Manual


Summer Pitch and Putt

Join the GSS for a wonderful afternoon of golf. The Queen Elizabeth Park Pitch & Putt offers beautiful views of the city, and a way of enjoying the natural beauty of the park. It’s also a perfect course for those new to the game. So get a group of friends together for some friendly competition


Star on the GSS website

We’re looking for 5 grad students to be featured in some photographs for the GSS website. You’ll need to be available at Thea Koerner house this Friday from 1-3pm and to be happy to have your photo taken of course. We’ll make sure everyone who takes part gets a gift card for their trouble.

Interested? message us on Facebook or email Slots will be on a first come, first served basis.


Policy Revisions

These are the latest revisions to GSS policies which will be considered and discussed at the next GSS Council meeting on July 18th.



Participate in a focus group

The Graduate Student Society and the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy are looking for participants in focus groups with graduate students in research-based programs to identify challenges and successes that students with disability have been experiencing navigating UBC campus and how they perceive UBC accessibility.

N.B: Any response to or sharing of this post may result in that individual being associated with this study.



Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Events

Registration is now open for:

Grad School Success

Thesis Formatting: Tips, tricks, and resources | Jul 15

Citation Management using RefWorks (Intermediate) | Jul 18

Writing Consultations at CWSC (Summer hours)


There are still research-based graduate students needed for the Accessibility Focus Group

Love is in the Air Pride Installation Competition

Calling all artists! Here is your chance to create the new Love is in the Air Pride installation to elevate LGBTQ2SIA+ voices! Submit your design idea before July 28 for an installation over the UBC Pride event on September 6, 2019.

The aim of the competition is to raise awareness and visibility of LGBTQ2SIA+ communities in UBC’s public space. Artists with intersectional identities, who identify as being a part of an LGBTQ2ISA+ community and of communities that have been historically and systematically marginalized, are strongly encouraged to apply.

The competition is open to all UBC students, faculty and staff. Apply by July 28.

UBC Strategy Consulting Mentorship Program

Are you interested in a career in consulting? Over the course of 4 months, candidates will have access to lectures, boot camps, personal resume reviews, and targeted coaching from over 120 SCMP alumni who have successfully gone through the program. Successful candidates will have the opportunity to interview and intern with our consultancy partners like McKinsey, Bain, and BCG and other top global consulting firms.

Visit our website and infographic for more information and join our email list for updates on information sessions and application dates.

UBC Celebrates: Ice Cream Day on July 18 at 3:00 pm


UBC Applied Science, UBC Land and Food Systems and the Sauder School of Business have teamed up bring you this exciting event to celebrate this fabulously delicious, incredibly versatile and intellectually stimulating treat.


UBC Celebrates: Ice Cream Day on Thursday, July 18 at 3:00 pm – Chemical and Biological Engineering Building (2360 East Mall). 

Come listen to these experts and impress all your friends with your newfound knowledge!

  • John Frostad: Applied Science/Land and Food Systems — The Science Behind Ice Cream
  • Ann Stone: Sauder School of Business — The Business Behind Ice Cream
  • Betsy Ng, co-owner and founder of Elephant Garden Creamery

After the talks, there will be an ice cream social.

  • Watch an ice cream making demo — by UBC Chemical & Biological Engineering
  • Local vendors will be on site selling ice cream — vendors include Rain or Shine Ice Cream and Elephant Garden Creamery

Find out more and RSVP:






Regie Sacdalan
Manager, Web & Digital Communications
Faculty of Applied Science | Dean’s Office
The University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus
Office 604 822 8602 | Cell 604 307 2690

UBC Let’s Talk Science


Let’s Talk Science Harry Potter Summer Camp
It’s time again for our annual summer camp! This year’s camp will run for one week with 30 kids in grades 4-6 and features real life science activities and field trips inspired by the wizarding world of the Harry Potter books. We are recruiting a group of enthusiastic volunteers to help run the camp as counsellors and activity facilitators. Come out for anything from the full week to single days/half days and get ready to help show the kids how fun science can be.

Where: Khalsa School Old Yale Road (10677 124 St, Surrey – it’s a short walk from Scott Road Station)
When: Monday July 22 – Friday July 26
Time: 8 am – 4:45 pm daily

Volunteer training will be held the week before the camp, details to be confirmed. Interested volunteers can sign up here:
If you have any questions, please email Alyssa at


Geneskool Summer Science Program

The Geneskool Summer Science Program offers teens a unique week long opportunity to learn the molecular biology techniques that scientists use every day. Through hands-on experiments and exciting guest speakers, Grade 9-12 students can explore aspects of biotechnology, genomics, inheritance, virology, forensics and microbiology to solve a murder mystery!

We are looking for volunteers to facilitate workshops and labs during this week-long program. This is a great opportunity to gain teaching and mentorship experience and inspire future scientists! Please see below for more details on responsibilities and requirements.

When: Aug 19-23, 2019
Where: Capilano University, North Vancouver


  • Ideally commit to an entire week of volunteering (Aug 19-23, 9 am-4 pm)
  • Attend mandatory volunteer orientation (date and time TBA)
  • Provide a fun, safe, and positive learning environment
  • Assist in instructing workshop sessions
  • Assist in preparing and facilitating hands-on experiments
  • Help with set up and clean up at the start and end of the day, respectively


  • A friendly and enthusiastic personality
  • Passion for teaching and working with youth
  • Educational background in life sciences (completed at least first year university level biology)
  • Previous experience in presenting Geneskool workshops an asset

To apply for this volunteer position, please fill out this form ( and submit a 1-2 page resume to Evelyn Sun at by end of July 26, 2019.

Entrepreneurship Course For Graduate Students: Tech Entrepreneurship (APSC541/BAEN506)


Tech Entrepreneurship (APSC541/BAEN506) has been running for over 25 years and has facilitated many entrepreneurial ventures and realized numerous successful breakout companies such as DWaveZymeworks, Recon Instruments, Headcheck Health – just to name a few.   This course pairs graduate business and APSC/STEM students to provide an experience-based introduction into the lean start-up process. It is a real-life simulation of the process that founders go through when starting a high-tech company. Students will be faced with the key issues involved in evaluating market opportunities, building a prototype, designing profitable business models, producing a solid business plan, raising capital, addressing legal considerations and developing a winning team. Students will gain the skills and tools to creatively commercialize high-tech research into profitable businesses. Teams will be expected to develop credible pitches that will be made to industry professionals.  Some of these student companies go on to participate in e@UBC, the Hatch and Creative Destruction Labs.

The core of the course runs on Wednesday evenings from January to April; and there are 3 critical and mandatory preliminary classes that take place in November dedicated to team formation (November 13, 20 and 27 – 6pm).  The course is taught by a team of business and STEM/APSC instructors for a well-rounded business and technical perspective.

The course has an application process for admission as it is very competitive, with deadlines and rolling admission in early August, September and November. Further details regarding the course are available at (please note that this URL has changed from last year).

We have had strong interest from your faculty in the past, and would greatly appreciate your support to promote the course amongst your graduate students.

To further support this message, we would be pleased to arrange an info session at a time that is convenient for your faculty – to hear from course lecturers, former students and/or now successful entrepreneurs who participated in the course.

Please let us know how we can support your promotion of this course, and feel free to contact us should you require any further information.  We will follow-up by phone in the near future.

Warmest Regards


DJ (David) Miller
Sauder School of Business

Rolling Graduation – discontinued after November 2019


Rolling graduation was introduced in 2014. It separated the process of degrees being awarded by Senate from the formal conferral by the Chancellor at Congregation, so that graduate students were able to have their degrees awarded on any one of four dates in a given year; dates in September, November, February, and May. The major reason for doing this was to allow students a formal notation of program completion four times a year instead of twice a year.

Since rolling graduation first started, changes have been made in the SSC so that as soon as students have completed their programs, they can download an official letter that confirms they have completed all degree requirements and are expected to graduate at the next ceremony. This degree completion letter is sufficient for almost all purposes. On the rare occasions that further confirmation is requested (the last request was in 2012), the student is provided with a personal letter from the Dean of G+PS. This has proved effective in all cases.

A recent review by G+PS and Enrolment Services has indicated that rolling graduation has resulted in a substantial increase in work for G+PS and program staff for minimal benefit. Students have begun applying very early for graduation in the hope of completing early (i.e., in September or February). On average, 33% of students who apply to graduate for September or February are not in fact ready to do so, in contrast to 16% at the May and November graduation dates. As the students’ records must be checked in order to determine this, the high application and non-approval rate represents a substantial increase in workload for both program staff and G+PS. Rolling graduation also represents a substantial work increase for Enrolment Services, as they must manually open a special graduation application twice a year. This has proven to be confusing for students, and questions and concerns about the graduation application have greatly increased.

In May 2019, UBC Senate approved the discontinuation of rolling graduation. The approved proposal (attached) was first approved by the Graduate Academic Policy Committee, Graduate Council, and the Senate Academic Policy Committee.

September 2019 will be the last instance of rolling graduation. After that, graduate students will apply to graduate in either May or November, as before. Nothing else has changed. Students’ programs will be closed as soon as they have completed their requirements; they will immediately be able to download a letter of completion from the SSC, and will be eligible for tuition fee refunds for the remainder of the term, as before.

Please contact me if you have further questions.


Kind regards,


Max Read
Associate Director, Student Academic Services
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies | Office of the Dean and Vice-Provost
The University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus
170-6371 Crescent Road | Vancouver BC | V6T 1Z2 Canada
Phone 604 822 0283 |