Monthly Archives: September 2016

Scope of a Doctoral Dissertation

Passing along some information about changes to the Scope of a Doctoral Dissertation. The Public Scholars Initiative seems really interesting — I imagine many of you could be spinning your research in that direction.
The Graduate Academic Policy Committee has approved updates to the section of the G+PS website “Scope of a Doctoral Dissertation”. Related sections have had minor adjustments in consequence. Please note that there are no major changes, and the scope and possibilities have been expanded, not limited.
The updates have been made to support the Public Scholars Initiative, which encourages diverse forms of collaborative scholarship and scholarly products.
The following pages have minor adjustments:


Upcoming Information Sessions

Submitting Your Thesis
Working on your thesis? This session will review the UBC formatting and submission requirements.
Tuesday, September 27 | 9:00 AM to 10:15 AM
For further information or to register, visit .  The direct registration link is .
Copyright for Your Thesis: How to Use Images and Other Material
Are there images or portions of published manuscripts you are planning to use in your thesis? Do you have concerns over how copyright laws could delay your thesis submission? Bring your theses or other work you need guidance on.
Tuesday, September 27 | 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer
This workshop will help you gain an overall understanding of the field of intellectual property; understand the various stages and timelines in the process of obtaining a patent; utilize the resources available to conduct a prior-art search yourself; and participate in technology transfer processes.
Thursday, September 29 | 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Please visit the forums for other graduate student opportunities including:
Tips and Tricks for Formatting your Thesis, Sept 21, 10:00 AM
Top 10 Tips for Getting Organized & Staying Productive, Sept 21, 1:00 PM
Multi-disciplinary Graduate Student Writing Community, Sept 26, 2:00 PM
Submit a proposal to present at the Student Leadership Conference in January
Volunteer with the GSS as a commissioner


Some International Mitacs Opportunities

Global Research Award (12- to 24- week research project abroad)
The Mitacs Globalink Research Award supports research collaborations between Canada and select partner countries. The award is open to graduate students in all disciplines. Select destinations are also open to senior undergraduates in all disciplines. Full details (including eligibility requirements and application materials) are available at:
Mitacs-JSPS Internship (10-week research project in Japan)
The Mitacs-JSPS Internship provides opportunities for graduate students in Canada to pursue collaborative research in Japan, allowing them to advance their own research while promoting scientific progress in both Japan and Canada. Full details (including eligibility requirements and application materials) are available at:
Deadline: Submit the completed proposal by email to by Wednesday, 9
November 2016, at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time
Please contact Mitacs International at if you have any questions regarding the application or eligibility requirements.


IODE War Memorial Scholarship

The IODE War Memorial Scholarships support PhD scholars whose research makes important contributions to Canada and the world in medicine, science, business, politics and academia. Applicants are judged on academic excellence and potential. Details are available online at:
Eligibility: Applicants must be Canadian citizens and in at least their second year of a doctoral program at a Canadian or Commonwealth university.
  1. Letter of Intent by 01 October 2016
  2. Complete application by 01 November 2016
Please submit all correspondence and supporting documents on or before the specified deadline dates.
  • By email, to the IODE War Memorial Officer at; or,
  • By post, to IODE Canada, 40 Orchard View Blvd. Suite 219, Toronto, ON, M4R 1B9


SSHRC/NSERC Information for Fall 2016

  • NSERC PGS applications and reference letters: Please email your graduate program deadline and, if possible, a list of students (first and last names) applying to your program to On the next business day, we will upload the application materials and reference letters to your folder on Workspace.
  • SSHRC doctoral awards applications: SSHRC will accept printouts of UBC Academic History from SISC. For each applicant, please append one copy of the UBC transcript key to the SISC printout.


Trudeau Doctoral Scholarships


Trudeau Doctoral Scholarships
Value: $40,000 stipend plus $20,000 travel allowance per year, for up to 4 years
Applicant deadline: 11:59pm (Vancouver time) on Monday, 24 October 2016
Up to 15 Trudeau Scholarships are awarded each year to support doctoral students pursuing research related to one of its four founding themes: Human Rights and Dignity, Responsible Citizenship, Canada in the World, and People and their Natural Environment. Trudeau Scholars are highly gifted individuals who are actively engaged in their fields and expected to become leading national and international figures.
  • Candidates must be applying into the first year of a PhD at UBC, or be registered in the first or second year of a PhD at UBC.
  • Although priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, up to one scholar in four per given year may be a foreign national registered full-time in a doctoral program at a Canadian institution. This applies in particular to students from emerging nations.
Applications are submitted via the Trudeau Foundation application portal:
Please note that there is no graduate program nomination process. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will convene an adjudication committee composed of UBC faculty members to review applications and select UBC’s nominees to the national competition.


Things to be interested in!

From our friends at Graduate Pathways to Success:


There seems to be some lore about being stuck with committees. At any stage, you have the agency to change your committee. You are NEVER obligated to have a particular faculty member as your supervisor or as a committee member. There might be some administrative legwork to change up your committee, particularly when you are in the midst of the thesis-writing stage, but it’s never not an option.

Consider this post a public service announcement.

Language Requirement

You must have knowledge of a language other than English. There are lots of ways to satisfy this:

  • If you are a native speaker of a language other than English, you need to show some evidence for that (like a high school or undergraduate transcript).
  • 12 university credits of a language (many of you may have this from your undergraduate degree).
  • If you passed a reading/translation exam at your previous university.
  • A translation/reading exam at UBC. Some language departments at UBC periodically schedule reading knowledge examinations. Evaluation of a student’s language competence is based on the translation of a text (approximately 1000 words) relating to the student’s field of study. Minimally, a second class standing (B- or better) in such an exam must be obtained in order to satisfy the Foreign Language Requirement.
    • For further information on such examinations, contact the appropriate departments. I’ll add them here, as you tell them to me.
    • French-Spanish-Italian schedule: Friday, September 16, 2017 and Friday, January 13, 2017 from 3:30-5pm in Buchanan Tower 898.

Don’t let this requirement slip your mind! The language requirement must be met by the time of the submission of the thesis (MA or PhD) prospectus.

A timeline for your PhD Dissertation

Whether you are submitting an extension (in which case this is a requirement) or just being a diligent planner, you’ll want to be thinking about a timeline to your defense date. Grad Studies has a bunch of information, but I’m going to condense a bit of it for you here.

If you are working against a ticking clock, you want to work backwards from when you want to defend.

  • Another 16 weeks before you want to defend, you* need to submit the form nominating an external examiner (who this is is often, but not always, decided in collaboration with your supervisor)
  • About 6-8 weeks before you want to defend, submit your dissertation so it can go out to the external examiner.
  • Minimally 4 weeks before you want to defend, (1) Confirm university examiners (who is asked is often, but not always, decided in collaboration with your supervisor), (2) request a date, and (3) submit a program.
  • Defend that thesis! (And have fun while doing it. That’s a new rule under my Grad Advising regime.)
  • Allow yourself 4 weeks to complete the final revisions to your dissertation**, and get everything submitted before your end of program date.

If you are making a timeline for an extension, give specific month/year designations for these landmarks.

* I say “you” here, but a lot of these “yous” mean your supervisor or your committee. You (as in you-you) often need to be assertive and initiate movement on these items.

** When creating a timeline for grad studies, this is a good estimate, but be aware that the amount of revisions and the timeline associated with them are determined by your examination committee.